How to Stay Stylish for Senior Portraits

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Today I have a guest post from a Kalin of The Divine Presence (formerly blogging at “Modesty is my Policy”).¬†Kalin is a teen who lives on a small farm in Tennessee with her five older sisters and one younger brother. She is a homeschooler, loves to write, and enjoys spending time with her animals.

Kalin will be sharing some thoughts on how to dress modestly yet stylishly for senior portraits, as well as how important it is to stay true to yourself! She has some great suggestions on how to ensure your clothes will be flattering too, including some tips that I’d not thought of before this!

— Betsy

How to Stay Stylish for Senior Portraits

Senior year, what an exciting time, right? Senior portraits are so important to remember that special time in your life, and it’s important to make sure that you don’t regret your hairstyle, outfit choice and etc years later! When picking your clothes, you not only want to make sure everything goes well and accentuates your natural beauty, but you want it to reflect your style — whether you choose a frilly sundress or old cowboy boots! After all, these portraits are OF you and FOR you!

First off, you need to make sure your outfit isn’t too tight or too baggy. Tight clothes often reveal everything that we don’t want them to, but you also don’t want the clothes to be so baggy that you can’t see your shape. Portraits can make you look a bit different than you do in real life, sometimes making you look smaller or bigger, all depending on your clothing choice! Ill-fitting clothes can also be a HUGE annoyance during longer photoshoots – who wants to be tugging at pants all day long or pulling the neckline of a dress up? Here are a few standard tips to keep you looking your best!

Selecting Pants That Are Flattering

You should be able to grasp handful of fabric on thighs, knees and groin area. This will make different poses and etc much, much easier.

Your pants need to be loose enough so you can bend down, jump, etc without the pants/jeans riding too low.

You don’t want to have to constantly be tugging on your jeans or pulling them up during the shoot! These issues will be annoying, and are a sign of a bad fit.

Picking Out Flattering Shirts

You should be able to bend over without revealing too much chest. If it doing so does reveal too much, you can try adding a layering tank, or even a tube top, underneath for coverage.

Like the pants, having to worry about a neckline that is exposing too much would become quite an annoyance during a longer photo shoot, and may even limit how you can be photographed (you need to make sure you can do more than one kind of pose).

Shirts should not crease in-between chest. This is a tell-tale sign of a poorly fitted shirt!

Your shirt should loose enough for you to grasp fabric on your stomach area. Tight clothing can make the most petite person in the world look larger, and vice versa for baggier clothing.

Make sure your clothing doesn’t show all of your lines from undergarments, etc.

Choosing Flattering Dresses/Skirts

The same rules apply for dresses as for shirts. Additionally, knee Length and below is typically best so you don’t have to be quite as careful during the different poses and moving around during the shoot. If you decide to wear something shorter, try pairing it with a pair of shorts or leggings underneath! They won’t be visible for photos, but they make moving around much easier!

You should be able to bend down, squat, jump, etc without the waistline riding down or revealing too much upper-leg.

Make sure you can grasp a handful of fabric on the thigh area of the dress/skirt. Just like with tighter shirts, dresses/skirts can cause unflattering lines.

Stylish Makeup + Hair

As for makeup/hair, keep it simple! Senior photos are for showing who you are at that point of time. Don’t stray to far from your personality and what you normally wear! It’s always good to wear a bit more makeup than you would on a normal day because different lighting and such can make you look washed, but don’t go overboard!

Sparkles and glitter are typically not a good idea because it can look like dry skin or dandruff. Pack a little makeup bag with you for the shoot so you can remove or add more if needed and do touch-ups!

Your Style Should Stay True To Yourself

I know how hard it is to remain true to yourself, especially during high school years and later on! We get so much pressure from everyone, especially us girls, to mold ourselves into what the world wants us to be. I know that I’ve gone through so many phases, so many styles, so many changes, and it is extremely hard and confusing! Use this time to get to know YOU better! God created you to be the person that you are; don’t change yourself because of society’s standards and desires.

Make your own rules! Don’t worry about modeling yourself after someone else when taking these photos, use it as a time to show off your own personality, as fancy, quirky or casual it may be.

Think about bringing something special with you to make the senior photo shoot even better. If you play an instrument, ask if you can incorporate it! If you have a passion for a certain era of the past, add a vintage flair. If you have a passion for something, show it off and make it your own. Make these photos something to be proud of, something that shows your individuality and passions.

As someone who is so passionate about modesty and being different from the world, I know how difficult it is to hear people’s laughter and mocking. I’ve been teased a lot, and I would be lying if I said it got easier! The only thing that keeps me from caving in is the fact that I know God gave me these convictions and passions for a reason, He made me different for a reason!

No matter who you are, God made you into the person that you are today, tomorrow and 10 years from now. Those people only criticize because they are insecure about themselves. They have problems, just as we do. They have insecurities, just as we do. Remember to stay true to yourself no matter how hard it may be.

And I’m not just talking about for senior photos. ūüôā

— Kalin

What Are Your Thoughts on How to Select Stylish Clothing?

I think Kalin’s perspective on clothing is refreshing and I love her encouraging words on staying true to yourself. High school (and beyond) can be such a challenging time, and the pressure to follow along with the current trends can sometimes be overwhelming (Modest is Hottest: How to be Stylishly Modest).

Ultimately, though, it is important to be comfortable in the clothes you wear — whether or not they are in line with the latest trends. Remember, there are timeless outfits that will never go out of style!

Do you have any stories or thoughts on how to select clothes that are flattering, true to you, and modest enough you won’t feel uncomfortable? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!

Visiting Mill Creek Park in Dexter

posted in: Local | 16

One of the perks about our nice weather? Being able to spend time outdoors without bundling up! I love being able to get outdoors, but especially if the¬†sun is shining and it’s not too warm or too cold. ¬†We did a combination walk/bike excursion at the park, which worked …except¬†my son is pretty quick on his balance bike. ¬†Next time, I may consider bringing along my bike so I can do a better job of keeping up!

Mill Creek Park Boardwalk - Dexter Outdoors 5565

All the photographs in this post were taken at the Mill Creek Park in Dexter, Michigan. ¬†It’s been fun to see the improvements and changes that have taken place over the past several years. ¬†The park has also undergone a name change — it used to be Warrior Creek Park. The dam was removed to allow for a return to more natural creek conditions, and a pedestrian bridge was created to connect the park, via about 5 miles of trail, to Hudson Mills park. ¬†A stairway (with bike ramp!) now allows visitors to get from the park up to Alpine street (where the Library and Farmer’s Market are located). ¬†There are also boat launches for kayaks/canoes.

Mill Creek Park - Dexter Outdoors 5579

We haven’t gone the full length of the trail yet, maybe halfway —¬†but it really has been nice to use the wide trails and boardwalks for getting outdoors. ¬†Here are some photographs of our park excursion. ¬†On this particular day, we also ventured to “downtown” Dexter as my toddler wanted to go up the ramp/pathway when we were on our way up to the library for storytime.

Mill Creek Park - Dexter Outdoors

Fortunately I had allotted enough time for the scenic detour (usually we use the stairs right next to the libary). ¬†In the images below, you’ll also find¬†we stopped at the playground — long enough to go down the slide, have mama give an “underdog” or two on the swing, and find a prize pine cone that later accompanied us home.

Pine cone at Mill Creek Park - Dexter Outdoors

In case¬†I haven’t made it obvious, I really love being outdoors. ¬†It was so fun to identify birds, their songs,¬†look for fish and frogs, and read some of the new informational signs that were placed in the park when it was updated. ¬†So, anyways,¬†make sure to check out the images a little further on (click on any image to open in gallery mode).

Portraits at Mill Creek Park in Dexter

Dexter’s Mill Creek Park is also great for portraits! ¬†I have enjoyed creating family photos, high school senior pictures, and portraits of toddlers all in various areas of this park. ¬†Here are some favorites from a few sessions to give you an idea of what we’ve done in the past. ¬†Make sure to check out¬†one senior portrait in particular; it will show you what the park looked like prior to the construction of the pedestrian bridge!

Mill Creek Park Scenes and Snapshots

And back to our park excursion photographs… here are more images of Mill Creek Park, the boardwalk, and our fun in the sun on a wonderful spring day!

By the way, my son loves his fireman balance bike (afflink). The balance bike is adjustable in height and has allowed him to really get the hang of balancing, gliding, and steering — all while zooming. It’s amazing to see the difference when we bring out a tricycle or other “vehicle” with pedals. Those pedals have been a source of frustration, whereas the balance bike is natural and freeing. Based on what success my friends have had with their kids and balance bikes, I anticipate an eventual smooth transition to a 2 wheel bike (with pedals) down the road, skipping training wheels completely!

Articles About Mill Creek Park

Here are some articles about Mill Creek Park — detailing the different stages of contruction, and the official Dexter Parks page. Links will open in a new window for your convenience.

What About You?

Do you have any favorite activities when you go to the park? It seems like we always visit the playground, and we usually have at least the balance bike with us. On one trip to Mill Creek Park, we were blessed with an unexpected friendship when we met another mama! What’s your favorite part of being outdoors? Is it the wildlife? The scenery? The people you’re with? Do you have a favorite memory at a particular park?

Sports Car Senior Pictures

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It’s hard to believe Paul is finally a senior… maybe that’s why I’ve put off posting his portraits? At any rate, I’ve had the privilege to do senior pictures for his older siblings, and the neat thing about all three of their sessions (see Kathleen’s senior pictures here; Doug’s aren’t even on this blog!) is that they have a common theme — We did a canvas wall portrait for each session featuring each of the kids with the car. Here are all three siblings with their respective car senior pictures. I love how these look together, don’t you?

We started off in the studio, then went to two parks for the outdoors portion of Paul’s pictures.

Senior Portraits at Pioneer (and UM) Stadium

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Brad is a senior at Pioneer High School, and since he plays football, we made certain to incorporate that into his senior portraits. So, off we went to Pioneer High School’s football stadium for the outdoors portion of Brad’s session. Unfortunately, the gate was locked, so we had no access to the field. Despite that, we still ended up with a wonderful senior picture that included a view of the scoreboard and such — through the gate. I actually really love how it turned out!

We also included the humongous Block M sign from the University of Michigan Stadium in Brad’s senior photos… (in case you’re wondering, UM has long since limited access to the interior of the stadium, probably for security reasons).

And a search for fall colors proved difficult, but we managed to locate a stand of trees over by Vet’s Park. I think it turned out pretty nicely, especially considering we ended up driving around looking for “fall colors” as the planned spots weren’t particularly colorful.

Finally, we also did some more traditional portraits back at the studio…. for the yearbook.

Tommy’s Senior Portraits (Dexter HS)

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We did Tommy’s senior pictures¬†at the start of school (can’t believe time flies so quickly! Even though it was fall, the leaves hadn’t started to turn yet, so Tommy’s portraits have lovely vivid greens for the outdoors portion of his senior session.

And as I wrap up writing this blog post for my nephew, I really can’t believe it’s been two years already since his brother, Ben (my oldest nephew), was getting his senior pictures done. Time really does fly.

 

Elizabeth + Eve

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This fall Elizabeth had her senior portraits done. We kept things pretty simple, and decided to forgo any studio portraits. So, we did location senior pictures at the Arb — which I think turned out fabulously. It’s hard to pick a favorite, but I’m partial to the ones on the stairs that have both Elizabeth and her dog, Eve.

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Senior Portraits :: Downtown Ann Arbor

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While I love going to new places for location senior portrait sessions, it is also nice to revisit old favorites. And for C’s session, we went to two places I have enjoyed doing portraits — the Arb and Graffiti Alley. I am happy with how all C’s portraits turned out, she looks amazing in this senior portraits ;). Can’t wait to hear about the big decisions for college once that decision becomes more imminent.

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Depot Town :: Josie

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Just before ringing in the new year, I got to go to Depot Town in Ypsilanti for a fun senior portrait session with Josie! We found a lot of fun spots to create some unique senior portraits; I’m particularly partial to the train caboose ones.

And then, as it started getting dark, we took to the streets to do some edgy portraits by the clock in Depot Town. I love the urban feel of all these senior portraits; it’s so hard to pick a single favorite from creative sessions like this!

Josie ended up with a gorgeous coffeetable album featuring a nice selection of images from her session.

Ben :: Dexter High School Senior Portraits

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Ben was all for the simple session, so we kept it to a casual portrait outdoors, and a formal portrait in the studio.

One outfit indoors, one outfit outdoors. No additional driving, and pretty hassle free, so far as the whole senior portrait experience is concerned! This type of session is great for seniors who want to keep things simple — and for parents who still want quality senior portraits for their graduates.

Studio Senior Portrait

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Here are some highlights from one of our Pioneer Class of 2012 Senior sessions. This senior did a simple session at the studio. Now that our outdoor deck space is finished, we are pleased to provide easy green portraits like these outdoor senior portraits. I always love the deep blue sky portraits; they are a nice complement to the typical studio fare for senior sessions… and for those wanting a no-fuss session with two different looks, this is the perfect compromise.

Enjoy your senior year at Pioneer!!

Dexter High School Senior Pictures :: Kathleen, 2012

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I can’t believe that Kathleen is a senior at Dexter High School already… time flies so quickly! Anyways, for Kathleen’s senior portrait session we started at the studio, and did some basic yearbook portraits. Then, once we got that out of the way, it was time for some fun!

Kathleen really wanted to have her portraits in a green, outdoorsy, natural setting. Since I love new and unique places (particularly my clients’ homes) — we decided to use her grandmother’s home as a setting. We also had to find an awesome place to use the GTO Judge, of course!!! I really love how everything turned out, from the waterfall portraits to the spectacular dance poses that Kathleen managed to pull off in mid-air.

And here’s a sneak peek at Kathleen’s senior portraits. From this gorgeous selection of pictures, I designed a set of coffeetable albums …and created a pair of wall portraits with the Judge (one canvas featuring Kathleen, and the other featuring her older brother, Doug’s senior portrait from several years ago).

I know Kathleen has been just dying to share these lovely senior portraits with all her friends and family… so, without further delay, here are her senior portraits — click on an image to view it in more detail.

Michigan Portraits Receive International Recognition

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Atlanta, GA — Portrait Photographs created by Betsy Finn of Betsy’s Photography in Dexter have been accepted into the General Collection of Professional Photographers of America’s 2011 International Photographic Competition. Finn’s work will be on display at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans, Louisiana, from January 15-17, 2012. This exhibition is held in conjunction with Imaging
USA, an annual convention of professional photographers and several photographic associations.

A panel of over 50 eminent jurors from across the United States selected the top images from more than 4,000 total submitted entries. Three of Finn’s portraits will be displayed in New Orleans alongside other photographic works from PPA‚Äôs photographic competition and traveling and special invitational displays. These images constitute the world‚Äôs largest annual exhibit of professional photography gathered simultaneously under one roof.

The portrait below was created for a Detroit area model — the artistic nude portrait was titled: “Flesh Tones.” It received a merit award and will be on display in New Orleans:
Dexter Michigan Artistic Studio Portrait

This portrait of a high school senior was also awarded a merit and will be displayed. Titled “Tuned Out,” it features the senior’s unique and individualized sense of style:
Ann Arbor Michigan High School Senior Portrait

Finally, a family portrait of a father with his child was Finn’s final image to receive a merit award this year. The image captures the loving relationship between the daughter and her father:
Dexter Michigan Family Portrait

This was Finn’s fifth year participating in the International Print Competition — her portraits and photographs have received awards each and every year she has entered (2010, 2009, 2008, 2007). While the awards Finn has received are a testament to her creativity and dedication to excellence, the awards her portraits have received aren’t just for show. Finn frequently enters images created during client portrait sessions to prove that the quality of her “everyday” work is just as noteworthy as any self-assignment.

Amber :: 2011 Pioneer Senior

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Amber was one of our senior spokesmodels for 2011. She did a great job, and while I loved the images we created during her studio senior portrait session, I have to say that her location session portraits are in hot contention — both turned out amazingly.

Here are a few highlights from the second half of Amber’s session. We went to downtown Ann Arbor to create some really cool urban gritty portraits.

Ann Arbor Pioneer Senior Portrait

Senior Portrait Photographer Michigan

High School Senior Portraits

And, of course, we ended up with so many amazing portraits of Amber that an album was a necessity. Here’s the video of images in Amber’s senior portrait album:

Andrew :: Pioneer Senior Pictures

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Are you planning your senior pictures and want information? You’re almost there… follow this link to learn about our senior portrait services.

Andrew is a 2011 senior at Pioneer High School in Ann Arbor. For his senior portrait session, we decided to go on location. Since Andrew is a musician, we talked about what instruments he might like to incorporate. We settled on the marimba! Accordingly, the location was set to be at their home (since a marimba is *not* a small, portable, instrument). We had to reschedule once due to inclement weather, but on the day we created Andrew’s senior portraits, the sun was shining and the weather was gorgeous.

Here are a few favorites from Andrew’s session:

Ann Arbor Senior Portrait Photographer

Michigan Senior Portraits

Ann Arbor MI Senior Portraits

And here is the video! We actually put these images into a lovely album for Andrew’s family to enjoy. It’s a great way to showcase images if you are short on wall space!

Award-Winning Portraits :: Detroit Competition

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Yesterday evening, I was in Detroit for a local print competition, held by the Detroit Professional Photographers’ Association (DPPA). As usual, I helped behind the scenes (tallying and recording scores this time around), and got to have a unique perspective as events unfolded. I entered five portraits and one landscape. The landscape received a red ribbon (award of merit), and all five portraits received blue ribbons (awards of excellence)!

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Alexa :: Chelsea Senior Portrait

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Alexa goes to Chelsea High School, and is a senior this year! She is a really creative senior, interested in photography, painting, and the arts! So, for Alexa’s senior portrait session, we decided to incorporate some of her artwork into the portraits (see the last outdoor portrait, which showcases a lot of her favorite photographs!). Of course, I told Alexa to bring her cameras with her… so we incorporated those into her senior portraits since she is into photography.

I even had a wave of creative inspiration myself — and Alexa liked my idea too. The resulting portrait is my absolute favorite image from Alexa’s session — it’s the black and white studio portrait with all the photography gear.

Have a wonderful final year, Alexa, and I can’t wait to hear which art school you decide to go to! ūüôā