HOW TO MAKE THE MOST OF YOUR SENIOR PORTRAITS

It is that time of year, The New Year is around the corner and graduation will be here before you know it. That means if you haven’t scheduled your Senior Portraits already it is time to schedule them NOW. As a seasoned Senior Portrait Photographer, I would like to give you 5 tips to make your Senior Portrait experience the best it can be.

Lake Charles, La Sayrn Marks Influencer 2021
  • Location, Location, Location
    • Location is EVERYTHING. The location you choose should tell your story. Sure, it is just the “background” but can you interact with it? Is your location beautiful or does it speak life into your vision? Is it visually appealing? Will your location be inside or outside? If you are stumped on locations talk to your photographer, they are the expert after all and should be able to assist you for the best set up. I personally, keep a list of locations and venue prices on hand to help my clients with suggestions.
Brittany Henry Influencer 2021
  • Golden Hour or Bust
    • Yes, yes , yes sunrise and sunset has the most beautiful lighting during the day. It is always flattering and always just so colorful and we photographers just can’t get enough of the rising or setting sun. However, you don’t have to shoot at this time of day. There are plenty of indoor venues available from coffee shops to arcades. There are also spots with beautiful shade for nice even light and if your photographer is really fancy they have a huge light that can over power the sun and you can shoot at any time during the day as well. Golden hour is great but don’t feel like it is a necessity. Consult with your photographer for the best suggestions on lighting and time.
Lagniappe Records, Jeanna C/O 2020
  • Let’s go shopping
    • Ah yes, the moment most of us love to plan. Outfits! How many, which ones, how do I accessorize? My suggestion, at most 5 outfits, for a two hour session. Bring casual, dressier, and if you choose, formal. I absolutely love shooting my clients in formal wear. I think it is so editorial and look straight out of a magazine. You deserve to feel like a model in front of my camera. With that being said, you should also have images that represent who you truly are. Choose outfits you are comfy in and outfits that make you feel good. ALSO SO IMPORTANT: Choose clothes with texture. Lace, ruffles, velvet, fur. All of these textures and more photograph beautifully. Pops of color are so fun too. Don’t be scared to wear purple or blues. Ask your photographer for outfit suggestions. I love when my Seniors send me their Pinterest boards and ideas or come into my studio to look through my client closet for help with outfits.
    • Bring accessories: HATS. Hats are huge right now. You don’t have to wear them but they add something special to an image and you can hold them to relax your hands. Don’t forget jewelry, jackets, or cute purses. Whatever makes you, YOU.
Austin, Texas Kennedy C/O 2021
  • Give me Props
    • What items represent your Senior Year or high school years? Bring them to your shoot. Here are a few: Cap and gown, letterman jacket, WEAR your class ring. If you are into sports, bring a ball or two, helmet, bat, racket, jersey, etc. Do you dance or cheer? Bring your poms, shoes, or outfits. Library club? Bring your books, library card, etc. Are you into Cosplay? Bring your costume, lets dress UP! Nothing is too much. These are your IMAGES! No matter what your hobby is, what extra curricular activities you are a part of bring your items to your shoot. This is about personalizing your images, so that you have memories and a fair representation of this time in your life.
Madison C/O 2020
  • Bring a parent, Bring a bestie.
    • The Senior Portrait experience should be the most fun you have ever had(not exaggerating here). Bring your mom or dad, and let’s make memories. This year only happens once and senior portraits should be one of the best parts about it. Our parents do not want to miss out, you want them there. Bring your bestie. Besties come in handy during shoots, they make us laugh, they take great behind the scenes and they are usually part of the the greatest memories of our lives, so why not be part of this one? I encourage an entourage for my seniors because it should be a party, let’s have fun and make great images.
Maci and Kennedy Besties since 1st grade

Senior Portraits should be one of the greatest experiences leading up to graduation. You will leave our shoot feeling confident, refreshed and excited. But most of all you will have had the TIME OF YOUR LIFE! You are one of a kind, your images should absolutely reflect your personality and how amazing you are. I hope this article inspired you to make the most of you Senior Portraits and I hope you have the best senior year ever! Congratulations Class of 2021!

Contact Me to Book Your Senior Portraits TODAY!

Ashlee Bergeron| 3372776860| ashleebergeron@withallyourheartphotography.com

With All Your Heart Photography

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5 Ways to Improve Your Photography

5 Ways to Improve Your Photography

Hobbyist or professional photographers alike are always looking for ways to improve their skills behind the camera. I am Ashlee Bergeron, published photographer and small business owner. I have shot film, and digital photography and have a love for post production. I would like to share with you 5 ways to improve your photography skills. It does not matter if you shoot with the latest iPhone, canon rebel or professional gear. Whether you shoot people or places, I am here to help you improve YOUR creative eye!

  • Blinded by the light
    • Lighting can come from many sources, but what is the greatest source out there? The SUN, of course. That big ball of fire can be your greatest friend or biggest foe. Many photographers choose to shoot when the sun is rising or setting. An hour before sunrise or sunset can result in a truly beautiful glow, this time of day is called golden hour. This is what some consider the “sweet” spot of natural lighting. Golden hour, no doubt provides beautiful light but most hobbyist or photographers love to shoot at all times of the day. Being mindful of your lighting is great. Ask yourself, where is the sun? Behind your subject? In front of the subject? The answers to these questions will help you determine the look you want. It is fun to experiment with light and you don’t have to be a pro to play with lighting. There are many inexpensive ways to bend light. Check out reflectors on amazon.com you can find them for about $20. Also for a very inexpensive reflector you can use a white poster board to add light on your subject. You can also use a white wall or sheet as well. Lighting is fun. Bending light is fun. But there is only one way to learn and that is to go out there and practice.
Austin Night Life
  • Slice and dice
    • There is a right way and wrong way to crop your subject. You do not want to cut off body parts, such as fingers, toes, knees, elbows.OUCH! A great rule of thumb(no pun intended) is do not crop anywhere there is a joint attaching limbs. Such as the elbow, wrist or ankle. Instead crop mid limb, for example: the shin or forearm. There are always exceptions to the rules but this is a great rule that will improve your photographer’s eye.
Limbs intact
  • Freeze Frame but first, FOCUS
    • Focus is one of the hardest skills to accomplish as a photographer. Where your focus lands in your image helps tell your story. What do you want your viewers to feel or see? Where do you want the viewers eyes to go first? The focus of your image should be sharp and should stands out from the rest of the image. For example: the eyes in a portrait or the ring on a newly engaged finger. You should not be shooting aimlessly and hoping to find focus. As you shoot you should set up your settings to tell the story using focus points on the viewing screen. Some cameras have several points, some cameras have just 6-9. Each are there for you to adjust according to the vision you want to portray.
  • Composition is 2/3rds of the Law
    • Think of your image with a grid laid across the top, splitting it up into nine squares. 3 vertical and 3 horizontal. The key to a great composition is leading the eye to one or more of the three quadrants but also not directly in the center. Of course, there are exceptions to the rule but we must master “the rule of 3rds” first. Key elements or the subject of the image can be placed in the upper left or right quadrants or lower right or left quadrants. The idea of rule of thirds is to have a composition that is pleasing to the eye of the viewer. Composition takes practice much like other skills but can be done with out thinking once practiced enough.
  • ATTENTION to detail
    • What angle are you shooting from? Birdseye? Worms view? Eye level? Angles matter. Angles can help add emphasis to your story. For example: higher angles make objects look smaller, lower angles can do the opposite and make your subject look larger. Another detail to pay attention to is your background. Backgrounds should add to the story, not take away from the story. If your background consist of trash cans, toilettes, or vehicles changing your angle can help. Get lower, get higher move to the left or to the right. This skill takes practice but being aware of your background can completely transform your photography.
City at Sundown

These 5 tips may be just the beginning of your photography journey or you might be a seasoned hobbyist. Just know experience and practice are key so keep on shooting, getting better and working hard. Your vision is important and you deserve to share it with the world.

Happy Shooting!

Ashlee Bergeron

http://www.withallyourheartphotography.com

Facebook: @wayheartphotography

Instagram: @wayheartphotography

Senior Client: Kennedy Sittig Class of 2021 Opelousas Catholic