The Backstory

Typically each year, we offer a rep program that gives select high school juniors the chance to have their senior photos taken for free in exchange for the good word of mouth and exposure to social media.  We have always enjoyed doing this in the past and have found it to be essential and successful to our business.  In order to make this rep program work, we would need to photograph each soon-to-be senior very early in the senior portrait season (typically April or even May) in order to give us and them time to promote our business.  Each senior would be armed with awesome photos of themselves as well as their experience to help spread the good news to their friends and potential clients.

As Joel and I were getting ready to roll out of this year’s rep program opportunity, we both got the itch.  We wanted to do something different; a creative twist on the old system to spark some excitement and creativity.

Hollywood Glam? Yes, Please

Have you ever wanted to be in a movie for a day?  I have to admit, having a love for the stage myself and being involved with the community theater each year,  I have often envisioned being a character in a favorite movie or at least wondered what it would be like to see it all behind the scenes.  What I love about theater/acting is the chance to play a part, be a different person for a day, while still being the person that you are inside.  I’ve always been a huge “let’s pretend” kind of kid growing up.  Dressing up, going on adventures, and making blanket “carriages” was the norm in my adolescent living room and backyard.  As I reminisced about the old days, while still fantasizing about the unattainable, little did I know that this thinking would help inspire our very latest High School senior project.

This is what prompted the old Hollywood glam themed photo shoot idea.

Choose Your Muse

So, we put out the call for models and had an overwhelming response! Seriously, we would have loved to have taken everyone and hated to turn anyone down but it just wasn’t practical for us to work with any more than 5 girls. After much, much, time and consideration we eventually decided on our final five lovely ladies. We met with all the girls a few weeks before the shoot and were able to snap a quick “before” shot to give ourselves and our stylists an opportunity to create a plan for each girl. We have never done something to this magnitude and with such a collaboration of amazingly talented stylists.  As we were planning and brainstorming, the ideas were getting bigger and bigger.  The budget stretched farther and our time investment grew longer, but our excitement also grew exponentially too!  Can we do this?  Yes, we can certainly try!

Here are the final lucky five and an “inspiration photo” for each girls look.


A Little Help From Our Friends

Before we get to any of the images from the photoshoot, lets talk about our amazing team of stylist because without them, this shoot would not have been possible!  Kelly Clark and her assistant, Lana, covered the stunning makeup applications.  Each girl was like a new canvas and Kelly made sure no one had the same look.  Laura Westley from Hey Dollface provided the amazing hair styles that were all old Hollywood and 50s inspired.  Laura also is a vintage collector herself and graciously gave us access to her barn, home, and even let us rummage through her old vintage items to use in the photos.  Jacci Weatherly was our costume designer. You might recognize her from a previous J&A blog post.  Jacci spent many long hours researching and piecing together looks that would both be flattering to each girl, within our budget, and stayed true to the vision of our photo shoot.

On the day of the shoot we provided free hair, makeup, clothing, lunch, and a unique location.


Photos Already, PLEASE!!!


We started out first with Madison.  This girl is fierce!  Each time she gave me a sultry look and a little spunk behind the eyes, I just kept saying, “Yesssss!”  Actually, we both kept laughing during her shoot because most of the time, I sounded like such a creeper!  I tend to do that.  Madison has such long thick beauteous locks so Laura gave her waves and curls that swept to the side.  Kelly did a soft and classy makeup job that made Madison’s skin glow.  Jacci dressed Madison in a long navy blue gown with a hint of sass in the slit, gloves, and a silver stole (a borrowed item from Laura) that was a great accessory to her look.  Since she looked regal and classy, we went with the vanity mirror photos.  Madison looked beautiful and started us off strong for sure!



Next, we photographed Miss Lady in red, Emma.  Emma had a unique look with the black veil (an item from Laura), paired with 50s inspired pinned curls.  Kelly, the makeup artist, wanted to give her a light matte finish, but added a striking contrast with the bold red lips and long thick lashes.  LOVE those lashes!  In addition to the black veil, Emma wore pearls, black gloves, and a black fur bolero.  She looked amazing and we thought she would look great with Laura’s old classic car that was just hanging around in her barn.  How is this possible?!  Yes!  Being a theater girl herself, Emma totally was into character and she made us believe that we were witnessing a scene from an old movie!



Caitlin then strutted in with big beautiful hair that I swear bounced as she turned her head.  Jacci dressed her in a teal blue halter dress paired with silver gloves.  Caitlin had a natural and soft look which was perfect for her baby doll face framed with curls.  This wasn’t Caitlin’s first time in front of our camera.  Joel has been doing photos for her family for years now and it’s been both a blessing and privilege to see Caitlin grow into a beautiful young woman.  So with that being said, Caitlin was quite the natural and easy to photograph.  We added a long fur coat which is an actual authentic fur given to Jacci by her grandmother.  I’m not sure what it was, but something about that fur on Caitlin just made us think of Breakfast at Tiffany’s.



Next, it was Jennah’s turn to show us what she’s got!  Her makeup featured dramatic eyes and glowing skin -those cheekbones alone are to die for!  She was dressed in black and given a sleek look with her hair and makeup.  Her blonde locks were swept to the side, pinned, and curled.  No need for gloves with those fantastic nails!  I often commented how she had great use of her hands during her photos.  Jacci gave her an assortment of rings and pinned some broaches to the back of her plunging dress to give her a touch of bling and elegance.  We used a large old trunk and fur for her look to give a similar feel of the rustic meets glamourous.  Jennah played up her eyes and gave us great expressions.



Cassie, patiently waiting next in line, gracefully walked over to us for her photo debut wearing beautiful classic curls, which went perfect with her red lips.  The makeup girls even gave her a cute little beauty mark on the side of her face to complete Cassie’s look.  She too was dressed in all black, very striking, and also wore a bold necklace and long black gloves.  Cassie was very old Hollywood for sure!  We did some photos of her with an old ladder and showcased the barn a bit more.  We love to pair the rich and elegant look next to distressed and rustic setting.  She brought grace and beauty to each frame.  At this point in the shoot, it felt about 90 degrees inside the barn that day, but Cassie kept up her game, like a professional, and pulled on a full fur coat for some killer looks!

What a way to finish us up!



In the end, we got some AMAZING photos of these girls!  At times it was hot, it was long (close to 6 hours of hair, make up, wardrobe, and photography), but soooo fun!  I’m sure these ladies felt like they were both running a marathon and movie stars on set of their own photo shoot.  The effort from everyone, models and stylists, were beyond what we asked and dreamed of.  Thank you all so much from the bottom of hearts!  You all were a part of this process of making beautiful images.  We hope you had fun and will take this memory for the rest of your lives!

If you’d like to view the full set of images from the shoot please click on the link here:

If you do so on a mobile device you can use the add to home screen function on your device to save the gallery as an app!

Oh, and feel free to check out a cool video slideshow we made too!


–  Andrea

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