30 Senior Photographers to Watch in 2017

Today we’re featuring the winners of our 30 Senior Photographers to Watch in 2017 contest! We had almost a thousand images entered and choosing just 30 photographers was incredibly difficult! There were at least another 15-20 photographers who could have easily made the list! So if you didn’t make it, don’t feel bad. Everyone’s work was incredible!

Be sure to flip through this e-zine filled with images of their work!

30 Senior Photographers to Watch in 2017

Adrienne Pfaffenberger
Adrienne Nicole Photography
Avon, Indiana

Amy Clement
Amy Clement Photography
Maumee, Ohio

Angie Blackburn
Angie Blackburn Photography
Anabella, Utah

Ashley Livingston
Cullman, Alabama
Wildflower Studios

Carissa Davis
Imagery By Carissa
Wichita Falls, Texas

Carla Bucala
Carla Bucala Photography
Flat Rock, Michigan

David Beckham
David Beckham Photography
Pickerington, Ohio

Elle Bacon
Beck Photo
East Longmeadow, Massachusetts

Glenn Riegel
Glenn Riegel Photography
Bethel, Pennsylvania

Ivy Towler
Towler Photography
Coralville, Iowa

Jessica Motley
Jessica Motley
Centerville, Ohio

Jess Roberts
Barefoot Photography
Opelousas, Louisiana

Kelli Taylor
Purple Tree Photography
Northvile, Michigan

Kenda Davies
Kenda Davies Photography
Lubbock, Texas

Kristi Pennington
Kristi Pennington Photography
Frisco, Texas


Linda Hamilton
Ellensburg, Washington

Michelle Ivy
Michelle Ivy Photography
Driftwood, Texas

Monica Dooley
Mon-el Fine Art & Images
Boaz, Alabama

Nicki Hufford
Nicki Hufford Photography
Warren, Ohio

Niki Hunt
Niki Hunt Photography
Oregon, Illinois

Paige Day
Paige Day Photography
Morgan Hill, California

Regina Hairston
Regina Lynn Photography
Columbus, Ohio

Ross Bothwell
Roka Studios
Denver, Colorado

Russell Walker
Russell Walker Photography
Lee’s Summit, Missouri

Sasha Arnett
Pretty Faces by Sasha
Fayetteville, Pennsylvania

Sawyer Trombley
Sawyer Trombley Photography
Whitehouse, Texas

Selessa Holmberg
Woverine Lake, Michigan

Shelley Jensen
Shelley Jensen Photography
Topeka, Kansas

Susan Gietka
Susan Grace Photography
Hammonton, New Jersey

Whitney Keith
Mockingbird Designs
Seymour, Missouri


Featured Photographer – David Quisenberry

Today we’re featuring the gorgeous work of McKinney, Texas photographer, David Quisenberry! You can find more of David’s senior work at davidquisenberryseniors.com and follow him on Instagram at @dquisenberry.

SeniorInspire David Quisenberry Featured Photographer

Here’s what David had to say about this session…

“Elizabeth, who goes by Liz, is a 2016 senior in a small farming community outside of Dallas, TX. She is a student athlete, playing soccer on both club and her high school teams. She hopes to attend college on a soccer scholarship next year.

Liz is one of those “girl next door types” who has no idea how beautiful she is. Her mom told me she has been approached by model agencies twice and in both instances had no interest because she couldn’t fit something like that in with her soccer.

SeniorInspire David Quisenberry Featured Photographer

“Like most student athletes, Liz wardrobe consists entirely of t-shirts, shorts and hair in a ponytail. Make-up consists of a swipe of lip gloss in the morning.

Most seniors use my stylist, but Liz chose to do her own. I have to admit I was a little concerned since she rarely gets glammed up, but I was very pleased when she showed up looking like she had spent the last hour with a professional stylist.

SeniorInspire David Quisenberry Featured Photographer

“Liz and her mom chose my combination senior session which provides an hour indoors and a second hour on location. I have both studio and natural lighting indoors so I work to get 3 distinctive looks for each combination session.

My camera gear consists of Canon 5d MK3, 70-200, 135 and on occasion a 35-70. Probably 99% of my photography is done with the 70-200. In studio, I use Photogenic lighting and various Larson and Cheetah modifiers.

Liz’s session was scheduled the day after a parachute I had purchased had arrived, so we decided to use it. The parachute is actually green, but I changed it to red to match her shirt in post-production. I submitted this image in PPA competition and it did very well this year.

SeniorInspire David Quisenberry Featured Photographer

“As you can see, Liz is very good at posing and needed very little direction once she understood basic posing techniques I shared with her.

The best part of Liz’s session was when her dad came to her sales session and saw a beautiful teen he didn’t recognize. No t-shirts, no shorts, no hair in a ponytail. He might have reached for the Kleenix box, but what happens in my sales room stays in my sales room.

SeniorInspire David Quisenberry Featured Photographer

If you have a session you’d like to have featured on the SeniorInspire blog, follow this link for more info and a submission form…

Featured Photographer – Ashley Wittmer

Today we’re featuring a strong guy session from Indiana photographer, Ashley Wittmer. Most senior guys appreciate fast and efficient and Ashley was able to get this session done in just 20 minutes, while still capturing great images any parent would love!

Be sure to check out Ashley Wittmer Photography on the web and follow her Instagram page @ashleywittmerphotography.

SeniorInspire Ashley Wittmer Featured Photographer

Here’s what Ashley had to say about this session…

“It’s no surprise that Jeremiah is considering a career as a worship pastor. He’s the son of a lead pastor at a prominent church here in Indianapolis. Jeremiah’s an incredibly talented pianist and vocalist and has always loved music. He also loves theater. Brimming with personality and presence, I couldn’t wait to for Jeremiah’s senior portrait session.

SeniorInspire Ashley Wittmer Featured Photographer

“We captured these images at a beautiful historic park in Indianapolis, nestled in the Meridian Kessler neighborhood. The leaves were peek in color and golden hour couldn’t have been more spectacular.

SeniorInspire Ashley Wittmer Featured Photographer

“I shot this session with a Nikon D750. My favorite portrait lens is the 85mm 1.8, but I also used a 24-70mm 2.8 for some variety. We shot the entire session in natural light, in under 20 minutes!

SeniorInspire Ashley Wittmer Featured Photographer

If you have a session you’d like to have featured on the SeniorInspire blog, follow this link for more info and a submission form…

30 Senior Photographers to Watch in 2017 – Contest

SeniorInspire 30 Senior Photographers to Watch in 2017

You’ve all done great work in 2016 and now, with the year coming to a close, we want to recognize the 30 senior photographers to watch in 2017!

SeniorInspire is excited to announce our first annual contest for Senior Photographers to Watch in the Coming Year!

We’ll be accepting contest entries through January 15th and announcing the winners in an Instagram slow reveal all day on January 22nd! We’ll also be featuring the winning images on our Facebook page as well as our website with links back to your own website.

Please carefully read through the rules below before submitting.

The contest will run thru Midnight, CST on January 15th. Winners will be featured all day on the SeniorInspire page on January 22nd.
Fee to Submit:
$5 – 1 image
$10 – 3 images
$15 – 5 images
You may submit as many images as you’d like. If you want to submit more than 5, do it on a second form.

* All image files must be submitted using the form below.
* Images should be sized at 1200px on the long edge.
* There should be no branding on your images
* Images from paying clients only. No workshop images.
* Include your studio name in the filename of each file submitted.
* You must certify that you have a signed release on file for each image submitted.
* You may enter as many images as you’d like.
* All images must be of high school seniors who are either 2016 or 2017 graduates.
* All images that do not meet the submission criteria will be disqualified.
* No refunds will be given for disqualified images.
* All contest decisions made by SeniorInspire will be final.
* As you’d expect we are looking for your best work! We want gorgeous images with impact and beautiful light that show creativity, excellent composition and great posing. Send your very best!

If you have any questions feel free to click here to email.

Good luck!

The deadline has passed. Thank you to everyone who entered! The winners will be announced in an Instagram slow reveal all day on Sunday, January 22nd. Good luck!

Featured Photographer – Aubry Ramsey

Today we’re featuring a senior session from Texas photographer, Aubry Ramsey! Her work has been featured several times on the Senior Inspire Instagram page as Pass the Sugar Photography, but she recently changed her studio name to Aubry Ramsey Photography. Check out her work – it’s pretty incredible!

Here’s what Aubry had to say about this session…

“Let’s go ahead and get it out of the way……….WOWZERS, what a handsome young man, right?  And those outfits are ON POINT!!!  Everything from the amazing hair to the outfits and the perfect locations were a huge team effort from myself, Cooper and his amazing Mom. Every Senior session is unique because every Senior is unique and my job is to tell the story of what make them so “them”!

“This all takes an immense amount of communication and getting to know your Senior. As I always do, the first 10 minutes I just hang out and talk to my Senior to reconnect.  The key is for them to be completely relaxed and comfortable, with this big clunky thing we call a camera, in their face for two hours.   I usually give them a quick run down of how the day will go and what I expect from them. I wanted to capture Cooper’s edgy, rocker side so Graffiti park was a perfect fit.  He literally “rocked” this look.  wink wink…  After showing Cooper a few of the pictures, he was like “WOW, that looks great” and instant trust was gained and he became totally relaxed.  Again, there is that whole communication thing…… 😉

“Next we took it to an old park with a ball field.  I chose this location for many reasons.  First, because it was simple and I wanted Cooper to really POP with this outfit since it had great color.  Also because baseball was a huge part of his high school career.  He didn’t want to do any baseball themed pictures but by having the chain link fence and bleachers in his pictures, it represented that part of his life.  He will be going to Texas A&M and pursuing a career in medicine so the very tailored, almost professional looking, outfit matched with the rugged ball field was a must combination for me!  Cooper’s images turned out perfectly and they truly tell the story of this monumental time in his life, with a hint of what the future holds for him.

“I chose this session for two reasons.  First, guy sessions are a blast and so easy going.  Secondly, because I feel like guys kind of get put on the back burner when it comes to Senior sessions.  I find it so refreshing to see Senior sessions of guys that show personality and thought.  In a lot of ways guys are easier, but in many ways they are more difficult and, as a photographer, you have to dig deep to get creative.   I LOVE that challenge.”

Thank you Aubry, for giving us a behind the scenes look at this fabulous session! Your work is killer!! Be sure to check out more of Aubry’s work and follow her on Instagram and Facebook.

If you’d like to be a future Featured Artist on the SeniorInspire blog, follow this link for more info and to submit you best six images and a session writeup.

Featured Photographer – Nicole Lewis

With Spring right around the corner, today’s featured session is a snow shoot from West Virginia’s Nicole Lewis Photography!  I love sessions in the snow and this one looks amazing!!!.

“Say hello to Sarah! Sarah loves the outdoors and snow so after getting 18+ inches we knew it was the perfect time for her session! The session was photographed in the Monongahela National Forest in southern West Virginia. My inspiration was to bring out the magic of Winter and capture the essence of a new season in life for this beautiful senior.

“Sarah’s outfit choices were right on with my vision so that part was easy. I have to say I love her hooded fur coat! She rocked that coat and left me wanting one for myself.

I photographed the session with a Nikon D800 and primarily used my 85mm 1.4 Nikkor lens. A couple shots were with a 35mm 1.4 Sigma Art and I used a reflector at times.

“I absolutely love senior sessions! I think the most important thing when photographing a senior is to make them comfortable. The more at ease your senior is the more her personality with shine through in your images.

Sarah and I had so much fun during her session and I wish her the very best as she graduates this year!

Thanks so much to Nicole for submitting her gorgeous work! Be sure to check out more from Nicole and follow her on Instagram and Facebook.

If you’d like to be a future Featured Artist on the SeniorInspire blog, follow this link for more info and to submit you best six images and a session writeup.

Magic Floating Ring Light

I don’t typically post my own photos on the SeniorInspire page, but a few people have asked about the floating ringlight I occasionally use with seniors. This is an idea I got from David Mullenix when he spoke at Sync several years ago.

The light here is a circular bulb you may be able to find at a local hardware store, but don’t worry if you can’t find one because I’m going to show you where you can get what you need online and the cost is less than $20.

You’re also going to need a ballast and electrical cord with a plug.  If that sounds foreign, don’t worry it’s pretty simple and mostly a matter of twisting a few wires to put everything together. Believe me, if I was able to put this together without electrocuting anyone…  you can do it too.

Here’s a quick pullback of what it looks like before any Photoshop trickery.


When I put mine together, I screwed the ballast inside a short piece of pvc to get it out of the way. In the picture you can see where the plug from the ballast comes out of the PVC and gets plugged into the bulb. The connection to the bulb is pretty loose, so I added a safety cord that is attached to each side of the PVC and strung through the bulb. The safety cord has saved me from having to clean up a shattered bulb many, many times.

You also have to attach an electrical cord to the ballast and though you can’t see it here, the plug is coming out of the other end of the PVC. Here’s a crude drawing of the light all put together…

I usually shoot these at ISO 400, 1/125, F4.0. Once I get the image in Photoshop I use the clone stamp tool  to get rid of the wires and finish off the bulb. To make the bulb glow a bit more, I use the Magic Wand to select just the bulb, copy it to a duplicate layer and add some gaussian blur.

Here are links to the bulb and ballast I bough online from lightbulbsurplus.com.
The Bulb
The Ballast

The bulb has been sold out at lightbulbsurplus.com for a while now, but I did find the same one one Amazon…
the bulb on Amazon

I don’t use this contraption every time – maybe once every 10-15 seniors – but when I do the senior always seems to have a fun time with it!

If you have any questions, feel free to leave them below….

Featured Photographer – Jennifer Wyeth

Today, in a brand new blog feature, we’re spotlighting the work of Colorado’s Jennifer Wyeth Photography!  I’m a huge fan of Jennifer’s work and am excited to feature this session on the SeniorInspire blog…

“Meet Kendall. She is stunning, of course. But her amazing personality far surpasses her gorgeous exterior. She is fun, silly, smart, and so very kind. When planning this session, Kendall came over about a week before and tried on each outfit for me. I like to make sure my clients have a variety of clothing so they are sure to express every part of themselves through fashion. We discuss each outfit, down to the shoes and accessories and how she will wear her hair. I also want to make sure that clothing choices go with the location we have picked out together”

“I line up hair and make-up for each of my seniors. I make sure to speak with both my hair girl and my make-up artist about each client and what they go with their hair/makeup on a daily basis. So, for Kendall, I told my hair girl that she wanted her hair pulled back softly for a few outfits and then down and curled for her other outfits. Because she had this information before hand, it was much easier for accommodate. I made sure my MUA knew that Kendall liked to look natural and didn’t want her make-up over the top.”

“Living in Colorado we frequently have afternoon showers. I was sure to watch the weather all day as Kendall’s shoot time approached. Had we run into potential showers she was willing to move locations to accommodate for the weather. We lucked out and had nothing but fabulous sun shine the entire time!

Kendall’s shoot was fun and full of giggling! I’m so excited she is one of my Spokesmodels and I’ll get to take pictures of her again!!”

Thanks Jennifer for being our first featured photographer. All of these images are wonderful!! Be sure to check out more of Jennifer’s work and follow her on Instagram and Facebook.

If you’d like to be a future Featured Artist on the SeniorInspire blog, follow this link for more info and to submit you best six images and a session writeup.

SeniorInspire wants to feature your favorite session on our blog

SeniorInspire wants to feature your very best senior session on our website!

Please go to www.seniorinspire.com/getfeatured to submit your six best images from any one session along with a well thought out write-up.

We’re looking to feature fresh, exciting work! We are looking for consistency throughout all six of your submitted images.

In addition, your words matter! Strong session write ups will definitely help you in the submission process.

Please submit only web ready images that have been sized at 1200px on the long edge. If you’re not sure how to size your images,shoot us a message and we can help.

Please include your logo or web address on all photo submissions, but note that images with large, intrusive watermarks will be much less likely to make the cut.

While we would love to feature every single photographer who submits, the reality is only a few will be featured each month. If your session is chosen for feature, you will be notified by email.

Good luck!

MyPhotoApp Speed Test!!

There are a bunch of smartphone app builders on the market geared towards photographers and some of them are even great at attracting rock stars to advertise for them.

But for my money, MyPhotoApp is the clear winner!

The pro version of MyPhotoApp not only provides a great way to professionally share photos with clients, it also includes powerful features like advanced forms, MailChimp integration, auto-responders and multi-page forms that puts a full suite of powerful marketing tools right in your hands!!

Today I want to look at just one of the advantages of MyPhotoApp – Using templates to DRAMATICALLY speed up app creation.

In the video below I’m going to show you how quickly I can create an app using a template I built for my Model Rep program. Building 50 apps for my Model Reps each year can be a total drag, but with a template I can get all 50 done in right around an hour. 

Check out the video for a quick speed test. And be sure to read to the end of this post because if you’re a MyPhotoApp user, I’m going to give you this template as a free gift!!


If you already own MyPhotoApp and you’re not using the advanced features like forms, MailChimp integration, autoresponders and multi-page forms…  WHY THE HELL NOT? You’re missing out on some powerful features that can take your marketing to the next level!! 

Check out SeniorInspire’s MyPhotoApp course for step by step instructions on using MyPhotoApp’s advanced features. The course also includes FOUR pre-made templates to get you up and running right away.

Here’s the link to enroll in the course: www.seniorinspire.com/mpaleadpages  The course is just $39, but if you use the code BLOG10 today you’ll save $10!

And if you don’t already own MyPhotoApp, use the coupon code nfocus to save 25% on your purchase. 

Finally, if you already own the pro version of MyPhotoApp and would like to use the Model Rep template from my video, create a new app and enter my template name in the ‘Use Shared Template’ Box. The template name to enter is nfocus.ModelTemplateShare_template

Any questions or comments, feel free to leave them below!!

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