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Erika {State College, PA senior photographer}

Earlier in the afternoon before Erika’s session, I drove around scouting potential new locations, and I stumbled on this weird abandoned garage missing a roof. I kept thinking that it would be amazing right before sunset, so I kept an eye on the sky during her session. We popped over there at exactly the right time, and I was thrilled to find that my hunch was correct! The light turned a cool location into an extraordinary one.

These are just a few of my favorites of the lovely Erika. Enjoy!


What to wear {Wardrobe Wednesday}

One of the things we always talk about is how to adapt these Wardrobe Wednesday posts to fit your own portrait session. Particularly with the family outfit suggestions, we try to illustrate that when done correctly, your outfits should work together as a group, but also well in pairs and individually.

It’s one thing to say “You can put this together, subtract this, or add this,” but I’m a visual girl, so I thought I’d show you!

I recently had a portrait session where my client e-mailed me photos she took of her own clothes to get my feedback as part of her pre-session consultation. Most of these items are basic wardrobe staples that you can find at your favorite clothing retailer, if not in your closet already. For these reasons I’m not going to concentrate on where to shop as much as illustrate how well the pairings work and why.

Michele sent me the image of her daughter’s dress on the right, which she said was purchased at Forever 21, and the following four photos:

She had checked out previous Wardrobe Wednesday posts and knew to pull colors from the dress for the rest of the family, so she was off to a great start! I suggested the outfit on the left for her son because the light blue vest in the outfit on the right was too close a shade to Dad’s button down.

The only problem it posed was that three people would be in khakis, which would be a little too similar, so I suggested she wear a white skirt. She worried it would get it dirty while sitting on the ground — definitely a valid point — and asked if her husband could wear jean shorts. That would be a little too casual in my opinion, so we settled on a denim skirt for her, and that was the missing piece! They looked incredible!

Okay, so because they did such a great job, lets pull them into smaller groupings and you can see how all of the outfits still work even in pairs or individually.

And, even better? Look at how great the different images look together, too! Which makes for an awesome wall display. And isn’t that the whole point of a portrait session? So you can warm up your home with incredible images and even better memories!


What to wear {Wardrobe Wednesday}

Love this week’s suggestions by Jennifer for the curvalicious crowd!

Here’s what she has to say:

Here at Wardrobe Wednesday, our main goal is to show our clients (and yours) that they have more options for their photo sessions than just the same old jeans and black or white shirt. We’ve been doing this for over a year now, and I have to admit, that while I wholeheartedly support the outfits we post, sometimes my first thought is, “yeah, that dress is rockin’, but I bet I couldn’t even fit my pinky toe in it!” That’s the pessimistic side of me. The optimistic side of me LOVES the outfit, goes straight to the store, tries it on, and is quite ticked off at my fabulous WW ladies because that gorgeous outfit on my size 14-16 body looks NOTHING like it did on the size 4 model. So, after a few requests from some of our readers, I decided to put together another plus-size ensemble.

One of the best features for any plus-size outfit is a wide belt or cinched-in fabric just below the bust. In the dress shown, the belt gives your body a more defined hourglass shape, and the empire waist on the paisley shirt lengthens the body’s appearance. Find a well-fitted, supportive, strapless bra if you choose to stay sleeveless, or use a coordinating cardigan if you decide not to show off your arms. Bring a camisole or tank top to throw on underneath the cardigan, along with a pair of blue jeans when you want a more casual look.

While it is not often suggested to wear horizontal stripes if you are self-conscious about your size, the black vest over the striped-shirt gives the illusion of a much smaller frame. In all cases, wear heels, when possible, to elongate your legs, and be sure to include a few accessories to add the special touch.

As with any other body type, there are some important things you should remember if you’re shopping in the plus-size section:

  • Make sure the clothes fit. Keep in mind that if the shirt or dress is tight when you’re standing up, then there’s a big possibility that you’re going to be highly uncomfortable when we ask you to sit down. On the same note, don’t try to hide everything under an outfit that is two sizes too big for you. It WILL make you look bigger!
  • Slim your body using shapewear.  There are great tank tops and strapless body suits that help you obtain a sleek silhouette by enhancing the natural curves of your body. Again, you want to make sure you get the correct size. If you can’t breathe when you try it on, try the next size up so you’re not gasping for air during your session.
  • Wear something that shows off what you love, and conceals the parts you’re not too crazy about. If you don’t like your arms, don’t wear a sleeveless shirt or find a cardigan to complement that cute tank top you love. If you don’t like your legs, don’t wear short shorts.

The most important thing to remember is to be comfortable, have fun and let your personality shine!




All items can be found at either Maurices or Torrid.


Blue Dress


Open-Toe Boots

Multi-Colored Ring

Multi-Colored Earrings

Blue Necklace

Black Shirt & Vest

Black Pants

Black Necklace

Black Earrings

Wedge Sandals


Paisley Shirt



And the winners are … 3K Giveaway {State College, PA photographer}

I am so incredibly humbled by all of the touching stories everyone shared with me regarding reasons you’d love to win a portrait session. It’s one thing for me to talk about the value of investing in professional photography, but reading through your entries was a great illustration of why you would cherish a session. It’s also one of the biggest reasons I love what I do so much.  The gift of memories really is priceless.

That said, I wish everyone could win, so I’m giving a special offer to everyone who entered — be sure to keep reading all the way through to the end for details.

And now, without further ado, lets get to the winners! The first was selected by Random.org based on the blog comment entries:

Comment number 7 is Joanne who writes:

Kelly I absolutely love your website!!! If I won the giveaway I would love to have a family session done because though my oldest is 10, we have NO family pictures. I hate that and would love to see one hanging on my wall….especially one taken by you as your work is wonderful!!

Thank You

And now for the second winner, which was MUCH harder because I had to choose myself rather than leaving it up to a computer program. I invited you to get creative and have some fun on my Facebook page, and boy did you ever! It was so great seeing everyone’s ideas throughout the week, but there was one clear winner who really thought outside the box and used PHOTOS in a very creative way to show how much she wanted to win.

Congratulations to Bridget Smith for her awesome “Kelly V.” entry! Love it!



But, WAIT! That’s not all! There are a few more honerable mentions for these awesome entries:

  • Kelly Stine who wrote this adorable poem about her equally adorable son:
I am so fun and cute, my Mom thinks I’m a hoot.
If you took some photos of me, there’d be so many good choices you see.
I’ve been a little model since day one, Mom’s taken my picture a ton.
Yeah she’s good but not like you- she wants some professional photos to view!
So take my picture pretty please, I’ll give them to Mom & Dad for their anniversary!!!:)
  • Lindsay Williamson who posted a photo every day of her beautiful daughter, including this one:

  • Erin Bard, who also posted tons of fun photos of her lovely daughter and pup, including this one:

  • Sunam Ellis who had me laughing out loud with this one:

  • Krista Dorman who reminded me of an entry I would’ve submitted of me and my husband when we were dating with this hilarious photo:

  • Amy Hall-Long who was a CLOSE front runner with this awesome magazine cover:

  • And Brandon who got really crafty by Photoshopping his face on anything he could get his hands on:

These lucky seven plus everyone else who entered officially on the blog, will receive 20 percent off a portrait session if booked within the next three days and a FREE 5×15 foamcore-mounted storyboard print with their favorite images from their session — a $130 value!

Thank you to everyone who participated in the contest, thank you even more to everyone for sharing it with their friends, and a big congratulations to the winners!!!

To claim your prize or take advantage of the special offer, e-mail me at info@kellyvphotography.com by Saturday at midnight. Thanks again!


What to wear {Wardrobe Wednesday}

Lets hear it for the girls! This week, Erica focuses on how to get a variety of looks for your senior session. Love it!

Here’s what she has to say:

Lately, I have been lucky enough to photograph a ton of senior girls and with many more on my schedule next year, the most common question I get is “what should I wear?” When it comes to senior sessions, you really can’t go wrong with several different looks. This can really show all the different sides of your personality, as well as give your photographer tons of options when it comes to posing. Make sure to check with your photographer for their specific outfit limit ahead of time, that way you can plan out your different options well in advance.

Can’t decide between two different shirts or dresses? Bring them both! Your photographer will know what colors look best against the backdrop, so it is worth getting their opinion. I actually love to have my clients text or e-mail me a picture of their outfits, that way I can give advice and scout out some awesome spots that really compliment their clothing.

Below I have put together four different looks that would be great for any senior session. Don’t forget to bring lots of accessories and layers!

Vintage Outfit: Vintage-inspired photo shoots are all the rage lately and with some many different options I can see why! My favorite vintage clothing store is Ruche. Their clothing is adorable and affordable. Make sure to check out their “look-book” for ideas on what to wear to your session as well! As you can see I added several accessories and layers that way you can have lots of different options for posing. AND it is a pocket dress (which I love right now!) which will give you several other poses as well!

Bohemian Outfit: The Bohemian style is going to be the hot thing this fall and I love all the textures and funky patterns! Add a headpiece or funky headband to a few of the pictures to mix up the look.

Urban Outfit: This electric urban outfit will give you a ton of options. Paired with the same jeans from the Bohemian outfit (changing just your top and accessories is so much easier than the whole outfit) and a cool leather jacket this outfit will be sure to show off your rebellious side ;). I am loving the hat option and the funky jewelry!

Nature Outfit: Down here in Texas we love to take senior pictures in wildflowers, fields of weeds, and creeks so we love a good dress and boots. Of course, if you don’t live in Texas and you don’t want to invest in boots this can easily be worn barefoot or paired with some gladiator sandals. Anytime you are taking pictures in nature a bright color (like this turquoise dress) will really pop against the green and brown backdrop. Add a flower clip for a few pictures to mix it up.

I hope this has helped give you a few ideas for your senior session. The most important thing is to show off your personality and let your inner supermodel shine! Have fun!


Shopping Guide
Vintage Outfit:

Brazen Venture Pocket Print Dress
Ruche $35.99

Soaking in the Sun Espadrille Wedges
Ruche $36.99

Eocene Dangling Indie Earrings
Ruche $24.99

Zoey Bow Indie Hairpin by Petit Plume in Yellow

Cleopatra’s Way Bangles
Ruche $26.99

Mykonos Lace Cardigan
Ruche $42.99

Bohemian Outfit:

Crochet Overlay Top
Pink Ice $ 34.99
Finger Paint Cami
Pink Ice $ 22.99

Palomino Leather Headband Assorted Colors
Etsy $10.00

Three Button Destroyed Skinny Jean
Wet Seal $34.80

Urban Outfit:

Crinkle Leatherette Jacket
Wet Seal $36.50

Three Button Destroyed Skinny Jean
Wet Seal $34.80

Amber Cami
Wet Seal $6.50

Patent Leatherette Flat
Wet Seal $12.80

Diamond Dust Hoop Earring
Wet Seal $3.50

Braid & Buckle Fedora
Wet Seal $10.50

Braided Mesh Rhinestone Cuff
Wet Seal $12.50

Nature Outfit:

Olive & Oak Strapless Sweetheart Dress
Urban Outfitters $69.00

Justin Stampede Western Cowboy Boots
Sheplers $129.99

Gorgeous Brown Satin Flower with Gold and Crystal Brooch Center
Etsy – $15.95

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