FAQ // Senior Portraits

Hello, Hello! I've been getting some inquires on senior portraits recently.  You girls are definitely planners, haha! Here are some of the most frequent questions to help you on your planning :) Remember, its never too early to reserve your session!

When is the best time to shoot? 

Looks sunny right? This was shot at 7 AM! 

Looks sunny right? This was shot at 7 AM! 

The best light is at sunrise (often around 6-6:30 AM in the summer months) and about 1.5 hours before sunset (most commonly referred to as "golden light"). Why is this? Because the light is very even and closer to the horizon line. This means your face is always evenly lit. Afternoons (1 PM onward) is often the worst time to shoot because the light is very harsh, which creates dark shadows under your eyes. You'll also be very warm, flustered, and probably sweating. Not a great look for your portraits! So this time is generally avoided. Plus, when you shoot very early, we get rid of the whole people-walking-through-your-shot issue :) Because of this, its very very important that you show up on time for your session. Coming even 15 minutes late can severely affect the light quality. This is even more important for sunset sessions. Once the light goes down, there isn't much left to do. 

What date is best for 2015 Senior Portraits?

Students will be able to pick up their cap+gown regalia after May 18. So if you want to shoot with your cap + gown, after this date would be the best. If you don't care about regalia (works best with bigger groups who want to just have a friend shoot), then anytime before May 18 will work! Remember that sessions after May 18 will fill up fast, so be sure to reserve your session in advance for best time slots! 

This UCLA group stuck to neutrals: blue, white, tan, and minimal black. It created a very easy cohesive look

This UCLA group stuck to neutrals: blue, white, tan, and minimal black. It created a very easy cohesive look

Are there colors I should avoid during a shoot? 

I find that neutral colors work best. I am a natural lighting photographer (for senior portraits), so materials that are a little bit see-through always work beautifully. Try to avoid big stripes (small ones are cute, if you aren't sure feel free to send me a picture and I can advise!), patterns, and all-black). 

What makes you different than other photographers?

In addition to photographing people since I was 15 and being a UCLA graduate, this will be my 3rd year doing senior portraits. That means I know a lot of hidden spots around the campus to take you to. Also, I don't know of very many other female photographers who do senior portraits. What does this mean? It means I'll be looking out for you! As a girl, I am always aware of things that are flawed when I look at pictures so I'll always be doing the same for you :) For example, on a shoot, I usually look out for fly-away hairs, I'll pin your hair back, brush off any dirt, re-adjust your dress so no panties are showing (this happens more than you think, haha!), help guide your legs to make them look pretty and shapely. But overall, I just want the photograph the best version of yourself. 

Great! How do I book a session?

Simple! To book a session, all you have to do is reach out to me with the dates you had in mind and I will let you know my availability as well as send over my session fees and portrait contract to reserve your date. I do ask that you let me know a week in advance if you'd like to cancel so that other groups can have a chance to photograph with me. 

Can you walk me through a session with you? 

About a week from the session date, you'll receive an email from me that includes more information on where to meet and what to bring. This will also be the time you can let me know of additional locations you'd like to shoot at. Feel free to bring an extra outfit (each session gets 2 outfits total). 

I will meet you at the location (lets say 6:00 AM). This will general be at Royce Hall. From here, we will take the traditional photos (parents always like these) with full regalia-- cap, gown, sash, etc). Generally, we go from full regalia and then start stripping things off. For example, we do one with full regalia, then one with just the cap and sash, then eventually with just sash. After the more formal shots, we now have time to do more of the fun shots. This includes, dipping your feet into the water fountain, jumping in the grass, whatever you want! You are welcome to bring any props you want. We go through all the different locations until you're satisfied. 

Once the session ends, you will receive access to the photos on a password protected client gallery. If you didn't order a photo package from me, you can order photos directly from the gallery from a professional photo lab that I work with. You can even "favorite" some for later and send the links to your parents and family for easy photo-ordering.  This makes it easier for you to share the photos anywhere you'd like.

Tips: Girls, wear heels! But definitely bring sandals for when we are walking to different locations. TRUST ME! 

Do you offer group/couple sessions?

Of course! Ask me for my session rates, and I will gladly send you pricing :) 

Do you only photograph girls?

Absolutely not! Guys deserve as much love and attention as girls do! I've had male senior sessions before and they've always turned out quite handsome. Don't be shy to get your photos taken~

Do you offer photo retouching? 

I generally don't retouch photos for senior portraits since I really do think you girls look fabulous as is. But I do offer photo retouching for special requests. This includes skin clearing,cosmetic retouching, and anything else you might want me to retouch. I charge $30/image for this type of retouch. 

Most importantly, I try to keep the sessions fun! 

If there are any additional questions you were wondering about, please feel free to reach out or comment below :)