Senior Portraits hold a special place in my heart, because they are where my portrait photography journey began. I've always had a camera in my hand for as long as I can remember, but it wasn't until my junior year of high school when I started to really focus my camera towards people.
I was taking a classic film photography class at the time, and I noticed that a lot of my friends in the grade ahead of me had their senior photos done by the same photographer. Every single one of them had the exact same set of images, like exactly the same. They were good shots, technically, but they lacked connection and creativity. Seeing that void inspired me to start taking my friends' senior pictures, which has kind of been my jam every since.
Enough about me- Matthew's mom reached out to me because she was looking for a senior portrait photographer in Dallas that could provide her with what I was just describing, something different. Matthew wanted his senior pics to have an eclectic feel, really showing the different sides of him and his personality.
The first two photos (above and below) were taken on the west side of Dallas in an abandoned warehouse. It was the perfect setting for more of a high-fashion senior portraits style.
We also wanted to include some looks taken in a more modern part of town, The Bishop Arts District. I love the variety we get, from the different styles of clothing to the really diverse locations.
He also wanted a shot that screamed "Dallas", and the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge is one of Dallas' most impressive and iconic landmarks. Lastly, he wanted some more classic, Vanity-Fair style shots in the studio, which I always love.
Senior Portraits are your opportunity to express yourself and create something that will make even your grandkids think you're cool. I would love to talk with you about how you dream of being photographed. Click here to get in touch
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Bella's parents brought her to Dallas from San Antonio for a photo shoot with me in 2016. After I shared her images with them, they told me that they decided to make this something that we do every single year.
I love that! Every year, I'm given the opportunity to to show her her truest beauty, as she changes and grows into the woman she's becoming. I can't help but think ahead to 20 or 30 years from now, when these images will probably be some of her most treasured possessions. She will have this amazing collection of images that will become part of her legacy, something she can cherish and share with her own kids some day.
All of the images shown above are from last year, here are some from her most recent photo shoot that I hope you enjoy.
Seeing Bella and her family every year is starting to feel like getting to see part of my own family each year- it's something I cherish and look forward to.
When is the last time you've had professional photos taken of your children, or better yet, yourself? One day your children will look for photos of you- what will they find?
If you are interested in creating some portraits like these, please click here to contact me, I would love to talk.
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My friend and mentor, Sue Bryce, is one of the most celebrated photographers of our time. She has created an online community that serves as an educational and inspirational platform for photographers worldwide. Studio Tours is a video series she has created for her website, where she showcases some of her students' studios. I was thrilled when she recently asked to feature AJK Images in Dallas. If you have been following me for long or have read back into my older blog posts, the Creative Live event I posted about in 2015 is when I first met Sue and where this all began.
If you are a photographer looking to grow your craft, your business, and your life, I cannot recommend Sue Bryce Education more highly.
Please enjoy the studio tour below, and click here to contact me for more information about scheduling your own photo shoot. And Sue, thank you again, from the bottom of my heart for making this such an unforgettable experience.
When people ask me what I do, I tell them how I create magazine-style photo shoots for everyday people. What exactly is a "magazine-style" photo shoot?
From the moment you book, I start helping you prepare for the most incredible photo shoot of your life.
Before your Shoot
Hands-down, the most common initial concern is, "What am I going to WEAR?!" I've got you covered (no pun intended).
First, we'll meet via Facetime to go through your current clothes and see what we'll want to use. We'll also go over some inspirational photos and examples of things that you may want to consider borrowing, renting, or buying before the shoot. Additionally, I have acquired a collection of dresses and outfits that I keep at the studio that we can use. I've got everything from sleek and simple, to dreamy princess.
Along with your clothing, from skincare to accessories, I provide you with valuable instructions to make sure you feel 100% prepared to look and feel your best the day of your photo shoot.
The Day of Your Shoot
Prepare to feel pampered! My team styles your hair, provides airbrush makeup (grooming for the guys), and creates a memorable day that celebrates YOU! Sessions take place in our studio, on location somewhere, or both. You don't need to worry about preparing poses or anything, the entire experience is fully-guided. In fact, posing all body types is my speciality.
I use fashion-inspired lighting, posing, and styling that creates magazine-worthy images of you. I even have a collection of custom hand-painted canvas backdrops, created by the same artist who paints backdrops for photography legends like Annie Leibovitz for Vanity Fair.
After Your Shoot
1-2 weeks after your shoot, we'll invite you back to the studio for your Portrait Reveal. This is where we showcase your retouched images for you to make your selection.
I LOVE PORTRAIT REVEALS. Oftentimes when clients see their images for the first time, it can be emotional, empowering, and truly life-changing.
I want you to help you to fall in love with yourself, and show you sides of yourself that you may have lost touch with, forgotten about, or maybe have never met before. Watch this video for a behind-the-scenes peek into what your own magazine-style photo shoot could be like!
When Jordan's parents placed her in dance at age three, they had no idea they were putting her on a career path.
At age 14, Jordan knew that she wanted to pursue ballet for a living. She now practices 30-40 hours per week, and completed high school online. Jordan was offered academic scholarships at TCU, OU, and Pepperdine, but is choosing to pursue her dream to dance professionally with a ballet company. Before leaving for college, we had the opportunity to help her create some incredible portraits in our Dallas photography studio.
Meeting her and her family and spending time with them during the shoot was such a joy. We even found a few beautiful, vintage dresses from my Resale Diva Finds to incorporate into her shoot.
Here are just a few of the images from her session, I hope you enjoy.
I wanted to finish up with some really soft and delicate portraits. We wrapped her hair with a piece of tulle fabric, and I even put a small piece of tulle in front of my camera lens to gently soften everything.
Seriously, such a fun session. I love how you can see her grace flowing all the way through her fingertips. Jordan plans on spending her second summer with Ballet West in Utah, as well as Oklahoma City Ballet, both on full scholarships. To dedicate the required hours of practice, she is completing her college classes online.
Jordan is such a great example of how if you pour your heart and soul into something, you can really make any of your wildest dreams come true.
If you are interested in your own photo shoot experience with me, I would love to answer your questions and hear how you dream of being photographed. Click here to get in touch.
As a Portrait Photographer, I've dreamed of owning an Oliphant backdrop for years. I would look at images created by Annie Leibovits, Sue Bryce, and other masters in the photography industry, and admire the character that these backdrops added to their images.
What is an "Oliphant backdrop" and why are they so special? Every one of these canvas backdrops is hand-painted by request, giving each drop a unique life of its own. Compared to a solid background, these works of art contain depth and texture, bringing a beautiful, subtle essence to photographs. "Oliphant" comes from Sarah Oliphant, the woman/artist/genius behind each and every backdrop.
I was fortunate enough to have her paint my first canvas drop about a year ago, which was a warm gray (seen in the two portraits below). I consider it one of the most beautiful things in my studio and I can see me still using it for years and years to come. You might be thinking, "Wouldn't you get tired of using the same backdrop over and over?". By changing the distance between my subject, light, and the backdrop, I am able to significantly change how dark or light it looks. Also, I actually like that the backdrop's texture and tone can be seen as a common thread throughout a lot of my work. So no, I actually kind of love it the more I shoot on it!
In fact, I love it so much, I contacted Sarah last month to have her create a second one for me, this time with a mix of golds and greens. I happened to be traveling to New York City the same time that my drop was supposed to be finished, so she invited me down to her studio to say hello and check it out in person.
I asked to get a photo with Sarah, and she suggested we sprawl out on my new backdrop- what a fun way to break it in!
She still had the colors and everything out for my drop, I love the greens and golds. When I'm shooting on it, I will be able to pull cool or warm tones into the image, making it really versatile.
I felt like her student as she was walking me through her workflow and techniques- a lot more goes into one of these backdrops than you'd probably imagine!
Visiting the studio and meeting Sarah was one of the highlights of my year. I just hung my new backdrop in the studio and I can't wait to shoot on it. Keep an eye on my Instagram and galleries and you'll start seeing this beautiful green/gold backdrop debut in my images!
Ok, Reagan isn't a mermaid, but you would have thought she was if you happened to see her taking her Senior Portraits in Dallas at White Rock Lake! She put on a beautiful green dress and hopped right in at the end of her session.
Spending the evening with Reagan was a treat, as we got so many amazing images and had a lot of fun doing it.
The above photo was actually taken in the back AC unit room of the studio, I just love the lighting, her pose, the dress, everything! I love the (below) dancing shots and timeless glam photos we took, equally as much!
If you are a high school senior in Dallas, Frisco, Plano, Mesquite, McKinney, Allen, Highland Park, Arlington, Fort Worth, or surrounding DFW areas, I would love to invite you down to my studio to see what we're all about. Click on the button below to get your questions answered and get the Senior Portraits you've always dreamed of.
Killian is a male model, who, after spending a lot of time in Dallas, decided to make the transition back to the east coast. Before saying farewell to Dallas, he asked me to get him so photos to update his modeling portfolio. I thought I would give you some insight into the way I view and use light during a studio portrait session like this.
For the above image, I wanted soft light pouring down on him from above, creating a lot of mood and contrast. I absolutely love this look, it's probably my favorite from his shoot.
For the next two images, we wanted something a little bit more high-fashion. Since teal and magenta are opposite colors, I decided it would be a neat alternative way to create some interest and contrast.
For the next photo, by using a background close to the same tone as his shirt, we created a warm, cohesive look. The soft, window-like light was created by one of my favorite new lighting modifiers, an Elinchrom 7' Octabank (it's ginormous).
This last photo was taken by using a very small reflector on my light, which makes the shadows crisp and punchy. This lighting setup mimics sunlight.
There is a lot more to creating a great portrait than just lighting, but it's fun to be able to alter the mood and tone of the entire image by controlling the light and shadows.
Whether you are a model or just want to celebrate yourself with awesome portraits, I would love to hear more about how you dream of being photographed.
This country-inspired photoshoot for Morgan was so much fun, and it brought me back to the days when I would visit my grandparents on their dairy farm in Missouri.
Morgan has grown up on a Texas farm and has been involved in her school's FFA program for several years. Above, you'll see Morgan with her most recent FFA project, Sasha!
You probably noticed the beautiful, vintage couch, which totally sets the mood. This was compliments of Coral Lane, a local vintage furniture boutique. The two owners were actually previous teachers of Morgan's, they rock!
We wanted to finish her shoot with more of a free-spirited vibe, so we let her hair down and changed into this tulle dress that I actually created! This was my first attempt at sewing together a piece for a photo shoot and I couldn't be happier with how it turned out!
I would love to talk with you about how you dream of being photographed!
Chantel's mother contacted me because she needed some photos for her daughter's modeling portfolio. I can't say enough good things about this girl. She was sweet, very intelligent, and an absolute blast to photograph. I hope you enjoy a few of the favorites from her photo shoot.
BEST of luck to you, Chantel, on your upcoming Disney auditions! You will be great!
Are you interested in booking your kids head shots in Dallas?