"We were so pleased with the portraits that Clay and Ali captured for our daughter Jessica. They had a huge selection of studio backdrops and being able to go into the park with Jessica and her new car was really nice. We were amazed at how many questions they asked of us and Jessica before the studio session. They obviously paid attenttion to our wishes."

Neal & Beth Shambaugh - Loveland, OH

Senior Portraiture

(Gallery Link At Bottom Of This Page)

Hints for Choosing a Photographer

Obviously we would love to photograph your senior portraits, and we’re confident we can create portraits for you that you’re absolutely thrilled with. However, only you can decide if we are the right studio for you.

The #1 purpose of this website is to arm you with information that will help you have a great experience with your senior portraits and prevent you from being forced to hand out senior pictures you don’t even like.

We're sure you’ve heard horror stories from your older friends about how their photographer made them pose in all these stupid and unnatural positions or was really bossy and wouldn’t try any of their ideas. Or, maybe you have friends who just hated their pictures but couldn’t get them redone because they had already spent wat to much money.

We don’t want you to make the same mistakes they did (and I’m guessing you don’t either). That’s why we’re sharing with you some secrets that your older friends probably wish they had known when they chose their photographer. We’ll tell you exactly what to look for (and to look out for) in senior portraiture.

Contact Us by Phone:  513-593-0553
Or send us an email by ...clicking here...

Hint #1:
Make sure your photographer has the expertise to use light correctly!

Photography is essentially painting with light. There are hundreds of combinations of types, directions, and intensities of light from which a photographer must choose, and only one combination will make you look your absolute best.

Lighting mistakes can give your skin an unnatural tone, make your eyes look really dark, or make you look heavier than you actually are. Unfortunately, these mistakes are more common than you might think.

When choosing a studio, ask how many years of experience you photographer has and what kind of background experience they have.

In case you were wondering, Clay has over 35 years of photography experience in portraiture. Ali is a graduate of the Ohio Institute of Photography, majored in portraiture, and was the winner of student photo contest. That means we knows a thing or two about making you look your best.

Did you know that the combination of the lighting and camera angle your photographer uses and the clothes you choose can make a 30 pound difference in how heavy you look in your portraits? Scary huh? Now, if you are 100% happy with your weight, you want your photographs to capture you exactly how you are, without adding or taking off any poundage.

If, however, your ideal weight and your actual weight don’t quite match, you definitely don’t want your “photographic weight” to be altered the wrong way. In fact, you’ll probably want to mention this to us so we can offer you clothing advice and choose right lighting techniques to make you look your absolute best.

Contact Us by Phone:  513-593-0553
Or send us an email by ...clicking here...

Hint #2:
Choose a photographer who sees you as a unique individual – NOT as a dollar sign!

You want a photographer who sincerely cares about how happy you are with your photographs and not just about how much you pay for them. Here are a couple clues that will help you determine whether a potential photographer is sincerely interested in you:

First, note whether the potential photographer asks you a lot of questions about what you want, or just tells you what you're going to get.

Also determine whether your photographer cares enough to invest time in preparing you for your session. As I mentioned before, your choices regarding your clothing, tanning, makeup, etc., can make a big difference in your photographs.

We, as you might have guessed, treat each senior as a unique individual and go to great lengths to make sure you know everything you need to know to look your absolute best.

Hint #3:
Ask about retouching!

Retouching is a big deal and reveals a lot about just how much a photographer cares about you and your portraits. At Photos by Clay and Ali, we retouch and enhance ALL the portraits you order, making sure that the color is vibrant, that your complexion is smooth and that you look your absolute best.

Watch out for studios that don't offer retouching or charge extra for it at the end.

Contact Us by Phone:  513-593-0553
Or send us an email by ...clicking here...

Hint #4:
Don't choose a “factory studio!"

While there are some advantages to “factory / mall studios” (they are usually pretty cheap), the ability to express your individuality is usually not one of them. The problem is that in the interest of moving a lot of people through the studio in a short amount of time, they often tend to photograph you in the same exact pose in front of the same exact props as everyone else.

Our goal, and probably yours as well, is to create portraits that really show what you are all about. We would love to photograph you with your athletic gear, your car or truck, your pets, your musical instrument – you name it!

This is important not only so that you won't have to hand out wallets that look exactly like everyone else's, but also so that when you and your relatives look back at your portraits years from now, they will trigger memories not only of how you looked, but of who you were.

We've found that the best way to create this kind of portrait is to really involve you and your parents by asking for your ideas and input. After all, our goal is to create portraits that you totally love, and the more involved you are in the whole process, the more likely it is that you'll be thrilled with the results.

Contact Us by Phone:  513-593-0553
Or send us an email by ...clicking here...

Hint #5:
You DON'T want a photographer who tells you it's “just a picture”!"

We've talked to enough seniors to understand that your senior pictures are a big deal – they're a huge deal. This is the wallet that you'll give everyone at school to remember you by, this is the portrait that your parents will hang on the wall in your home when you move out, this is the photograph that will illustrate for the rest of your life who you were in high school!

So, obviously the photographer you trust to create your senior portraits needs to create something more than just portraits that you and your parents are satisfied with. You need portraits that you absolutely love and will be proud to give out.

Make sure your photographer understands just how important your senior portraits are to you!

Hint #6:
The more fun you have taking your photographs, the better you are going to look!

If you're having fun during your session, your smiles and expressions are going to be natural, and everyone who looks at your portraits is going to see it.

Unfortunately, the reverse is also true. If you're not having fun at your session – if you are annoyed or bored or uncomfortable, that's also going to show up in your finished portraits and you are not going to like them. You won't know why you don't like them, you just won't .

Our Answer:

At Photos by Clay and Ali, we encourage you to do whatever it takes to make your session more fun. Most of our seniors bring their own music to play during their studio sessions, but if you forget we also have a selection here. We also let seniors bring their friends to help out and make the session more fun. In general, we're pretty flexible and open to new ideas. Just ask!

Also, how will your photographer pose you? Will they be patient and respectful enough to talk you into the poses or demonstrate them, or will they just do it the quick way, taking your head in their hands to tilt it or pressing their fist into your spine to make you sit straight?

The answer to this question is very important, as it can determine whether or not you are comfortable during the session and how natural your poses look. We won't force you into any awkward positions. Rather, we'll let you do what's most comfortable and then sometimes suggest a slight alteration. And while we will adjust your necklace to make sure it is straight or smooth the wrinkles out of your shirt (if you say it's ok), we won't physically force you into any poses.

Hint #7:
Really think about what you want your senior portraits to mean to you.

The value of something is what it is worth to you. Now, what do you want your senior portraits to be worth to you? What do you want them to mean to you? And for just one moment, don't answer this question to yourself in terms of money.

Whether you realize it now or not, the true value of your portraits will lie in how they make you feel about yourself, in how proud you are to give them out to your friends, in how well they trigger memories of the chapter of your life that is now drawing to a close (for you, your parents and your friends), and in how well they capture the essence of who you are right now – at this moment in time – as a high school senior.

Even you will be impressed with how good you look in the portraits we create for you.

Contact Us by Phone:  513-593-0553
Or send us an email by ...clicking here...

Gallery of Seniors

(Click On Photo Below)