Viewing entries in
Seniors

When to Have Your Senior Photos Taken

Comment

When to Have Your Senior Photos Taken

Believe it or not, the summer after you finish your junior year of high school is the best time to start thinking about senior photos! It might seem a little early in the game, but trust me – the earlier you start planning, the better!

Start off by weighing your options. I’ve had many a senior find me through Instagram, Facebook, Google, and even Pinterest! When looking for a senior photographer, make sure you find a style you like – for example, do you prefer a bright and airy style, or more of a dark and moody one? Are you more into posed photos, more natural photos, or a mix? Your answers to these questions will drive the direction of your search! And don’t forget to look at reviews – you’ll be able to really find out what other people think by taking your time to search through reviews.

2017-08-30_0001.jpg

Once you find a senior photographer that you love, make sure you contact them right away to reserve your spot! Senior photographers can be booked up to a few weeks to a few months in advance, depending on the time of year you’re looking to have your photos taken. For example – in Western Pennsylvania, fall tends to book up to a few months out, so the earlier you contact your senior photographer, the better!

After booking your photographer, it’s time to start looking for a location and choosing your outfits! More than likely, your photographer will be able to guide you to a location based on your preferences and style. Some might even help you out with choosing outfits! Personally for me, I love to give my seniors suggestions without controlling what they wear. To me, it’s always important a senior’s personal style shines through their photos!

2017-07-26_0001.jpg

In addition, you’ll want to start considering appointments for professional hair and makeup, if it’s something you’re interested in. It can be nice to not have the added stress of making sure you look photo-ready on the day of your session.

I love to suggest having photos done mid to late summer (post junior year) or sometime after the school year starts, but before the holiday season begins for senior photos. This way, you’ll have more than enough time to meet yearbook deadlines and use your senior photos for graduation announcements in the spring!

2017-11-29_0034.jpg

Planning a senior photo session can be a bit overwhelming, but if you have a game plan from the beginning, you’ll have nothing to worry about! And even if you are on a bit of a tight deadline, it’s never too late to have senior photos taken!

Comment

What's More Important Than Choosing the Right College

Comment

What's More Important Than Choosing the Right College

I had a plan for my life, and photography and working for myself wasn't a part of it for a LONG time. When I graduated high school, I knew without a shadow of a doubt that I wanted to go to school for graphic design and web design. I had this grand plan that I had made for myself: I'd graduate, get a job at a magazine or marketing agency and work in the corporate world. Nothing sounded better to me - getting to use my degree and my chosen career path to help businesses build better ways of connecting with their target customer?! Totally right up my alley!

Right after I started college, I began photographing people - portraits, weddings, families - and fell in love. I found myself answering business emails during class, editing during lectures, and putting literally ALL of my free time into hustling hard towards something I wasn't even going to college for.

By the time I graduated college, my business had gone from a side hobby to an (almost) full-time time commitment that was bringing in a decent chunk of change. Even after I graduated college, I still couldn't believe people were actually paying me to take their photo. It felt too surreal to actually get paid to do something I loved so much! But to be honest - I had never thought that photography was something I could actually do full time. I kind of thought that photography would remain a side hobby, or a way to make a little extra money alongside my "career" as a graphic & web designer. But goodness... was I wrong!!

After graduating college, I landed a part time job as a graphic, web, & digital designer for a small start up company right outside of Pittsburgh. Why part time, you might be wondering? Because I was literally putting SO many hours into my business that, at this point, it was basically like having a full time job. In some ways, I felt caught between two passions. On one hand, I LOVED graphic and web design. I had fallen in love with it during my college years and could fully see myself working as a graphic artist. But on the other hand - I loved photography so stinking much, and I finally recognized that this business had grown to a place where it could potentially turn into a way to support my husband and I.

I worked at the start up company for almost two years before I realized that there was no way in heck I could manage both anymore. I was working SO MANY hours every single week with barely any time for friends, family, or even my husband. Sad to move on, but excited to see what photography could turn into, I put in my two weeks at the agency and started making the transition to working for myself full time. And you know what's amazing? That's not something that I would've ever been able to do in my own strength, and it wasn't even something I had envisioned for myself. God's hand was all over those decisions, leading and guiding every single step of the way. And if I hadn't been following his leading, I probably would've missed out on all of the gifts and benefits that have come with working for myself. Sure, like anything, being self employed has its challenges, but when God is at the forefront driving the ship, I am free to live in the knowledge and peace that it's HIM who is leading me every step of the way.

Your career might change, but a kind, generous, loving heart will stick with you wherever you go

So now, to the high school senior, trying to decide what to do: make the best choice you can when you're trying to figure out what to do with your life. Be responsible. Find where your passion intersects with where you can make money, and go there. But know that that decision can change - anything can change! I thought I had a good plan, but God had a better one, and I'm sure He will keep leading me in different directions that I never ever could have planned for myself.

As a friend once said, "choosing which college you'll attend is not the most important decision you'll ever make in your life." And, really, you know what's way MORE important? Choosing to love people. Being kind. Serving others. Making the conscious decision to do THOSE things every single day are some of the MOST important decisions you will ever make. Your career might change, but a kind, generous, loving heart will stick with you wherever you go. People matter so much more than work. They matter more than any career or job you might pursue. And as you start pursuing those things - remember to make time for people.

Comment

Meghan J: Hartwood Acres Senior Photos

Comment

Meghan J: Hartwood Acres Senior Photos

Thankful for seniors who aren't afraid of rain! 💪 It's not everyone's style, but it sure can get you some unique photos, and Meghan was totally up for it!! We loved hanging out with this incredibly smart lady yesterday evening at Hartwood Acres and were SO impressed by her post-high school dream of attending Harvard or Brown University. Meghan loves ice cream, is going to Nationals for debate (yas girl!) and has been to a ton of different countries (most recently Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic!). You are going to do great things, Meghan!

Comment

Elena L: Hartwood Acres Senior Photos

Comment

Elena L: Hartwood Acres Senior Photos

I think senior sessions at Hartwood will always be some of my favorites - but a senior session at Hartwood in the SPRING with beautiful, fluffy, pink trees totally takes the cake! And of course - so does Elena!

Elena is graduating from Fox Chapel High School this spring and is headed to the University of Pittsburgh to continue her education! These sweet lady plays tennis, loves Chinese food, and obviously has an amazing sense of style (you have to see her two amazing dresses and pant suit she wore for her session - literally the perfect outfits!). I LOVE when seniors show up with some beautifully colored outfits - and Elena's fuschia dress happened to perfectly compliment the pink trees!

I can't wait for you to see this session! And congratulations to Elena on her last few weeks of high school! :)

Comment

Get a Dose of JHP Straight to Your Inbox!

Comment

Get a Dose of JHP Straight to Your Inbox!

2018-03-07_0010.jpg

JHP FINALLY has an email list and I couldn't be more excited about it!! Over the course of the last year, I've had numerous current, former, and soon-to-be clients ask if there is a way they could stay updated on a monthly to bi-monthly basis with things like mini-session dates, cancellations, print specials, the latest blog posts new offerings, discounts, and the like, and I'm finally excited to open up this email list to anyone who would like to join!

With all of that being said, let me tell you a few things this email list is not:

  • Spam (I cannot STAND when people send me useless emails!)
  • A constant sales pitch (who wants to be sold to all the time?! Not me!)

If you are someone who is looking to stay updated on all things JHP, then this email  list is certainly for you. Sign up below!

Comment

Nick M: Historic Harmony Senior Photos

Comment

Nick M: Historic Harmony Senior Photos

Nick is a senior (graduating this May!) from North Catholic who loves Chipotle and "The Office." He's planning on attending Penn State (main campus) in the fall to study business. Thanks for the honor of taking your senior photos, Nick! Congratulations on your last year of high school!

Comment

Four Ways to Add More "Umph" to Your Senior Photo Outfits!

Comment

Four Ways to Add More "Umph" to Your Senior Photo Outfits!

It’s hard enough to get dressed in the morning, but getting dressed for senior photos is a whole ‘nother story - am I right?! Trying to find the perfect outfits that your mom will lovingly adorn her walls with for the rest of time - no pressure, right?!

Well, the good news is this: even though there’s no “one size fits all” formula for choosing outfits for your senior session, there are four tips I love to share with my seniors (and anyone for that matter!) who are trying to narrow down and/or decide what to wear for their senior photos. I recommend incorporating these four things:

1. Textures

I always LOVE to encourage my seniors to opt for unique textures in their clothing choices. Textures add additional dimension to photos, and all around more visual interest! They can also be a great (more subtle) alternative to a patter

2. Layers

Layers are anyone’s best friend during senior photos! You could: layer a skirt and a shirt, a shirt and a jacket, a jacket and a dress, a sweater and a collared shirt - the possibilities are endless! Layers, much like textures, will add more visual interest to your photos.

3. Accessories

Accessories can totally make an outfit! Hats, belts, necklaces, bracelets, rings, flower crowns, earrings, and scarves can add more visual interest to any outfit - plus, bringing a clothing accessory (like a hat or scarf) helps add some variety to your photos!

4. Subtle Patterns

A subtle pattern can take a boring outfit and make it come alive! I personally love a tasteful, subtle pattern in photographs. Try choosing a scarf, shirt, skirt, or dress (or, if you're a guy, a tie!) to add a little more interest to your outfit!

So, how do you put these four suggestions into action? For your senior photos, choose three outfits:

  1. One outfit focusing on texture.

  2. One outfit focusing on layers.

  3. One outfit focusing on a subtle pattern.

  4. *Incorporate one to three unique accessories into each outfit!

And there you have it - the formula for three unique and distinct outfits that will offer variety throughout your entire senior session! If you’re looking to add even MORE variety to your photos, choose one casual outfit (jeans and a blouse), one nicer outfit (sun dress, maxi dress, or a skirt - I’m partial to maxi dresses/skirts for the way they flow gorgeously in photos!), and one wild card outfit (Something totally unique that represents you!) - or, just repeat a casual or “nicer” outfit!

Comment

Introducing Spring 2018 Mini Sessions!

Comment

Introducing Spring 2018 Mini Sessions!

I am SO EXCITED to share something I've been hoping to do for quite a while now. Over the last couple years, I have been so blessed with an increased amount of seniors, couples, and families to serve. In the interest of providing more people with photos, this year - for the first time, ever - I'm so excited to announce the first ever JHP Mini Sessions (Spring edition)!

These mini sessions will take place in Cranberry Township at the Cranberry Township Community Park, featuring a gorgeous green background and (God willing!) some beautiful light! These sessions, in particular, are perfect for:

  • Families who need an updated photo
  • Seniors who don't want a full senior session (perfect for guys, especially!)
  • Couples who would like a few anniversary or engagement photos
  • Parents who want a few updated photos of their kids
  • PETS! (Bonus points if your pet is a llama!)

Bring your parents, grandparents, cousins, uncles, aunts, and whoever else you can think of! If you are interested in joining us, check out the details below - can't wait to see you there!

SpringMiniSessions_2019b-Recovered.jpg

Comment

Tired of Awkward Senior Photos?

Comment

Tired of Awkward Senior Photos?

I've heard a lot from seniors and soon-to-be high school seniors over the years about how painfully awkward senior sessions can be. And let me be the first to say raise my hand and agree  because MINE was!  But I truly believe that having your photo taken is mean to be a fun, encouraging experience from start to finish! Can senior photos be awkward, and boring? Absolutely. But you'll find that the mom and senior's experience below was the complete opposite! This review is to show you one thing: pictures can (and should be) be fun!

"Jenna,

I just want thank you from the bottom of my heart, for making this one of the best days ever for Meg. You made her feel so beautiful and confident during your session, she felt and looked like a movie star. I looked through these amazing photos, shedding tears of happiness and pride as to what a beautiful young woman Meg has become. I am also thankful that we picked you to share this day with all of us to capture her senior year and savor it forever. You are truly gifted and I will recommend you to everyone I know. Thank you so much. Love my Megpie - Lincoln High Class of 2018!!"

A huge thanks to this sweet mom for her incredibly kind and encouraging words. They mean so much!

Comment

Montana F: Winter Mellon Park Senior Photos

Comment

Montana F: Winter Mellon Park Senior Photos

How brave is Montana for scheduling a winter senior portrait session?! Luckily enough, her session ended up falling on one of the few 50+ degree days we had in January - which was a huge blessing, considering we had rescheduled multiple times for rain and extremely cold weather! The wait was truly worth it for such a warm, beautiful January day!

Montana actually currently attends Westminster College and is right in the midst of her freshman year! (It's never too late to have senior photos taken!). This sweet lady loves reading, along with gothic architecture, making Mellon Park the perfect location for her photos. Montana also has the most beautiful green eyes that popped SO well in her photos!

Thanks so much for a wonderful session, Montana! And good luck with the rest of your freshman year! :)

Comment