KOTTKE ARTS | Seniors Portraits

 

 

Senior Portraits by Allen Kottke

 

 

It's All About You!

 

All of our senior portrait sessions are personally designed and artistic. It all starts with a complimentary portrait design consultation. That's when we meet you and begin developing a concept for your photo session. We learn about your interests and activities, and who you are at this point in your life. We then begin to plan the location, props, and clothes that will tell your story. 

 

Your senior portrait session with Al Kottke will be relaxed yet energetic, fun, and all about you! Our goal is to create portraits that bring out your own personal style. You are an individual and your portraits should be uniquely you! 

 

Our senior portrait sessions usually include indoor professional studio images, as well as outdoor portraits. We have numerous locations to choose from and are always interested in locations you may have in mind. We take plenty of poses so you will have many great images to choose from. 

 

We take plenty of poses so you will have many great images to choose from. We generally allow one to two hours for your session because we want plenty of time to allow for creativity and a relaxed environment.

 

When you want artistic, professional, senior portraits that tell your personal story, call us for your complimentary senior portrait design consultation.

 

 

 

What to expect for your senior session, and a bit of other random info......

 

Okay, so here's the deal.  I am a portrait photographer.  First and foremost, I love shooting weddings....brides....couples in love.  But, my second love is  shooting senior sessions.  I don't know why....maybe because I used to be a teacher and it is a way I get to connect with students again.  Maybe it's because high school girls have such a great sense of style and fashion now, and I get to feel a little like a fashion photographer when I shoot seniors. Whatever the reasons, I really love shooting seniors, and when my schedule allows, I schedule them.

 

This means that I end up shooting around 30 seniors per year.  That's around one per week, during the season.  Which means, if you are interested in booking a session, you are probably going to want to schedule several weeks, and possibly even sooner, in advance.  Just sayin!

 

What to expect....you ask?

Expect to have fun.  Expect to move around quite alot (I don't stay still very well) Expect to feel beautiful....because you are!  Expect to laugh....a lot! 

 

Clothing changes....bring 2-4, depending on which session you book.  If you really aren't sure, bring more, and I can help you decide based on the setting.  And, bring accessories...they photograph beautifully!  If you really want a fabulous session, schedule professional make-up for the morning of.  It's amazingly inexpensive, and a great way to ensure you look flawless for your senior portraits! 

 

 

New Models & First-timers

Getting in front of a camera for the first time (or first few times) can be intimidating. In fact, even pros still get cases of nervousness. So don't worry, it's natural.

 

I've worked with a number of first time models before and I have good understanding of what to expect and how to get the most out of shooting with someone new. The best advice I can give is don't worry about it. Relax. I will do whatever I can to create the type of environment where you can do just that.

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I consider a photo shoot to be a collaborative and creative effort between the model, the photographer, and the make-up artist (if present). I welcome all exchanges of ideas and I'm always open to experimenting and trying something new.

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POSING

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Many first-time models/seniors worry about posing. When it comes to working with new models, I don't expect the person I'm shooting to have an arsenal of different poses at their disposal. And I never pressure anyone to perform.

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I work with you with the skills you have and provide as much guidance and direction as you'd like until we're both happy with the results.

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I always have plenty of reference material available at my shoots and you are more than welcome to bring your own. This includes magazines, posing books, photos, and anything else that might help you get ideas about looks or poses that you'd like to try. All of these items are freely available to refer to and get ideas from while we're shooting. Many of the experienced models I work with will still look at magazines while we're shooting to draw ideas from.

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How to Prepare for Your Shoot

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POSING AND FACIAL EXPRESSIONS

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Although I provide as much instruction & direction as desired during a shoot, it is a significant help if the person being photographed has an understanding of what their body looks like in different positions and to also understand how their face feels when they're making different expressions.

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I recommend that all first-time models, and anyone relatively new to modeling, practice posing and making different facial expressions in front of a mirror. It may feel silly to practice such things in front of a mirror, but it is a great way to prepare for what it will be like in front of a camera and should actually make doing your shoot easier and more comfortable.

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Although interpretations of different expressions & looks may vary, please practice a variety of different looks so that you are at least somewhat prepared should you be asked for a specific expression, such as: "sexy", "intense", "serious", and "pouty". Again, I will provide as much direction as necessary to get the look & expression desired, but the more prepared you are, the better.

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If you have a tendency to show a lot of your gum line while smiling, you should also practice smiling without showing as much of your gums. Don't worry, we'll get plenty of photos with your beautiful & natural smile, but the tendency in professional photography is to limit exposure of the gum line.

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Some of the best reference guides for posing are fashion catalogs and magazines. Study them. Pay close attention to the position of hands, the different angles the body makes (including the tilt of the head, arms, torso, thighs, and legs), and facial expressions.

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AESTHETIC AND COSMETIC PREPARATION

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Be sure to take care of all hair removal prior to a shoot, but leave at least 2-3 days between when you wax/shave any sensitive areas (such as your bikini line) and your shoot date. This time is necessary to allow for any irritation to disappear before your shoot.

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Take care of your nails. Be sure that your nails are neat and well maintained. Short nails are preferred. A natural, non-colored, or French manicure look is preferable. If you plan on posing barefoot, be sure your feet and toes are in good condition.

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If you plan on showing your smile, be sure that your teeth are ready for prime-time. If your teeth are discolored, you may want to consider having them cleaned/whitened.

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72 HOURS BEFORE YOUR SHOOT

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Be sure you have worked out all the necessary details about your shoot. You should know where you're supposed to go, the easiest & fastest way to get there, and what you need to do to prepare for your shoot.

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Be sure that you know how to get to the studio or location where you are shooting. If you are working with a make-up artist, please be sure that they are aware of these directions as well.

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You should also have a good idea of what items you are going to bring to your shoot.

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48 HOURS BEFORE YOUR SHOOT

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Please call me (760) 459-7751 to confirm your photo shoot appointment. Use this opportunity to ask any last minute questions you may have.

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24 HOURS BEFORE YOUR SHOOT

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Eat healthy. Drink plenty of water. Avoid fatty, greasy, and salty foods prior to shooting. Please avoid alcohol or anything that will make you puffy or bloated. Also avoid anything that may stain your teeth.

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If you have not yet called me to confirm your appointment, please do so.

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Pack up what you'll need at least the night prior to your appointment so you are not rushing around in the time before leaving for your shoot.

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Check your nails. You may not be the type who likes to keep their nails long and well manicured, which is fine, so long as they are ready for their close-up. However, damaged nails, beat up nail polish, and nails that have been bitten down to the tips of your fingers will not add to the look of your photos.

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If your nails are not ready for pictures, you are encouraged to purchase temporary press-on nails. They may not feel "real" to you, but they can help save a photo or two.

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It is also important that you get a good night's sleep. You will not only feel better, but you will look better if you are well rested and energetic on the day of your shoot. Dark circles and bags under one's eyes is not attractive.

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THE DAY OF YOUR SHOOT

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Please call me (800) 910 - 1833 to confirm your departure and please arrive on time.

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Please note that appointments are made to fit within allotted time slots. In order to maximize your time to shoot, arriving and being ready on time is important. Unless otherwise arranged, clients are encouraged to arrive up to, but no more than, 20 minutes early.

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If bringing a make-up artist, you may arrange to arrive up to 45 mins early in order to begin the make-up process early and maximize your shooting time. However, please let us know if you intend to arrive early with a make-up artist so that we are expecting & prepared for your arrival.

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Please note that showing up late does does not mean your appointment will get pushed beyond its allotted time slot and clients are billed from when their shoot was scheduled to begin, not from their time of arrival.

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In some cases shooting beyond your allotted time slot may be possible, if the time beyond your appointment is not booked.

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In the event that something unexpected happens and you are going to be late, please call me (800) 910 - 1833 to provide an update and estimated arrival time.

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Please eat a light meal before you leave. Food is fuel and if you skip your meals before shooting, chances are you'll run out of energy, lose focus, or become irritable. None of which will improve your photos.

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Please bring bottled water, snacks, and anything else necessary to keep you going, but avoid bringing anything that will stain your teeth.

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To avoid squinting due to bright studio lights or sunlight, please do not wear sunglasses prior to your shoot.

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What to Bring to a Photo Shoot

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YOUR WARDROBE (SELECTION)

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Unless specific arrangements have been made in advance, the model is responsible for bringing her own attire.

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If you plan to shoot photos of a certain style (Maxim style, fashion, glamour photos, etc), then it is to your benefit to coordinate with me before hand to discuss wardrobe options as well as props, backgrounds, and various ideas.

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If you are shooting with the intention of doing an "all-purpose" shoot, then bringing a variety of different types of clothes is a good idea. I like variety and options (but please refer to "styles of clothes" below). Please bring as many wardrobe changes as you like and we'll try to work them into the shoot. Options are always good and you never know when you'll feel like wearing something. And if you think you might want to bring something, but have second thoughts about it, bring it anyway.

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Models I've worked with almost always tell me that they wished they'd brought something that they'd thought about bringing but then decided not to. It is better to always bring more than you think you will need, however it may not always be possible to shoot with everything you bring.

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STYLES OF CLOTHES

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I recommend solid color clothing, with no polka dots, no wild prints, and no distracting stripes. Clothing of this type can have a tendency to distract the viewer from the most important subject in your photos, you.

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Recommended clothing styles include: shorts, various forms of full and brief tops, mini-dresses, mini-skirts, form fitting pants, and sports & fitness gear. Swimwear & lingerie are also possibilities, if desired.

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PROPS

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Unless otherwise arranged, clients are responsible for supplying their own props for a shoot.

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What are props exactly? Props are any items you can help "accessorize" your photos with and potentially give it extra impact. Props can be anything from a cane or an umbrella, a mask, a magnifying glass, a furry rug, or satin sheets for a glamour shoot. If you have any items you think might be cool in a photograph, please consider bringing them. When in doubt as to whether you think you should bring something or not, please feel free to consult with me.

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Clients that supply their own props tend to bring things that have significantly more meaning than what the typical photographer might provide. Plus, photographers who repeatedly use the same props over and over again in shoots tend to have photos that all look the same (or at least less distinctive).

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ITEMS TO CHANGE YOUR "LOOK" & APPEARANCE

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Changing the way you look during a shoot will help keep the photos from looking like they were all taken on the same day.

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Items I'd suggest bringing include: make-up, hair ties & rubber bands (so you can wear your hair in different ways), hats, jewelry, glasses/sunglasses, and anything you think might make a neat prop or look interesting in a photo.

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ADDITIONAL ITEMS TO CONSIDER

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Don't forget to bring a small portable mirror of some kind so you can check your make-up, hair, look, etc. during the shoot.

 

Depending on the style of the shoot, you may want to consider bringing a flesh colored thong & bra. This will allow you to wear such items under your garments without drawing attention to them in the photos.

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It's also a good idea to bring something to drink, such as bottled water or Gatorade. Especially if you are shooting outside. You may want to consider bringing a cooler with ice to pack drinks and anything else you wish to keep cool while shooting.

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Depending on the length of your shoot, you may want to pack a light meal and/or a few snacks of some kind. Fruits are preferable to "candy" items and will help provide energy to keep shooting. Avoid eating/bringing anything that may stain your teeth. This includes chocolaty items. As with wardrobe, please bring more than you think you will need.

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A TYPICAL MODEL'S BAG (CONTENTS)

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Here are some items typically found in the bags of models who work regularly and/or professionally. Not all items are necessary if you're just starting out, but it's still a good idea to check this list and consider whether these items may be useful at your shoot. Many items depend on the type of shoot you're doing and the location:

makeup kit:

 

nylons (nude & black)

panty liners

washcloth

toilet tissue

mascara (brown and/or black)

false eyelashes (2 different lengths)

concealer

foundation

lipstick (various shades)

blush

eyeshadow (various colors)

translucent powder

makeup sponges

makeup brushes

cotton swabs

cotton balls

makeup remover

tweezers

eye drops

mirror

binder clips

hairpins

toothbrush

toothpaste

baby wipes

hairbrush

hair ties/bands

sunscreen

sunglasses

bottled water

towel

dress shields

lint brush

dress hood or pillow case

spray bottle

facial tissue

aspirin (or equivalent)

penlight/flashlight

scissors

small first-aid kit

razors

shaving cream

model portfolio

model cards

body lotion

facial cleansers

hairstyling products

insect repellent

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MODEL RELEASES

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A model release is a written agreement between the model and the photographer where the model has granted the photographer permission to use the photographs commercially and/or for self-promotion. Model releases generally permit the use of the image(s) for all purposes, with exceptions for controversial, sensitive or defamatory uses.

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WHAT YOU CAN EXPECT AFTER YOUR SHOOT

 

Often within a couple days after a shoot I will sort your photos and send you a link to a proof webpage of the unedited photos based on different looks,  poses, composition, lighting etc. and you can pick out the ones that you want edited (based on the number of FREE edits associated with your package). I will then "process" these photos to make them look as good as possible and then send you the final high-res images (via email and/or CDs). "Processing" can include color adjustments, cropping, blemish removal, etc. The number of photos I will process for FREE is prearranged based on your photo shoot package and additional photos may be processed upon request at the going rate of $10 per photo. Although I typically process photos within a few days after the shoot, I reserve the right to take up to 2 weeks to complete this work (unless otherwise arranged).

 

Processed photos are then either placed on a CD and mailed to you or they are placed online for you to download directly (your choice). Although the files are generally very large, most people prefer the instant gratification of being able to download their photos directly from the internet.

 

 

You can purchase additional edited photos at the rate of only $10 per edit. If you want a DVD of ALL the images in RAW or JPEG format you will be required to pay an additional $150 (applies to all packages).

 

 

 

*** Let me be very clear. I DO NOT give clients copies of ALL the unedited RAW and/or JPEG images unless they pay the additional $150 fee. I only issue the agreed upon edits and those additional edits that you pay for at $10 per edit rate. I have had clients in the past not understand this policy and expect to receive the edits as well as all of the unedited photos and then become disappointed when I have to further explain this policy. So there is no misunderstand this policy is always posted on the Rates and Services page of my website.

 

 

My mission is to create magical photos that will hopefully be THE BEST photos that you have ever taken in your life. I posses the skills to do that. So you are in great hands and I look forward to your continued business and recommendations.