What is a full-service photographer?

I’m a full-service photographer. What this means is that I don’t just assume you know where to go, what to wear and how to pose during your photoshoot. It means I communicate with you through the entire preparation process, at your photoshoot I pose you and after your session, I help you with your order and create the art you want from your images.

How I started

When I first started doing portraits back in 2011 I would pick a park an meet people for the first time at their photoshoot. But I quickly realized that didn’t work for people and it didn’t work for me either. I need some time to get to know people, to figure out what locations and posing will be right for them. My creative process needs this time, I’ve tried to streamline and it always left me feeling like I should have given more. Or I miss out on something major for my client cause they hadn’t thought about it until the day of.

How I want my clients to feel

What I want this to feel like to my clients is that you feel fully supported from, “Hi, I’d like some information.” until I personally deliver your order. This also means I don’t take as many clients during the year so that I can give more time and energy to those that choose me.

More than an hour

There’s so much more that goes into a photoshoot than just the hours we are together at your photoshoot. Yes, I want you to feel amazing during that time, but I think having some connection before helps us get there. My seniors will meet with me about a month before their photoshoot. This gives us time for your busy schedule and gives my creative process time as well. We’ll brainstorm ideas for locations, talk about outfit ideas, accessories, props and even the feel you want from your images.

Then about a week before your photoshoot, we’ll zoom and I’ll go right into your closet. You’ll show me the outfits you were thinking about, accessories and even props. This not only ensures you have enough outfits with variety but also helps me with figuring out what outfit when and even some poses. Cause a super fun outfit deserves some crazy poses!

After your photoshoot

You totally rocked your photoshoot, we had a blast and you might be a little sore from all the smiling but it was awesome! And now the bulk of my work begins. I like my clients to see their images about a week later, this gives me time to find the best images, do a light edit for exposure and create a video from your day.

We’ll zoom and I’ll share my screen for you to watch the video and then you’ll go image by image choosing your favorites. You’ll select a Collection and we’ll choose your yearbook image, wall art or album images together.

My editing style

And then I edit. Editing can be seen as controversial these days. There are many that say editing is affecting how we see ourselves. I can totally understand this pov. I ask every client how much retouching they would like done. Some want a light edit and then after that will decide they want a bit more. Others want a full retouch with contour. I prefer to edit things that won’t be there in a month. So blemishes, burns, scratches, and bruises all get removed. I also edit away flyaways if they take away from the image, but sometimes they can add emotion and movement so it’s subjective. I tell people I brighten eyes, whiten teeth and remove any distractions from the image. You also won’t see any extreme color grading in my images. If we capture the golden sunset, that image will be golden. But I’m not adding golden filters to make every image like that. I want to edit the image to make the colors look true to life.

When to book senior pictures

So what does all this mean? It means that if you want to work with a photographer that supports you through the process and creates a photoshoot designed around you, it takes time. Most people book their summer or fall dates with me in the Spring of their Junior year. That is your best bet to get the date you want. I only book one senior per week so the most I can take in a year is 15. Yup, 15 spots. That’s it.

Other options

If you waited until September to look for a photographer, I’m sorry for the scramble you’re going through. I do offer Studio Senior Sessions in the Winter and a few dates for Spring Senior Sessions. Both of these can include professional hair and makeup. For Studio Senior Sessions we’ll be in my studio in NW Portland. It’s about 20 mins from Beaverton and has free parking. The studio has a wall of windows so we’ll have beautiful natural light, even on overcast days. For Spring Senior Sessions, it’s a quicker version of my regular senior sessions. We’ll start in the studio with hair and makeup, couple shots there and then head off to one of my favorite spots near the studio.

Class of 2024

What to know if you’re planning ahead? If you are Class of 2024 or Class of 2025, I’m so glad you are excited about your senior pictures and are researching now! Start looking for a photographer in your Junior year and book your summer or fall dates before the end of the school year. And tell your friends so they don’t miss out! I hear from seniors every year that they didn’t realize they needed to book so early and I always feel for them. This is a special time in your life that deserves to be captured! I love looking back at my senior pictures and always my seniors to have that as well!

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