Finding your ideal client in Senior Photography

Finding your Ideal Client in Senior Photography

Inclusive Senior Photography

Mary Vance Photography

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“Senior photography? That is… intense…” she said.

I recently spoke with a photography mentor and friend about what senior photography means to me.

In my industry, successful brands lean toward exclusive experiences. Many photographers drape their models in high fashion clothes and use complicated posing or setups to capture their subjects. While I admire this style and recognize the success of these brands, I have found that the key to my own success is inclusivity. When I focus on inclusion, I open myself up to the hearts of the people I photograph.

Each of my clients bring a different experience and background to a shoot. Some of the seniors I photograph experience anxiety or have decided to take a gap year after high school. They don’t always follow influencers on Instagram, but are passionate and engaged in the world. My seniors are real people, experiencing real things; some struggle with their gender or sexual identity, or are navigating a physical or developmental disability. Others are working through tricky relationships at school. They can be high-flyers, academics, athletes, or artists.

When I photograph my seniors, I don’t just see an opportunity for artistry. I recognize the organic beauty that already exists within them. This is when the best moments are captured—the glint in a senior guy’s eyes as he picks up a football. The love that radiates when a daughter hugs her mother, or the joyful giggle that bubbles up as the wind blows through her hair.

My goal with every photoshoot is to let my clients know that THEY BELONG. I want to create a space for them to be transparent, to feel valued and loved, without having to change to fit any standard that the world want to push on them. And when I’ve done that, then I have done my job well.

Senior photography can definitely be intense, but I think that the intensity of inclusion is worth it.