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Seniors

Ashton T: Hartwood Acres Mansion Senior Photos

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Ashton T: Hartwood Acres Mansion Senior Photos

Finals were the week of her session, prom was the next week, and graduation is at the end of the month (May 2019), but we took an hour a few weeks ago to document this beautiful season that Ashton is in before it blows right by! ✨

Ashton is a senior, graduating THIS year, who is heading to WVU post-graduation and hopes to become a Physical Therapist! After blowing out her knee while playing soccer in 9th grade, she saw the difference physical therapy can make in people's lives and decided that she wants to help other people experience the recovery and life change that she did. Talk about taking a not-so-great situation and using it for good!

Ashton’s boyfriend tagged along for her session, so naturally we had to incorporate him into a few photos near the end! They make such an incredibly sweet pair!

Congratulations on your senior year, Ashton! 💛Thank you so much for the honor of taking these photos for you!

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Megan G: Oakland Senior Photos

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Megan G: Oakland Senior Photos

When I heard that Megan was a Disney fan, I knew we were going to get along just fine 💛 But for real. Photographing another Disney lover always results in WAY too much geeky side-talk about favorite rides and meals in specific parks. And I can never get enough of it!!

Besides being a Disney-lover, Megan is graduating THIS MONTH (May 2019, if you’re reading this in the future!), and is planning on studying Psychology at Chatham University! She hasn’t cut her hair since 8th grade (hence the gorgeous long locks!), her favorite Disney ride is Haunted Mansion (you knew we’d circle back around to Disney!), and her favorite place to eat is Chick-fil-A. And during the session, she told me that she mostly wears black, which might seem like a random detail, but it’s one that I can totally relate to because I do the same! I’m pretty sure 90% of my wardrobe is black, so one I meet someone else with the same tendency… I love it!

Megan, you are beautiful inside and out and I know you’re going to do amazing things! Congratulations on your last month of school!!!

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Ashley R: Hartwood Acres Mansion Senior Photos

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Ashley R: Hartwood Acres Mansion Senior Photos

It’s spring, and you know what that means… Pittsburgh is in bloom! 🌸 And it just so happens that Ashley’s senior session took place during April when a few of the most gorgeous Magnolia trees were in full bloom at Hartwood Acres Mansion! Which I was SO thankful for, considering that we had originally planned for Ashley’s senior photos not once, but twice in the fall, with one session date getting rained out, and the other snowed out. And if you’re more of a spring girl… you definitely do not want snow in your senior photos! So instead of pushing through the snow, we moved her session to the spring and it totally paid off!

Ashley is a senior at Eden Christian Academy who is graduating this year in just a few short weeks! After her high school graduation, she’s planning on heading to Cedarville to study nursing (go girl!). Ashley, it was such an honor to take these portraits of you! You are an incredible lady, and I know you are going to do amazing things!

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Bryce M: North Shore Senior Photos

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Bryce M: North Shore Senior Photos

Unlike last year’s incredibly rainy Pittsburgh spring, this year we have had some amazing weather in April! 🎉 Cue the angels!!! And the day of Bryce’s senior session, the weather was perfect. Sun shining, birds chirping, not too hot, not too cold. You can’t ask for much more here in the ‘burgh!

I’ve known Bryce’s family for a few years now (they are awesome!), but hadn’t had the opportunity to meet Bryce until our session - he was so much fun to work with! Bryce is graduating this spring, and is planning on going to the same college both of his parents went to to study accounting. Thank God for the accountants of the world - I don’t think I could ever do what they do, and am so thankful there are so many people that are that passionate about numbers!!

Bryce also brought his dog, Gracie, along, who makes an appearance for a couple of shots! Congratulations on your senior year, Bryce!

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7 Crucial Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Senior Photographer

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7 Crucial Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Senior Photographer

Looking for a senior photographer? One size does not fit all when it comes to senior photos – senior photography and photographers vary vastly in style, approach, and experience, among many other things, including packages and availability. So, how are you supposed to figure out the best senior photographer for you with so many options to choose from?!

Below, I’ve compiled a list of seven questions to ask a potential senior photographer before committing. In addition to these questions, don’t forget to check out their website and social media pages, as well as their reviews, before signing on the dotted line!

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 1.     How would you describe your style?

Did you know that there are three general, popular styles of photography? These styles can be broken down into: moody, natural, and light and airy (for a great article explaining and showcasing the differences, click here!) Moody editing showcases deep tones and contrast, giving the work a modern look. Light and airy editing lightens shadows, reduces contrast, and showcases soft color palettes beautifully. Natural editing showcases classic, true-to-life colors and contrast. Knowing which style you prefer and what photographers in your area offer that style is a crucial first step in narrowing down potential candidates for the job!

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2.     How would you describe your approach?

Beyond the actual photos, the experience your photographer provides before, during, and after a session can vary vastly from photographer to photographer, because personalities vary from photographer to photographer. It can be challenging to get an idea of someone’s personality if you haven’t met them before, but a great way to get some insight into a photographer’s personality is to: (1) schedule a call with them to chat, (2) check out their website, and (3) check out their social media. Many photographers used social media platforms such as Instagram and Facebook as their brand “voice,” designed to give potential clients a feel for what they can expect from them in real life!

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3.     How long have you been photographing seniors for?

Experience can be a key player when it comes to a senior photography investment, and should be weighed along with a photographer’s portfolio. I would never ever suggest to not hire a photographer just because they haven’t been in the field for a certain number of years – there are some incredibly talented photographers who hit the ground running with awesome work! And, likewise, there are some photographers who have been photographing seniors for years who simply have the experience without the greatest portfolio work. My advice: find someone who has a great portfolio (i.e., ask to see a full gallery from one of their sessions instead of just the highlights from a few different sessions!), and weigh it against their experience.

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4.     What is your availability?

Are you looking to have your photos taken during a certain time of the year? Do you need to have your yearbook photo in by a certain date? Believe it or not, senior session timeslots can fill up fast, and many photographers only offer a certain number of timeslots per season. From personal experience – I am typically fully booked for the fall (all the way through November) by the beginning of September. If you have a photographer in mind, make sure you contact them early to reserve your spot!

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5.     What packages do you offer, and what is included?

Much like style and approach, the packages senior photographers offer can vary widely from photographer to photographer. Before you start looking at senior packages, ask yourself: what do I really want to use these images for? Are you looking for physical print products to hang in your home? Do you want digital files to share on social media or to make your own announcements? Knowing your intentions for your photos will help you decide what senior photographer offers the best product for you!

Some senior photographers will offer only packages that include prints with no digitals. Some senior photographers will offer packages that only include digital images, with no prints. Some will offer packages that include both! The bottom line: make sure you know what you’re paying for before you sign a contract!

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6.     Do I receive digital copies of my photos? 

I know, I know, I kind of talked about this one above, but it’s so important that I feel the need to mention it again: if you want to end up with the digital files from your session, make sure to ask if they are included in your package. Because we live in a digital age, I love including digital files with my senior packages. Plus… I was a senior once. My mom printed images to hang in her home, but what I really wanted were the digital files!

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7.     How long does it take to receive my full gallery of images?

If you are receiving a gallery of images from your senior photographer, make sure you ask how long it will take to edit and process your images! Why is this important? If your senior session is scheduled for October 25th and your yearbook photo is due on October 26th, there’s a very good chance you won’t have your full gallery of images to choose from! Asking your photographer for a general timeframe of when you should expect to receive your images is a great way to make sure you don’t end up without a photo in your senior yearbook!

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The key: know what you want before talking to you potential senior photographers. Hiring someone who is the right fit for you and who can provide the experience and end product you are looking for is worth the time!

 And if you are in the Pittsburgh area and in need of senior photos, feel free to reach out using the contact tab above – I’d love to chat!

PS - if you want to learn a little bit more about me and see a bit more of my personality and approach, check out my Instagram!

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Spring & Summer Senior Outfit Ideas & Inspiration (Girl Edition)

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Spring & Summer Senior Outfit Ideas & Inspiration (Girl Edition)

Spring is right around the corner, which means lots of beautiful, colorful, spring senior sessions! But, let’s be honest, here - one of the best and toughest parts of any senior session is figuring out what to wear. Am I right?? While an upcoming senior session may be a good excuse to head to your favorite local boutique, it can be frustrating not knowing what to wear with so many different options!

Today, I want to share some styling tips specific to spring and summer sessions for senior girls. Below, you’ll find a few ideas to say “yes” to, and a few you might want to consider passing on. Below these two categories, you’ll find a link to my senior spring & summer inspiration board for senior girls (which I update on the regular!), as well as some inspiration from past JHP seniors. But above any of these ideas, make sure you feel comfortable in whatever you choose to wear for your senior session. Confidence in front of the camera can be hampered whenever you’re not fully sold on (or comfortable in) what you’re wearing!

Also, if you’ve never worn the outfit before that you’re thinking about wearing for your senior session, be sure to take it out for a test spin! I’ve had many a senior not realize until after they were 45 minutes away from home that their outfit had a major problem… like a shirt that was a bit too low, or pants that wouldn’t stay up, because they had never worn that particular dress/shirt/jacket before!

And without further ado, here are my top styling tips for senior girls!

SAY YES TO…

  • Bright colors - I LOVE bright colors for spring senior sessions! Whether you choose a bright top or colorful sundress, your brightly colored outfit will most likely compliment the new spring blooms beautifully! 🌷

  • Neutrals - As much as I love bright colors, there’s something sophisticated about some well coordinated neutrals. For example - white dresses are classic and pretty much never go out of style!

  • Floral or Other Patterns - Floral patterns for the spring are always a hit! Whether you go with a top, sundress, or maxi dress (my personal fave!), floral patterns (and even other patterns) work well to make someone “pop” off of the background of an image with a simple background.

  • Maxi Dresses/Skirts - Maxi dresses and skirts are oh-so beautiful in the spring and summer! They’re light and breezy and do a wonderful job of naturally elongating the body in photos! Plus… they’re fun to twirl! 💃

  • White Jeans - White jeans are a great compliment to a brightly colored or patterned top. They’re sleek and give a bit of an upscale look!

  • Summer Accessories - Sunglasses, kimonos, hats, oh my! Throwing in a weather-appropriate accessory or two for a few shots is always fun and adds some more variety!

  • Bare Feet - Not sure what kind of shoes to wear? Bare feet give an earthy, natural feel to your session - so if you’re feeling brave, skip the shoes!

CONSIDER PASSING ON…

  • Fluorescent Colors - Neon colors don’t tend to photograph quite so well, so pass on any colors that are a bit too fluorescent (not to be confused with the aforementioned bright colors - examples below!).

  • Super Short Shorts and Dresses - Shorts and dresses are totally fine (and encouraged!), but sometimes when they get way too short, they’re tough to move around in and aren’t super flattering in photos!

  • Too Many Heavy Layers - There are few things more uncomfortable then being bundled up in 90 degree weather for an hour and a half while getting your photo taken! Wearing too many layers in the summer particularly can result in lots of sweaty portraits - so be careful how many layers you add particularly for really hot days!

A FEW MORE RESOURCES:

If you’re looking for some more help preparing for your senior session, check out the posts below!

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Introducing Spring Photo Mini Sessions 2019!

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Introducing Spring Photo Mini Sessions 2019!

Spring is almost upon us - which means so are spring mini sessions! This year, JHP spring mini sessions will be held in one of my favorite colorful locations: Historic Harmony!

Historic Harmony is a revitalized German town that dates back to the early 1800’s. Over the course of history, this town has had many ups and downs, but now is the perfect spot to explore with multiple bakeries, a coffee & crepe shop, restaurants, a museum, antique stores, and more!

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WHY HARMONY?

I chose this spot specifically for a couple of reasons. First - I live in the neighboring town, Zelienople, and can walk to Harmony (best thing ever!). I’m a big fan of historic, colorful buildings and have a strong affinity for small town life. It has a special place in my heart! Second - I’m slightly obsessed with the bright colors for photos! Blues, reds, whites, yellows, and greens all line the streets, making it a beautiful place for photos with tons of variety!

WHO IS THIS FOR?

These sessions are perfect for…

  • Families (Perfect for those with young ones who don’t have a long attention span, and for families who have a senior leaving for college in the fall!)

  • Seniors

  • Couples (Engagement, anniversary, or just for fun!)

  • Updated headshots (Read: Why you should have a killer LinkedIn headshot)

  • Just the siblings (Mother’s day is coming up!)

  • Just the grandkids (Again - mother’s day is coming up!)

  • And pretty much anything else you can think of!

*Mini sessions make the perfect gift, too! If you’re interested in gifting a mini session to someone, feel free to email me directly at jhidingerphotography@gmail.com

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WHAT IS INCLUDED?

  • 20 minutes of on location photography around Harmony

  • 5 to 10 high resolution, digital files delivered via an online gallery

  • A print release, allowing you to print your photos wherever you would like!

HOW MUCH?

Each time slot is priced at $250, plus 6% sales tax. This includes the time of the session, the post-production work, your online gallery, and your high resolution files!

Spring mini sessions are only offered once or twice a year, so now is the time to take advantage of these smaller sessions! If you are interested in booking, follow the link below to claim your spot! 💛 OR, if you would be interested in a full family, senior or couple session, use the “Contact” tab above to reach out for more pricing and information!

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Grant B: Winter North Shore Senior Photos

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Grant B: Winter North Shore Senior Photos

Grant’s senior session was originally supposed to take place on a Saturday afternoon, but due to a snow storm, we bumped his session to the following morning - which ended up being a huge blessing in disguise! The North Shore is almost completely empty on Sunday mornings, except for the occasional runner and police officer. And even more exciting? Parking is free!

But what made Sunday morning so awesome wasn’t the free parking or the empty locations - it was getting to work with Grant! A senior at North Catholic, Grant is looking to start his post-high school education in the medical field. Grant broke his back (yes, you read that correctly!) not too long ago, and what helped him solidify his decision to head into this particular field was all of the time he was able to spend talking to and with the medical professionals who worked with him. Pretty amazing story!

Grant, it was an honor to take your senior photos. You are going to do great things!

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Best of Senior Photos 2018

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Best of Senior Photos 2018

Senior sessions are always one of my FAVORITE parts of my entire year! With all of my seniors, I have two goals: to capture them authentically, and for them to feel comfortable and confident in front of the camera. I love seeing seniors who might not feel comfortable in front of the camera initially walk away feeling encouraged and loved - and like they are totally capable of doing whatever they set their hearts and minds to!

I had so many sessions at lots of beautiful locations this year, but when I went back through my records, I could hardly believe that just about 50% of all of my senior sessions this year happened at Hartwood Acres Mansion. And for good reason! It is such a beautiful location with so many different spots that lend themselves to amazing backdrops!

My seniors had their sessions through freezing temps (in the single digits!!), rain, snow, thunderstorms, humidity - and all of them handled their shoots like pros. To all of my seniors: I am so incredibly grateful for you! You are going to do amazing things - I hope you believe it! 💛

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Natasha K: Fall McConnell's Mill Senior Photos

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Natasha K: Fall McConnell's Mill Senior Photos

Natasha’s senior session took place on a crisp October morning, just when the leaves began changing at McConnell’s Mill. One of the BEST things about scheduling a session in the morning is the fact that there are so few people (usually!), which helped us SO much at such a popular location like McConnell’s Mill - we basically had the park to ourselves!

Natasha is graduating in 2019 from Montour High School and has such a fun and carefree personality! She brought a hat to her senior session, which really helped pull her fall look together (even though she rarely wears hats!). It goes to show that sometimes going a little outside of your normal comfort zone in terms of style can be a great idea! If you’re looking for some more ideas on how to up your senior outfit game, (or really, any photo shoot outfit game!) feel free to check out this article I wrote a little while back!

Natasha, thank you for the honor of taking these photos - you are going to do incredible things! 💛

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