From Camera Shy to Fierce | Five Tips to Crush Your Senior Pictures

Updated: Nov 27, 2021

From Camera Shy to Fierce


At first glance, you might think Theodosia is a professional model. She certainly could be! Would you believe me if I told you she was nervous to have her senior portraits taken?


Theodosia is actually the inspiration for the title of this blog post. She walked in camera-shy (let’s face it, we’ve all been there!). But she walked out of my studio glowing with confidence and a big smile on her face. And I created several award-winning portraits for my portfolio - including my highest scoring image yet!


The four portraits below all scored Bronze Merits and one scored Bronze with Distinction in the Portrait Masters Awards and Accreditation Program.


Young woman in various poses during studio photography session

High School Senior Studio Headshot Columbus Ohio

Let me walk you through Theodosia’s senior session. And stay tuned for my Top 5 tips to crush your senior pictures and explain how a photography shoot with me works.



Meet Theodosia


Theodosia is a 2021 high school grad. The instant she walked in, I knew great things were going to happen during our time together. She was a referral to me by her friend, Myra, who had her senior portraits taken in my studio early in the school year.

Theodosia loved Myra’s photos and wanted to treat herself for graduation. She had her makeup done by a professional makeup artist, and she bought some new outfits to showcase her style, personality, and heritage.


Initially, she was feeling camera shy and nervous. Before we started the session, she said “I have no idea how to pose or anything.” I reassured her by saying, “Don’t worry, that’s my job. I’ll help you look and feel amazing!”


We planned to do an indoor and outdoor session. But Theodosia enjoyed the studio photography so much that we shot everything indoors! We started with classic headshots. By the end of the session, she was comfortable and showing off her personality, as you can see in the photos below. I like to think that my humor and dad jokes (included free of charge!) helped to put her at ease.


OSU Freshman studio photography in skirt and college sweatshirt

I wish the best for Theodosia and her bright future. She is friendly, an academic all-star, and a talented singer and actor. She could also add being a professional model to her long list of abilities, in my opinion!


High school grad in cap and gown with Ghana stole to represent her heritage

Five Tips to Crush Your Senior Pictures


1. Personalize your session! Bring extra changes of clothing, shoes, and accessories. We can change up your look and swap accessories as we go.


2. Bring props that are show off your interests! Do you play guitar? Bring it along. Are you a budding photographer? Bring your camera! Whatever makes you unique - embrace it and bring it for your photos.


3. Incorporate your school colors and school spirit. You’ll be thankful you did this when you’re older (trust me).


4. Bring music to play during your session. Don’t worry if I will like the music - bring music that hypes you up! Celebrities do this all the time during their shoots; you should too.


5. Get location inspiration beforehand. If you’re planning an outdoor session, pick a location that has meaning to you. Some popular places around the Columbus Metro area are Inniswoods, Columbus Metro Parks, Downtown Main Library, Scioto Mile, Bridge Park in Dublin, and Franklinton. Coffee shops have some of the coolest storefronts that can make awesome backdrops. Historic Powell, Uptown Westerville, you name, and there's a old-school small town vibe just about everywhere!


Bonus Tip: HAVE FUN! This is an exciting chapter in your life! Celebrate the 12+ years you’ve worked your tail off to get to this point.


Three portraits of young woman during her senior photo session

What to Expect Before Your Session


Here’s what a senior session with me looks like:

  • I always do a consultation before the session to learn about you, set goals, and tell you more about what I offer.

  • The photography session can be at my studio or on location (or both!). I have a beautiful tree-lined green space at my studio, so it's easy to do both!

  • After the session, we do a photo reveal and personalized sales session where final decisions and purchases are made.

  • All purchased portraits are professionally retouched.

Those last two items on my list aren’t offered by every photographer. (In fact, I'd argue that many photographers don't even do the first step all that well!)


Some photographers take your photos, upload the images to a gallery, and send you on your way. This can leave a lot to be desired and leaves a lot of work for you to do if you want physical prints. (Trust me, you want physical prints. What will you hand down to family, a hard drive or a print?) When you book a session with me, the package includes print and digital images.


Professional retouching is also included with purchased portraits. I have extensive training in professional retouching. The best retouching is when you can’t tell a portrait has had any retouching done. I edit in a way that is natural, realistic, and leaves you looking like you (not plastic). My goal is always to retouch in a way that has you looking like your best self.


Composite of high school senior during her photo session

Ready to book your senior photography session? Start here.

I serve the Central Ohio area and suburbs of Columbus, Ohio.


Here’s a link to Myra’s senior session (Theodosia’s friend).


Remember when I mentioned that posing is MY responsibility and not yours?

Here’s a quick example of how I pose clients and put them at ease.

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