Back when I started photographing seniors (when I was an itty-bitty-baby-photogapher myself!) I did a Senior Model Team. Like any beginner, I had noooo idea what I was doing… but it was fun! When I transferred schools to Iowa State in Ames, I didn’t shoot as many senior portraits due to time constraints with homework and not knowing many high schoolers in the area.
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Kaysia sent me an email about shooting senior photos… just a few weeks back. She’s friends with another one of my senior gals, and I was so excited to hear from her! Since yearbook photos are due in just a few short weeks, we decided to take a few senior pictures downtown in Des Moines. We’ll finish up her session later in the spring- when it hopefully warms up!
This is Paige. Not only is she gorgeous, but she is sweet and funny and full of spunk! I love getting to photograph senior girls in Des Moines, and Paige was no exception! Click the title to see more of her senior photos.
If you could have your senior portraits taken someplace exotic and exciting, what city or country would you choose? Of course, there are too many wonderful places in the world. Maybe you’d have your senior photos taken on Maui with lush green forest and mountainscapes behind you (and some surfing/beach photos, too!). Or maybe you’d choose an international trip to the cozy Black Forest of Germany, or perhaps the white beaches & homes of Santorini, Greece! I think that one of my very top choices would be Paris. It’s historic, classy, full of spots from both literature and film, and just stunning in every way. (My American “destination senior photos” bucket list include New York City, Seattle, LA, Magnolia Market in Waco, and Washington DC!)
What all would be included in a destination senior photo session in Paris!? Let us dream together, my friends! First off, some killer outfits. I have a whole Pinterest “mood” board with ideas— and I pulled some to share here with you all! The first outfit below is a favorite— tulle skirt, black heels, and a sweet beret. The second one literally encompasses how I felt when I toured the Castle of Haute Koenigsberg, in Alsace! Just like Belle, I think. ;)
Of course, if you travel to France for senior photos… you’d have to take some dreamy early morning photos in front of the Tour Eiffel! Especially if you’re wearing a dreamy pink skirt or lacy white dress. (I’ve seen photos holding a bunch of balloons, or bouquets of flowers—the perfect Parisian props!)
Gardens of gorgeous French roses & historical romantic architecture in Paris is everywhere. The perfect backdrop for fashion inspired senior photos! Reminds me of my time in Versailles with my French host family… I wouldn’t mind another trip there, either!
Of course, half of the allure of Paris is the FOOD. And the coffee! (And champagne… but not for senior photos! ;) So, of course, we’d breakfast at a local cafe after an early shoot. And probably take more pictures while dining on good coffee and “pain au chocolat” aka chocolate stuffed pastries. This Vogue article has some fun suggestions on restaurants & other fancy breakfast ideas! Maybeeee we’d even sneak a few macarons. ;)
Anyone with me!? Honestly, if anyone hired me for destination senior photos —national or international— I would just about melt of happiness. It would be a real dream come true! Ok, now it’s your turn. Leave me a note with your dream senior picture or wedding destinations in the comments! I’d love to hear what places are on your bucket travel list! Who knows? Maybe we could even coordinate trips someday and check something off both our lists! ;)
Ester modeled an authentic African-print top for me… and I’ll never be the same. ;) I’m totally all about this girl, and the incredible images we created together! Click the title to see more of the outfits Ester pulled together & her gorgeous model face. #slay
Sara attends Ames High School, where she is a senior this fall! As well as dance, Sara is involved in band… and takes dance lessons at a local studio. She loves the Beatles, purple, and traveling with her family. (This summer they took an Alaskan cruise! I’m totally jealous.) We also bonded over the fact that we both wear chacos, and agree they’re some of the best shoes ever designed.
Kelly is friends with Aimee through their classes at Cedar Falls High School. Kelly andI met up for coffee earlier this summer, and bonded over our mutual love of the local Cup of Joe and UNI Suzuki’s violin program! It was even more fun getting to know her last weekend, when we wandered around CF for her senior pictures. :)
One of the most common questions I get asked by my seniors is, "What should I wear!?". Such a great questions (of course!) but also sometimes, it makes me laugh. Ultimately, I want you to display who you are during your session--including in how you dress! That could mean you rely heavily on converse, ripped jeans & Marvel graphic t-shirts... or that you wear your prom dress and play an upright piano out in a field at sunset. BE YOU!
If you live in Iowa and haven't been to the Iowa State Fair, you're just about crazy. ;) It's one of my favorite August activities--and one of my earliest memories of living in Iowa! The first time my family attended the festivities, we rode the sky glider & it made a pretty big impression on this little girl. 20 years later, and I'm still obsessed with this big country-themed annual celebration!
I adore Hannah! It’s crazy that she’s a senior— I babysat her growing up, and her mom occasionally did my school health checkups. Two years ago, I photographed her older brother Ethan’s senior photos in Waterloo. HOW we are now to Hannah’s seniors, I have NO IDEA! But we had a blast! You guys, some of my favorite photos came out of this evening!
Hannah brought so much life and fun into her senior picture session! We laughed so much that we had to try to give our faces a break. It's crazy to think that I used to babysit her & her siblings when they lived in Cedar Falls. A few years ago, I photographed her older brother's senior photos and it was finally her turn in front of the camera!
Last summer, I got to photograph senior photos downtown Des Moines. It was a blast! So, this summer, I loved shooting Aimee’s senior pictures in the downtown Waterloo area! Aimee is a senior at Cedar Falls High School, and is super involved in dance (both at school, and outside of CFHS)! We had a ton of fun wandering down by the river, and even popped into Singlespeed Brewery to take a few senior photos. We wrapped up our night with a fun surprise— photography smoke bombs!
Lauren’s sweet senior photo session in Ames took us all over the area. We included lots of flowers and floral, and even took some on the tennis courts! Lauren is one of my senior models for the class of 2019 in the Ames and Des Moines area, so if you know her, but sure to mention that in your email inquiry so you both get a fun discount!
One of my Ames High senior models from last year, Lydia, is friends with Halei... which is how she decided to book me for her senior pictures! We met up for coffee back in April (WOW that feels like so long ago now) and dreamed up a gorgeous floral and nature inspired senior photo shoot. Halei is alllll about the shoes, and so she totally built this session around her shoes and floral outfit theme! If you know me, perpetual flowers would be one of my three items on an abandoned island. Needless to say, Halei and I are now best friends. ;)
You are a unique individual, with unique interests, strengths, and personality. That's why your senior photos should reflect who you are!
Each senior session is customized all the way through, and you get to determine the feel and flavor of your session! Not only does this mean amazing, high quality, and gorgeous senior pictures... but a fun, interactive, and creative senior photo session!
Miranda brings so much life into this world. She's one of the most caring people I know, and is such a brilliant artist! Miranda also love reading, so we made sure to include some gorgeous volumes of her favorite books. We decided to take her photos in this sweet little flower nursery I've admired for years, so I drove up from Des Moines to Cedar Falls one fall weekend. It was such a wonderful evening, and I can't believe that it's taken me so long to blog them!
Logan is the younger brother of my friend Alycia, and when we were emailing about their fall anniversary photo session, she mentioned her youngest brother needed some senior photos taken! I absolutely love when I get repeat couples, and also when friends and past couples refer their friends and family to me! Word of mouth is the strongest form of marketing...but the one with least control. So, getting to meet and photograph Logan was such a blessing. Not to mention, going in knowing that he's a football-playing, motorcycle-driving guy was just a bit intimidating. However, he quickly warmed up to my camera. After a cloudy afternoon, we had a great (sunny!) evening exploring McHone Park in Boone! Enjoy some of my favorite photos from Logan's senior session!
I rarely do sunrise sessions (mainly because I feel bad making people get up so early, ha) but it's ALWAYS worth it. Always. And I think you'll agree with me after seeing Kat's photos!
Amelia Renee is a Des Moines senior photographer, also serving Ames, Cedar Falls, and beyond.
It's been a dream of mine to shoot some epic senior photos in Des Moines for a while--and in August, it finally happened! I got an email from my dear friend Brittney's mom that her younger sister, Sydney, is going into her senior year of high school & they wondered if I did senior photos? OF COURSE I SAID YES! Senior pictures just happen to be one of my favorite things to photograph. We set a date and time, decided to meet in Des Moines, and prayed for good weather. As you will see, the weather was absolutely perfect!!! Golden light, a little breeze, and the feeling that summertime youth will never end.
I love just about every photo from Sydney's session! She made it so easy for me. Also, she came super prepared with 5 outfits, nails done, and even got her makeup done! (For real, airbrushed makeup is an AMAZING thing!!) However, I had to pick just a handful of Syd's photos for the blog post. Scroll through them below, and turn on some Johnnyswim while you do!
My fall schedule is filling up fast, but I do have a few week evening spaces in October and early November for family sessions or engagement sessions...2018 brides and seniors, I'm still booking for next year. Shoot me a note if you like what you see!
Hello there! It's been a hot minute since I blogged--or really have done much of anything photography related, beside show up with a camera in hand at a session or wedding. August was CRAZY for me (two jobs make for a busy schedule!), but September is finally allowing me a little space to breathe again & get into a normal schedule. That means editing and blogging and new photos to share!!
Anna is such a sweetheart. She runs for CFHS, and also enjoys hanging out with her friends when she isn't in class. Her older brother goes to ISU (Go Cyclones!) so while she doesn't quite know where she wants to end up after high school, I'm rooting for Iowa State. ;) Enjoy a few of my favorite photos from Anna's senior photos!