Senior Experience

I am so excited to officially have you as a Holly Selden senior! I started photographing seniors since I was in high school myself. Photographing seniors is such a huge honor, and I can’t wait to have a blast together and capture some beautiful images! 

My goal is to help you prepare for your shoot and get the MOST out of your experience. Your senior session is SUCH an exciting memory and a huge investment…so it’s my job to be sure you are fully prepared! I will guide you with everything from suggestions for outfits, hair and makeup, ways to customize your experience, what to expect the day of your shoot, how your final gallery will work and everything in between! 

My promise as your photographer is that I will make you look and FEEL like the best version of  YOU! I want your shoot and your images to reflect exactly who you are, and I’m here to help ensure we make that happen. Feel free to reach out to me at any point in the planning process to chat about how we can make it personal to YOU and create images that you will look back on and love for years to come. 

Can’t wait to see you! 

XO, Holly


Now that we've gotten to know each other, let's dive into the good stuff!

I started photographing seniors when I was 17 years old and balancing work, classes, college apps and my social life. I remember those days so, so well! It's one of the most EXCITING seasons of your life...but also so overwhelming and so many big changes at once.

After I graduated high school I chose to skip going to the Art Institute of Minneapolis for photography and decided to work at a local photography studio in town...and a year later I branched out onto my own photographing seniors and weddings. Now, I still live in Iron Mountain, but own my OWN photography studio where I was born and raised.

in case we haven't met...


Alongside a style guide, you are going to receive a senior questionnaire to complete. This questionnaire will help me to get to know you, your style and your preferences so that I can create the best possible senior experience for you! Please take the time to fill it out thoroughly after reading this guide - the more info you give me, the more I can customize your experience and be sure your images reflect YOU! But, finish reading this guide first…there’s helpful stuff in here! 

the style guide & questionaire


the week before

As we get closer to the day of your shoot, you can expect to hear from me with our meeting time, location and final check-in! I photograph senior portraits at “golden hour” - 2 hours before sunset. This time of day has the most amazing glowy light and cooler temperatures . Because of this, I like to wait until we are 1-2 weeks from your shoot date to lock in an exact meeting time based on the time of the sunset. If there are clouds or rain storms in the forecast, this also allows me to plan around the weather to ensure we get the best lighting possible! So, if we planned for around 6pm…it may end up that 5:30pm or 6:30pm is actually the best time to meet. That is super normal!


the shoot day!

This section could be its own book in itself! SO many fun things to talk about on the day of your shoot! The average shoot will be 1.5-2 hours in total.
Let’s dive into what to expect each minute of your senior session:

The importance of being on time

Being on time for your shoot is VITAL. And I don’t just say that because of my time…I say that because we are on the SUN’S time. Since we plan your shoot around the ideal time for golden lighting…being late means that you lose that time off of your shoot. Even being 15 minutes late means that we’ve lost 15 minutes of light. Once the sun goes down…we can’t shoot anymore! So, try to plan to be 15-30 minutes early for your session. That way, even if you hit traffic or a delay…it doesn’t eat into your shooting time! If you are more than 30 minutes late for your session, we will have to reschedule for my soonest available date.

the first 15 minutes

When you arrive at your shoot, the first thing we are going to do is look through your outfits together! Even if you send me photos beforehand, we will run through them together on the day-of to map out exactly where we will photograph each look and when you will change. This helps us to go in with a game plan and decide which outfit will look best in which location. Sometimes there will be flowers in bloom that coordinate with a specific dress or a prop that we want to use at a specific spot…so there’s some strategy that goes into this!

Changing Outfits + Locations 

I get asked where my seniors will change outfits on their shoot day if not at the studio…and the answer is almost always in your car! But, you can take a break in your car for some heat or air conditioning in between each outfit! If you’d prefer to have a bathroom to change, just let me know ahead of time and we can make a stop at the studio. 

Posing + Shooting

You do NOT need to have any posing or modeling experience. Part of your investment in your senior portraits is my experience and ability to pose you and make you look your absolute best. So, there’s no reason to be nervous at all!

After we look through your outfits together, we will start shooting! We typically spend 20-30 minutes photographing each outfit before changing and moving to the next spot.

Who to bring with you

I request that at least one parent or guardian joins us for your senior session. But, whether they join us for the entire shoot or wait in the car is totally up to you. The most important thing to think about is what will make you feel the most COMFORTABLE in front of the camera. If you tend to be more shy and will feel awkward having your mom or dad watching the entire time…we can ask them to wait in the car. If you LOVE having a hype squad and want everyone to follow us as we shoot…let’s do it! I just ask that we are still able to keep your images as the top priority with minimal distractions. Bringing a large group of friends can sometimes mean that you get distracted while in front of the camera…and that can mean you don’t get as many images or time is taken away from shooting. So, I recommend only bringing 1-2 people along…this ensures it won’t take away from your focus as we shoot! 

Another frequently asked question is “who do I bring with me!?” And this has a two-part answer!

Deciding who you want to be PHOTOGRAPHED with! One of my favorite additions to any senior session is your favorite people. If you want to have your parents, pet or anyone else join in your photos…they are more than welcome! I just request that they wait to meet us until the last 25-30 minutes of your shoot. This way, we can make YOU the focus for the majority of the session with minimal distractions…and still capture photos with your favorite people as the grand finale! More on this later in the guide!



LET's talk locations...

are they a big deal?

Aside from choosing your outfits - choosing your LOCATIONS is a huge part of what will determine the overall style and aesthetic of your images. It also takes a little bit of logistical planning to map out where we will shoot and the travel time between locations. Overall, there are a few things to keep in mind when picking where to shoot: 

It’s actually not the location that matters most…it’s the LIGHT! 

 This is hard to understand if you aren’t a photographer but hear me out: if you have the most beautiful garden location in mind with tons of fluffy flowers and manicured walkways…but it’s in the DIRECT sunlight all day long…it’s actually not an ideal place to shoot. It would be better to have the session in a random field on the side of the highway with gorgeous back-light coming through the trees…because the LIGHT is what makes the biggest difference in the whole world!

Try to think of an overall “feel” or “vibe” for your shoot…and let this guide your location choices!

While the location of your shoot totally matters…it may not matter quite as much as you think. The majority of the images in your final gallery will be close-up images…meaning you can’t see a whole lot of the background. What you CAN see is the colors, light and overall “feel” of the location. Don’t get so caught-up and stressed over one specific location. Choose a “vibe” that you want…and I can help
you pick spots that will make that happen! 

location options

These are examples of common location types or “vibes” that my seniors want for their shoot. If you want more than one, that’s totally okay! 2-3 locations are included in your senior package, and we can achieve a wide variety of looks in a short time. This section of the guide will give you examples for common styles…then you can tell me your favorites in detail on your questionnaire! 

Rural + Rustic

Think country chic: open fields, barns, wooden accents + tall, overgrown grass. 

Nature + Floral 

This is one of my personal favorites! Think florals and lots of color.


It can be docks or even small beaches without going in the water.

Urban + Edgy 

Don’t want something super girly or preppy? Totally okay! More urban locations have a city-vibe to them. Textured brick…the options are endless! 

cap & Gown photos

If you already have your cap and gown before your shoot (or want to order a cheap one on Amazon) - we can get cap & gown images at your session! We can do some in session shots or candids, your choice!

Because the gowns typically look a little like a potato sack (let's be honest), I typically photograph my seniors with them un-zipped to be a bit more flattering! I recommend wearing a sundress underneath - something white or neutral looks really traditional and timeless underneath the gowns. I also recommend a neutral pair of heels! We will get images with it both zipped and un-zipped, as well as with the cap and without - just so you have tons of options!

Don't forget to bring the tassel for the top of your cap (most highlight your graduating school year!) as well as any additional cords, awards or elements that you want to highlight! If you choose to decorate your cap, doing it before your shoot allows us to get the cutest detail photos of it! 

printing your images

I truly believe in the power of printing your images and displaying them in your home. There is something so special about having a physical copy of these memories to cherish and pass down to other family someday. I have physical photo books of my engagement photos, anniversary pictures, family pictures, my own senior session from 2009... You took the time to invest so much money into your senior session...why not print the images and have a physical way to cherish them and share them?

As you know, I do not have any purchase minimums or requirements in terms of printing your images. They are yours to share and print from whenever you prefer! But there is the option to purchase professional-quality prints and products through your online gallery. This is the ONLY printing option that I personally and professionally recommend in terms of quality and durability. If you print somewhere else, I can NOT guarantee that the quality of the images will look the same as they do online, or that the products and prints themselves will be durable.
My honest suggestion is this: if you want to print your images larger than a 4x6…the professional printer through your online gallery is the best way to go. 

Photo Books

Prints & Canvases

Grad Cards


Senior Mini- 10 digitals

senior signature- 20 digitals

premium signature- 30 digitals

Dual season- 50 digitals

additional images available
via a la carte

what next?

The next step is to book. I offer different packages to try and work with different budgets. If you are ready for the next step please inquire and you will be sent a pricing guide.

After your initial deposit we will choose an estimated date dependent on the season you are interested in (one package allows dual season sessions). You will then receive an additional style guide with tips on how to dress and prepare to show up looking your best!

Thank you!  I look forward to getting back to you

I usually respond within 12hrs