The Debut of my new Baby ~ SENIOR GUY STYLE

I’ve had an idea brewing for months but just wasn’t sure what to actually do with it.

In the past few years that I’ve become more involved in the Senior portrait aspect of photography, and more involved in photography education in general, I’ve noticed that there is a real lack of education and inspiration focusing on the Senior Guys.  And you know what I think?  It stinks. 

I mean, the guys deserve some photo love too!

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I’ve found that most photographers are intimidated to photograph guys…whether they don’t know how to interact with them…don’t understand how to pose them without looking cheesy….or just don’t give them the same attention as they give to the girl sessions.

So I starting daydreaming…and night dreaming…and wracking my brain trying to figure out how I could bring more attention to the guy sessions and encourage photographers to elevate their skills to provide great portraits for guys.  I knew I would have to start some sort of forum or site that would attract the photographers, and then I would have to post fantastic content with ideas, tips, recommendations, and anything else that would help them reach the guy market better.

In reality, I would have to do a whole ton of work, for no additional money, to help other photographers gain more clients.  Hmmmm….something about that doesn’t sound quite reasonable for a busy momma of 4 that’s already working her tail off trying to gain more clients for HER OWN business. 

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I just couldn’t let it go.  I researched what it would take to add a new website to my existing website and tried to figure out how I would spread the word to let the photographers know this inspiration would now be available.  It seemed like a daunting task to take this challenge on all by myself, knowing I didn’t really have the time to donate.  But I knew that it was so necessary to bring some education on this topic, and nobody else was addressing it!

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I went back and forth for months trying to figure out how I would do this.  I talked myself into, and out of it, over and over again.  If you’ve ever spearheaded a huge volunteer project, all by your lonesome, then you know exactly what I’m talking about. It’s a big deal because our time is extremely valuable in our lives today.

I prayed for direction on this idea but hadn’t gotten any clear answers.  Honestly, I was getting a little discouraged because I just didn’t see how I was going to be able to start from scratch a brand new site and reach an audience to truly offer what little knowledge I had to share.

Then something amazing happened.  I was rejected.

Stay with me here, I promise I can explain how that was a good thing…I had applied to be a featured writer at a site that I admired greatly. I got an email from them saying they had chosen someone else…BUT…she appreciated my style and hoped I could be a part of their organization.  And then came the amazing part…she asked if I had any ideas.

Ummmm YES!! I have an idea!!

After several emails and phone calls, I was brought on as a featured columnist for Senior Style Guide and a brand new column was added to their site – SENIOR GUY STYLE.  My baby.

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Senior Style Guide is a premier site & magazine that educates and inspires Senior photographers.  They have a huge audience and a fabulous site and I’m beyond humbled that they’ve included me as a part of their team.  I’m more amazed that they have embraced my idea and are providing me an outstanding platform to share my knowledge.  I feel like I’m not alone in my mission anymore to bring a spotlight to the guys, and I can hit the ground running.

But not only is it to help bring in the clients, I want to make sure that once the guys are there, they can receive fabulous portraits from confident professionals. I LOVE photographing the guys, and I’m excited to share with others what I’ve found has helped me in that market.  I certainly don’t have all the answers, but I’m thrilled to start the conversations on these topics and get the guys some photo love. 

So there ya have it, the story of how my baby was born. If you’re a fellow photographer I hope you’ll join me at SENIOR GUY STYLE and share the journey with me this year.

If you’re not a photographer, then this is probably a lot of blah blah blah that you may not understand. But possibly you’ve been in a situation yourself where you had an idea brewing and just wasn’t sure where to go with it.  Maybe this will encourage you to reach out to other people or businesses that may have a common goal. You never know what can happen!

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You can check out the launch of SENIOR GUY STYLE by clicking HERE!

I’ll be posting every other Wednesday, but I’m very active in the forum over there.  So if you have any questions or ideas be sure to leave a comment anywhere I’m at! I’d love to hear from you!

 

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Gannon ~ Lakota East Senior class of 2014

I can’t even begin to tell you how excited I get when I find out that my model has a “distinctive” style.

I almost didn’t accept Gannon’s session since I was so heavily booked during the Fall season and I just couldn’t figure out how I was going to fit in one more date.  But when Gannon’s mom started telling me about his unique style…his accomplishments…his vision…I knew I couldn’t pass it up.

Gannon is most definitely not your typical teen guy…he owns his own company, is employed at a bank, creates and sells his own apps, and wears suits everywhere he goes.  Yes, Suits. Even to school! I’m talking serious fashion style with his wardrobe.

I knew in order to do justice to Gannon and his remarkable activities, I had to do a shoot like I’d never done before.  We headed to downtown Dayton to the courthouse area which was the perfect backdrop for his GQ style.  I found another great little spot around 5th street that complemented his business savvy personality.  And we finished up a bitter cold afternoon at the park to get a few more casual styled shots.

Gannon has a very successful future ahead of him and I told him he better remember me when Forbes magazine wants to feature him for the cover!  Best Wishes Gannon!

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Erika ~ William Mason High School class of 2014

It’s a beautiful thing when a photographer and a model just click.

Within minutes during our pre-session consultation with Erika and her mom, I could tell that we were going to create some stunning portraits. Erika’s family had a vision for a session that was “outside the box”, and Erika was up for anything.

After talking with Erika for a while and going thru her clothing options, we had a plan for her session to showcase all the unique aspects of her personality. Erika is extremely smart, creative, a member of her school Colorguard, and has an edgy side that I definitely wanted to capture.  And you certainly can’t ignore that glam couture look she has going on!

A funny story…when Erika was getting ready her first outfit chosen was a cool shirt with a black tank underneath and a pretty skirt.  I took one look and said “Nope!  Ditch the outer shirt, ditch the shoes, add this glitzy necklace.”

Warning:  If you say you’re open to all my ideas when you’re my model, you better be prepared to get lots of them!

Here’s what Erika’s mom, Sandra, had to say about that idea after she viewed her portraits“ok just some real talk…..that necklace? $12 at Charlotte Russe. The cami gets worn constantly to school/practice. Biggest lesson learned, don’t spend $ on the outfit, spend it on the photographer and photos.”

I’m thrilled with Erika’s session and her family is too.  Best Wishes Erika on your fabulous future!

 

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And of course my absolute favorite part of the portrait experience…seeing all the fabulous portraits printed up in gorgeous products!

Her beautiful 10×10 Keepsake Memory Album

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Portraits printed on Metal….LOVE THESE!! The colors absolutely glow:)

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Brag Books…the cutest little things.

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Let’s Get Personal ~ Keepsake Albums

One of the first things that I tell all my clients is that it’s my job to show them what they can actually “do” with their images.  Seriously, it’s just not cool to walk around with a stack of 4×6 prints to show off your fabulous portraits!

That’s why I spend a ton of time with my clients creating designs for albums of all sizes using their favorite images.  I have to admit though, my personal favorite is when my clients really want that somethin somethin extra special and we work together to create a Keepsake Album.

For Senior clients, the Keepsake Album is where the parents and Senior can really get personal and customize it with all those special details of their Senior year…or their entire school career!

I’ve had clients that include their sports and academic achievements…favorite song quotes…favorite scriptures…songs and poems that have been written by the Senior…and reference meaningful dates, places or trips.  It’s really endless how you can personalize your Album to tell the story of these precious years…that seem to be over in the blink of an eye.

I want to share a recent Keepsake Album that I created for Jacob and his family.  This project started from our very first meeting before the session when we began planning the style and theme for Jacob’s session.  Jacob’s mom, Gina, mentioned that she was definitely interested in an Album so from that moment I started planning with that end result in mind.

After they had viewed their images it took several weeks of emailing ideas, quotes, and info back and forth but they ended up with a Keepsake Album that is so much more than just photos of Jacob.  Here’s a glimpse of how their Keepsake Album was designed with so many personal touches…

The Album Cover…complete with full name, graduating year, a favorite portrait, and a graphic design that compliments his style and session perfectly.

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Favorite quotes from songs and sayings….

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The Album spine is also customized so it looks beautiful and personal even when it’s displayed on a bookshelf…

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Jacob wrote, or should I say composed, a song.  Gina emailed me a pdf copy of the song and I created a great design to showcase it on the back cover…how cool is that, right?!?!

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And of course I had to provide a gorgeous boutique bag to keep the Album nice and safe when they’re carrying it around to show everyone they know!  Oooh La La…so pretty:)

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I hope you’re able to get some inspiration from this Album creation to start making plans for your album.  I know I have LOTS of ideas now for when I create my very own Keepsake Album for my first Senior…which will be just next year!! That’s too soon!!!!!!

 

 

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Tracey I’m exited to make yours too!

Tracey Fontenot Vicknair

L-O-V-E this book! It is AWESOME!!! Can’t WAIT to order ours!!

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