Category Archives: Senior Portraits

JUST LEAVE THE IPAD AT HOME – Orlando Event Photographer

Now that graduation is over I have been reminded of one of my “pet peeves” and I see that many of you are not aware of how annoying this little trend actually is, so with that being said, I give you a PSA:

Dear people of the world, and especially people who attend weddings, graduations and school events. We ALL have children and family members we would like to see and capture in images and video, but when you lift your IPAD up and in the way of those of us trying to actually enjoy the events for ourselves, you not only block our shots, but you block our view of the event! Maybe it’s just me, but people used to be considerate of others, especially during a group event, but the IPAD craze is so out of control. I worked 3 graduations for the class of 2014 and during the last event I was in the center aisle attempting to capture each graduate as they marched in. A person seated near the aisle whipped out her IPAD and moved in and out of my shot for the entire processional. I was paid to capture the images for the families and the school…but I had to work very hard at not only making sure the graduates were each captured as they walked up the aisle, but to ensure that the IPAD was NOT in any of my shots. I politely cropped out the person with the IPAD from my shot, but could not crop out her device, which is very apparent in almost every shot as the graduates came up the aisle. So very sad. :(

Let’s play “Can You Spot the IPAD”?

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I was recently at a graduation I had been hired to photograph for a client and I stood, patiently waiting for the graduate I was capturing to have her turn on the stage. While I was waiting, I was run over, literally run over by two small children who were sent the the front of the room with their parent’s IPAD and were making lots of noise trying to troubleshoot and capture the graduate come across the stage, all while talking loudly and moving the device constantly. Another lady stood next to me on the side area and literally asked me out loud why her IPAD was taking photos that were so bright? Ma’am, I cannot answer you in public, in front of 500 people, nor will I fix your device when I am hired to work an event. She ran off and captured images anyway, none of which were of any use.

While I continued to watch people trip over themselves to run up aisles with an IPAD and observed people trying to move, shift and lift their heads to be able to actually see over the person’s IPAD in the row in front of them, the thought occurred to me that occurs to me more and more, ever since I became an event photographer. Why don’t more people actually want to be present in a moment and enjoy it? This is something I am trying to do more of myself. For me, I work and carry a camera all the time and it is my job to be looking, searching for the little moments and entails that my clients will want to remember. But when I am at events for my own family, I sometimes shudder at the thought of having to bring along my gear and have to sit through an event (or stand off to the side, so I can get my shot)…I hate missing my own events because I am having to look through a lens. The last few events for my kids I didn’t even bring along the big camera…just an iPhone. I captured some quick video and one snap of my kids “after” the event took place and actually sat and enjoyed watching them get awards and enjoy the moment as it happened.

I do weddings and events almost every weekend, and I cannot tell you how many times I am dying over an IPAD in a ceremony shot. There’s nothing like the father of the bride walking his beautiful daughter down the aisle…and wait, what’s that in between their heads? Auntie June with an IPAD, extended out so it’s actually in the aisle and now making a BIG, GIANT, SQUARE in between their heads, ruining my beautiful shot. I used to make every effort to Photoshop them out, but now the craze has become so common that I cannot possibly take the time to get all the devices out of the shots.

Has it come to this, people of America? Are we so Iphone and IPAD addicted that we cannot even attend an event and be present, physically and mentally present in the moment anymore, without an instant Facebook upload, Tweet or to be the first one to take a selfie as the event takes place. Even in church, people seem to forget the fact that a wedding ceremony is a sacred thing. I always get upset when the church gives me a 2-3 page document, describing what my “Rules” are when it comes to photographing a wedding in a church, and I’m told “no flash photography” and to “Be respectful”, but as I stand in the back of the church I witness countless flashes going off from the guests, and ALL of them have their cameras and phones out…ALL of them. I respect that they want it captured as well, but why are the professionals told in churches to be respectful and many times we are event told we cannot even be IN the sanctuary when the ceremony takes place, so we are told we can take photos in the balcony. Why is this the case when nobody else in the church is expected to respect the sanctuary? I can assure you that I am more respectful than many of  the guests I see in ceremonies every weekend. This photo is still beautiful to me, and I love and adore these clients and their entire family. I just wish for them that they had all been able to actually see them walk down the aisle in person, and not through and LCD screen.


For those of you who are the guilty parties I am speaking of here, who make that split-second decision as you lace up your suit and tie and grab up the bulky IPAD before you run out the door, I implore you to PLEASE think twice before bringing it to your next event. Please be considerate of all the other people who want to either be present or capture the event discreetly. Discretion goes a LONG way, but in the age of selfies every five minutes, nobody has much discretion in their behavior anymore.

For those of you who won’t listen to me and bring along the IPAD, I have a secret for you…I’ve seen your IPAD images on your screen…I cant avoid seeing them from behind you as you lift and move your bulky device all over the place in front of me, and don’t think I don’t see your blurry, out of focus and underexposed image or video that is basically going to be worthless, because and IPAD ISN’T INTENDED TO BE USED AS A “PRIMARY” CAMERA OR VIDEO CAMERA…Think about who really wants your grainy, out of focus images? Does the bride want yours over the professional who was hired? How about the parents of the kids I was capturing who were graduating? Do you think your IPAD shots will be better from a side angle, as they are blurring while the child walks past? Digital cameras come in all shapes and sizes and you don’t need big and bulky equipment to capture amazing stuff. They are quite affordable too. In my opinion, if you can afford an IPAD, you can afford to invest in good camera equipment, so your IPAD isn’t lost, stolen or damaged at an event as well.

I rant, because I am the one who sits and studies images from every type of event I shoot for hours on end. I see and study each image and marvel at how many people have lost their minds at these events now days. PLEASE take my advice and the next time you go to an event, JUST BE PRESENT…bring your camera but use it AFTER the event is over to capture memories you can ensure will be amazing. Most event hire professionals to cover them anyway, so be at peace knowing your event will be captured so you can simply enjoy watching your child march down the aisle. Digital cameras come in all shapes and sizes and you don’t need big and bulky equipment to capture amazing stuff. They are quite affordable too. In my opinion, if you can afford an IPAD, you can afford to invest in good camera equipment, so your IPAD isn’t lost, stolen or damaged at an event as well.

The next time you leave for an event, please take my advice…LEAVE YOUR IPAD AT HOME. We ALL thank you!

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“JOEY” Senior Portraits – Orlando Florida Portrait Photographer

I was contacted by Joey’s parents to take his Senior portraits after they were disappointed by the proofs they got back from the high school’s studio photographers. We talked about Joey’s style and how he was a drummer in a band. It was important to him and his family that his portraits reflect his hobbies and interests and I loved that Joey wanted to incorporate his drum set into his portraits. We decided on a location that would provide us with a variety of backgrounds and options to make his portraits really pop. I was so pleased that Joey also brought along his long board and several clothing options as well, so I could help him suggest the clothes that worked best in the various settings.

Throughout the portrait session, I got to know Joey and his family and fell in love with their sense of humor.  No doubt about it, Joey is one cool senior and I was honored to be able to take his portraits and help him remember his senior year.

Congratulations on your upcoming graduation, Joey!

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Senior Portraits – TOP 5 Reasons to Step Away From Studio-Style Senior Portraits!

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard from parents of Seniors and other folk my age who say, “Where were you when we had our Senior portraits done, back in the day”? Everyone I know who is my age or older HATES their Senior portrait from high school. I am also one of those unfortunate few who also missed out on the opportunity to be photographed in a way that would represent the person I really was way back in 1992, when I was graduating. My portraits were done by the same team that still works in the high-schools today, setting up their studio and pushing out  cookie-cutter, traditional poses and parents continue to buy them, because they don’t know about the alternatives.

I am subjecting myself to embarrassment by posting my very own photo for you to compare. My Senior portraits were so sad! I look at that curly-haired girl and see what the studio wanted me to see, but if I had the chance to express myself in portraits like I offer today to Seniors, I would have certainly brought along some fun clothes, some fun props and made sure that my session took place at  a spot that had sentimental or special meaning for me during those high-school years.

This photo is wrong on so many levels…the shirt…the metal grate in the background…the HAIR…the afro!  Oh my! But, what did I expect? This was the best option I had back in the day, unless I went to Glamour Shots!

But today, we live in the land of digital overload, and we have so many options available to make our lives better…and help us avoid having to re-live the embarrassment of Senior portraits like mine, in the future. I have put together a list of some of the “Top 5 Reasons Seniors Should Avoid Studio Portraits.”

Top 5 Reasons to Step Away From Traditional Studio Sr. Portraits:

#1. IT’S ALL ABOUT CHOICE – YOU get to choose your photographer! Every photographer has their own artistic eye, and having the choice to choose WHO does your picture ensures your images will be more like you envisioned. Select a photographer who you connect with, and who you trust to capture the essence of YOU!

#2. LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION – On-location photographers know the best spots and locations and can recommend locations that will give you a variety of looks and go well with your style. Want Urban-chic, Edgy, Rustic and outdoor? Do you play football and want to be photographed on your High School football field? Do you surf and want beach portraits? These are YOUR portraits, so you can have the best of location options to enhance your portraits.

#3.  RELAX – Your poses will be natural and should look like you would naturally look, not posed and stiff! A good photographer will assist with helping you look relaxed, or capturing you as you are, naturally.

#4.  TIME – A portrait session with an on-location photographer, allows you ample time to be photographed in a variety of settings, with a variety of different looks and clothing.

#5. LOOK YOUR BEST – A good photographer will make sure each and every image is perfect before they are presented to their client. This means, you don’t have to worry if you have a blemish, or a hair is out of place. With professional retouching, the images will be magazine-quality and perfect every time!

The most important thing on the list is CHOICE! You have the choice to decide how you are remembered! After all, it’s your story…how do you want to tell it?


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