Wauwatosa West HS

Award Winning Photography | "Match Point"

Ever since I shared the news of my award winning photo (YAY!), I’ve had lots of questions about photography competitions. I will do my best to answer those questions here. But first, let’s admire Joe the Volleyball Player….

“Match Point”

“Match Point”

The first thing about photography competitions is that it is NOT a race with one single winner. Each image in a competition is essentially graded in its own race.

When you submit an image into a competition, usually there’s a specific category. For example, this one was submitted into the Boy/Sports Category. Usually it’s more general than that - portrait, album, illustrative, etc. - but this was a conference for high school senior photography.

Next, the judges give points to an image based on 12 different elements that Professional Photographers of America has created as an industry measurement. I won’t bore you with all the details, but the 12 elements essentially boil down to two aspects:

CREATIVE and TECHNICAL

Is the image impactful? Does it tell a story?

Is the image technically sound? Is the lighting, color and composition on point?

It’s no coincidence that these are the categories that I (subconsciously) use to determine if an image is “client-worthy”. If it’s good enough for a client, it very well may be good enough for competition.

And that brings up another point. THE point.

When you hire me, I am NOT focused on shooting for competition. No, ma’am! My numero uno is YOU. I want to get your good side. I want to capture you in the best light. I want to show you your image on the back of my camera and hear you gasp with joy. I want you to be utterly blown away by your portraits and walk out of my studio absolutely GLOWING.

The competition aspect comes later as validation that yes, I’m serving my clients well and worthy of their business.

It’s a full-circle moment when a client loves an image it and then later, it scores well - even MERITING an award! - in a competition.

That’s a real win-win, isn’t it?


Okay, I have to share this. Here’s the fun part… the dark, shadowy and dramatic photo of Joe (go on, scroll back up and glance at it again) was taken in a FULLY LIT GYM. Seriously!

Check it out…. here’s a behind the scenes photo. See? It’s fully lit with ugly, unflattering fluorescent gym lights.

Oh, the power and magic of photography.

behind the scenes with Joe at Wauwatosa West HS

behind the scenes with Joe at Wauwatosa West HS


Do you want to have some fun with your senior photos? Do you want to do something different, memorable and attention-grabbing? Let’s talk! I’m now booking the class of 2020. Check out the MKEseniors page here.


Senior Portrait Sneak Peek | Brian from Tosa West class of 2019

Here he is… Mr. Brian Dunn.

I can’t tell you how much fun I had with Brian and his mom, Bridget.

Really, I can’t. It would sound like I was making it up. We were laughing, making jokes chatting like long lost friends and just having the time of our lives.

See? Now YOU want to have a session like Brian’s. And since I don’t have a TON of openings left this fall, I don’t want to leave you out and make anyone feel that sinking FOMO feeling.

(To be safe… book your family session TODAY and see if you can still get on the schedule.)

In the meantime, here is Brian’s Sneak Peek from his senior photo session.

Hope you like it, Dunn family!

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Tosa West HS senior photos | Kate + class of 2019

Nay, nay. We are NOT done with the senior portraits.

Today I present to you a Sneak Peek from this weekend’s session with Kate.

Kate is a senior at Wauwatosa West High School and - what d’ya know - she’s one of the yearbook editors!

If you’re new to the blog, (welcome!) I’ve had the privilege of photographing not one… not two but THREE yearbook editors for their senior portraits. Why does this matter?

Well, the truth is, it might not matter.

But to me it does. Something you may not know about me is that I was the loyal assistant to the editor of my own high school yearbook. I spent many late nights at my friend Donna’s house putting the book together… by hand. See, back in the day we hand cut articles, pasted photos and layed out the entire book on - what’s that stuff? - PAPER.

I know, I know. But what can I say? Paper was a big deal back then.

So, enough reminiscing. Let’s get on with it!

Ladies and gentlemen, I hope you’re sitting down. Kate is an absolute stunner.

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Do you still need your senior portraits? I have limited number of openings remaining. But… I DO have some openings. Let’s get your session booked PRONTO.


Tosa West HS class of 2019 | Haisam's Sneak Peek

Just when you think I’m done with senior portraits…. I’m back!

Here is another fantastic Tosa West class of 2019 senior. This is Haisam.

He and his mom came into the studio for his photo shoot. While we did some AMAZING studio shots (I’m saving those for their Reveal + Selection Meeting!) this image really speaks volumes about Haisam and his laid back personality.

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He was a pleasure to work with and really, was so comfortable and relaxed. I can’t wait to share the rest of his session.


Is your high school senior attending one of the schools with looming yearbook deadlines? If you haven’t had time to do your research, here’s a list of some of the upcoming dates that photographers have to meet for our clients.

  • Brookfield East OCT 26

  • Wauwatosa West NOV 9

  • Pius XI NOV 30

  • Greendale DEC 15

  • Wauwatosa East DEC 21

Now, pair those deadlines with some of my available dates and you’ve got an instant decrease in your blood pressure! Call me today to book one your session on one of those dates.

  • September 30

  • October 7

  • October 13


Tosa West class of 2019 | Olivia's (OMG!) Sneak Peek

I have no words for this girl. If you know Olivia and her family, you wouldn't either. They are truly good, kind and beautiful people. Down to their toenails.

And here we are, photographing her SENIOR PHOTOS. (Insert all the crying mom emojis.)

So really, let's just get to it. Oliva, my darling girl, here is your Stunning Sneak Peek. Later this week we'll get some equally amazing outdoor shots for part two. (darned rain)

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Is your yearbook deadline in October? No worries! It's not too late! Let's get those senior portraits taken right away and I can get the photo delivered to the school on time.