It may seem like a daunting task for people standing in front of a camera to just “act natural” and smile, and we feel you. But allow us to share a story with you that may give you some hope. This lovely gal is Rachel. We have known each other since middle school and she is one of my bestest friends to this day. And my mind was baffled when she told me it was time for her senior portraits. When I asked her she told me that she was looking forward to it, even more so because my father took her older sister’s pictures as well and loved how they came out for her. She was looking forward to having a shot at it herself. When discussing senior portrait ideas they decided that they wanted to take it at this older manor down the road, and the plan was set afoot.

She was both a little excited and nervous since she never experienced something like this before…which you could tell in the beginning of the shoot. Sometimes when students come to these shoots they think that they need to create the “perfect senior portraits poses” to have these unforgettable pictures that will hang on your parents’ wall for the rest of your life. But a majority of students don’t have a clue what that means and can cause their body to freeze up from feeling overwhelmed.  My girl here is a classic example. She looked like a rusty Tin Man who desperately needed an oil change. No matter what they tried his words and her actions just could not come into alignment. It came to the point where my father was so desperate to get her to smile that he actually CALLED me while I was at college and begged me to make her laugh. So yeah, it was a bit of a rough start.


My dad sort of scratched his head and decided to regroup and start fresh. He asked her to change into the other dress she brought, and that was the tipping point when everything started to change. She started warming up to his instructions and was able to move a little bit more how he wanted to. And even when she was struggling she always felt encouraged by him and he was constantly helping her. In the beginning she worried of how she would need to be like a professional model and create her own poses, but even though she was moving in front of the camera, all he wanted was to capture who she really was. Having a default pose means nothing if that cannot capture who you are and make you shine.





As the session went on they understood each other more, becoming more evident through the photographs. She went from the broken robot who tried to follow orders and became a real person who was coming alive right before our eyes. It all crescendoed to a glorious moment when they came to a forest-covered road and he asked her to dance, knowing that she has been taking lessons for years. And right there it was like someone just flipped a switch. She didn’t have to think, she just was. She didn’t have to put on a smile, it was just there. She didn’t have to worry about how to move her arms or legs, she was just free. And these pictures didn’t come out the way they did because she calculated just the right way to look but because she was just being herself, the most beautiful style out there that never gets old. If you are tired of the same old uninspired senior portraits and crave something that expresses your style then you crave, Craze!

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