3 tips for getting beautiful Senior Photos in the desert

How to get that golden glow

I want to share a few tips to help ensure a stress free experience with beautiful images to treasure of your graduate.


The quality of light in our desert and unique and very different from other places, even other deserts. Our sun is intense, so heading out into the desert in the middle of the day will result in very different photos than what you will get at sunset. 
You can certainly shoot in the middle of the day, but you will get rather dramatic images with lots of shadows. How that is not my preference and not my style.  I have that most people want that soft, flattering light and many want the warm glow you get from that sweet hour before sunset. The quality of light is one of the most important aspects to creating great images, so time of day is important to consider.


If you are shopping for the least expensive photographer on the block, you will find many in that budget range.  Likely they are just starting out and learning how to use light or flash or how to work with clients to get great expressions. I have the experience from working with clients for years to know how to get them relaxed quickly so that the photosession is fun and easy going.

This is where having an experience photographer can make all the difference in the outcome. Someone who likes working with people, someone who can make things fun for teens but not be overly cheesy and someone who is confident with their camera, so they aren’t fumbling around.  Nobody likes that!


Since all teens are unique, Julie loves to make a session about capturing who they are as individuals. This means bringing and wearing clothing they feel comfortable in and that fits them well, choosing colors that flatter their complexion and wearing styles they feel as confident as possible with.

Some seniors don’t makeup but it is recommended for a photo shoot.  Not only does it make your photos look better, the senior will feel more confident, and even makes the editing easier! You don’t have to overdo it, and I recommend being true to yourself, just even a little eye makeup and lip and cheek color is enough for some people

There are thousands of great tutorials on YouTube showing makeup tips, so if you are not hiring a pro, then YouTube is a great place to start and practice.

I usually suggest to my clients to bring 3-6 different outfits and we can go through them where I can suggest what might photograph best in the location, or just what works great on camera. Some clients just do 1-2 outfits total, where others want 3 different looks. Everything is custom with senior portraits!