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3853 Deer Run Ln
Ames, IA, 50014
United States

(515) 292-9605


A little bit of insight and behind the scenes from the years of portrait photography experiences of the JP team.


Seniors, Seniors, Seniors

Cari Hague

Seniors: FREE Book and more…

Attention Class of 2016, it’s time to start thinking about senior pictures.  (Class of 2016 parents, it’s time to start thinking about your son/daughter’s senior pictures.)

Seniors, Seniors, Seniors… We’ve packed this article with info, insight, tips and a pretty sweet deal, and tailored it just for seniors (and their parents).

What do seniors want?  What do a senior’s parents want?  Can you have both?


  • Showcase individuality
  • Pictures to turn out perfect/to look like a star in a magazine
  • To have fun


  • Capture their child’s unique personality and real expressions
  • Create beautiful artwork to display in their home
  • Receive a good value for the investment

Sometimes the senior and parent’s wishes are the same and other times it seems like there is no way both can have what they want.  Specifically, we are talking about senior pictures, but this rings true in many areas doesn’t it.  The lists above contain some of the top desires that we hear regularly.  While we don’t have magic wands, we strive to deliver results that satisfy the senior and the parent.  Here is what one mother said:

“It can be difficult trying to choose the right photographer to capture your children the way you see them and not just an image of them. Jacquelyn does just that! She has a way about her that just makes you so comfortable that you can relax and can be photographed so that your personality is captured.

I looked at multiple websites, but there was something about the natural essence of the pictures she gets. It was their smile. She has the ability to capture their genuine smile. That is what sold us. Not a background or prop, and not a perfect pose. 

My children were her subjects and she made them shine. She captured moments in their session that allowed us to see that beautiful smile from when they were a little child or that little glint in their eye that reminds you of something only you remember.  I couldn't believe how many expressions she captured from them. That was what I wanted for my children's senior picture memories, I wanted to see them.  Jackie made that happen. I am grateful for her work, her patients and her gift. She is a talented lady.  Thank you Jackie!!” ~Dawna D.

Apparently, a bazillion years of experience these days can leave us with an image that we are outdated or incapable of keeping up with the latest trends.  While we don’t have any desire to be so trendy that the validity of our images are out as quickly as a Seventeen magazine, we love learning from our senior clients about what excites them locally in fashion and style.  We educate ourselves with relevant fashion and décor trends through travel and research and use the inspirations to stay fresh and creative. 

We always strive though, to stay true to our philosophy that the best design and art will be classy and timeless.  Our goal is to deliver a spread in the Artist’s Book worthy of an A-listers spread in Vogue or GQ magazine, to truly showcase a senior the way a star would be featured.  We also create images from every session that could be featured in a home décor magazine as they hang as fine artwork on a parent’s walls.

Over the years, we have delivered senior portraits in many different ways, and are always listening to what works well for our clients.  There are a variety of choices currently on the market and we realize that our options may not be the ideal fit for everyone.  However, we have received a ton of positive feedback that our current packages are a great value and have been a worthwhile investment for our clients.  The First Package includes the Artist’s Book, the session time with the photographer, complete professional retouching and finish artwork on all the files, finished digital files for archiving with a print release for gift portraits.  The Second Package includes an upgrade to Wall Art  which we have so much fun helping you to design.

According to most parents, children grow up way too fast and sometimes according to the seniors, they don’t grow up fast enough.  Everyone has a story, trust us to reveal it in the most beautiful and natural way.

FREE – This super fun mini duplicate Artists’ Book is free for a limited time…

Isn't this mini book adorable?

Isn't this mini book adorable?

A fun new product that came as an evolution of some previous books and album products is our Artist’s Book.  Launched last senior season, we love the use of this format to deliver the variety we see at our senior sessions.  It is so hard to tell a senior’s story in one image or one expression.  We really enjoy delving in to reveal many sides of a senior.  In the Artist’s Book we can showcase fun and playful, close up beautiful eyes that peer into their soul, that artistic composition amongst a beautiful scene, and the familiar relaxed smile.  

All our session packages come with the 8” Artist’s Book.   For a limited time you can get the 4” mini duplicate for FREE.   Book your session, or make your session reservation by May 31st to take advantage of the offer.

Tips for Perfect Senior Pictures (& a Super Secret behind how we Reveal Seniors True Beauty)

  1. Communicate.  If there is something you really want, or really don’t want let us know.  We have tons of ideas so no worries if you don’t have any, but we still haven’t perfected mind reading so please tell us what you are thinking.
  2. Just have fun with it.  Laughing helps and makes great pictures.
  3. Relax, we know that you are not a professional model or a superstar that has taken classes on how to pose.  However, we are experts at posing.  Before you think stiff, stuffy and how “posing” sounds horrible, let me share a secret.  Shhh, seriously this is our secret weapon, even most professional photographers take it for granted or haven’t given the time to master this art.  This is how with the turn of a foot or the roll of a hip or the placement of your hand, we can help you look relaxed and natural.  Whether a photographer lets you pose yourself (aka stand/sit however you want) or helps coach you (suggested protocol) the pose makes the difference in results like, 15lbs. visually and a masculine or feminine tone to the image.
  4. Clothes matter.  You want to be seen and not have clothing that is so distracting that it takes away from you.  See details about making good clothing choices here.  We suggest bringing several choices and let us help you make the final decisions, sometimes we have an idea for pairing an outfit that you didn’t think of together. 
  5. Come with an open mind.  We are creative artists so the best sessions happen when you let us “play”.  A wacky-off the wall idea we haven’t tried before may work and turn out to be that money shot and may not.  We shoot a bunch and then narrow it down to the best using our expertise.  It’s okay to have some specific requests, but if you are game we will bring the magic.
  6. Relax, okay so I may have said that already, but if you ask past clients, as much as some of you may be dreading this, it will not be painful.  Your prime quality expressions have a limit.  (We know you can last a little longer than the toddlers do, but we also know you’re not a professional model so you won’t last all day.)  With the years of experience, we have worked hard to become very efficient, to make the best use and be respectful of your valuable time.  Plus, if the session is a complete disaster, and you don’t love your images, we will schedule an additional shoot.  Yes, we guarantee our work, though in decades of sessions, we can count on one hand how many times we’ve actually had to do that.

Hopefully this has given you something useful or entertaining at least.  Of course, we’d love to hear from you with questions or thoughts or to book your senior session.  If you haven’t checked out the article on our favorite months for senior sessions be sure to scroll down.  Check out available session times here and don’t forget to take advantage of the FREE mini book special.