How to choose a Senior Portrait Photographer | Southern Maine Seacoast NH Senior Portrait Photographer

It’s that time of year again! Senior portrait season is here. For some soon-to-be seniors this is the day they have dreamed of since junior high and for others, they dread the vulnerability of someone else “controlling” the camera and seeing the pictures before they do.

This is the selfie-generation we’re talking about.


There are a ton of photographers and “people with nice cameras” who are willing to take your senior’s photograph. How to choose?

1. Look at their portfolio. Let’s face it, a photographer’s website is going to have their best work. Start there. The website should be beautiful. Perfect skin tones, true to life color, and facial clarity. If the website is “just okay”, chances are, their every day pictures are probably not great.

2. Look at their recent work. Check them out on social media. Do you like what you see? Different photographers have different editing styles. Stay away from photographers who look like they put trendy instagram filters on their pictures. You can put filters on your selfies, but when you pay a professional to take your pictures, you want a clean, timeless look. These are your forever pictures.

3. Look at their longevity. How long have they been in business? Do you want to trust your senior portraits to someone who just opened up a photography Facebook page, or slapped “photography” onto the end of their name on their instagram account? Probably not. If your hard drive crashes five years from now, it would be nice to go back to the photographer who took your pictures to see if you can get a copy from them. You won’t be able to do that with someone who is no longer in business.

4. Ask questions. Approximately how many seniors do you shoot per year? How many years have you been shooting seniors? What kind of camera do you shoot with? (then google it; your photographer’s camera should cost thousands of dollars). What software do you edit with, do you edit blemishes? (ACR, Bridge, Lightroom, Photoshop – all acceptable answers). At Mercy Street Studio we all use both Lightroom and Photoshop on our pictures.


These are your forever pictures. It’s an investment worth getting right.


..or you could just skip the hassle and contact us, we’ll take care of you!





Emma | Ultimate Senior Portrait Shoot Southern Maine, Seacoast NH

I know most girls are pretty much over their prom dresses after May. But it’s still the most expensive, and most beautiful outfit in their closet, and given the investment, it’s great to have an actual portrait in it. Since our Ultimate sessions include hair & makeup, as well as several hours of photography at various locations, we have time to stop at the studio to snag a few pics before we head off to the rest of the photoshoot.


Moms are happy and girls are glad they did it…and they’ll be even more glad in years to come.


Our next stop was a flower field…


Emma had a beautiful boho-inspired dress that was the perfect outfit to spin and twirl through the field.

Emma also liked the idea of having sea grass, so we headed to a nearby location that I knew had seagrass…


..but while we were parking I spotted a really cool, lush green, jungle-vibe spot and I asked Emma to trust me and step into the mess of vines and trees. I love the resulting photo and you’d probably not guess that she was standing in a parking lot when we took these shots. Teehee.


Then we stepped into the sea grass. Emma had brought these pants she loved, which she picked up while traveling in Paris. They were perfect and I really love when girls show up with clothing that is meaningful and different.


Our last stop was the ocean.


We got got sand between our toes…


climbed the rocks…


..and of course, ended the shoot with a little dip in the Atlantic.

“Oh, Erin!!!  All of the picture are so beautiful. Thank you so much. I don’t know how Em will narrow it down to 1 for the yearbook. Glad that I can buy the gallery and don’t have to pick just a couple.
You made the whole experience for Em completely fun and magical!!!!!”
-Lynne (Emma’s Mom)


Isabel | Ultimate Senior Portrait Session

Our ultimate senior portrait sessions are crazy fun. They start off with the princess treatment by Christine, at The Crown. Then I get them. Our first stop is the studio. Isabel’s mom, Kristen said she thought it would be good to get a “traditional studio” shot. I don’t really do “traditional”, my studio shots have a modern, editorial feel. I can’t even be sorry.MSS_4244-Edit.jpg

Then we stepped outside the studio…because it’s like right there…and our “outdoor studio” has a lot of texture and goodness.


I knew from Isabel and Kristen’s consultation that they wanted a diverse gallery, a little bit of everything – and her ultimate session gave us plenty of time to explore several locations.  Kristen told me that they were open to anything and they trusted me…so when Isabel wanted some shots in a “field of wildflowers” …I knew where we could find a “field” …and it was a little bit non-traditional…but their open mind and trust paid off!


After the field shots, we headed out to one of our favorite spots. Isabel had this amazing vibrant yellow dress that couldn’t have been more perfect. Beaulieu2-13



This spot has so much texture and interest and we worked every inch of that place.



We even pulled out our lighting equipment and went inside one of the forts.


We had such a great time, and Isabel was a total rockstar.


I think Kristen and Isabel loved their gallery as much as I do:

“We are so in love with the gallery”

“..many of my friends believe your shots/work are magazine worthy.  I can’t say enough how incredibly talented you are”

tee hee. I love it when a plan comes together.




Maine Senior Portrait Photographer | Mal

If I used a paper calendar, Mallory’s senior portrait date would’ve been circled on it with a bright red marker, and the little box would’ve been filled with scribbled hearts, stars, flowers, and butterflies.

Nadeau2-2Because I love this girl.


And I love photographing her.

Maine Senior Portrait Photographer1

And I have been waiting for this day for oh….maybe five years.


Don’t get me wrong, I have photographed her many times over the last five years…

NH Senior Portrait Photographer

..and we’ve even been published in Modern Teen Style magazine together…


But senior portrait day is different, bigger, monumental.


and her session did not disappoint.

Best Maine Senior Portrait Photographer

Mal, you are a star.


Hair & Makeup: The Crown