Beautiful images start with getting to know your client. I am old school…I like to talk on the phone or meet up in person. I use this time to learn about the client’s style and interests and what they would most like to get out of their portrait session.  I often end up creating lasting relationships and friendships with my clients. They will come back for a family photo session, and before long, they will be ready for their senior portraits!

I have been photographing Mary since she was in second grade, so when it was time for her senior portrait session, I was very familiar with her style and personality. I knew she preferred classic portraits. She selected five outfits, and I matched them to my favorite locations. I also knew how much Mary loves her standard poodle, Remi, so incorporating Remi into some of the portraits was at the top of the list. For these reasons, we choose Mellon Park, a dog-friendly park in the Shadyside area of Pittsburgh, PA with many classic features.

© Valerie Thomas Photography

I selected this iconic wall within Mellon Park to pose Mary and Remy. I wanted their faces together rather than a standing pose so that I could really capture their close relationship. The concrete served as my reflector (my favorite modifier!). The flowers that surround this park make it the perfect backdrop for classic portraits. 

During the ordering process, Mary fell in love with this image with Remi and selected it to use as the front of her graduation thank you card. I used Marathon Press to print a custom 5×7 flat thank you card on pearl paper. I love the pearl paper. Often, I will print a photo without a message on the front of the card. Family and friends can then frame the 5×7 card with a handwritten message on the back. Thank you cards are just one more item to include in my luxury portrait experience. 

© Valerie Thomas Photography
© Valerie Thomas Photography

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