If you’ve never been behind the scenes with the My Friend Teresa team on a senior portrait session before, you may not know what all happens before the final results appear on your Facebook or Instagram feed. I’ve been fortunate enough to have multiple perspectives – seeing final results as both a younger sibling and a friend, being an on-scene assistant behind the camera, and going through the entire process for my own senior portrait session – so I’ve known for years how much time and effort goes into each senior portrait session. Senior portrait sessions are so much more than a ten-minute “let’s snap some pics” kind of deal. These portraits take weeks of planning, preparing, photographing, selecting, and editing to get to the big reveal.
What’s a Senior Portrait Session Really Like?
In your first meeting with Teresa, long before your portrait session, she’ll start with learning about who you are and what you love. She asks about your friends, your hobbies, what your favorite color is, and for my session, she asked where I’d sit in the car if I was on a road trip with all my best friends; Teresa also asks your parent(s) how they’d describe you and what qualities they see in you. All of these questions help the team formulate the best possible senior portrait session possible. You’ll settle on location for the portrait session, pick out clothing from your closets, and layout your session schedule.
After the portrait session, the My Friend Teresa team takes a couple weeks to select and edit between forty and sixty portraits (out of hundreds!) that they feel best represent who you are and what they were trying to accomplish through the portraits. Then comes the big reveal: the gallery wall filled with all of the portraits they chose and, if you selected the package, the behind the scenes video up on the big screen. It’s enough to take your breath away.
One of my favorite things about Teresa and Justin is that they have an innate ability to make clients feel at ease and confident throughout the process. When we asked former seniors about their experiences, many of them seemed to agree.
“It was chill and relaxed, and for someone who doesn’t always feel comfortable in front of a camera, it was fun but still produced elegant and refined results.” – Charlie E
“I really enjoyed the photoshoot itself because Teresa’s hilarious personality made everything so fun and so effortless and honestly so comfortable. She really gets you to genuinely smile and enjoy yourself. She also is super creative and is willing to work with you to use props and environments that epitomize your self-identity.” – Kelly B
Others remarked on the way Teresa and Justin get the gorgeous action shots.
“I really enjoyed the unique approach Teresa used while creating senior portraits. She wants to make sure that the pictures are an accurate display of character and personality. To give an example, I danced for fourteen years, so Teresa made sure that she got some photos of me doing what I love. The pictures weren’t placed or frozen, but there were shots of me jumping and turning. These were some creative photos that I will continue to hold on to, for it captured my bubbly personality and passion for dance.” – Natalie D
And others talked about the big reveal at the end.
“My senior portrait session was great! Teresa made the effort to get a feel for me and what I wanted to capture (we did it in my backyard which was neat). Even though it feels kind of awkward to pose for photos like that (looking behind you and grabbing parts of your hair and whatnot), she, and Justin, and Will did a good job of making it feel casual and comfortable. The reveal was the best part though. I’ve never seen so many good photos of myself in a row. Plus the ‘behind the scenes’ video was fun to watch. Overall, it was a good experience.” – Mohala K
“I’ve had a love/hate relationship with photos for a long time. I was never a shy kid, loved the camera, was probably a bit of an attention hog, but as I got older and all of society’s standards started setting in, I began to hate pictures of myself. I thought I always looked horrible – too fat, too tall, too much acne, too awkward – and I’d put so many filters on the ones I decided to post that I no longer looked like myself. During my session, I was nervous, and Teresa constantly asked how I was feeling and made sure I was laughing, and comfortable, and never felt down about myself or how I looked. What I remember most about the senior portrait experience is the reveal. I couldn’t believe how good I looked in my portraits. People probably thought I was conceited, but I put some of my portraits as my computer and phone backgrounds for months after my session because they gave me a confidence boost anytime I saw them.” – Margaret V
Overall, the My Friend Teresa team does all they can to give you the best experience ever and to make you feel like one big family.
Still curious about the senior portrait session? Check out this session live streamed last summer.
Great article !! Thank you for describing it so well !