The Joy of Photography | Senior Portraits

The last days are coming to an end and your high school senior is counting down!  For some, this month is dragging and the graduation ceremonies can’t seem to come soon enough- the disease of “senioritis” settles in.  For others, the idea that these last twelve years of education are wrapping up still seems surreal.

Holly came to our studio not too long ago and gave us the pleasure of photographing her senior portraits.  She did not bring with her any of the stress or anxiety common for the last few months of senior year.  The only thing she brought with her through the door was some trendy outfits and her radiant smile.  During her photo shoot Holly was easy-going, cheerful, and a joy to photograph! 

Holly is one of the many other seniors we have gotten to know this past year photographing their senior portraits.  We have had the privilege of creating memorable photos for some very smart, driven, and passionate students in this class of 2014.  We would like to thank them for entrusting us in capturing this important season of their lives and encourage them in their future endeavors.  It is the joy of photography to be a part of moments such as these.

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Fancy War Dancer | Senior Photography

Every once in a while a high school senior comes into our studio with an absolutely unique ability or hobby, and this year, his name was Kenneth.  Along with the usual attire a senior might bring to their photo shoot, Kenneth also brought some brightly colored regalia that he wears when performing a style of dance called Fancy War Dance.

Fancy War Dance began as a way to preserve culture and is now performed and competed at many powwows across the nation by many Native American tribes.  Kenneth has been doing this dance for many years now and is exceptionally talented!  He was so excited about capturing this part of his life in his senior photo shoot that he agreed to give us the opportunity of photographing this athletic dance in the desert mountains.

Thank you Kenneth for giving us the pleasure of some creative, colorful, and unique picture making!  In some still shots we were able to capture the flashy and bright colored regalia.  We captured the details of the feather bustles, the beaded trim, stitched moccasins, long fringes, bells, sheep skins and glittery designs.  In some movement shots we were able to portray the energy of such a performance as Kenneth’s regalia moved with him in every motion.  We got a sneak peek to the strength and stamina that is required from fancy war dancers as we had Kenneth continually dancing on the top of a mountain for some of our shots.   And finally we aimed to tell a story through some more dramatic poses of the dancer looking off into the distance.

As a photographer, this was definitely an exciting experience with some astounding results.


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Meeting Them | Senior Photography

One of the most enjoyable aspects of photographing high school seniors is meeting them.  As hundreds of students walk through our studio each year, it is always interesting to see the different personalities and hobbies that make up a graduating class.  And then capturing this uniqueness in the camera brings a whole other joy to what we do.  One senior we had the pleasure of photographing, Justin Yach, enjoys roping and brought his best attire to his shoot.  Justin was fun to talk with and had a great personality.  His open attitude allowed us to be creative and get pictures with large variety.  The results of his photo shoot were both quality and originality, and it is these young adults who encourage us to continue being imaginative.


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Finishing the Race | Senior Photography

“Finishing races is important, but racing is more important.” ~ Dale Earnhardt

Often in life we become so concerned with reaching a goal that our minds are always in the future and absent from the present.  While obtaining a goal is gratifying, without the process of reaching for that goal the accomplishment is empty.  Dale Earnhardt, the American racecar driver and team owner, says it the best; finishing is important, but the act of doing is more important.  You can apply this statement to anything in life really.  Finishing high school is important, but going to high school is more important.  With the end of the school year so close at hand, we would like to encourage those seniors who have come through our photo studio to not only press on these last few months but to value and enjoy them as well.

When parents call us and ask what their senior should bring to their photo shoot, we always encourage them to bring uniforms or props that portray who they are and what sports or hobbies they are involved in.  The amount of dedication we see from these seniors amazes us.  To remain involved in these extracurricular activities that sometimes require the hours of a full time job, might seem overwhelming for a senior student.  We encourage these students to not only finish high school with pride of all they’ve achieved, but to also enjoy the last of this current year.

Carlton Peterson, one of the seniors who visited our studio this past year for his senior portraits, is one of those students who is keeping busy not just in school but outside as well as a race car driver.  We had so much fun getting to know him during his photo shoot and capturing these dramatic shots in his race gear.  Our encouragement also goes to Carlton as he pursues both racing and graduating.


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Unwritten | Senior Photography

“Today is where your book begins…the rest is still unwritten.” ~ Natasha Bedingfield


A high school senior’s last year of mandated education is also their first big step toward the freedom and decision making of adulthood..  Often for a high school student their senior year can’t seem to come soon enough.  And when it is finally here it happens in a flash, outside of the common disease of “Senioritis” of course.  Between applications to college, FAFSA forms, acceptance letters, final sports seasons, standardized tests, senior ditch day, ceremonies, and of course keeping up on grades- a high school senior can easily have an overwhelming agenda of things to do, think about, and decisions to be made.

So much may be happening during a senior’s last year of high school that there may not be much time for reflecting and the year can easily become a blur for both the student and their parents.  A 12th grader doesn’t want to look back on this important year and wish that they had done it differently, but they also have to create a balance and tempo that will allow them to look back.

As a photographer specializing in high school senior portraits, it is my joy to assist these students and their families in capturing the memories of this special season of life.  Photographing a high school senior is equally as heart warming as photographing a newborn baby.  Both subjects are entering a new world with unwritten chapters of exploration and growth ahead.  Contrastingly, while a newborn’s parents cradle their child in their arms, the parents of a high school senior are preparing to release the hand of their child and watch them enter into adulthood.

As emotional as the process of senior portraits may be for the parents of their graduating child, we are blessed to be a part of this experience.  Our goal is to capture the essence and personality of these individuals by providing a comfortable experience.  While many aspects of senior year may be stressful, we want a senior’s photo shoot to be both fun and enjoyable.

One senior who came into our photo studio this past year, Tara Lau, embodied the excitement of a student entering her last year of high school.  She came in with a large bag of outfits and a noticeable smile.  She was both comfortable in front of the camera and relaxed about the beginning of the end of her high school years.  This joy radiated in her photos.   We wanted to share her smile in our blog as an encouragement to those seniors and parents who might be stressed as the end of the school year approaches; as well as to cheer on Tara herself!

It is one of our greatest pleasures to be a part of capturing this important year in so many senior’s lives, and we look forward to the new class heading to our studio in only a few months!

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Golf & Gatsby | Senior Photos

The best word to think when choosing the wardrobe for your senior photo shoot is “variety”.  Here at the studio, we are so blessed to have space for many different backdrops and areas that offer us a variety of backgrounds in our photos.  And when a senior comes in with a wide selection of outfits, from dressy to casual, we are even more inspired for creativity. 

For parents, this is an opportunity for them to see their grown child all dressed up and looking more like a young man or woman than a high school student.  A senior photo shoot also gives their kids a chance to showcase their talent or hobby that they have dedicated so many years of their life to.  And of course, some casual attire is always important in creating photos that truly represent the average day in the life of a senior.

Janek Benigno, a senior preparing to graduate this year, had a photo session that embodied variety and style in the outfits he chose and the shots we captured.  You could tell that Janek didn’t need any convincing in bringing a shirt and tie for his yearbook photo, he came dressed very sharp in his tailored suit.  And to add character to his photo shoot, Janek brought his antique golf club and costume representing The Great Gatsby- one of his favorite books.  We enjoyed capturing Janek’s personality in these shots and getting to know him during the session.  And the resulting final senior photographs embody exactly the young man we met that day.


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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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