{AJ} Senior Baseball Session | Elk River Senior Pictures | Elk River, Minnesota

Hello and welcome back to my blog! This week I am featuring AJ!

AJ is a senior at Elk River High School and a member of the Class of 2019. His extracurricular activities include baseball and basketball. He enjoys the outdoors and skateboarding, as well as hunting with his dogs. I had a great time hanging out with him and his parents and those dogs! He describes himself as funny, outgoing and friendly. I agree wholeheartedly! He was so fun to talk to!

AJ wanted his senior pictures to represent all sides of him in his natural every day look. One that showed his love of sports and also a bit classier look. Hales Field in Elk River is (and was) a huge part of his life with lots of memories, so we started out there for baseball shots. He brought all of his baseball equipment to “accessorize”. The lighting was fantastic this late summer evening.

a teenager getting his senior baseball photos taken at Elk River Hales Field.

I asked AJ how she would advise someone else on how to prepare for their senior photo session. He responded:

“Figure out places you would think make good backgrounds as well as great outfits that show who you are.”

He is absolutely correct! From Moments to Memories helps with this as well. We have taken seniors all over the Twin Cities area and have great locations we can suggest. From urban to country, we know some awesome locations. We are always looking for new locations as well!

senior boy getting his baseball pictures taken at Hales Field in Elk River, Minnesota.

We then headed down the road to Bailey Point Nature Preserve which is an amazing park. AJ’s opinion of the park? It is one of the most beautiful outdoor places in his home city of Elk River, Minnesota. I frequent the park quite often for my nature photography and love when my seniors pick this park. The sunsets here are fantastic and we even run into deer often on sessions at this location.

As I mentioned, AJ also brought his pups along. They were so fun and friendly! At one point, one even jumped into the river! So much fun!

elk river senior boy baseball pictures.jpg

What’s one piece of advice AJ has for other seniors during their senior session?

“Be yourself. Don’t wear something that doesn’t express who you really are each day.”

AJ’s overall senior photo experience?

“I had a fantastic time taking pictures as well as talking with Sheila. I believe my photos came out better than expected, and I loved how they all looked.”

AJ plans to attend the College of St Scholastica, major in secondary education, and pursue his dreams in baseball.

I am sure that AJ will do well! His future looks very bright! Thanks to AJ and his parents for entrusting me with his senior photos!

Scheduling Your Senior Portrait Session | Twin Cities Senior Photographer | Elk River Senior Pictures

When should I schedule my senior pictures? I get asked this question quite frequently and wanted to shed some light on the subject.  Officially, my senior season begins in the Spring of your JUNIOR year.  If you are graduating in 2020, your senior photo session should be booked no later than June or July! And that may be cutting it short for a busy senior photographer.  I start booking in February and am usually full for the season by the end of July.  This does not mean your photos need to be done that early, but I highly recommend you book by July.  I get calls every year in September looking to book fall senior photos and unfortunately, I have to turn them away because I am full. I start shooting in May and go up until the following March. If you are looking to book your shoot for fall, DO NOT WAIT until fall to book. You will have a difficult time finding a good photographer who is not full.

Most high schools require you to have your yearbook photo submitted by October or November, and I have seen it as early as August or September.  I keep a list of yearbook deadline dates for the local schools every year so I am kept in the loop. All of my packages include yearbook photo submission. It's my job to know when your yearbook photo is due. 

Not sure what season you want?  Here are a few pointers for you….

Graduation Pictures in Spring

Spring weather in Minnesota is beautiful! May flowers are blooming, the air is cool, and it is almost literally bug-free. Fun, beautiful sundresses and light clothing is the norm! Those who get their photos done in May or June are able to enjoy their summer and not have to worry about their senior photos!

teenaged girls getting their senior portraits taken in summer.
fun senior girl pictures at mill ruins park in downtown minneapolis, minnesota

Summer Senior Pictures

Summer is definitely the most popular season for senior photos. Summer is hot. I’m not gonna lie. I shoot in the evenings so it is a little cooler, albeit more buggy. The golden hour lighting of summer cannot compare! It is the season of wide-brim hats and tall grass! Some of my favorite photos have been shot in the summer!

teenage girl with summer dress and hat getting her senior portraits taken at henry’s woods park in rogers
summer senior pictures in minnesota

Senior Portraits in Fall

Fall. What can I say about fall? My favorite time of year. “October is my favorite color.”  The season of sweaters, boots, pea coats and beautiful scarves.

If you are involved with after-school activities, please keep in mind that once school starts seniors are BUSY. Homecoming, sports, homework deadlines, college applications and visits, etc. Not to mention I am also very busy in the fall. My normal editing time is 2-3 weeks. Once August and September hit, it moves to 3-6 weeks.  Please keep that in mind for yearbook submission deadlines.  If we are in a pinch for editing time, I have edited the yearbook photo and sent it on through.

teenagers getting their senior portraits taken in the fall in minnesota.

Winter Senior Pictures

Winter. Ah….Winter in Minnesota. I have to say my favorite senior session to date was shot in February. It was 12 degrees outside but you would never know it. There is something to be said for beautiful winter snow pictures. The lighting is absolutely fantastic in the winter and the snow? Well, that speaks for itself!

senior girl in elk river getting her portraits taken at woodland trails park, elk river, minnesota.
teenage girls getting their senior photos taken in winter, elk river, anoka, snow, minnesota

Whichever time of year you choose, I have beautiful locations to compliment the season. Just remember to book your session early!

{Erin} Urban Senior Session | Anoka, Minnesota | Spring Lake Park High School

Up next for the Class of 2019 is Erin! Erin’s mom, Cindy, and I used to work together years ago. I was so glad when she contacted me for Erin’s senior pictures. It was great to catch up!

Erin attends Spring Lake Park High School and is a member of the Class of 2019. She describes herself as fun, loving and energetic. Erin loves softball, basketball, shopping and binge-watching Grey’ Anatomy (don’t we all?).

We decided on downtown Anoka for Erin’s shoot, because it is such a versatile location. It really is a “3 locations in 1’”. The park is right on the Rum River, and has a lot of great nature scenery for backdrops. The downtown area also has great backgrounds, along with the feed store down the street.

senior girl getting her portraits taken in downtown anoka along the river.

Since basketball and softball are such a big part of Erin’s life, she brought her bat, glove, basketball and letter jacket for her senior portraits.

Senior girl getting her pictures taken in Anoka, Minnesota baskebtball, softball

Our last spot was also in Anoka, and it brought a more rural/country setting. The feed store has great farm-like backdrops that include a red brick building, some silos, and a few corn cribs. 

Spring Lake Park High School senior getting her photos taken in Anoka, Minnesota

Erin brought a few clothing changes that went perfect with each area. She advises to be prepared and know your outfits before hand to make sure you’re comfortable. And to get your hair, nails and makeup done right before your shoot. Great advice, Erin!

Erin's advice for those preparing for their senior session? 

"Know what you want for your pictures and communicate your wishes to the photographer."

Erin plans to attend Minnesota State University, Mankato and obtain her degree in Physical Therapy.

I also asked Erin what her overall experience was with her senior session. Her response? 

"Super fun and exciting!"

Good luck in all you do, Erin! I know you will succeed in reaching your goals!

{Bridget} Country Senior Session | Elk River, Minnesota | Elk River High School

Hello and welcome back to my blog! This week I am featuring Bridget!

I was so excited when Bridget’s mom, Nancy, contacted me for her senior session! I have known Bridget”s sister for many years, as my daughter had danced with her since kindergarten. Bridget is a senior at Elk River High School and a member of the Class of 2019. She is involved in archery and robotics. She loves programming and designing new things! Bridget describes herself as kind, quiet and giving.

Bridget wanted her senior session in a natural, outdoor setting so I suggested both Bailey Point Nature Preserve and the Houlton Conservation area in Elk River. We started at the Houlton Conservation area, which is one of my favorite parks for senior sessions. It is along the river, and has an old barn-type building for great backdrops.

Teenager getting her photo taken at an Elk River park in the country.

Teenager getting her photo taken at an Elk River park in the country.

I asked Bridget how she would advise someone else on how to prepare for their senior photo session. She responded with,

“Look at the photographer’s other senior shoots and make sure you have an idea of what you want with your session.”

She is absolutely correct! When choosing a senior photographer, make sure you check their portfolio/gallery for their photography AND editing style. This ensures a good fit with your senior photographer.

Bridget brought a chair and some daisies along for her session. She brought the chair because she checked out the landscapes before hand, and thought the chair would look good with the back drops. She was right! And the daisies are her favorite flower.

senior girl getting her senior photos taken at Houlton Conservation Area in Elk River, Minnesota

We headed down the road to Bailey Point Nature Preserve which is an amazing park. I frequent the park quite often for my nature photography and love when my seniors pick this location. The sunsets here are amazing, as well as the wildflowers in season. I loved that Bridget brought her own props.

senior-shoot-girl-chair-country

Bridget did her own makeup because she knew what she wanted and how she wanted it done. When in doubt! She went to Simonson’s Salon to get her hair done because it was less stressful to have someone else do it! She didn’t want any big or crazy accessories and chose a simple necklace and bracelet. I loved all her outfits, and the daisies made it all come together with her country theme.

senior-shoot-sunset-flowers

Toward the end of Bridget’s session, a few white-tailed deer even stopped by for a visit. Twins, even! Bridget was coaxing them in with her flowers, however they kept their distance. I was wishing I had my long lens to capture some close ups of them!

senior-shoot-park-deer

Bridget’s overall senior photo experience?

“Amazing! Sheila made it very easy and fun. It was very cool to see all the deer at Bailey Point!”

Bridget plans to attend Bethany Lutheran College in the fall where she will major in Chemistry.

I know you will do well, Bridget! Thank you for trusting me with your senior photos!

{Sam} Elk River Senior Session | Elk River, Minnesota | Elk River High School

I have a lot of catching up to do with blogging my senior and family sessions! I’m going to try and do two a week until I’m caught up! What a season I had!

Starting this week with Sam!

Sam is a senior at Elk River High School and a member of the Class of 2019. He also plays baseball AND basketball, and is a member of the National Honor Society. Sam describes himself as funny and self-loving!

We started out at Handke School and the Pit near Downtown Elk River. Sam was looking for a suburban look for his senior session, but not overdone. He wanted nice and simple! And I believe that’s what he got! He chose Elk River because it’s the place he calls home. Its his last year here, and wanted to show the place some love!

senior boy at Handke Pit for senior pictures in summer

I asked Sam what one piece of advice he would have to other seniors getting their picture taken. His response?

“Don’t try to be a “model” or pose for the camera. Just relax. They’re YOUR photos, so just relax and BE YOURSELF.”

handke pit senior photography in downtown elk river minnesota

We moved on to the Downtown Elk River area off Main Street and the river. Sam says his biggest fear about the session was that he wouldn’t be comfortable and honestly ended up and having so much fun. “Honestly, I felt like I was just walking around with my own little group of paparazzi, and it felt amazing!”

teenaged boy getting senior pictures done in downtown elk river

He advises other high school seniors to prepare in advance for the session. “Get your clothes picked up as soon as possible, don’t wait like me choosing two days before!” I would have to agree! There is less anxiety if you prepare well in advance!

senior urban pictures in downtown elk river minnesota on the mississippi river

Sam said his overall senior session experience was fun. “I loved having my mom follow us around. Overall, I had more fun than I thought I would.”

Sam’s future plans?

“Go to college, have fun in life, and see where it takes me!”

Good luck in everything you do, Sam! Thank you for trusting me with your senior photos!