Senior Photos: A how to guide. Fort Myers, Florida.

How toprepare for your senior photos

It is no secret that I LOVE photographing seniors. Maybe it’s that they are on the verge of making big changes in their lives or maybe it’s because they can hold a pose 🙂 Either way, I wanted to give a little “how to do a senior session right” blog so that it may prepare others for a successful session!

  1. When we are setting up a session, I always encourage parents to bring at least one wardrobe change. Why? Because it gives depth and variation to the shoot, and your gallery will be that much more colorful!
  2. Bring props! Allow me to explain: I personally prefer to create individualized senior sessions. I want my clients’ personalities to shine through. Now this can be something as simple as a bat, baseball glove, volleyball, dance shoes, musical instrument etc. (You might be thinking, my child plays the tuba; I’m not bringing that to the session…and that’s fine. Bring some sheet music and I can guarantee it will be worth it!). If they are a more academic student; bring books, pencils and paper!
  3. On occasion, there are seniors that do not have any extracurricular activities that they are involved in, and that’s great too! This is where we can really play up wardrobes and accessorize (bring a hat, jacket, or different jewelry)!
  4. Get Creative! Ask your senior if they have ideas on how they might like to portray their style. The biggest most important part to this is that it is fun, beautiful and that we are creating timeless images to last.
  5. Enjoy our most recent senior, Cooper. (And notice that they came prepared with outfit changes and props!) I truly enjoyed working with this guy and his family!



Madison, Senior session on Bowditch Beach

All I can say, is that I have the best senior clients EVER. So sweet, beautiful, and not afraid to be in front of the camera!! Thank you Madison! Best wishes on your graduation and future endeavors!



Often times as I a business owner and a photographer, I find myself wanting to post more about the people that I am photographing, rather then of myself. This year I have made it one of my goals to have a healthy balance of both.

I want you, my loyal friends and clients, to know my why. Why Elsie J Photo is so important to me.

It isn’t a secret that spending more quality time with my babies is my number one reason for wanting to be self-employed. Even though I was so grateful for my job as a teacher, the past four years I found myself becoming more and more exhausted. I wanted to be more present and less tired when I got home from work. I felt like my kids weren’t getting all of me. And although there are days that I am tired now, I have the energy to keep up with them! I was walking into the store today with my youngest and I whispered to him how much I love spending time with him. I want them both to know that these moments are cherished beyond measure.

When I would meet with clients on a shoot they would always look at me like “you teach, do photography, and have small children?” Looking back, it does seem a little bit tiring to think about, but I needed my side hustle to become my main hustle. AND HERE WE ARE! Was it a lot at times, yes. Was it utterly worth it, obviously.

My second why is that I love creating stories (if you missed me talking about this, visit my website to see my behind the scenes video). I love seeing what I can create when I first meet a client. But most importantly, I love making people happy. I believe that I have a special chance to create lasting images for people and that is a pretty cool feeling.

I get to push myself creatively and am in a constant state of change. I can see myself as a business owner evolving, as is my photography itself. And that my friends is pretty sweet.

So if you’re still reading along here, I need you to know that regardless of how Facebook or Instagram have changed their algorithms again, any like, comment, or share means something to me. It means that not only are you seeing posts, but so are others! In staying true to authenticity I wanted you all to know that I’m not just a mom with a nice camera but one who has a why behind it.

Stay beautiful, friends! xoxoxo



Olivia Senior Portraits at Shangri La

I met with Olivia earlier this week to photograph her senior pictures at Shangri La Springs in Bonita. I have been wanting to shoot there since it has reopened. What a beautiful venue. Olivia first arrived with her two dogs, which was what she really wanted to make sure she got a few photos with. She wants to be a vet, so this totally made for adorable pictures. She was so sweet, and her beautiful smile was so infectious! Best wishes on your future, Olivia!


Enjoy a few sneak peeks of our time together.


Madison is ONE!

Time seems to be flying by. A year ago I got to meet baby Madison for the first time. And now we are celebrating her turning one! Wow! She’s adorable, funny, and has the best smile!

Happy birthday sweet, little one.


  A little throwback from last year: image42image07.jpg