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The latest from Julie Campbell Photography

5 Things to Think About When Planning your Senior Portrait Session

Are you graduating soon? Have you been thinking of doing senior portraits, but you're not sure if it's worth it? Are you worried they will look like everyone else's and be boring? Here are my tips for having a successful senior portrait experience.

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1. Think about what you want to do with the images.

Are these for a photo album, to hang on the wall forever in your parent's house, or to display on a shelf or desk? Having a plan for what to do with your images before your session sets you up for success.

If you want to display them in your home think about the colors of the location and your clothing. Will they match the colors of your home? Do you have a particular wall in mind? Will you need a vertical or horizontal image to fill the space?

Ventura County Senior Photographer

2. Make your senior portraits all about what excites you.

What makes you unique? What do you love to do? What has made high school special for you? Thinking about your talents and interests, and incorporating them into your session will make the images so personal and meaningful to you. You'll look back and remember all the memories of this time in your life. The senior displayed here is a super star soccer player. She didn't want her whole session to be about soccer, but we did include some of her in her uniform.

Maybe you can't think of anything that makes you unique. I think you're wrong. It can be anything. Do you love to garden, bake, read, hike, row, play the piano, or even sunbathe at the beach? There are fun and creative ways to include those things into your session.

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3. Ask your photographer for help.

I hope you hire me, but if you don't, which will make me very sad, ask your photographer for guidance. It's our job to make you look good. Any good photographer should have suggestions for locations, the time of day to schedule your session for the best lighting, what to wear, and any other question you might have. I love it when clients bring a few change of clothes. You might consider wearing a casual outfit that defines you in high school, and then a dressier outfit that you love.

thousand oaks senior photographer

4. Bring a Friend

Let's be honest, it's a little scary to show up at a location with a photographer you don't know at all or only know in passing and have them point a camera at your face for an hour. I always suggest that my clients bring a friend. Bring your parents of course, but maybe you want to bring a friend or two as well. Having a familiar face there who knows exactly how to make you laugh, and make you feel comfortable makes the experience fun. I am more than happy to even take a few shots of the friends all together.

5. Make a Night of It

You will probably spend a lot of time getting all dressed up for your senior portraits. Think about getting your hair and make up done by a professional. I know that I feel amazing after I've been to the salon. It will add a level of confidence you might be craving.

After your session plan something fun to do. Go out and enjoy how amazing you look. I promise you won't regret it.

If you don't live in my area, and are looking for a highly qualified photographer you can search by state here:

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Why should you have Maternity Photos taken?

When I was pregnant, the thought of being in front of the camera made me want to vomit. I felt so big I was bursting everywhere. None of my clothes fit right. It was uncomfortable and depressing. I wished I could be one of those women who only grew in their belly. I grew everywhere. All of me got bigger. I vividly remember walking by a store in the mall and seeing my reflection in the store window. I stopped in my tracks as a little shriek of terror escaped my lips. I couldn't believe I had gotten that big. That was only my first pregnancy. You should have seen my by my fourth.

Thankfully, my husband, friends, and other family members did sneak some photos of me while I was pregnant. I reluctantly put them into my photo albums, and now years later, I have to say I actually like them. I stop and look at them longer than any other photos of me. Why? Because they make me feel good about myself. Yes, those images of my huge bulging belly make me feel good. I am removed enough from the pain of the pregnancy to just see myself, and guess what? I didn't look as horrible as I thought I did. Not even close. I wasn't as big as I imagined in my own mind. I look at those photos and feel tremendous gratitude that I could give birth to 4 healthy beautiful babies. There is nothing in life I wanted more than to be a mother, and I was able to have that. I am incredibly blessed.

My message to all expectant moms out there is this: LOVE that amazing body of yours. The fact that you can bear children is a miracle, and trust me, there are countless women out there who pray for that ability every day with no success. Your children will want to see what you looked like. They will pour over those images and marvel that they were once in there. YOU will pour over those images and marvel that they once fit in there. Don't be hard on yourself.  Don't compare yourself to other women. Don't beat yourself up about stretch marks, veins, or bulging belly buttons. Those are trivial. You are a treasure worth documenting, if not for yourself, then for your children.

This is a recent maternity session I did at the beach. This couple was such a pleasure to photograph. This was actually our second time meeting. The first time we attempted a photo session I lost all of my photography equipment to a rogue wave that swept me up and knocked me down. Luckily I have the best clients who are so understanding. I will never forget their kindness and compassion.

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Twelve Years Old

This girl is just excited about life. She's happy to go anywhere, meet anyone, and just smile. She She still snuggles close to me when we have the chance, and loves to talk my ear off. She has such enthusiasm for life! I admire that so much.

She turned 12 recently. Her teen years are fast approaching - too fast. I'm not ready to let go of my little girl. I used to think all those moms who whined and complained about their kids growing up too fast were lying, but it really is hard to let go. It's hard to move on to a new stage when you're perfectly happy where you are. No matter how old she is, I love watching her grow. I love all of her, and I'm so happy to be her mom.

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