Posts tagged reflector
Timing Your Spring Senior Session
high school senior model with denim jacket in front of flowering dogwood tree

If you want jaw-dropping senior photos, start planning right now! The trees are starting to blossom and nights are coming later, which means that you can get the same color-injected, gorgeous backdrops featured here! Ever wonder how photographers get that warm, deliciously amazing light that makes their photos glow? I certainly did. After lots of soul searching this month, this webinar watching, cash-dropping light chaser vowed to stop saying to myself "I'll just fix it in (computer software of choice)", and decided to get. that. glow.

It all starts with paying attention. If you are planning a shoot, look up when sunset is, and plan your shoot an hour or two before that. Carrie was graciously flexible and patient and we adjusted our start time to make sure her photos would be kick-you-in-the-face gorgeous. Usually somewhere between 5pm and 7pm is a good place to start!


Photography is expensive. Gear is pricey. Time is valuable. The cost of both is critical is this business, but some simple, good decisions can help you reap major benefits! I bought this $20 reflector in keeping with my vow to never "fix it in (computer software)" again. It makes a HUGE difference in lighting your portrait subject's face, and gives you the freedom to position your new friend in front of those beautiful golden backgrounds and still make sure the light is just right. Plus now you can call yourself a light bender and that sounds kind of cool.

Anyway, I hope you enjoy these shots of Carrie's senior session! She is quite an amazing lady - manager of a baseball team at school, a solid member of the volleyball team for years, an advocate for MS, exchange program participant, AP class all-star, and lover of ice cream! Meadows, anyone?

high school senior model behind volleyball net with Westchester University college shirt
high school senior model posed with purple volleyball wearing a west chester university college hat
high school senior model with off the shoulder yellow lace top posing in front of arches at the Indiana University of Pennsylvania
high school senior model with yellow lace off the shoulder top holding melting ice cream with rainbow sprinkles in front of the meadows ice cream store in Indiana, PA
high school senior model with denim jacket in front of flowering dogwood tree
high school senior model standing in front of covered bridge wearing a floral summer dress
high school senior model twirling floral summer dress on a back country raos with trees
high school senior model wearing light blue shift dress and blue floral heels looking over shoulder and laughing on top of a parking garage in the city
high school senior model in light blue shift dress standing on top of parking garage overlooking city of Indiana PA
headshot using reflector of high school senior model in light blue shift dress standing on top of parking garage overlooking city of Indiana PA
top down shot of high school senior model laughing in light blue shift dress standing on top of parking garage overlooking city of Indiana PA
Who to Bring Along to Your Photo Session | Indiana PA Senior Photographer

This time of year, lots of people are getting family photos taken with screaming kids, maybe grandparents, or even a fluffy pooch in tow and it may be tempting to call in the troops to help you manage it all - here I'm sharing tips for those who are asked to be a part of the fun and assist during a photo shoot! Over the summer when senior sessions are in full swing, it's common to have your mom or dad to come along to share in the experience and make it less awkward spending a few hours with a total stranger. I have seen lots of clients even invite along friends to wrangle dogs, grandmas to soothe babies, and siblings to hang out during their family portrait sessions too. I LOVE meeting new people, and am always so grateful for an extra set of hands! So, from a photographer's point of view, if you are considering having someone come along for your senior or family shoot, here's some things to share with them!

When the Camera Goes Up, the Volume Goes Down

I spent years as a studio photographer, where it was very common for a crowd to walk in with those being photographed. It's still common now, especially during family shoots, for sisters, friends, grandmas, etc. to come along to "help make the kids smile." The best thing you can do is watch the photographer and when the camera goes up, allow him or her to be the only one communicating with the family, kids, senior, etc. Your photographer has likely had hundreds of subjects in front of their camera and has some tried and true tricks on how to get their subject to authentically smile - in fact, you can read some of those tricks here! The photographer has a certain look or emotion they are trying to coax out of the subject, and it is the most helpful to allow him or her the chance to have the model's complete attention to ensure that happens.

There's No Such Thing As Personal Space

This is more for family sessions, but if a photographer does ask you, the trusty friend or mom, to help get the subject's attention, it's best to stand directly behind him or her. I tell people to basically jump on top of me. If you are trying to coax the gaze of a three-nager directly into the camera, it's best to have the person they are looking at or watching be as close to the lens as possible. Get all up in my biz!

Be a Pack Mule

Here's for all you senior moms and dads. I get this question a lot - is it normal for a parent to come along on a senior shoot? The answer? It's perfectly normal! About 50% of my seniors come to their session with their mom or dad. And as insensitive as it sounds, it's really helpful to everyone if a parent can be a coat rack, more or less. Senior sessions are all about the clothes, am I right? Without minimizing the importance of you wonderful parents out there, it's important that the photographer can get to know the amazing son or daughter you already know so well. Teenagers can be a bit introverted around strangers, and the best thing you can do to help your teenager feel comfortable is to show your quiet support by taking care of the details like holding and organizing their outfit changes.

Let Me Teach You Something

Here's a fun tip for anyone, at any type of session: let me put you to work. I love when folks are interested in the process of the photo taking, and not just focused on getting the subjects to smile. That's my job! I love, too, when you are willing to learn something and excited to help out! Something I've found that people are thrilled to help with is holding a reflector. The photo session as a whole should be an enjoyable experience for everyone, and I've found that when willing parents and friends are teachable and become involved in creating the photo by holding a shiny silver disc, they take ownership of the end product. They too become excited to see a perfectly lit subject, and how their small effort of holding a homing beacon for ET can affect the quality so much. So many people have a closet interest in photography, and I am more than happy to teach and explain anything and everything you want to ask me!

For the senior session highlighted below, Katie chose to come to her senior session by herself. I think it's wise to know yourself and know how you are around strangers, and if being alone with your photographer will push you to talk a little more, that's probably the wisest choice. Katie and I had no problem keeping the conversation going as she taught me about her interests, her family, and her inspirations for the future! I hope you enjoy the highlights of her beautiful session below!