Posts Tagged ‘Senior Portraits’

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The Benefits of a Longer Senior Portrait Session

June 28, 2017

My favorite part of planning collections for High School Seniors is knowing how different each and every student will be. With that in mind, I love to make sure there are a few different options in my collections. However, I can’t lie about how much I love, and recommend, the longer sessions.

Understandably, being the subject of pictures is not everyone’s forte. Although, the number one thing to remember about your senior portraits is they are a once in a lifetime opportunity. They not only celebrate a huge accomplishment and right of passage, but your portraits may be necessary for use in your future endeavors.

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Which brings me to the most important reason why longer sessions are preferred.

Your outfit styles can vary more widely.

It’s always a good idea to have your outfits range from casual to (semi)formal. Even if you’re not a “dress up” kind of person, it may be necessary to have at least a few formal or semi-formal shots. On top of your grandparents wanting a dressy picture of you, it’s very likely that colleges, scholarships or even job applications may like you to include a photo. In these instances, having a professional looking shot included with your credentials could improve your chances of being accepted. It shows them you’re really getting ready for the adult world!

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Image © Noel Photography and Design | DO NOT COPY OR ALTER

In addition to having more outfit choices, we will also have extra time to visit more locations. Your experience and your photos will certainly be heightened if we are able to put some variety in your backdrops. It gives you more options to choose from when deciding the best images to hang on the wall and to hand out to friends and family.

Lastly, another one of my favorite pro’s to a longer session is creativity! While we can get a lot done in just an hour or two, there’s no question that setting up truly unique shots take a little extra time. The longer sessions mean we can knock out a few different locations and have time to play with more challenging ideas!

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Image © Noel Photography and Design | DO NOT COPY OR ALTER


To sum it up, your senior portraits should reflect who you are and what you’ve accomplished. Sometimes it’s hard to wrap that into just an hour or so. Not to mention, your investment should help you to move to your next step after high school.

Thank you all so much for reading! Leave any questions or comments in the comment section and be sure to follow Noel P&D on Facebook by hitting LIKE, and to follow along via blog or email here on WordPress!

Happy Creating!

Noel

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Nail Tips : Senior Portraits

June 1, 2016

In theory these ideas and tips are great for any kind of portraits. I single out Senior Portraits because they often include A LOT of up close, detailed shots and a wide variety of outfits. As some of you may have read in my other senior tip posts: “One of the biggest challenges is keeping your hair, make-up, and nails relevant throughout the whole shoot.” Seniors have various outfits and styles they are transitioning between in a short amount of time, so its important to make sure their time-consuming details are very versatile. This post is focusing on nails. While I mostly gear this towards our young ladies, Gentlemen I have a few nail tips posted right here at the top for you too!

manicure-870857_1280

 

YOUNG MEN

If you can’t bring yourself to go to a salon, be sure to get these 4 tips done yourself!

1. Wash and scrub any dirt from your hands and under your nails. This will also help remove any dry or dead skin.
2. Trim and file your nails so they are not too long or jagged.
3. Cut back cuticles and any hangnails around your nail.
4. Use just a bit of lotion each day right before your shoot. Cracked, dry skin does not photograph well!
5. Repeat steps 1-4 for your feet and toenails if you plan to be barefoot or wear sandals.

 

NO PAINT – LADIES

Ladies, of course you also have the option to not paint your nails as well. For those who choose to skip paint, your process will be generally similar to the gentlemen.

1. Clean under and around your nails.
2. Trim and file them to a length and shape you are happy with.
3. Remove cuticles and hangnails.
4. Buff the tops of your nails so they are smooth and shiny.
5. Add a coat of clear polish to give them extra shine and protect them. (Optional)
6. Repeat steps 1-5 for your toenails for any barefoot or sandal shots.

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GENERAL TIPS FOR PAINTING YOUR NAILS

1. My best general tip is summed up in three words: SIMPLE and NEUTRAL. Your nails shouldn’t over power your photo by being to wild. They should also be able to match a variety of outfits and styles.

2. Secondly, paint not only your fingernails but also your toenails. Keep the polish consistent or complimentary between the two. You will likely end up barefoot or even wearing sandals in some of your photos.

3. For those doing it themselves, be sure to practice what you’d like to do a couple times before the shoot. If you don’t feel confident in doing your nails properly, consider visiting a salon or even having a friend help you.

That all being said, let’s jump right in to some painting ideas for your big photo op.

 

SOLID NEUTRALS

The first obvious choice is a solid, neutral color. This is an easy one that can be done at home if you want to skip the salon. Now-a-days neutrals are very wide spread, so it doesn’t have to be boring. One of my favorites is the “gray” family, because gray can carry subtle undertones of color. Allowing your polish to be neutral while still grabbing some of the colors you may have in your outfits (See example below.) Other neutrals may include black, brown\nude, a true gray, or even navy!

Polish by Essie

Polish by Essie

 

 

FRENCH TIPS

French tips are probably my all time favorite, because they are elegant and classic. They will compliment any style outfit from casual to formal. While a true french tip is solid white, two variation of this classic look may be to add sparkle or substitute black for the white (As pictured below.)

Classic French Tip

Classic French Tip

 

Classic French Tip with Glitter.

Classic French Tip with Glitter.

 

Neutral Black French Tip

Neutral Black French Tip

 

 

COLORED FRENCH TIPS

Some of you probably had your hearts sink when my first tip was a neutral color. So for those who can’t hack neutrals, this may be a better alternative to a full-nail, bold color. French tips by nature are classy, so a color french tip may satisfy your need to “pop,” while still keeping a subtle look that won’t over power your photos. Consider mixing just a little color in with a simple french tip design, like what’s pictured in image 3 below.

Aqua French Tip

Aqua French Tip

Purple French Tip

Purple French Tip

Pink and White French Tip

Pink and White French Tip

 

NAIL ART DESIGNS AND PATTERNS

This can be a fun way to play with neutrals (and maybe a bit of color.) However, I strongly suggest clients are very careful with this option. Designs can quickly get too wild and take away from your up close shots. Here are a few ideas you may consider for a fun, controlled look.

Black with ring finger design.

Black with ring finger design.

 

Two Tone French Tip

Two Tone French Tip

 

Reverse, Two Toned French Tip

Reverse, Two Toned French Tip

 

OMBRE NAILS

The final suggestion for painting is the perfectly, simple ombre. This style is based on 2-3 colors varying from light – dark and typically include a neutral. Therefore, it can be a simple, trendy design that doesn’t get carried away. Just remember to keep it neutral or keep it simple. Here are a few ombre’s I love:

Pink Ombre

Pink Ombre

Gray Ombre

Gray Ombre

White\Blue Ombre

White\Blue Ombre

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Good luck and I look forward to seeing what clients come up with. 🙂 Thank you all for reading and be sure to leave any questions or comments in this post’s comment section! Follow me here on WordPress by blog or email, plus, catch me on Facebook by giving the {Noel Photography and Design} page a LIKE.

Happy Creating!
Noel

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Wearing Glasses in Photos.

May 17, 2016

This tip is short and sweet, but important “food for thought.” If you’re like me, you have been blessed with the inability to see clearly. Literally. In which case you likely sport contacts, glasses or both. For me, I use both and have embraced my curse by finding various frames to rock when I’m not using contacts. So whether you love your frames or they’re your only fix, they’ll be in some or all of your portrait photos. Now here’s our dilemma as a “four eyes…”

public domain image

public domain image

 

THE PROBLEM

Obviously, glass is reflective. Many objects we come across while photographing cause glares, reflections and various other problems. However, glasses in particular cause the worst kind of issue. Mostly because they cover one of your most important features – your eyes!!! Adding to the parade of problems, eyes are one of the most detailed features of a person. Making the ability to remove the glare extremely difficult, and sometimes impossible without distorting the image. For example, pictured below (before any touch-ups,) this young lady’s glasses would create a purple glare every time she was in any sort of direct sunlight. As you can see the glare(s) cover three very detailed areas: the lashes, the iris, and the reflections in the pupils. Most glares similar to the one below or those that don’t cover the eye can be removed, or significantly reduced. But unfortunately, that’s not always the case. Not to mention many photographers, including myself, won’t retouch glares for free, because of the time consuming process. Don’t fret! I have a couple easy solutions for you to avoid the hassle and the extra cost.

Glasses Glare | Image © Noel Photography | DO NOT COPY

Glasses Glare | Image © Noel Photography | DO NOT COPY

 

THE FIX

The first and BEST solution is to remove your lenses for the shoot. (Pictured below.) Doing so will allow you to wear your glasses worry free and no one will notice a thing. As a plus, most eye glass companies will do the temporary removal service for free. While your lenses are out you can wear your contacts, or bring along a backup pair of glasses to wear while off camera.

If you are unable to remove your lenses, the next tip is for both clients and photographers. While looking at the camera, subjects should push their glasses up, and tip their head down every-so-slightly to help move the glare off the center of the glasses. This trick will at least keep your eye from being covered and sometimes even remove the glare from the shot. Making a usable and acceptable image with or without glare retouch.

A third helpful option is to shoot in locations that are shaded. Typically “direct light” is what causes glares and reflections. Therefore by stepping out of the sun glares should be more controlled or eliminated, and again an acceptable image with or without glare retouching should be achieved.

 

No Lenses Make for No Problems! | Image © Noel Photography | DO NOT COPY

No Lenses Make for No Problems. That’s right, she’s not wearing any lenses! | Image © Noel Photography | DO NOT COPY


 

Questions or more tips? Comment below. Thank you all for reading and I hope to see all my fellow “four eyes” and their stellar frames in a 2016 shoot!!!! Get more tips and creativity by following {Noel Photography & Design} here on WordPress using your blog or email. Plus, catch all the happenings with me on Facebook by LIKING the {Noel P&D} Facebook page.

Happy Creating!

Noel

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What Types of Clothes to Choose for Senior Portraits.

May 3, 2016

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Its one of the biggest photo opportunities of your life, so like it or not, what you choose to wear is important! That doesn’t mean your wardrobe has to be a hassle or even you trying to be something you’re not. Instead, your senior portrait wardrobe should tastefully reflect who you are, and who you are becoming. That being said, I will discuss some of the clothing choices you will want to consider for your senior portrait session.

 

DRESSY CASUAL.

This is my personal favorite to see for the majority of outfits. It’s the perfect stage in between being casual and formal. Pair dressy, decorative, and stylish tops with jeans, khakis, white pants, black jeans, or gals may even consider capris or skirts. Girls may also choose fun dresses, while guys may want to find a nice, stylish jacket or sweater. Here are some examples of “dressy-casual” outfits for guys and gals. —-

YOUNG LADIES:

Dressy-Casual Outfits for Young Ladies

Dressy-Casual Outfits for Young Ladies

YOUNG MEN:

Dressy-Casual Outfits for Young Men.

Dressy-Casual Outfits for Young Men.

 

FORMAL.

Selecting at least one formal look of some sort is a very important portion of your session. Not only does it produce some classy, professional-looking photos for your family and friends, but this is the part where you’re considering “who you are becoming.” Likely, you’re about to be applying for scholarships, schools, or even sending job applications. Therefore, it may be necessary to have a formal photo to send to colleges, companies, organizations, or even to use as a profile picture on professional work sites such as LinkedIn.

Prom dresses for gals and suits for the fellas are always an awesome, safe bet! If suits and dresses just aren’t your style, here are a couple other choices you may consider for a formal look, or in addition to a suit\prom dress:

Formal\Business Casual Options Other Than Suits and Dresses!

Formal\Business Casual Options Other Than Suits and Dresses!

 

SPECIALTY.

Specialty outfits are those that pertain to a particular activity or organization. Some examples may include sport uniforms and gear, extra curricular activity outfits, club shirts, music uniforms and etc. Even if you don’t wear all the items you bring, you may want to display some in your photo!

Senior Portrait | © Noel Photography and Design | DO NOT COPY

Senior Portrait | © Noel Photography and Design | DO NOT COPY

 

CASUAL.

This style type can sometimes overlap with your “Specialty Outfits” that you read about above. If you decide to not use a specialty outfit, it never hurts to have at least one casual clothing choice. Plain, simple t-shirts, nice shorts, tank tops and etc. While you want to always look your best, a casual style can nicely break up your wardrobe and add some variety.

© Noel Photography and Design | DO NOT COPY

© Noel Photography and Design | DO NOT COPY

ACCESSORIES.

Ladies. Remember to bring along hair accents, jewelry, hats, scarves, belts, sunglasses, shoes, and most importantly – proper undergarments!
Gentlemen. Remember any ties, belts, suspenders, cufflinks, jewelry, hats, sunglasses, shoes, watches, headphones, or any other accents to complete your look.

Accessorize Your Look.

Accessorize Your Look.

 

WHEN YOU HAVE LIMITED OUTFITS YOU CAN BRING.

There are some senior sessions in which a very limited number of outfits may be used. In the long run it’s really up to you as far as what you choose as your favorites. As far as styles, I’d strongly recommend choosing outfits in the dressy-casual or formal category. Remember, you only get to do your senior photos once. Make it YOU but make yourself STAND OUT!

 


Hopefully this will help guide parents and students when choosing your photo day wardrobe. I look forward to seeing all the fun ideas this year’s seniors bring! Thanks for reading and be sure to follow {Noel P&D} here on WordPress by blog or email. Plus, keep up-to-date with my newsfeed on Facebook by giving me a page LIKE!

Happy Creating!

Noel

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Three Neutral-Eye Looks for Senior Portraits!

April 19, 2016

When prepping for senior portraits it’s important to consider ALL the little details of your look. So this post is focusing on one of your most important features – your eyes!

The very first makeup tip I give to my seniors is “keep it neutral.” The cosmetics available to us include every color under the sun, but it’s important to remember there’s very limited time during your session. Meaning changing your eye makeup with every outfit is typically not possible. Using a neutral palette will allow you to move through your session with easy touch-ups and a 100% guarantee your makeup will match every outfit.

© Noel Photography & Design

© Noel Photography & Design

Does that mean your makeup has to be boring or non-existant? Absolutely not! Your senior portraits are one of your biggest photo opportunities you’ll have. Therefore, there’s no reason neutral has to be boring! Here are a few neutral styles I LOVE for senior portraits:

 

SMOKEY EYE

The “smokey eye” look is a classic and dramatic eye shadow that can never be wrong. It’s a subtle, darker look that can really accentuate your eyes, no matter what their color. Many choose to do this technique in either brown OR black shades, depending upon how bold they’d like to be. Adding a neutral “sparkle” can help highlight, and give dimension to this look, as well.

Image samples found on Pinterest.com.

Smokey eye with neutral sparkle | Image sample found on Pinterest.com.

 

“HOW TO” FROM YOURS TRULY:

Smokey Eye Tutorial

Smokey Eye Tutorial

Applying a basic smokey eye can be pretty easy, and typically requires a minimum of 2-3 colors: Light and Dark OR Light, Medium and Dark. This particular tutorial includes three colors. As for tools, I use two soft “blending brushes” for the whole process. Keeping one brush for light colors and a second for dark colors. So here we go:

1. & 2. The first two steps blur together because you want to do a lot of blending with your first two colors. Apply a medium neutral color across the whole lid, then a lighter highlighting color under the brow and in the inner corner of your eye. Blend, blend, blend! (Image 1 of 4)

3. Using a dark brown or black, smudge the dark shadow into the crease of your lid. Blend the edges. (Image 2 of 4)

4. After all your shadows are well blended, apply liner to the upper and lower, inner ledges of your eye. Crayon is easiest, but I occasionally use both crayon and liquid liner for this look. Liquid makes it last longer, has sharper lines, and won’t smear as easy. (Image 3 of 4)

{Careful, it does take some practice applying liquid liner to the ledge of your eye!}

5. If desired, curl your eyelashes, but be sure to apply your mascara on the upper and lower lashes. Done!

6. Practice makes perfect.

 

WING EYELINER\SHADOW

This is my particular favorite for a neutral eye! There’s two ways a “wing” can be accomplished: Shadow or eyeliner. It’s very important to choose your method wisely based on your personal characteristics. Shadows make this look more subtle, while still getting the awesome definition of a winged technique. Liners are going to create a bold, harsh line for those looking for a dramatic wing.

Shadow Wing | Image sample from Pinterest.com

Shadow Wing | Image sample from Pinterest.com

 

Eyeliner Wing | Image sample from Pinterest.com

Eyeliner Wing | Image sample from Pinterest.com

 

HOW TO FROM YOURS TRULY:

The last step of this tutorial is actually the most important. The “eyeliner” wing in particular can be very difficult to master. Practice getting both eyes even, and how to fix them without starting your make up process from scratch (which I will also cover in this tutorial.) On top of this being a difficult technique, there are SO MANY variations: small wing, large wing, thick, thin, curved or straight! Play around with what works best for your eye shape. The tutorial I have posted here is showing a thicker line, with a more straight or flat top, compared to the image sample just above. So let’s jump in:

Eyeliner Wing Tutorial

Eyeliner Wing Tutorial

1. Similar to the smokey eye, apply a light all-over color across your lid. Followed by a medium, neutral color to ever-so-slightly accent your crease. (Image 1 of 6)

2. Choose a neutral, dark color like brown, black or navy. Liquid liners with tapered, firm ends work best.  I am using “Revlon Colorstay SKINNY in the color BLACK OUT.” Start with a thin baseline across your lashes. You can build thicker if desired later, however, starting thin also allows room for error. (Image 2 of 6)

3. Using your tapered liner tip, add a diagonal line at the outer corner of your eye, at an angle you desire. I usually recommend a wider angle to create a sleek, elongated look. Consider using the end of your eyebrow as a reference point.  (Image 3 of 6)

{TIP: Do NOT tilt your head to the side, or pull on your eye to make your creases flat when making the angled line. Doing either of these can make a distorted line, or make it difficult to evenly apply the second wing. Instead, keep your head straight towards the mirror and slightly tip your head back allowing your eyes to close slightly to flatten your lid surface.}

4. Now, starting at the tip of the angled line, draw another line in toward your first base line. How you make this line is what defines whether it’s flat like mine, or more curved like the image sample above mine. You can then fill in the “triangle” you’ve just created and anywhere that was missed near the lash line. (Image 4 of 6)

5. Almost done… Let’s bridge the gap between wing and lashes! To fill in more of the lashes and make everything more solid, add crayon liner to the upper ledge of your eye, just beneath the lashes. (Image 5 of 6)

6. Curl your lashes if desired, but complete your look by adding mascara. WAA-LA!

7. Practice, Practice, Practice!

 

{FIXING A WING}

Oh crap! Your wings aren’t even… Don’t run to the sink to wash your face just yet. Choose which side you like better!

1 Dip a q-tip in make up remover or water. (Choose this based on what kind of liner you’re using…ie. waterproof or water based. I like using the natural astringent, Witch Hazel.)

2 Starting at the outer tip of the wing, press firmly and roll your q-tip in toward your lash line, removing the wing. You may need to repeat this process to get all of the wing removed. However, avoid using the same q-tip end twice, as to not smear around the liner already on the q-tip that you just removed.

3. Touch up the shadows you had as a base and in your crease. Don’t worry if some of the new shadow gets on the eyeliner still at your lash line.

4. Retry! Now you’re ready to try the wing again.

5. Assuming you’ve master it the second time, don’t forget to touch up the baseline with some fresh eyeliner. This will cover any touch up eye shadow that fell on it.

6. Repeat as needed. 🙂

 

UNDER EYE SMUDGE

I love this look, but it’s definitely one to be careful with! The “under eye smudge” can give a dramatic twist on the classic smokey eye or winged look. However, if overly or incorrectly done, this style can overtake your facial features and make subjects appear tired. With that in mind here are some tips for this look:

Image sample found on Pinterest.com

Image sample found on Pinterest.com

Image sample found on Pinterest.com

Image sample found on Pinterest.com

Image sample found on Pinterest.com

Image sample found on Pinterest.com

 

TIP 1: Keep the smudge line thin and just under your lower lashes. Doing so will keep those dark colors from getting into the under eye circle area, which is where this style can make you look tired.

TIP 2: Use sparkly neutrals alone or with a darker color for a brighter effect. Using a medium shade may also be a better alternative to dark as well.

TIP 3: While it’s best to keep everything neutral, doing a single, light color for the under eye can be stunning! If you do decide to venture into color, pick one that is a compliment to your eye color, or a color that is featured in more than one of your outfits.

Alright friends, there you have it, my top favorite neutral eye make up styles. Thanks for reading and be sure to follow me here on WordPress by blog or email, and hit the LIKE button on Facebook.

Happy Creating!

Noel

 

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What to Do BEFORE Your Senior Portrait Session!

April 6, 2016

While a photographer preps and plans every detail of your big photo day, the most important time for senior portrait clients is the few weeks before their session! Today’s post will be covering some of the top preparations a high school senior {along with their family} can do to be sure their special photo op. runs smoothly.

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Image © Noel Photography | Do NOT Copy

 

3-4 WEEKS OUT

This is the perfect time frame to be considering the style that best reflects YOU! Artsy? Edgy? Western? Bohemian? Classic? Flamboyant? Sophisticated? Chic? Preppy? Rocker? Maybe of a combination there of!?

Choose several outfits you feel not only fit your personality best, but also your body type. Take the time to try on each of those outfits to be sure you are satisfied with what you see in the mirror.

Lastly, narrow your selection down to however many outfits your sessions allows, plus 1-3 extra outfits. Doing so will ensure you have plenty of options at your session to fit each location scenario best.

 

1-2 WEEKS OUT

Decide what your plan is for hair and nails. (Yes, this tip is for GUYS and GIRLS!!) These are important details that will be noticeable in every single one your portraits.

Hair cuts and colors should be done about 1.5 weeks before your shoot. Decide how you will style your hair, plus any potential hairstyle changes for during your session. Hair changes should be fast, simple and easy, moving from loose to pulled back styles. If you are planning to change your look part way through, I can’t stress enough to practice, practice, practice those changes. You won’t want to eat up session time fixing your hair!

Nails should be groomed about 1-3 days before your shoot. For gals, whether it’s done by you or a professional make sure your nails look nice. Consider neutral colors or french tips to ensure they will match all your outfits. {Don’t forget a pedicure too!}

The same goes for guys! Again whether it’s you or a professional, have your hands and nails groomed. Trimming and cleaning your fingernails for your detail shots will photograph best. {Guys, if you plan to go barefoot, groom your toenails and feet as well!}

Catching all the details for those up close shots!

Catch all the details for those up close shots! | Public Domain Image

 

THE NIGHT BEFORE

Layout and iron all of your outfits you plan to bring to your session. Hang them all on hangers instead of folding them into a bag.

Whether you get everything in the car, or a specific spot in your home, gather all your items in one place. Nothing is more dramatic than forgetting something! Clothes, shoes, accessories, make-up, hair products, special props and etc. Having everything in one place the night before will make the day of less stressful.

Get some sleep!!! I can’t stress enough how important sleep is the night before your session. Not only do you not want to feel tired as we run around to different locations, but you won’t want to LOOK tired in all your photos. Do yourself a favor and hit the sack early!

 

THE DAY OF YOUR SESSION

Take a deep breath and relax! This is the day of fun, where all your hard preparation work pays off. By this time everything should be set to run smoothly, but there’s a few last things to remember!

Stay hydrated. Bring along a water bottle and be sure to drink plenty. Especially during summer sessions, it’s easy to forget and become dehydrated. Nothing’s worse than feeling light headed while trying to strike a pose and smile.

Remember to eat!! This is equally important as drinking. It’s never a good idea to completely skip a meal. It will be extremely hard to concentrate on your session if you’re sick, light headed or shaky. Keep your meal simple and light as to not feel bloated, but definitely don’t skip it!

Image © Noel Photography | Do NOT Copy

Image © Noel Photography | Do NOT Copy

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Near to Noel Photography and Design? View Senior Portrait session info at: http://www.noelportfolio.com/senior-portraits/

Thanks for reading and be sure to check in again for more upcoming Senior tips! Follow Noel Photography and Design here on WordPress by blog or email, and LIKE the Facebook page for all creative updates. 🙂

Happy Creating!

Noel

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