Aaron's Senior Portraits | Phoenix, Arizona

Phoenix Scottsdale Arizona Senior Boy Session Photographer Aaron Miranda Kelton Photography.jpg

Aaron’s Senior Photoshoot

Phoenix, Arizona

If I had to give just one piece of advice to every graduating Highschool Senior about their portrait session, it would be this: Go big.

Why? Why not? Your Senior Photoshoot is often one of the first times in your life that you get to have the spotlight all on you - it’s your day, your accomplishment, & you should have beautiful, epic photographs to match this momentous occasion in your life. I love photographing seniors who want to get creative & go all out for their photoshoot - think multiple locations, unique props, stunning outfits, etc.! I have been so lucky to be able to photograph so many highschool seniors & create a set of photos that not only they love, but that mom & grandma can proudly hang on their wall & admire too.

This senior session was extra special, (& not just because we got some amazing, James Bond-esque photos), but because Aaron is actually one of my younger brothers! Yep, that’s right - my mom called me up & said “Hey, will you come up & do Aaron’s photos soon? He wants some photos with his car!”

A few months later, I was in Phoenix & we made a game plan to go out & take some shots at a nearby location in Scottsdale where we could take both some simple portraits & some more creative photos with Aaron’s red Scion. And, dare I say, we killed it. Keep reading to see all of the best photos from this session!

Phoenix Scottsdale Arizona Senior Boy Session Photographer Aaron Miranda Kelton Photography.jpg

I’ll be honest: Senior boys are often harder to photograph than Senior Girls. It’s natural for just about anyone to feel awkward when they’re being photographed, but men tend to feel a little more uncomfortable being thrown in front of a camera in their fancy clothes & being told “Ok, now smile!” I often have mom or dad tagging along on my senior sessions too, & for some people this is comforting, for others… not so much. It’s part of my job to make any client feel at ease, no matter their age, personality, etc. & there’s a few different ways to get people to loosen up & actually have fun during their shoot. It’s often easier for people to relax in front of the camera when they feel confident & comfortable about what they’re wearing, & it was actually Aaron’s idea to wear a suit while he was being photographed with his car. Of course, his photos looked so classy & they were the envy of all of his friends - I mean, can you blame them?

For seniors who have a hard time in front of the camera, I use a lot of poses with movement to help them feel less stiff & “posed”. I’ll have my subjects walk along a trail, adjust their hair/clothing, or do some simple action that looks natural while they’re being photographed. Pair some movement with all of my dumb jokes, & you’re guaranteed to get a smile & a stunnning portrait out of anyone!

I’m also a big believer in keeping things simple: It’s true that less is more. Keeping the outfit changes to a minimum can help with overwhelm, & I also love to find one location that has a lot of variety so that way we can flow through a session with minimal interruptions. For Aaron, we decided to drive up to a beautiful pullout that we’d been to before around golden hour - we knew it was a pretty quiet road, had a beautiful view of the mountains, & that there were perfect areas to take both close-up portraits & some landscape shots of him with his car. It really helps to find locations that don’t tend to have a lot of people or are at least quieter on weekdays - there’s nothing more frustrating than trying to take your portraits while people are walking by & staring. I always do my best to find those golden locations that are easy to get to, that photograph beautifully, & that offer plenty of options for different shots & angles.

Black and White Portrait James Bond Inspired Photoshoot Miranda Kelton Photography
Red Sports Car Scion Frs Red Sports Car James Bond Inspired Photoshoot Miranda Kelton Photography

I can proudly say that Aaron did an amazing job of posing (& yes, we did get some classic smiling pictures for mom!) but both of our favorites ended up being the more fashion editorial-inspired images that I chose to include in this blog. His senior photos are definitely cooler than mine. Believe it or not, I was the awkward kid who’s senior photo was from a 2 year old session at the local Sear’s portrait studio, & believe me when I say that I hated my graduation announcement. I was so embarassed that it had to be mailed out to all of our extended family & friends! My goal with my senior sessions is truly to get a series of shots that will make everyone happy - the “cool” shot for your instagram, the classic shot for your graduation announcement, & the dorky-but-cute smiling shot that Grandma will hang on her wall & show off to all of her friends. It’s easier said than done - but it’s my job to make that happen!

Planning is one of the most important aspects of any session, & with senior photoshoots I always go the extra mile to communicate with both the graduating senior & their family to make sure that we check off all of the boxes & make a shot list that everyone will be happy with. No one should have to suffer through their graduation with an ugly Sear’s portrait on their announcement! Your senior session should be all about you & your hobbies & interests - people should see your graduation annoucment & think “Wow, this is SO you!” Senior portraits are a chance to have fun, show off your personality & style, & celebrate this exciting time in your life.

Of course, Aaron loved his photos (he’s obligated to, since i’m his sister…haha!), & could not wait to share them with his friends. Mom was happy too, & she was able to use the photos to create a beautiful announcement that all of our friends & family loved receiving in the mail. I think he may have a career in modeling ahead of him!

I hope you all enjoyed this little glimpse into this Senior Photoshoot! I am over the moon with how this session turned out, & it’s definitely going down in history as one of my favorite shoots of all time. Check out all the links below to read some other blogs, see more sessions, & to learn more about my work. Feel free to leave a comment below as well if you’ve got questions about setting up your own shoot, or check out my Booking page for more information about packages & shoot structure. Till next time… - MK


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MeEt miranda

Hello! I’m a Portrait, Headshot, & Personal Branding Photographer based in Bend, Oregon.