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  • Senior Portraits Explained by Elaine Zelker

    I've been a full time photographer for the past 8 years...and before that I was a Registered Nurse (I do still work in Hospice Nursing about 4-5 times per month...and I love it!). When people ask me what type of photography I enjoy the's definitely portraits...particularly headshots and senior portraits. Let's focus on Senior Portraits now. I want to share with you some of the reasons why it's so important to capture these moments, how to choose a photographer that is right for you, and what steps to take to make sure you are prepared for a great shoot!

    How To Go About Choosing A Senior Portrait Photographer That Is Right For You

    You should choose a senior portrait photographer the same way you would choose a photographer for any other type of life event (like headshots, weddings, family).   It's important that the style of the photographer, their personality AND what they offer be a fit for you, otherwise it may not work. Don’t just simply compare photographer's prices. There are a lot of things that determine what a photographer charges, and so simply comparing pricing doesn't help you understand that.

    Do some homework.

    Here are some helpful hints for choosing the right photographer:

    1. View their Website Portfolios, FB albums, Instagram, Twitter (to get an overall ‘feel’ of their work, style, personality)

    2. Read their bios (are they someone you would like to hang out with?).

    3. Understand their experience - a photographer with years of experience is often more expensive than someone just starting out.  That makes sense, right? That should show in their work as well.  While many people think that because they have a great camera they can take great pictures, there is so much more to professional photography than that, and your photographer should have credentials they can share with you as well.

    4. Word of mouth - word of mouth is a great way to find potential photographers in your area.  Happy clients like to share their experiences (and unhappy clients like to share much, much more).

    5. Location of they even have a studio? If not, are they working of a basement or a garage? Does that make you comfortable or uncomfortable?

    I remember my senior portraits (barely). I went by myself. They weren't a big deal, and the whole process wasn't all that exciting. I drove to my high school, wore a simple shirt and jeans.  My photographer must have been really cool because he had me put on one of those triangular black "drapes" that was almost off the shoulders but not quite, but that ensured I looked all "graduation and adult-like" showing off my neckline and cool necklaces (and big hair, of was 1989!!).

    Today, it's completely different, and the idea of it all can be very overwhelming for both parents and students, especially for your first “senior”.

    So, Why Are Senior Portraits A Big Deal Now? 

    Senior portraits are about celebrating a life stage - for many teens, their entire senior year is filled with many milestones, and it is definitely one worth noting and celebrating in many ways, including portraiture.

    Their last year with their childhood friends.

    Their last year ‘home’.

    Their last year living under “mom & dad’s” wings. (even though that may not end until they are out of college, if not, married!)

    I feel as if you have to capture that! Never forget who they are, at this EXACT moment.

    I created this handy-dandy guide that explains my process from beginning to end.

    You can download here:

    (16 Ways To Help You Prepare for Your Senior Portrait Session) that will show you exactly how to prepare for an amazing, fun, personal photo shoot!!

    (Includes my packages as well…if you’re ever in the Easton, PA area!!)


    I love making the connection with the kids, and capturing them as they are today. I adore how they morph in front of my camera and I see their true personality come out!  This time goes by so fast...and we as photographers (and parents) need to savor every little minute. I always advise parents to allow the kids to wear what they love. Bring their guitar or cowboy hat...boas or a musical instrument. Whatever makes them feel like themselves...let's celebrate and capture it!


    Elaine Zelker

    IG: elainezelker

    Twitter: @elaine_zelker

    FB: Elaine Zelker Photography


    Here are some samples from a Girl and Boy Session:

  • Michelle Sparta Photography : Women's Empowerment Shoot


    Hi there, my name is Michelle! I want to take a moment to introduce myself.

    I am a stay at home mother to my beautiful baby boy and a wife to my wonderful husband who serves in the military.

    I am younger than most photographers, however I started taking pictures during my freshman year of High School. That was 6 years ago. I was so determined to learn EVERYTHING I possibly could about my camera. That was all I had focused on for a long time. I continued taking photos after I graduated. My main focus was on nature and landscapes. Anytime I would travel, I would bring my camera along for the ride. I focused on taking photos of anything that caught my eye. Many of those images contained Animals or Landscapes. Around 2 years ago, I decided I wanted to start my own photography business. I had this crazy inspiration. I wanted to focus on portraiture. It's incredible how much of my work and experience has changed since then.

    I am considered to be a Lifestyle & Natural Light Photographer. Occasionally, I will have the pleasure of shooting Boudoir Portraits and i will bring my studio lights along with me (for a variety of different lighting techniques) but I usually find the best photos to be the ones taken with natural light.

    What was my favorite shoot?

    Recently, I had the pleasure of photographing 14 different women and it was one of the most

    incredible experiences. The Makeup Artist I work besides (Brittany), had contacted me and she had this incredible idea! She wanted to take a group of multiple different women with their natural appearances and bringing them all together to showcase Women Empowerment. I had never done a shoot like this before but, I was super excited to bring her vision to life!

    I got to meet several of unique women and showcase their natural beauty and their wonderful personalities. Not one of them was the same! This shoot also allowed me to challenge myself and to take the opportunity to shoot in different lighting situations. The outcome was extremely rewarding. Out of all the sessions I have gotten to shoot( although I find favorites in each session) this one is my favorite.

    Miss H was the sweetest to work with and her smile could make anyone smile

    Miss A was the most "go with the flow" person of the group

    Miss A was the bravest out of the group she left a beautiful impact when she left this session

    Miss K was one of the most quiet yet bubbly during the shoot

    Miss W was one of the most confident women I have ever met

    Miss C is one of the strongest women I have ever gotten to do a shoot with

    Miss J was one of the nicest women to everyone during the shoot

    Miss A was one of the most inspirational during this shoot and she kept everyone laughing

    Miss R is what I would call "spunky" she was the most energetic

    Miss T was the pregnant one in the group but all kidding aside she was also the most hardworking

    Miss S was quiet yet, she had this silent confidence about her

    Miss K was the most outgoing

    Brittany was the creator of the Women's Empowerment shoot and she is also the talented MUA I work with regularly. I could say a lot about Brittany from working with her. but truly inside and out she is the most caring person I have ever met



    To keep up with Michelle Sparta Photography, you can follow us on social media




  • Wavering Place Styled Shoot | Meredith Jamison Photography

    Hi! My name is Meredith Jamison. I am a portrait and wedding photographer based in Columbia, South Carolina. This past Summer I worked with some of the most wonderful wedding vendors in creating a styled shoot. From the venue, to the dress, to the florals; everything about this day was perfection.

    As a photographer, one of my goals has always been to do a big styled shoot. I have done several small impromptu shoots with friends over the years but for 2017 I knew I wanted something big! As I began to collect ideas for how I wanted everything to come together I broke the planning process down into vendors and started with my favorites.

    For the venue I contacted my dear friend Shana, who is co-owner at Wavering Place to see if she would be interested in hosting the shoot. Wavering Place is a beautiful wedding venue located just outside of downtown Columbia in Eastover, SC. This venue is 10 acres large and has a little bit of everything including gardens, a historic home and a newly added Green House for outdoor events. Karin from Cote Designs created the beautiful florals, Nicole Story from Izzabee's Confectionary contributed some amazing and delicious pastries/ cakes and the bride's dress from London and Lace Bridal store was something out of a dream! I can't even begin to explain to you how ecstatic I was that so many talented people were coming together to help me create something that I could only dream of shooting! It was definitely a day that I will never forget! I hope that you enjoy viewing some of my favorites and learning how I went about planning and creating this beautiful Wavering Place Wedding styled shoot.

    photographer | Meredith Jamison Photography

    venue | Wavering Place

    wedding dress designer | Alvina Valenta

    wedding dress and bridal attire | London & Lace Bridal

    groom's attire | Granger Owings

    groom's tux designer | Ike Behar Tux

    hair and make up | Kat Langston from Bombshell

    florals | Cote Designs

    catering | Southern Way Catering

    engagement ring | Susie Saltzman

    groom's wedding band | Moseley's Diamond Showcase

    bakery | Izzabee's

    paper goods | Paper Birch Designs

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