Archive for February, 2014

A Real Rodeo Girl | Senior Photography

One of the perks as we photograph high school seniors all summer long, each about hour shoots with three to five different outfit changes, is to see what the latest trends are appearing in fashion.  This past year we’ve noticed many young girls come in with a taste of the country scene.  Sundresses with boots are no longer solely for cowgirls but styles for the common teenage or young adult.  So when Emily Hasper came to Lamar Studios, we were all excited to see her full rodeo gear from head to toe!

Emily had a cute style that showed her personality in every outfit she brought to her photo shoot; but when modeling her embroidered boots, felt hat, awarded belt, and showy chaps her inner cowgirl really shined!  As a photographer, to hear all about Emily’s passion for rodeo and then capture a representation of this important part of her life was truly rewarding.  One of the greatest joys of this business is meeting these seniors who are accomplishing and exploring so many things, then creating photos that portray their individuality.  As you view the following images from Emily’s senior session, you are not only getting a glimpse of what we do here at Lamar Studios but a look into the life of a rodeo girl.

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Daniel’s Ride | Senior Photography

Four wheels move the body, two wheels move the soul.”~ Author Unknown
Most kids get their first car at some time during high school.  For this senior, Daniel Shimel, his first car had two wheels!  Daniel’s entire senior photo shoot was pleasant as we photographed his stylish wardrobe and created some dramatic guitar pictures.  But when he pulled up in front of our studio with his street bike our imaginations went wild! Daniel takes good care of his bike and keeps it in pristine condition.  It really shined in photos!  He also brought with him all his gear, his protective jacket and helmet.  The more props the better!  With his added gear we were able to capture a larger variety of backgrounds and poses.  Time quickly slipped away in the excitement and Daniel was a patient model.  It’s not too often that a young man comes in with such an expensive bike of his very own and it was our joy to create photographic memoirs of this special time in Daniel’s life.
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 Although we photograph most senior photoshoots here at the studio in Gilbert, we also love to photograph on location shoots in the chandler, mesa, tempe, and phoenix area.

Harp in the Park | Gilbert Senior Photography

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Part of the process of a senior photo shoot is to capture the talents, hobbies, or prized possessions the individual has accomplished.  Throughout elementary and high school years, a child can devote countless hours of energy and attention to a sport or music that by the time they graduate this activity has become a part of who they are.  And in a photo shoot, our job and responsibility is to capture who these kids are. 

One senior, Alexis Dorsey, reflected her athletic skill during her original photo shoot but then decided to come back for a second shoot that reflected her musical skills.  Coming from a family of all sorts of musical capabilities, Alexis’s favorite specialty is the harp.  Of her many talents, playing the harp is to her the most rewarding. 

Capturing this special part of Alexis’ life was rewarding for us as well!  It allowed us to get creative and think outside the box.  In this case, the box we left was our studio.  Often when photographing large instruments the most difficult aspect is just getting it inside the studio, which for us is all set up downstairs.  But somehow we have managed to capture many harps, cellos, and basses in our studio and the only instrument unattempted would be a baby grand piano!  However, Alexis’ request to photograph her harp in a more unexpected location allowed us to use the green belt behind us instead of squeezing the instrument inside.  Besides practicality, this location offered a larger variety of backdrops and opened a whole entire possibility for imagination.

Even if we have had your senior in for photos before, we would love to have a second shoot focused around that special talent of theirs too!


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A Bike, A Club, and a Camera! | Gilbert Senior Photography

Wissinger22041 164rblogOver the summer and throughout the rest of the year we photograph hundreds of high school seniors preparing to graduate.  Each photo shoot is unique as each senior has their own style, personality, hobby, and idea of what they want to remember about this special time of their life. As a photographer it is always refreshing when our senior clients bring props as it allows us to go a step farther in capturing their character and individuality.  Ethan Wissinger was one of those students, graduating this year in 2014, who truly made his senior session a lot of fun for us.  He brought items from both his hobbies, golf and mountain biking, because they are the things he really loves spending his time doing.  For us, this opportunity for creativity made his senior session gratifying and rewarding.  It also made out for some astonishing photos as well!

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For Years To Come | Family Photography


“Other things may change us, but we start and end with family.”~Anthony Brandt


One of the greatest rewards of owning a photography studio for twenty-five years is building relationships with returning clients; the privilege of watching families multiply over the years, kids grow up, and sometimes even those kids having kids!  Through every stage of life we have been here, watching our clients grow and change since 1993!  From the very beginning our goal and our commitment was to maintain relationships with our clients that last for years to come.  To look back at this dream, which has become reality, is incredibly rewarding and humbling.

After photographing many families, babies, high school seniors, expectant mothers, engagements, anniversaries, and all different people in different stages of life- our own growth and experience as photographers have developed as well.  The exciting challenge of staying both creative and original during many years of change and innovation has been a rewarding experience as well.  And what can be more rewarding than offering people the memoirs of shared moments with their loved ones that will last forever? Our Lamar Studios home page features a slideshow of images along with the caption “Right before your eyes…they are growing…will you remember the smiles?”  Let us introduce you to a few of the families who have given us the opportunity to watch them grow and capture some of those beautiful smiles.


The Cota family has been coming to us since their firstborn, Adrik, was a baby- now he is ten!  And not only is Adrik an older sibling to a brother, Adrion, but to his newborn sister Ariella.  The two boys have each expressed their own personalities in every shoot, and soon little sister Ariella will too!  The joy of watching this family’s children grow and change over the past ten years is what makes us so excited for every family shoot the Cotas entrust us with.

Cota Collage


The Lawlor family is one of our many connections from Seton Catholic High School.  Two of their oldest children, Sean and Carly, have already graduated and come through the studio for senior portraits.  In 2009 the Lawlors were the winners of a Lamar Studios gift certificate bidding at the school auction, which they used for a family photo session.  And it is our pleasure to continue photographing their family five years later!

Lawlor Collage


The Kortman family has a special connection to Lamar Studios from attending high school with Bethany Lamar back in the day.  Bethany has known Karl and Sharon before they were even a couple.  Now married with three kids- Kristen, Taylor, and Jordan- the couple has passed on their photogenic gene.  We can always count on a good time and a little bit of nostalgia when the Kortmans come in.

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These are only a few of the families who have been coming to us over time and we are overwhelmingly blessed to have such lasting relationships through Lamar Studios today, and for years to come.

Knowing Your Camera | Photography Workshop

DSC_7644r“Tell me and I forget.  Teach me and I remember.  Involve me and I learn.”-Benjamin Franklin

Hands on learning is exactly what went down here at Lamar Studios last Saturday.  We held our first photography workshop of the year in eight hours, with four eager learners, and countless photos as we explored every function of our cameras.  The goal was to better understand our cameras along with their functions and gain optimal control for the best exposures in any situation.

What is more frustrating than framing up that perfect shot, that Kodak moment, and not receiving in your camera what is right before your eyes?  The picture is blurry, or dark, or full of shadows!  You fidget and adjust, randomly clicking buttons on your camera but before you can figure out the problem the moment is over.  Your child has already blown out the candles, that bird has already flown elsewhere, or the batter has just hit that perfect pitch and is already on first base.  And you are still confused as to what went wrong.  Anyone who owns a camera, and uses it, knows that we have all been in this frustrating situation!

The objective of our photography workshop was to first figure out where the settings were in our cameras- as everyone has a different camera with different features and different manuals.  The first hour or so was just digging in and searching for the various buttons, modes, and menus which would later bring to light how we gain more control with our camera.

After we had become familiar with our camera’s settings, it was time to learn them like the back of our hands through various hands on photography exercises.  By the end of the day we had learned to photograph using all four of our camera’s modes (including the scary mode of manual), how to use the exercise of bracketing, how to photograph a silhouette, how to photograph indoors or in a dark situation, how to capture movement and motion, and how to get creative with depth of field.  We probably toggled back and forth between various settings more than a full days worth of work, and if there is one way to get comfortable with your camera it is to not be afraid to change things!

What made this workshop so fun and rewarding was the group of learners who all attended our photography workshop with positivity, patience, and anxiousness for knowledge.  We can proudly say that Carrie, Imelda, Amy, and Martha all left our studio more confident and determined than when they came in that morning.  The key will be to see how much they have practiced their techniques between last class and this upcoming one Saturday- Beginning Photography, More Control.