Kylie’s Creative Senior Session – Sparklers, Flower Crowns, and a Tire Swing in Alpena, MI

When Kylie and I first met to plan her session, she’d said that she was open to anything, and that she didn’t really have any specific “must-have” senior pics.

When we met again for the senior shoot, she had many ideas. She’s a dancer and a varsity soccer girl, but for her senior pics, she wanted to incorporate what’s closest to her heart, and her favorite way to spend her days: hanging out on the lake with her family and friends, and her “baby,” Otis.


Kylie lives on a lake (lucky girl!) and since she also wanted her lake and dog in her photos, we had the shoot at her home.

We began with some studio-style warm-ups, which I absolutely love. She was sitting on her floor in those. I’m guessing at the time she was wondering what on Earth these were going to look like, but the black backdrop hid her couch nicely. 🙂 These show her as the academic girl who has-it-all together… which she is! In addition to her sports and dance, she works AND maintains her position on the A honor roll.

Once we decided what she likes in portraits, and she had a few frames to get used to me and the camera, we headed outside. I couldn’t pass up the light on the way out- just her screened porch, but it’s gorgeous with that hazy soft glow!



We headed down her driveway to the road out front. The sun was just perfect coming through the trees here and she looks amazing.

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I have to mention this crown- Kylie sent me a pin… it was a wedding crown featuring live succulents… so yes, a bit beyond my crown-making skill! Anyway, I went to the lovely ladies at Lasting Expressions in Alpena, and they were super sweet. They even let me hop on the flower delivery truck (just happened to arrive when I was there) and pick out any stems I wanted. And if that wasn’t enough, she walked me outside and picked a few sprigs from their garden beds for me. I’m amazed at their helpfulness, and they are my florist of choice from now on.


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Then it was time for Otis to join in. Cuteness overload! Notice his red bow tie in the driveway photo?

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Kylie wanted a few red barn pics, so we grabbed those (as she watched her dad and her friend drag her trampoline into the lake for a few jumps).


Then we went down the road to her uncle’s place for this. Totally worth it.


Just as it was getting dark, we shot the sparklers. Since there was no light, really, other than the sparklers, we had to use many- I think she was holding 5 or 6 in these pics. It took a few tries to figure it out, and then, they burned so quickly I have no idea how many packs we burned through, but it was super fun. And I am in love with the outcome.


Kylie (hope she doesn’t me sharing!) was rather nervous when I arrived for her shoot. I get it! It was a new experience, and we were shooting around her backyard and house. So after it all, she has a bit of advice for other girls who might be apprehensive going in to their own senior photo sessions:

Kylie’s Tips:

  1. Pinterest A LOT. (While we didn’t copy another session, it gave her ideas about what she liked, in terms of styles, poses, and fun ideas to play with (sparkler and flower crown).
  2. Bring a friend. (It helped calm her nerves, and Alyssa was really helpful with moral support, encouragement, and assisting me with holding the reflector.)

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And there you have it. Five outfits, a ton of different looks and locations, and one beautiful senior. 🙂

Thank you Kylie for a fantastic evening!