April 2015

Stories Framed Photography Presents Griffin | Tosa East Class of 2015 | Seniors

When I say "senior pictures", I'll bet the first thing you picture is a cute high school senior... GIRL. Am I right? Well, there is another half to the class... and they are the cute high school senior GUYS. And they want their pictures taken, too. 

Here is one of my awesome Class of 2015 guys right here -- allow me to introduce you to Griffin. Griffin, here's everyone. ("Hiiii Griffin!")

Stories Framed Photography | seniors | Tosa East Class of 2015 | rocky wall

To be completely honest (and he'd be the first to admit it), Griffin wasn't super-excited about the photoshoot - at least not in the same way that his mom and the photographer were, wink wink. But can you blame him? Being the center of attention can be tough work. Irregardless, he did a GREAT job and we laughed and had fun. No tears or blood were shed in the process. Hoorah!

Stories Framed Photography | guy senior portraits | Milwaukee | Tosa East Class of 2015

I have found a trick in photographing people who are not 100% eager/enthusiastic/comfortable with being the subjects of my camera. It's so simple that I even use it myself for the odd chance when I'm in front of the lens (because, believe it or not, I hate having my photo taken).

Ready? You'll wish you'd had a V8.

Before I tell you, here's one more of shot of Griffin. 

Stories Framed Photography | seniors | Tosa East Class of 2015 |  sitting against wall

Okay, now do you want to know the secret behind looking comfortable in photos?

Act natural.

That's it.

Look at the first image (one of my faves!) picture of Griffin. He's standing, leaning into the wall. His arms are crossed. Nothing complicated about that. But wow, that picture! BAM!

The second photo is similar but not quite the same. While he is standing with his arms crossed, the location and angle of the shot are different, making it a unique capture.

In the third image, Griffin is sitting down against the wall, knees up, arms wrapped around his knees. Again, nothing complicated. But it's an AWESOME shot and he looks GREAT!

In Griffin's senior pictures, he looks calm, cool and collected. He looks comfortable. Most importantly,  he looks like himself. 

Stories Framed Photography | guy senior photos | Tosa East Class of 2015 | cool wall
Keep your eyes on the stars, and your feet on the ground.
— Theodore Roosevelt

Griffin - good luck to you! Enjoy the little bit that's left of high school for you and then onto your future... go get 'em!

5 Quick Tips to Look Good in Pictures

Getting ready to take family portraits? I know, I know. It can be a struggle.

The kids are easy. They're cute. Done. 

Grownups? Not so simple. So many of us (too many of us) are overly self-conscious. I get it. You don't like something about your face, this dress makes you look like a whale, you always look awful in pictures. This is why you hire a professional to take your portraits. We are trained in posing and angles and proper lens use when photographing various subjects. 

So that's my #1 tip: Hire a pro.

Here are some other quick tips to make preparing for your portrait session a little easier....

2. Wear comfortable clothing that flatters. If you are at ease in your clothes you will be a better subject and it will come through in the photos. This is not the time to try some crazy new style* or squeeze into a dress from before you had kids. Trust me. Not only will it not fit quite right, you will be fidgeting the entire time. Plus, I don't want you fainting because you can't breathe! 

Instead, choose a favorite outfit or a beloved shirt or even just choose a color you know you look good in. 

Another thing - you may not like to hear it but it's true: fitted clothing photographs best. That doesn't mean it has to be tight. But baggy clothing will add pounds. If your clothes fit you properly and are not too loose, they will flatter you.

This family knows what colors look good on them! They were all comfortable, coordinated and looking good. Way to go, Espinosa family!

This family knows what colors look good on them! They were all comfortable, coordinated and looking good. Way to go, Espinosa family!

3. Focus on your hair. Again, this is not the time to do something so extreme that you don't look like YOU.* Go with your usual hairstyle, but maybe amped up a bit. In this case, we want to add 10 pounds to your hair! 

I was reading the December 2014 Shape Magazine (that's just funny on so many levels) and they suggested two products that I thought would be worth a shot (haha, get it?):

Also, try shaking your head upside down and spray some hairspray while you're there. That will add volume. (Oh my, you should only see ME do this... CURL EXPLOSION! Perhaps this tip is not for everyone?)

Sam has naturally straight hair, but for her senior portraits she added curls and volume.

Sam has naturally straight hair, but for her senior portraits she added curls and volume.

4. Makeup rules. I believe you don't need a ton of makeup to look good. But when you're in pictures, you do want to at least add a little more than usual.

  • A little powder goes a long way to ward off the infamous and ever-present nose-cheek-and-forehead shine.

  • When applying eyeshadow, just add a little more to deepen the color and shimmer.

  • Your kisser. Get that lipstick out. Use it. Blot. And then use it again. While you're at it, add some gloss on top. Don't use lipstick? Try a bit of clear or lightly tinted gloss.

Kenzie's makeup colors are all very natural. For this session, she chose to add some foundation and powder to even out her skin. Notice her eye makeup - it's very clean - mostly mascara was used to accentuate her - omg! - beautiful blue eyes.

Kenzie's makeup colors are all very natural. For this session, she chose to add some foundation and powder to even out her skin. Notice her eye makeup - it's very clean - mostly mascara was used to accentuate her - omg! - beautiful blue eyes.

5. RELAX. Have fun. We are taking pictures, not doing surgery or taxes. You hired me (see tip #1 above) and my primary job is to make you look awesome. If - and that's a big IF - there are any unflattering photos of you, they will never see the light of day. I promise. I want you to be happy with your family portraits. I want you to cherish them. I want you to be proud of how you look. So while we're in the midst of it, let's enjoy it! 

This lovely couple was relaxed and happy - and it shows! That's a real, genuine smile.

This lovely couple was relaxed and happy - and it shows! That's a real, genuine smile.

Now, take five deep breaths and look into my camera.... 


*For a stylized or high-fashion photo shoot, none of these rules apply. Do crazy. Do wild. Do different. Nothing is off limits. 

Ready to get started? Click this button:

Stories Framed Photography Presents: Elizabeth | Tosa East Class of 2015 | Seniors

Elizabeth was one of my first Class of 2015 seniors last year.

I had met her sweet mom, Andrea, a few years earlier while training for a 5K. (I'm pretty sure she got more out of the training than I did. Whoopsies.) We swiftly arranged Elizabeth's session and met up on a gorgeous, sunny Sunday in September. Luckily, the weather we (hoped) planned for also showed up. I love when that happens! I gladly offer good weather for no extra charge.

Stories Framed Photography | Seniors | Class of 2015 | Elizabeth close up

Isn't she beautiful?

What I loved about Elizabeth's session is that is was simple. She didn't want any wardrobe changes. She didn't want any major location changes. Why did I love that so much? Because it allowed me to focus more on HER. No distractions. Just Elizabeth.

Stories Framed Photography | Senior Class of 2015 | Elizabeth from above

The thing about choosing locations for senior pictures (or any pictures, for that matter) is that it should reflect the personality of the subject. Elizabeth is a sweet girl, very down to earth and not high maintenance (my kind of girl!). If I had taken her somewhere ultra-modern and trendy, it may not have worked as well because she would not have been entirely comfortable in her surroundings. 

Stories Framed Photography | Senior | Class of 2015 | Elizabeth on curb

This. This all just works. It all came together and reflects Elizabeth's laid-back and personality and relaxed mood.

Best wishes to Elizabeth and her family. Elizabeth is the "baby" in the family and here she is, practically packing her bags for college. Cue the tears!

Good luck and congratulations on your coming graduation. You will be awesome at whatever you choose to do.

Stories Framed Photography | Senior | Class of 2015 | Elizabeth B&W
Do not follow where the path may lead.
Go, instead, where there is no path and leave a trail.
— Ralph Waldo Emerson

Are you a junior in high school? I am now booking Class of 2016 Senior Portraits! Whether you prefer a simple shoot or something more dramatic and daring, contact me and we will talk about YOUR style. My goal is to make you comfortable and happy. Oh, and of course I want you to LOVE your senior pictures.

Contact me today to schedule your session. abbie at stories framed dot com or 262.366.7980