The Close-Up On Senior Portraits

Seniors Find Cost Efficient Ways To have Senior Portraits


Jaycee Walden

Senior Mary Forney senior pictures were taken by senior Jaycee Walden who has started a photography business, PPJ.

“Senior portraits are about celebrating a life stage,” professional portrait photographer Maris Ehlers said. “For many teens, their entire senior year is filled with milestones, and it is definitely one worth noting and celebrating in many ways, including portraiture.”

Senior Photographers Jaycee Walden and Angel Quevy are using senior year to promote their photography businesses, PPJ and Angelic Touch, respectively.

While some students’ families spend numerous amounts on getting the perfect senior pictures, some believe that “professionals” aren’t the only ones who can take fantastic pictures.

Pride of the Raiders color guard senior Mary Forney chose to have Walden, also color guard member, and best friend, to take her senior pictures.

“I trust Jaycee more than anyone else,” Forney said. “She knows what kind of pictures I like to take, and she will always tell me when I look dumb.”

As a young entrepreneur, Walden has been practicing her photography skills on her friends and family to better herself for her business, PPJ.

“She is a beautiful model,“ Walden said. “I know her character and I know how to express that in her portraits.”

Walden is working on expanding her business, but currently is offering her services free of charge to her friends.

“I specialize in senior portraits and engagement photos,” Walden said. “I plan on getting into the wedding photography area as well.”

Kiersten Scott, trumpet section leader for the Rider band, newspaper co-editor in chief, and biology club president and founder let Angel Quevy, photographer, BRAVO member, and best friend use her as a model.

“I didn’t even want senior portraits,” Scott said. “My family isn’t really big on pictures, so it isn’t a big deal.”

One day, after a sleepover, Quevy decided to dress Scott up and take some sample pictures for her photography business, Angelic Touch.

“I needed someone I was comfortable with so I could practice my photography and get better at it,” Quevy said. “I used my friends because I knew I could try out new styles or lighting fixtures and they wouldn’t hate me.”

Taking pictures with someone familiar was something that Scott enjoyed about the experience. Now, she is looking forward to taking more pictures with Quevy.

“Angel is my best friend, and I trust her more than some stranger” Scott said. “She knows what I like and hate, and she knows how to portray my personality better than anyone else.”

In comparison to these young entrepreneurs, local professional photographers offer seniors a precise time slot with a limited amount of location and outfit changes.

But these sensational pictures come at various prices.

Varsity volleyball player Maddie Box, chose to have her photographs taken with local professional Carissa Davis.

“I chose Imagery by Carissa because I knew she would be able to capture my personality in my senior pictures which was the most important thing to me.”

There is no price ceiling or price floor when it comes to getting personalized portraits. Some professional photographers even add bonuses if you buy a package.

“Carissa charges $300 for girls and $250 for boys,” Box said. “You get a 1.5 hour session with 60-80 edited images on a CD, 3-4 location changes, and it includes makeup for girls.”

Kelise Cunningham found out about a modeling program that Creative Portraits was offering in March 2014 for 2015 Seniors.

“I was one of her previous customers, so one day she called me and asked if I wanted to be in her photo shoots for her senior ads,” Cunningham said. “It was free with professional makeup so I thought I might as well!”

Kelise’s photos were collaged and sent all across town to prospective customers of Creative Portraits.

“I had a great time with the photographer, Julie Gilmore,” Cunningham said. “ She gets your different personality traits down to the ‘T’ with the props and what you wear and how she shoots it.”