A Guide to High School Senior Pictures

During the last year of your child’s high school experience there are two events that parents and children alike love to capture to memory. Let’s talk about the one you will need to plan for first.
  • Yearbook Photos

Yearbook requirements are usually given out during the summer before your child’s senior year. These requirements include a deadline, rules as to what your child can wear, and specs for the size of the photo.

The ideal date to take these photos for most parents is from the beginning of July to September. That is because almost every school requires these photos to be taken outdoors. While some schools do have deadlines that go into November, no one likes to be photographed next to a pile of leaves. (Although jumping into that pile might be fun for little ones.) . Depending on how busy the photographer is, its best to schedule and get these done at least a month before the deadline. If you are short on time, then you might be able to get it done in two weeks.

Talk to your photographer about possible locations and if they send the photo in. (Please note: yearbook photos do include a fee that photographers will not be able to pay for you. This depends on your location.) Any professional photographer should talk to you and ask you questions to help you with the photo journey. For example, requirements for what your child can wear can vary from school to school. However, most photographers will go by the basics. This means no spaghetti straps or muscle shirts, and shirts can not be a crop top or low cut. Which is why its best to bring two different shirts. One for the schools requirements and one they actually want to use for graduation announcements.

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What to Expect During Your Child’s Cake Smash Session

Cake smashes have become a rite of passage for most one year old’s in the last few years. While more and more parents are enticed by the idea, here’s what you should expect during a cake smash.

Is the cake included?

Depending on the photographer or studio, you may have to supply your own cake for the shoot. Be sure to grab one that’s going to be tasty. The budget for your cake depends on you and how decorative you’d like to make it. Please keep in mind that sometimes just because it looks great doesn’t mean it tastes great. The main part of a cake smash is to have your little one stuff his or her face with the sugary goodness. On quite a few occasions I’ve had parents get upset that their child didn’t want to eat the cake at all. Instead, we got only pictures of him poking at it, like a toddler would with vegetables.

Outfits

Outfits are of course a major part of any photo session. Whatever outfit you choose and whatever frosting color you go with, please remember it may stain their clothes. No matter where you go for your photo shoot, it’s best two bring two changes of clothes. One for the shoot and one for the aftermath. That way instead of trying to wipe your kid’s clothes off so you can head home, you can switch it out real quick without leaving you, your child, and your car a mess.

More than just the cake smash

Every cake smash photo session that I have done involves nice pictures beforehand. Props are generally included, like a #1, a birthday hat, or even balloons to celebrate the big day. This step allows the child to get more comfortable with the surroundings and the flashes. While it is perfectly fine to just dive right into the cake smash, extra photos can be nice to have if the cake doesn’t entice your little one.

What will your kid be photographed on?

One of the slight issues some parents may have with cake smash shoots is what their kid will be photographed on. Depending on the studio, it may not matter and you could have all the options in the world. However, most backdrops aren’t cheap, and trying to clean stains off of hand painted canvas is almost impossible. Your photographer may offer to only photograph if a clear tarp is laid down, or if they are only photographing on vinyl for easy cleanup. If you do want something specific please ask your photographer about their process on this first.

Photographing a little one can be difficult at times, sudden outbursts and general unhappiness can happen. A good practice is to make sure your little one has recently had a nap and has had enough food to be satisfied.

Should I Bring Props to My Portrait Session?

Props are one element of photography that is either widely requested or not used at all. Depending on each individual photo session, props can be a good way of adding a special item to a moment you would like to capture. While the main focus with props is generally on kids, rather than families. There are a handful of families that love using any prop they can get their hands on for that one silly photo.

  In addition, asking your photographer ahead of time about what props they do have will help you get an idea of what you may need to buy or bring. While there are some photographers that do supply props for a photo shoot keep in mind that since they’re using the same ones over and over again, the photos taken may be very similar to what you see on their portfolio or gallery.

If you want props to be a big part of your photo shoot and are going for a specific look. Then bringing a few of your own tends to create a more significant meaning to the photo. Similar to wedding rings for a wedding or engagement photo. A family heirloom that’s being passed down to the next generation, a balloon that says “big sister”, or even a shirt that has dad’s favorite on it can help create a whole different look.

6 Questions to Ask Your Photographer

When planning a photo shoot there are a lot of steps that should be taken by both parties to get the best experience possible. A photographer that is willing to truthfully answer all the questions you may have is one step towards having a great experience. Hiring the right one for the job can feel like trying to find a needle in a hay stack. Here are a few questions to ask that help make that decision a little easier.

1. Do they specialize in your desired area of photography?

There are thousands of photographers, but not everyone one of them decides to specialize in everything. Someone who photographs just business headshots and corporate executives isn’t going to be a good choice for a newborn photoshoot. It can be the same with high school senior photographers and family portraits. It’s always better to double check before scheduling a photo session.

2. What’s their style? Does it match what you are looking for?

There are a few different styles that photographers can have. Some love having their photos light and airy, while others are more prone to dark and dramatic lighting. Are they more pose directed or capture more candid shots with minimal input? If your looking for someone to tell you exactly how to look and stand then a more pose directed person may be a better fit. If you looking for some general guidance, but feel comfortable with being able to change your pose to better fit your desired outcome, a candid photographer may be the way to go.

3. Do they have a sitting fee and/or a booking fee?

A booking fee and a sitting fee are two different things, so lets define them. A sitting fee is what a client will pay for the cost of photographing the session. It does not include the cost of products like digital files or prints. It may also not include the cost of editing the photos taken or selected. A booking fee is a separate payment used to reserve the scheduled session date and time. This is some times different than a deposit, where that money can be used towards your purchase. Don’t be afraid to ask your photographer if any fee is being put towards your total purchase.

4. What’s the pricing structure?

There are a few ways photographers go about structuring the pricing for a photo shoot. Some photographers will do package pricing. Where your sitting fee, editing cost, and a certain amount of photos are all included in that cost. For example: the Bronze Package includes 45 minutes of photography, and three fully edited images which are given to you digitally. Physical prints are not included and do cost extra. Others may take that same structure but separate it into separate fees, like a sitting fee, print cost, and editing fee’s.

A photographer may also separate when that payment is taken. While one photo studio may have you pay for everything up front, usually after the selections have been made (mainly used at a photo studio). Another may only charge you half after the photography is done and the other portion after you’ve made your selections (mainly used by freelance photographers and outdoor photographers with no studio space).

5. Do They Have Contracts?

To ensure you and the photographer are both protected a contract may be put in to place. This is generally used to make sure you get what you asked for and they get paid for their time and service. It will also give you small details about what your photographer will and won’t do. Like if they charge for travel, a given time frame to select photos, and any other rates that may be generally hidden.

Additionally, ask about a model release. This may be apart of the service contract or a completely different contract. It may be included in invoices as well so please read it carefully before signing anything. This allows the photographer to use any images from your session for their marketing materials, like social media or website. If you don’t feel comfortable with it, don’t sign it or ask for it to be removed from the contract. Your privacy and comfort should be respected completely.

6. What to they provide for the photo shoot?

There are photographers that do not provide props for their photoshoots for a simplistic, non distracting image and others that will try to include props as a form of variation for posing. These can range anywhere from couches, chairs, little wagons for your kids, teddy bears… the list can go on and on. There are even photographers that include clothing and wraps for babies and cakes for cake smashes. Since this can vary from photographer to photographer you’ll need to ask these questions in order to get a clear look at what you may need to buy, bring, and plan for.

Your mind may be swimming with even more questions or concerns regarding what photographer will best fit your needs. If you’re looking for someone specific, you’ll want these questions to check all of boxes. It’s okay to be picky. Finding a photo studio, or just a photographer that can fit all your needs will help give you the comfort you need. Once you do find that perfect photographer trust in them to give you the best experience possible and don’t be afraid to add your own friendly input along the way.

Your Photo Shoot, Your Rules

 “You’re the photographer. What do you want us to do?”  This is a question a lot of photographers get when photographing anything from families to individuals. Of course, we have set poses we can do and ways to position you to make the photo more appealing. However, it may not feel comfortable for you.

  Whether it be a candid shot or something more staged. If you don’t feel confident sitting, if your sons smile is not genuine, or you feel out-of-place standing, the results we show to you aren’t going to be what you hoped for. This is one of the main draw backs in this type of photography. We don’t have the ability to know you as well as you know yourself or others. Those months, years, and decades of knowledge revolving around tiny details that we may not see in the few days or hours we know you.

Truthfully, we ask a lot of questions during the shoot and give you the option to choose any props we use or poses we put you because it may not be ideal to you. Yes, we may be the photographer, but we do not have the same eyes, or the same ideas. In any photo shoot, communication is key. Do not be afraid to tell your photographer that you would like to try something else. In the end our goal is the same.

Bee.H Photography

Your Photoshoot, Your Location

There’s one major part of photographing outdoors that plays a key role in how good the photos will come out. Location. It’s a big deal where your photos are taken and though it might not seem like it now, it affects the whole experience. If you don’t like where your being photographed at, you probably won’t be too inclined to see the results. The way you felt will be projected onto the images.

How do you go about choosing a location? Think of a favorite park you take your kids. Preferably a location that has some large trees for shade. The locations listed here are some examples of what we look for and are places we tend to want to photograph frequently.

Choosing a location that’s right for you may mean finding a place with familiarity, that you have an attachment to. That is perfect! Even better if it has some key elements us photographers look for. Don’t hesitate to run that location by the photographer and see if it’ll work well for your photoshoot. They might just be able to make it work for you.

What To Wear For Your Photoshoot: Children and Infants

Having your children wear something nice without it getting ruined after three seconds can be a struggle. Especially if what they’re wearing isn’t something they are comfortable in. This is can be any child from about three until seven.

One of the main things to do is just make sure that what your child is wearing isn’t mismatched with a blue shirt and yellow pants. The idea is to make a nice outfit out of what your child is comfortable in, especially when they’re being photographed by someone that they don’t really know. A sense of familiarity can help any child from acting out and help create great photographs and a good experience.

When you’re having multiple children photographed color coordination is still something to look out for to help achieve good looking photographs. Having a bright yellow dress on your daughter, while your son is wearing a dark red shirt won’t look very enticing when you look back on the pictures that were taken. Your eye will go straight towards that yellow, making the intended intention of showing both children only become showing one.

For infants, clothing is definitely a little less picky. However, the same intention of having them wear something softer and more comfortable is helpful. As the same implies for those a little older, wearing something itchy and scratchy on the skin may be something your baby won’t be happy wearing. Leading to the struggle of calming down a crying baby.

What To Wear to your Photoshoot: High School Seniors

When it comes to high school senior photo shoots there are various things to consider. A two outfit option is always the way to go and here’s why. There are two main parts that go into a high school senior shoot. The photo for yearbook and the photos for you, family, and parents.

The reason why I mentioned two outfits is because of the requirements the school has for what photo they will allow in the yearbook. Although these differ through each school its best not to end up in a situation where none of your pictures will meet the cut. This is solely up to you, the student and the guardian.  You always make the choices on what you wear, so please be mindful. A nice plain shirt and some jeans wont steer you wrong.

Most of the requirements include:

  • No logo or graphic tee-shirts (Unless that logo is the schools)
  • No  v neck or deep cut shirts or dresses
  • No muscle shirts or spaghetti straps
  • Must be taken outdoors
  • Must include this color scenery in the back. (There is one school that asks specifically a green outdoor background)

The yearbook photo is usually a cropped picture from the waist up. Even if your school doesn’t require it, it is beneficial to stay with in that crop. Yearbook photos are generally very small so ( please note these are different from buying a page) having a head to toe picture will make you even smaller.

   Now, both outfits don’t have to match. The one that isn’t going into the yearbook can be whatever you want. A low-cut dress, a graphic tee. So long as you, the parent or guardian, are okay with it then there is no restrictions. This pertains a little less to the boys, however, keep in mind the place you are having the photos taken. No one wants to wear a short dress and heels when you’re climbing by a water fall or hiking up Red Rocks.

  Last but not least, wear what makes you comfortable. No I’m not talking about sweats and a sweatshirt. I’m talking about your favorite tee-shirt  to wear,  or your favorite pair of jeans. Wear something that you feel like yourself in. Wearing a tux or something you’ve never worn before can make you feel a little uncomfortable or nervous.

Click here to see some examples.

What to Wear for Your Photoshoot: Families and Couples

As we all know, before any photo shoot, planning is always required. This does not mean just picking a location, time, and package. Outfits are one big contributor to the outcome of your photos. I know that might be the last thing on your mind when planning to have pictures taken, but it should be one of the first. Let me tell you why.

Planning outfits and making sure everyone is going to look their best can be a tiring part of the process. This includes hairstyles, keeping clothes clean on the little ones, and trying to color coordinate everyone. Having to many mixed matched colors can affect how you and others look at the final results. At many times, it can be visually distracting and take away attention from the subjects, you. It may seem okay at first, until your placed behind something that isn’t made to highlight one of those colors. For outdoor photo shoots that can be visually eye catching.

Here’s some tips on how to plan for this. The best colors to wear for any photo shoot are those that match your personality, the season, or your surroundings. Depending on your skin tone, you may want to wear darker colors or lighter colors. A light skin tone would get washed out with a light color like baby blue or yellow. Instead, try wearing darker colors like green, purple, or red. If you have a darker skin tone, a lighter color may work best like white, light blue, and orange to help you pop out of the picture. The hard part is to make sure that you and your family don’t look exactly the same by including different styles of clothing and different shades of the same color palette.

Color pallets include:

  • Denim and black or white
  • Black and White
  • Brown or Grey and Maroon
  • Navy and Tan/Cream
  • Crimson/Tan and Denim or Black
  • Red and Grey/ Black
  • Blush and Teal or White
  • Light Blue and Tan or White
  • Blue and Yellow or White
  • Orange and Teal or White
  • Light Blue, Tan/ White
  • Blue/Green and Yellow

Note: Color schemes can mean your shirt (denim) matches your child’s pants, and his/her shirt (black) matches your pants. Not everyone one in the family has to match completely.

For example:

The Places I Shall Go

My love for photographing landscape has always carried me to the most wonderful places. Now, I’d like to share those photos with you.

The map shown on the link below marks the places I want to travel to and the photo galleries posted on the page(s) will show how many of these places I’ve been.

Westlands park in Greenwood Village is a 28 acre park offering trails that surround the whole park. Great for a 20 minute walk around on a sunny day and a place for your kids to play.


Now, if you do take a look at not only the Colorado area on the map, but the surrounding areas you may see this spot marked. These photos were taken on a trip to California in 2018, the summer before I went to Pickens for photography. It had been my first time on a plane and my first time seeing the beach. A wonderful experience all together.


Near Manitou Springs, this historic site is unintentionally known for the graffiti that surrounds it. Over 100 years old, the bridge and water that flows behind it have been a favorite tourist site for those who find the hidden gem.


Located northwest of Denver, this 5000 acre refuge is a great spot to hike and see nothing but the mountains and the open fields.


This one is not so much of a hidden gem. Located in Arvada, this park is mostly known for the playground and water equipment that it contains. You do however see this beautiful creek that runs through it when you walk the pathway.


Located in Westminster, both parks contain great trails for walking and little gems along the way.


Hidden with-in Federal Boulevard in Sheridan, this park has the South Platte river flowing directly through it. Making it a peaceful and relaxing place to walk, fish, or relax.


Located in Englewood, CO. The land once held Native American Tribes and the earliest Europeans. Traveling on railroad tracks that spanned all over the heart of Colorado. If you don’t mind the walk it’s the place to go.


Located in Parker, Co. McCabe Meadows include some beautiful views to those who can see them. Definitely one of the most peaceful walks I’ve been on. Just watch out for the sun, these trails offer little shade.


The imperative paint mines in Callahan Colorado is a beautiful place full of trails that lead you through rock formations that have chemically been changed by the earth. Just try to go pretty early in the morning before the rush of people come in and bring some good shoes!


Mother Cabrini Shrine

Mother Cabrini or Saint Frances Cabrini 1850-1917) dedicated her life to helping those less fortunate. During her journeys in 1902 she traveled through many different regions of Colorado and purchased a summer camp for her charges on the east slope of Lookout Mountain in Golden.