The “NEW” senior portrait

The “new” senior portrait is a topic I feel so excited to write about. I have spent countless hours scouring the internet and other senior portrait photographers to get ideas about what high school seniors are looking for these days. When I first began shooting senior portraits it was much like one would expect in the days of film.  You would shoot a roll of Kodak Portra film, in studio only, and then sort through 36 images and pick the best images to showcase to your clients in a folio.  WOW, so much has changed in the last ten and even last two years.  Maybe five years ago I added environmental portraits to the mix.  We would still shoot in studio, funny, one background color only,  but also go to a location outside and shoot some natural light portraits.  This worked for many years for my high school seniors but then the market started changing again. Now the new must have is a stylized shoot.  Yikes, what the heck!  I have three children.  Two of whom have stayed very active vocally with my photography business. I have heard from the most vocal of the three, “Mom, the kids want something different .”  Of course I didn’t quite get what the “different” was.  My son kept  trying to explain this new vision with his words and actually picked up my camera, shot a few images and tried to explain.  Yup, I still didn’t  get what he was talking about. I spent my winter months rebuilding my website and redefining my marketing.  Winter became spring with an abundance of green and the wonderful New England colors.  I started  trying to shoot  this new style of photography.  Minimal studio work! The kids just aren’t looking for the posed images anymore.  They want something fresh, something unique which defines their style and personality. I start thinking, this could be fun!  No more perfectly posed images with perfect lighting ratios, blah, blah, blah.  Just go with it I tell myself.  So I give it a go and try to shoot the way  I view everyone else online  shooting.  It so totally goes against everything I have ever learned in regards to photography.  OK, so I don’t shoot “exactly” like the rest of the industry is doing.  I still don’t get the high ISO. We were taught to shoot on 100 ISO with a minimum aperture of F8.0 for a portrait, but I have tried it and I have to admit, it has its purposes. At least the newer digital DSLR cameras have come a long way in efforts to make higher ISO shooting a much better quality image.  I won’t go into all the camera settings, the crazy expensive fast lenses, the $3000 camera bodies with full frame sensors….I will just post some images which show the different styles of shooting.  I do like it.  It’s different, it’s fun, it’s fresh and it pushes me to think differently. I guess if you can’t keep learning and trying new things, you will never keep moving forward.  Enjoy the series of images.  I had a blast creating them and thank you to my high school seniors displayed who never complained when I asked you to do some crazy things and tell you to just, “go with it”

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Family Fun

Family Sessions can be so much fun.  I always let my clients know that the style and feel of their images will come from the personality of the group. Clothing should be worn that best enhances the personality and style of the individual.  If you never wear dress clothes, why dress that way for a portrait? Your family should be viewed as they are in normal everyday living. The Allen Family was relaxed, agreed to all the shots their mom wanted, including replications of shots done when they were children, which made the session quick and easy.  The images showed the personality of the siblings and their interactions with each other.  Isn’t that how you would want your images captured? I have to admit, having been taught by a traditionalist, I still include posed shots. I consider my style of photography the best of all the worlds. You get the posed, but also creative and fun.  As a client you are offered numerous choices in style and composition. With so many choices it tickles me to constantly hear…” It’s so tough to decide.  I love them all.”