I photographed Mary back in November of 2017 for her senior photos. I saw during our November session that she easily embodied the quintessential look of "Hollywood Glamour" and invited her to take part in a stylized shoot to compliment the senior photos she already had. Mary and I set aside a date in late March. Then the fun of planning began!
Images were collected for inspiration to create three mood boards: Inspiration,Hair and Makeup.
I contacted my hair and makeup team at LaSata Salon and shared the mood boards with hair stylist, Jodi Lynn and makeup artist, Elena. They were excited to help create the Hollywood Glamour "look".
7:45 a.m. = Early Model call for Makeup and Styling.
Helpful Tip: Always wear a button up shirt so you can easily put on your outfit for the photo shoot without messing up your hair and makeup.
Come along on a 1940's Inspired Photo Shoot!
Erin's mom booked a high school senior shoot with me early last spring. Her mom and I discussed what her daughter was hoping for in a shoot and we reserved a day and time in August. Erin is in drama at school and hasa keen interest in period clothing, so I asked if Erin would be willing to do a special 1940's inspired photo-shoot after we completed her senior photos. Erin agreed and she and her mom began to assemble wardrobe items for the shoot.
A few weeks later, we met at La Sata Salon and Day Spa for Erin's hair and makeup Jodi Lynn did her hair in soft waves and Elena did Erin's makeup with the historical accuracy of the 1940's, complete with the orange-red lip!
Hair and Makeup at Lasata Salon and Spa 2014 Second St. SW
Elena, an esthetician and an Aveda Freelance Advisor, is a talented artist and generous collaborator. She takes time to research each era being photographed and makes sure the application of the makeup is accurate for the time frame. Elena has a gentle way of working with clients that makes them feel special.
Jodi Lynn skillfully and artfully designs a hair style that is not only reflective of the time period, but that it also one that compliments the model. Jodi Lynn has years of experience with creative hair design and researches hairstyles to make sure they are reflective of what the era/time frame. Jodi Lynn is a great conversationalist and puts clients at ease.
Once hair makeup and wardrobe were complete we headed over to the Porch Restaurant, (thank you Lee Ann Zubay!) for a few shots with her vintage suitcases; then we headed over to the Mayo campus. Once on the Mayo Campus we took some shots near the medical school building and the Plummer building, all known for their amazing architectural details that would easily lend itself to 1940's spirit. Erin was kind enough to write a few thoughts about her experience. Enjoy her reflective responses and gorgeous pictures. She truly embodies the elegance and class of the 1940's!
What was the experience like getting your hair and makeup done? Were you surprised by the look?
The experience of getting my hair and makeup done was really cool! I’d wanted to try getting my hair and makeup done professionally for a while, so I was really excited about this opportunity. Jodi Lynn and Elena were lovely and both did fantastic jobs! I kept my hair and makeup done for hours after the photoshoot because I didn’t want to stop looking the way I did. The look wasn’t what I had been thinking about, so it surprised me, but it was wonderful! I especially loved the eyeshadow and how great my brows looked! I kept thinking about Marilyn Monroe and Bette Davis when I looked at it. I felt like a movie star all day!
Tell us about your clothing choices...Where did you find your clothes? What tips would you share about picking out a wardrobe to inspire a specific era? Was there something you wanted to wear but didn't get a chance to? Tell about each ensemble.
My mom was really helpful in helping me pick out all the clothes. We both made Pinterest Boards of forties clothes and forties themed photoshoots that we liked (which I recommend to anyone doing a photoshoot, themed or not), and then we went through my closet trying to find pieces that resembled those in the pictures. I happened to have quite a few pieces that worked, so we didn’t have to go shopping. The mustard dress and blue coat, an ensemble we called “Mustard” both came from Savers. The blue shoes were also from Savers. My dad got me that red hat as a Christmas present from a hat store in San Francisco. It wasn’t originally supposed to go with this outfit, but when my mom and I tried the combination I fell in love with the primary color palette!
The polka dot dress came from Kismet—my mom and I actually bought it for my eighth grade graduation. We pulled it out of the back of my closet for the first time since then just for this shoot. I was very happy to find that it still fits! The red shoes were a lucky find at Kismet. We called that outfit “Minnie Mouse”.
There was one other outfit we put together that didn’t get shot that my mom and I called “French Resistance.” That was a polka dot shirt and skirt, with a belted brown blazer and a red beret. I would have liked to have had it shot, but I don’t think the wartime spy theme would have really worked with all the sunshine and fun art deco backgrounds. The thing that I really love about all the ensembles we put together is that they are regular parts of my closet, so I can wear them again anytime I want!
If you could only pick one image from the shoot and publish it, which image would it be?
There were several that I really loved, but the full-length black and white one in the polka dot dress is probably the photo I would publish. I think it looks really cool and classy, and the black and white of course makes me think of a 1940s starlet. Also, my dad said I looked like Winona Ryder in this picture, so I have to love that!
What was the hardest part of the experience?
I think the hardest part of the experience was trying to come up with new things to do with my face and arms for each shot. Ultimately I found that just trying to smile worked really well, and the photos make the sore cheeks worth it!
What would you say to anyone considering a stylized photoshoot representing a theme or an era? What tips would you have for them?
Like I said for the clothing, I would suggest making a Pinterest board of inspiration to figure out what you want to do with the photos, and then experiment with clothes. Put pieces from one outfit with pieces from another outfit. Mix and match and have fun! If you need/want to go shopping, especially for a period shoot, I would recommend looking around consignment and thrift stores. There’s a lot of great things to find in those stores if you look around! When it comes to the shoot, I would say to just relax and embrace the theme/era. Some of my favorite pictures are candid ones where I’m relaxed and laughing!
Behind the scenes in the truest definition is when something is away from the public view or secret. Let's take some of the mystery out of it so that when you book your photo-shoot you can be confident that you will have a great time!
I strive to make your photo session comfortable and relaxed, I only accept one appointment a day, so that I am not busy focusing on anyone else BUT you! Typically, a photo session runs very smoothly because you and I will have already arranged for all the important details regarding location, clothing, lighting, and style ahead of time. That makes it easy for me to focus on the actual mission of the day: capturing fantastic images of you!
No matter how well planned we are, there can be occasional "hiccups" to the process of getting those great images.
In this case, Mary, who had her hair and make up professionally done, (something I highly recommend), had a rare occurrence of a false eyelash begin to peel away from her upper lash-line. We were only 30 minutes into our shoot when we had to stop and fix it. Thankfully, her dad quickly drove downtown to meet us with a tube of eyelash adhesive!
Mary's mom, Lori, is seen below getting ready to apply the adhesive to the wayward lashes and moments later, we are back in business!
And as you can see the results were worth it!
You want to make sure your clothes show the best "you", so I will bring along some bull clips to grip your clothing and hold it in place when it needs it. I have some fantastic Mom's who come along to watch the session only to find themselves put to work as stylists!
As you can see in the photo above, some moms and dad's even stand off camera and hold the reflector! In this behind the scenes shot, we were scrambling to get the "good" backdrop before the sunset. We had to wait for joggers and cyclists to pass in between shots. But in the end we had fun. (see below) and got some great images!
What Should I Wear?
Your high school senior session should reflect who you are plain and simple. Although it is incredibly important that your clothing choices should reflect your personal style, it is also important to bring one outfit that would be considered classic, because you will want your pictures to be timeless; something you can enjoy for years to come. Wear an outfit that flatters you, and is clean and pressed. Make sure you take the time to remove any "fuzzies" or animal hair. Bring all your clothing choices on a hanger so that they stay neat. The more neat and tidy your clothing looks, the more polished you will look! Avoid stripes and plaids, especially near the face. Wearing busy patterns only takes away from you! Keep jewelry simple and complimentary to your outfit. In addition to your sports uniform and casual wear, men may want to bring a suit or sport coat with jeans, or a nice sweater; women should bring a dark wash jean and nice simple scoop neck or portrait top paired with either boots, heels or ballet flats, they may also wish to bring a beautiful formal dress. An A-line dress that is cinched at the waist goes with any body type and is very flattering in photographs. Additionally, a long flowing floor length dress can be quite dramatic in contrast to an informal setting. There are lots of ways to get a fancy dress for a shoot. Hit the sale racks, friend's closets, a second hand shop, or shop on line. There are places like, https://www.renttherunway.com where you can rent a designer dress for a fraction of the actual cost. Remember to bring coordinating shoes for each outfit.
Young women often ask, "Should I get my make up and hair done professionally?" YES! YES! YES! I would highly recommend getting your make up and hair done professionally. An experienced makeup artist and hair stylist will know exactly how to do your makeup and style your hair for the photoshoot. I work exclusively with a makeup artist and hairstylist here in town and I can arrange your shoot to follow an appointment with them. Just ask me for their information. If you want to see their work, please refer to the Paris inspired shoot: http://www.kathleenmurphyphotos.com/blog/category/paris-inspired-photo-shoot
If you want to do your own makeup, there are a number of things to consider: Avoid clumping mascara and spiking your lashes. Stay away from shimmery eye shadows and blushes. Matte, neutral shades work best. Avoid lining the inner rim of your eyes as that makes your eyes look smaller. When lining the eye, line just under the lash line and use a soft pencil. Line three quarters of the way, smudging the line for a natural look. Don't over do it. Less really is more. Talk to me if you have questions. I was a makeup artist for several years and can give you some helpful hints.
Don't overlook the details!
Be sure to moisturize your face, hands and lips well in advance of your session. Chapped lips and flaking skin are difficult to edit away. And don't forget the nails. Both men and women's hands look best when nails are neat and trimmed or filed. Women may wish to use a simple neutral or clear polish.
What should I bring to the session? For women-Bring a hairbrush, hand mirror, lipstick and powder for touch up. For men and women: Bring any clothing changes you need and props that help to show who you are and what you enjoy. You may wish to bring sports equipment and uniforms, musical instruments, ballet shoes, art you have created, etc... The most important thing to remember is that if you prepare in advance with the clothing you feel confident wearing, and the hair and makeup that flatters you, your pictures will be amazing.
Up Next on the Blog: Behind The Scenes, What is a Session Really Like?
Choosing the right photographer for your Senior Pictures is so important. If you have confidence in your photographer, then you will feel more comfortable in front of the camera and of course, it stands to reason that excellent images will result. If the photographer is a qualified professional, you can be sure that you will have images to treasure for years to come. When choosing a qualified photographer it is important to look for the following qualities, skills, and attributes:
Style: Do you respond to their style? Do they have a "look" about their images that you really gravitate to? Read their Bio’s: If you feel a connection with the person after reading their "bio" or "about me" page, then hit the "contact/learn more" button and explore your options.
Experience: Does your photographer have the necessary experience to produce the quality images you want? Remember experience and education costs more. Are you willing to pay for it?
Products: Does the photographer offer what you want in a final product? For example are you wanting canvas prints, wallets, digital downloads, poster prints? Are you wanting an online gallery?
Availability and attention to detail: You want to make sure that your photographer is booking a limited number of sessions in order to give you personalized time both during and after your session. Trust your Instincts: If you don’t feel like he/she is a good fit for you, then walk away. You want someone that has a both a congenial personality and technical expertise to produce the images you are wanting. When you feel at ease with the person behind the camera then your photos will reflect that. Set up a time to talk to him/her: Most professionals are available either by phone or in person to answer any questions you may have. If he or she can’t call you or meet with you before the session, then find another photographer.
I hope this has been helpful. If you have any questions please contact me and I would be happy to answer them. And remember: At Kathleen Murphy Photography, I only book a limited number of sessions per month so that I can give my clients the care and attention they deserve.
Next Blog Entry: How to Plan Your Session's Overall Style and What to Wear...
A common question I get each year is:
When is the best time to schedule my senior photos?
Your senior year will be incredibly busy, so it is best to schedule your senior photos for the summer before your senior year begins. It might seem too early but it really isn’t. If you think about it carefully, you will come to realize that your senior year will incredibly busy. It is a time that will be full of college visits, completing applications for college scholarships, attending football games, marching band, fall athletics, studying for tests, and completing homework. This will leave very little time for scheduling senior photos and with the shorter days in the fall months, there are fewer daylight hours where appointments are available.
Also important to consider is the deadline that most of the Rochester area schools have for the yearbook submission of senior portraits. Be sure and ask your yearbook coordinator the exact date, but generally speaking, for most schools in the area, the deadline for submission is usually in early December.
Given the high intensity of activities and responsibilities of one’s senior year, it makes perfect sense to take pictures before the school year begins. This way you will have plenty of time to plan and schedule your session, choose your favorites for the photographer to edit, and order the pictures you want for friends and family.
Luckily, in Minnesota, most any summer month is perfect for taking photos! The weather is gorgeous; the flowers are blooming, and the temperatures are pretty moderate. The added bonus is that students aren’t in school; so scheduling photos is a lot easier to do. There simply aren’t limitations that athletics and academics of the school year often impose on the times seniors are available. Now that it is settled that summer is the best time, it is time for you to start looking for a great photographer.
Next Blog Post: How to Choose A Photographer.
Welcome to Part Two of Passport to Paris! In order to give the reader an inside look as to what it is like to be a part of a highly stylized shoot, our model, Sophia has been kind enough to answer a few questions below. ~Kathleen
KMP: What was your favorite part of the experience?
Sophia: My favorite part of the experience was the high fashion part of the shoot with the formal dress and the interesting backgrounds, like the Civic Center and the street/traffic in front of the library. I liked it because I really liked the dress and it was exciting being dressed up and made up and taking the photos in interesting places.
KMP: What would you say to anyone considering a stylized photoshoot? For example, what tips would you have for them? (like...wear a button up shirt to the salon, look through magazines for some inspiration...etc..
Sophia: For anyone considering a stylized photo shoot, I would recommend picking a theme that you are passionate about and researching styles online, looking at ideas on Pinterest and other internet sites related to your theme for ideas. I love fashion and Paris and I worked with the photographer to share ideas and come up with the look. I would suggest you wear comfortable clothes to the salon that won’t mess up your hair or make-up, like a button-up shirt or zip up hoodie.
What surprised you about the experience?
Sophia: What surprised me the most about the photo shoot was the end result. I have never seen myself so sophisticated and during the shoot I couldn’t imagine what it would look like. The hair and makeup was different from what I typically wear so I wasn’t sure how it would end up and I was a bit anxious about that, but the end results were so different from what I expected and I loved the look and how it all came together. Kathleen made it so comfortable for me and even though I had never done any modeling before, she helped me feel like I was doing a great job, even when I wasn’t sure of what to do.
KMP: If you could only pick one image from the shoot and publish it, which image would it be?
Sophia: If I could pick one image from the shoot and publish it, it would be the one where I am laughing. It was the most natural one that feels like the real me and it shows how fun it was. I also really like the one near the street with the traffic in the background because I saw a picture online of someone in Paris that did that and it reminded me of that photo. The sophisticated dress with the traffic in the background looks so cool and I couldn’t imagine how it would look at the time, but it ended up one of my favorites.
Our shoot was scheduled for a day when all forecasts predicted rain. But, since hair stylist, Jodi Lynn and makeup artist, Elena from La Sata Salon were booked and ready to make our Paris inspired photo session a reality, we decided to thumb our nose at Mother Nature and go for it!
La Sata Salon's very talented makeup artist, Elena, carefully checks the application after applying blush to the cheekbones.
Applying the classic red lipstick....
Notice the beautiful and timeless chignon, a classic hair design by the extremely creative and talented Jodi Lynn of La Sata Salon.
Our model, Sophia looked lovely in her black and white gown; her hair softly framing her face with beautiful pin curls: the back neatly gathered into a chignon at the nape of her neck. Her makeup featured a strong red lip with a simple soft palette of taupes in a matte finish. Her eyes are defined by mascara and liquid liner slightly turned up at the corner for a classic Parisienne look.
We began our shoot near the Rochester Civic Center and gradually worked our way over to Central Park where we had a lovely vintage style clock and classic Parisienne street lamps as a backdrop. There we took her chignon down; made a loose side pony tail, donned a red beret and peacoat with a classic tartan plaid skirt and simple suede flats. Afterwards, we opted for a few urban shots; Sophia's hair completely down with loose, soft curls courtesy of the pin curls. And, just as the rain began to fall, we finished up in a green space near the Baldwin Building downtown with the Plummer building in the distance.
Next blog post.... we will interview Sophia about her experience a find out what surprised her about the experience and which is her favorite image.
Do you want a photo shoot with a fashion edge, that reflects a specific feeling or atmosphere? If so, lets talk about your ideas, and together, we will come up with a one of a kind photoshoot that reflects your personality.
Why Specialize In Senior Portraits?
Why do I specialize in high school senior photography? Well, let me answer by having you glance at the image on the left. This was my senior photo for high school. Although It was lit correctly from the front with umbrella lighting; and the photographer used a great little hair-light behind me (camera left) to separate my chestnut colored hair from the dark background, it shows nothing more than a smiling (sort of) 17 year old. From this picture, you would never know that I was in choir, loved gymnastics, and photography. The session lasted no more than 20 minutes, including ordering the print package. I want to give you more. I want to work with you to create a shoot that reflects exactly who you are at this significant moment in time. I want you to have an experience that you will remember and I want you to have the amazing images to go with them. I have spent years behind a camera and the one time I was afforded the opportunity to stand in for a model that did not show up for a shoot was a seminal moment. THAT was the moment that I discovered exactly how hard it can be to sit on the other side of the camera. Because I understand that feeling very well, I will work to make sure you feel comfortable in front of the camera and strive to make your experience an excellent one.
What does it take to actually make an amazing session come to life? I began this blog so that you could get a sneak peak in what it is like behind the scenes. In my next blog you will see a photoshoot with a Parisienne look. We had a makeup artist, and hairstylist that worked together with both the model and me to make it happen. A beautiful wardrobe along with hair and makeup came together beautifully to create the look we were going for. I am excited for you to see the results when it goes live tomorrow afternoon! ~Kathleen
I love my family, cappucino cake, family hugs, baby giggles and sand under my feet....