Senior Photos: What Do Our Senior Photoshoots Look Like?

Senior Photos: What Do Our Senior Photoshoots Look Like?

collage of a senior gal with wonderfully, artistic images

Good senior photos are so important to have as you leave your childhood behind and enter adulthood. They are a wonderful experience where you are the star for the whole day. We plan it together, you share your ideas and we make them come true! Fun clothes, cool locations, artistic ideas come to life! We want you to love your senior photos so much, that you can’t stop sharing them with everyone! This is what a senior photoshoot should be like!


Senior photos: Our goals


Our highest goal is to make your senior photos look the very best possible. In order to do that, you need to start to relax and gain some confidence. For most people it can take some time to start to feel comfortable in front of the camera, so we like to spend some time getting to know each other, gaining some trust and rapport. We want the experience you have in getting your senior photos to be a wonderful memory you won’t soon forget.


Getting to know you at the consultation


All of our senior photoshoots start with a consultation, either in-person, here in our studio or by phone. I learn more about your personality just by talking and observing. We also talk about your vision for what your images will look like, how you want to use them, where you’d like to have them taken and what you’d like to wear. I’ll have lots of ideas also, so we collaborate together to come up with a game plan so that every minute of your photoshoot is fun, relaxed and we capture just what you would like.

“Scott and Linda at Dramatic Memories gave us such a great experience! I loved the extra care we received at our consultation picking out outfits and imagining what photos we would take before hand! Scott and Linda are warm, genuine and individually creative. We love you!”      -Andrea and Audrey from Gilbert

Senior photos senior guy outdoors



The actual photoshoot itself usually starts by us looking through the clothes you brought and choosing the outfits that make you look the best. I look how each item’s color works with your skin tone and how it brings out your eye color.  If it makes you look bigger or smaller than you really are. Once we finalize the clothes you’ll wear, we start the shoot.


The senior portrait photoshoot


I’ll use light and shadows to add depth to each image and sculpt your body to look the best possible. Depending on what we decided during your consultation, we’ll spend time in the studio or head to our first location. The position of the sun, and the looks we’re going for, determine where we go first and the direction I shoot. Most of the time our shoots are in the evening or when the sun is on it’s way down. The light is much softer then. I shoot with the sun behind you so you never worry about squinting. Scott brings our portable lights to be sure your face is lite perfectly. Over 10 years of experience has helped us be able to laugh and talk with you most of the time we are out shooting and still get awesome images. Our shoots last between 1 – 3 hours. We bring water along and take breaks as needed. The time flies!


Viewing and ordering


Usually 1 – 2  weeks later we get back together to show you your images. I start with a music video slideshow of all your proofs. Then we sort all of them into love, like, not.  Then we go through all your loves and decide what you want to do with these. The most popular things our seniors do is to put 15-20 of your favorites into a book or album. They also get some images for the wall (metal and canvas are favorites) and of course many want wallets or 8x10s // 5x7s for the office or family. You’ll see samples of everything we offer in the studio during the consultation and again when you order.


Picking-up your order


They are usually ready 3-4 weeks after your order is finished, depending on the season. If you’d like us to print your graduation invitations using some of your pictures, you can order those in the spring.

Senior pictures are a once-in-a-lifetime experience and the images will be passed down to your children and grandchildren. They need to be as special as you are. We want you to love them and be proud of how you look and how they make mom and dad feel every time they see them hanging on the wall.

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Senior Photographer: Who’s Right for Me?

Senior Photographer: Who’s Right for Me?

high school swimmer coming out of the pool with goggles on

Who’s best for me?  How do I choose the right senior photographer to create my memories? How much should I pay? Prints or digitals? These are great questions. And the answer is: it totally depends on you. We all value different things. Some of us value and are willing to pay a lot for a new sports car. Others are happy with a newer, good-looking car that gets good gas mileage. Others are happy to save money and get an older minivan and spend their money on travel.  So, who are you, when it comes to photography and which senior picture photographer you choose?


How important is choosing the right senior photographer to me?


Is choosing the right photographer critical in your eyes? How important is good photography to you? It’s totally fine if you say, “Oh, it’s OK”.  If that’s what you’re looking for, then you don’t have to look far to find lots of new ‘professional’ photographers out there that will shoot a session and give you all the images on a disk for cheap. It’s becoming very popular as a side business for people with a passion for taking pictures but have little experience or training.  We all started somewhere and going to someone like this can be a good choice for many people. If you think most pictures you see on Facebook are good, then these photographers may be a good option for you.

silhouette of a bird hunter at an amazing sunset
high school track champion with her medals around her neck

Photography is art. Senior photographers are artists.


Photography is an art form. Photographers are artists. Each of them have their own style, their own way of using light and color, how they compose the photograph varies, and now days, how do they edit their photos. Are they able to use dramatic lighting for studio work or amazing places outside which they incorporate into the shot.  Artists are individuals. Each has their own style and vary greatly on how traditional, artistic or original they want their work to be. You should love their creative style, lighting and posing. We’ve all had certain photos or art pieces that we’ve looked at and were amazed by. They affected us. They moved us. We couldn’t take our eyes off them. Because of this, any quality piece of art requires some investment.


If you are someone that really values artistic photography, you should look for an ‘artist’ to create your memories for you. Someone you can work with that has a large body of work to look through. Many are professionally trained, have won awards and are sometimes well known. This type of senior picture photographer may not be cheap but they may not be out of range either. We suggest you look at our work and compare it with others to see what resonates best with you. We all pay for what we value, even if we need to save up or use a payment plan.


What do we value?


We all choose what’s important to us, what we value, and if it’s important enough- we find ways of paying for it. Portrait art is an investment because, unlike that leather couch you just bought, those beautiful images celebrating your high schooler’s athletic accomplishments and hard work gain value as time goes by and will not end up in the garage sale in 10 years. We really encourage our clients to document those high school memories so they can celebrate them for years in the future.


Since most of us are willing to pay for things that we really value, what’s important to you?  Think: good leather purse vs discount-store special, Clinique vs. a drug store’s sale make-up. You get the picture. Neither of these are right or wrong, they are just valued differently by each individual. The same with a once in a lifetime experience like senior pictures.


Looking at photography websites


Here’s a few things to keep in mind when checking out photography websites. In general, the larger the studio or studio chain, the more photographers you have involved. Make sure that the images you see on-line were taken by the photographer you will be working with. Another thing that can come into play is the use of models. For instance, are the senior girls you are looking at paid professionals who are used to being in front of the camera or are they real clients just like you and me?


If you have any questions, feel free to give the photographer a call and see how they treat you over the phone. Do they seem to know what they’re talking about? Are they easy to get along with? We’ve heard more than once from our clients how they had worked with photographers in the past who they just didn’t “click” with. You want to make sure that you really enjoy being with your photographer so that you can have a great experience at your photo shoot.

young man leaning against chain link fence at sunset
dancer posing on a rock in the middle of river rapids

What goes into our pricing?


Our prices vary for the different types of work we do. But for each one we customize each session to be just what you need. We limit our sessions per week to give the tender loving care needed to create the most amazing images possible for you. We scout out new beautiful locations weekly matching flower colors to clothes and locations to personalities!


Careful planning before your shoot, the time, creativity and skill behind the camera and then time at the computer creating beautiful portrait art is what you pay for. The materials that an 8×10 are printed on cost very little, it’s really the time and expertise you are paying for. When you come to Dramatic Memories, you hire us to do what we do best, capture the essence of you…as well as some amazing dramatic memories!


Bottom line


As you look through the work of various photographers, keep in mind that the photos you are looking at were each created by individual artists. You can learn various things from the images but in order to get the exact “look” of that artist you need to hire the artist themselves.

So, bottom line: as you look through a site and lots of the images move you and you want these kinds of memories, then book a session with that photographer and get out your credit card. This is art and will go on for generations.

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“It’s More Blessed To Give Than To Receive”

“It’s More Blessed To Give Than To Receive”

Bolivia is an amazing country and I loved the short time I spent with the folks down there as I was considering working for an organization called Friends In Action International. Having lived overseas for over a decade, I’m still interested in staying involved helping others, both spiritually and physically, by serving them. What I really love about this organization is their commitment to helping various people groups throughout the world by serving them in all sorts of ways.


Meeting real needs that really make a difference


They find missionaries that have been working with people on a local level and based on what the local population feels are their most important needs- they come up with a plan to work together and help out. They’ve been involved in everything from dropping wells for fresh water, rebuilding houses for hurricane victims, road and bridge building so that local populations can continue functioning even during the rainy season-among many other things. One of the projects they had completed in Bolivia had to do with building a 53 foot, double-decker river boat. Every year they take 5 teams of medical staff who travel throughout the Amazon River basin and over the course of time have helped people in over 60 remote villages.


Amazing La Paz: The first stop on a long journey


In order to get to Guayaramerin, Bolivia – the town where I visited, I first took a commercial flight out of Miami to La Paz, Bolivia. La Paz is an amazing city which is located 11,500 feet above sea level on a plateau situated in the Andes Mountains. Amazing! Flying in and out of that place took my breath away. In order to continue to our final destination, you stay on the plane while people get off the plane who are staying in La Paz and you take on other passengers who wish to continue on to Santa Cruz, the final stop. It’s basically like a bus stop.


Bush pilots are amazing servants: Flying over the Bolivian rain forests


I continued on the commercial jet to the final stop of Santa Cruz where we were met at the airport by a local who drove us to a small airstrip in the middle of the city. From there, myself and two other guys, boarded a small Cessna plane piloted by our American bush pilot, Greg, and flew the last 5.5 hours – mostly over Bolivian rain forests. We stopped once at a landing strip which the missionaries had helped construct in order to not run out of fuel in the middle of nowhere.  Greg was flying us over huge areas with very little civilization, fast developing weather fronts (with weather information just recently available), everything spoken in a foreign language, along with almost no place to refuel anywhere. Greg is an amazing pilot who is called to serve others throughout this remote country, in order to reach many remote areas at the risk of his life on a regular basis. “I’m raising a glass to toast you my brother.”


The cost and blessing of serving others


The reason I’m bringing up what it took to just get there is to highlight even the basic steps it may take to begin serving others in various parts of the world. I won’t even bring up health issues that local indigenous tribes and missionaries living among them need to deal with such as anacondas, piranhas, dengue fever, malaria, Brazilian Wandering spiders (dude!) etc….

All this being said, I want to give my kudos to the folks at Friends In Action International as they continue serving others – wherever they may live. I’ll leave you with the words of Jesus, ” It is more blessed to give than to receive”.

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In Remembrance

In Remembrance

This photo was taken in 2015 when my wife, Linda, and I were in Kiev, Ukraine. It was the first time she had been back since our return to the States in 2005. It’s a memorial to a teenager who died as a result of standing up for his country’s freedom along with ninety-nine others who were gunned down on Maidan Nezalezhnosti (Freedom Square) in early 2014 in what has become known as EuroMaidan. His photo along with the others, line one side of a street located in the very place of this tragedy. Snipers and special police had been ordered to fire upon their own countrymen. Soon afterwards, the Russian-backed Ukrainian president fled to Russia. You can see actual footage from the whole event in the documentary, “Winter on Fire” which Netflix produced.


To our dear Ukrainian friends


I had planned on writing up a small post concerning many of our dear friends in the country of Ukraine, where my family and I had lived 11 years. We moved there in 1994- not long after the fall of the Soviet Union. It was amazing to watch the process of a fledgling democracy begin to take it’s first steps in light of it’s newly found freedom. Throughout our time there we were blessed to become a part of many Ukrainians’ lives who had welcomed us with open arms. It was their story that we had the privilege of being a part of. Their deep-rooted trust in God’s help and hope for a better future, in light of unbelievable and on-going challenges, remain a constant example to me even now.


To the victims of tragedy


Now with the Syrian refugee crisis, world-wide terrorist attacks, along with the Crimean occupation of Ukraine, we should be reminded to keep all of these victims and their families in our minds and in our prayers, as they all face the trials incurred within their borders from forces beyond their control. God have mercy on all of us.

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