Photography by Derek
Senior Portrait Photography
Serving Portland, Vancouver, Gresham, Beaverton and Hillsboro, Camas, Washougal, Longview, Ridgefield, and La Center.
High school senior portrait photography, location and or studio.
Creative to formal photography and everything in between.
We can capture your personality and style.
Happy to work with any ideas you have.
100% satisfaction guarantee on your senior pictures.
Prices start at $149 for a 1 hour studio or location photography session.
Includes a CD of touched up high resolution images.
Make up and stylists available.
2 hour session $249
Print packages available.
The number one rule to quality outdoor portraiture is never stand your subject in direct sun. So unless it's a heavily overcast day we need to find a shady are or do your senior portraits early morning or late afternoon/early evening.
Another solution is to create your own private scene right at our studio! We can create the perfect scene for you. Studio lighting gives us complete control over the light, which means you'll look your best and that is always our primary concern.
Everyone likes to have variety in his or her senior portraits and combination studio/location portrait sessions allow you to get a few with your picked scene, along with a variety of our other awesome outdoor photography locations as well.
Okay, what would you like to order? What you spend is then up to you. Some photography studios price their work higher because they want to make you think their work is superior, while others charge less primarily because they have to in order to compete. Due to our work's popularity, we work with large volumes of high school seniors each year that allows us to keep our prices in a range that is affordable to pretty much everyone. You can get our extraordinary senior portraiture for about the same price you would pay at an ordinary studio.
No extra charges or travel fee's required. No need to pay extra for location photography, or pay additional session costs. Interested in sport shots? We can go to the location of your choosing. Showing off your 'Country look' we are sure to find a location or studio setting that really suits your personal style. Not only does this mean we can offer more variety, it makes your senior portrait session more fun. Your poses will be uniquely you! This wide assortment of scenes keeps us excited too!
We enjoy working with new looks and we're never afraid to experiment to try something new - Got an idea? Just ask. We'll work on it together, or leave it to us - cut us loose and let us do our thing! We'll select the scenes that will go best with your outfits. Ordinarily, studios use the same white or black background and swap piece of fabric or colored cardboard for variety... but we invest literally thousands of dollars each year to acquire the finest backgrounds and sets in the industry. Many are the same type that is used on movie sets. Right now, we have many props and backgrounds and are getting new props for our photography studio all the time.
We are ready for the Portland and Vancouver senior portrait season. As an artist, Derek is also a great stylist and is constantly shopping for unique items from around the world. Unique props and backgrounds give your portrait a one of a kind, tasteful, classic look that allows them to stand the test of time. We want you to be proud of your senior portrait for decades, not just until the recent fad comes and goes. We like to have our portraits look as if they were taken at a timeless location, country club, home, farm or at exciting far away locations. So these are the sorts of studio and location photography sets we strive to create.
Derek's senior portraits don't look like the typical senior pictures you've seen elsewhere! Not only are we the best, we're also the fastest! During the normal senior portrait season we will have your proofs back in 3 working days. During the heat of the season in July, August it's not uncommon for us to have them ready for you to pick up the next day! REALLY! - But we can't promise this time frame, so we feel more comfortable saying 3-4 days will be the norm. Compare this to other studios that make you wait weeks. After you order your pictures from your proofs, final print orders will be ready in 1-3 weeks. The final prints require extra time due to the complexity of the 27 steps required in the printing and finishing of your images.
All of our portraiture includes: Blemish retouching on all prints, no extra charge.
Most people select our "Deluxe" outdoor session and our combination "studio/location" photography sessions. What sessions you choose will depend on the senior styles you prefer. If you like the more traditional head and shoulder poses with little or no props then our "Traditional" session would suit your needs. If you are after a specific look, background or scene that we offer makes sure you ask about it when you schedule your session time, because some scenes are only available outdoors and others that may look like outdoors, may actually be done indoors. Also our bushes and flowers bloom at different times of the year, so if you have your heart set on something special outdoors, check with Derek when you phone the studio for your appointment.
The key to any portrait is lighting. This is especially important outdoors! Skilled photographers use of a 'flash' for outdoor portraiture can produce amazing results. The light needs to be soft and natural. We know the locations to deliver the proper light needed for outstanding outdoor portraiture. When it's sunny, we know where to find areas of shade. If the sun leaks through the tree's we use panels to block the sun. If it's overcast, we no longer have a problem with direct sun and the overcast sky gives us beautiful light that we control with reflective panels. A hard rain makes it impossible for us to shoot a full outdoor session primarily because it would get the camera equipment wet. If it's a drizzle or a mist type of rain we often still shoot the outdoor sessions. In fact, some of the best outdoor senior portraits have been done in a light drizzle since the light is wonderfully soft. So don't rule out being able to get your outdoor session done if the weather looks questionable. It could be perfect for senior portraiture!
In our combination indoor/outdoor sessions we always do the indoor portion of your sessions first or on different days. This keeps your hair from being affected from the humidity in the summer and allows us to get the indoor poses done in the comfort of our photography studio while you are still fresh. Outdoor portrait sessions require can be done in as little as 15 minutes time or up to 2 hours, and are much easy to reschedule in the event of bad weather. So if the weather looks nasty and you have indoor and outdoor portrait sessions scheduled, make sure you show up on time for your session since we will always do the indoor session no matter what the weather is. In Portland and Vancouver it can be pouring rain when a senior shows up for their indoor/outdoor senior portrait appointment and an hour later when the indoor portion is done, the weather has done a complete change. So even when it's raining, bring your outdoor outfits with you to the studio photography portion of your session.
You have a certain look you want for your senior portraits.
Certainly! we actually prefer it. Though many say "your the artist" and let us just do our thing... others bring in the brochure or print-outs from the web site and say we would like this one and this one and that one... and not that one as that's not me. No Problem! We then help you select which outfits will best fit the backgrounds and scenes you've requested. There really is no limit to the amount of backgrounds you can have per session. The number is only limited by the number of images created in each session. For the best results, we urge you to call for a free, no obligation consultation. Sit and relax while viewing literally thousands of examples. Derek will share some tips about clothing, what will work best for the backgrounds you like best. So you will know what sorts or outfits and colors to bring to best work with the backgrounds you like best! We will answer any questions you may have and help customize your session specifically for you! It really helps to see the samples of what is good and not so good to wear. For example, it's best to stay away from stripes, but until you actually see samples showing stripes compared to solid shirts, you won't realize how important that tip is. Not only can you select the backgrounds you like best, you can specify the poses you like best. While Derek often makes up the pose on the fly - if you see or have samples of poses you really like, let us know... we're more then happy to give you what you like best! Seen it somewhere else? In a magazine? A friend’s senior picture? Bring it in - we'll improve upon it!
1. Remove your lenses from your frames prior to your session. We cannot shoot your session with lenses intact. Doing so would require that we compromise the quality of your portrait. And we never compromise when it comes to our work.
2. Go to your optometrist and ask them to loan you a pair of empty frames like the ones you normally wear. They are use to this request for pictures and will often loan them for free or for a small 5-10 dollar deposit that you are refunded when you return the frames to them. Some frames use a nylon line to hold the lens in place. These look strange with the lenses removed, so it's best to borrow a solid frame that is the same basic shape and style, but one that doesn't use the nylon line to hold the lens in place. If you stay with the same basic frame, no one will notice the difference in a picture.
Why do I need to do this?
Because we want everything to be perfect. Derek's custom lighting and techniques were designed to flatter our subjects. The placement of each light and reflector is done in such a way, that you'll love the way you look. However, if you have lenses in your frames we will see massive amounts of glare. Reflections of the lights in the glass and your eyes will be hidden. If your lens area is small, we can sometimes move the lights to where the reflections are minimized. But doing this is a trade off; to minimize the glare the lights will no longer be where they need to be positioned to best flatter how you look. And we don't like making compromises when it comes to the quality of our work or your portrait. Glare can be minimized with costly artwork, but it rarely looks as good as if there was no glare in the first place.
These are less of a problem because they don't cause glare like glasses do. But we highly recommend if you can get by without them, to not have them in during your portrait session. The subject’s eyes in our work are very important. It's been said that the eyes are the windows to the soul and we have to agree in that the connection with the eyes is an important part of our portraiture. The "speculars" (the reflection of light in the eyes) are very important. The brighter and clearer these speculars are, the more impressive the eyes will be. Soft contacts have less reflective properties than the human eye has. This plastic film over the eye reduces the specular reflections in the eyes which reduces the impact of the eyes in the portrait. Certainly we can do your session with your contacts in. But your portrait will be just that much nicer if you can remove them for the session. Glass contacts have very good specular reflective properties and can remain in. But both types of contact often irritate the eyes a bit making them slightly red and causing some of the blood vessels to expand. This can be even worse if you also have allergies. Of course we want your portrait to be INCREDIBLE, so we recommend doing everything possible to make it happen. A little "Visene" before you session to "get the red out" can also be a good idea, especially if you just removed your contacts for your session. Some people have a tendency to look cross-eyed or have other wandering eye problems without their contacts in place. We recommend keeping your contacts in if this is your situation. Other people have wandering eyes and don't wear glasses. Let us know this and we'll work with you during the session to minimize it from showing. Sometimes this evolves simply having you look far left, then right, then back at the camera... sometimes it is minimized with certainly angles of the face and the way the eyes glance. We've had a great deal of experience with this over the years so don't be embarrassed to bring it to our attention so we can help you with minimizing the problem.
Can I bring a friend or family member to watch my session?
We encourage you to bring a friend or family member to assist you in getting ready for your senior portrait session, but it's not necessary. Derek is there to help guys with their ties... and his female assistant is always there to assist the young ladies with their zippers, jewelry and buttons if needed. Though it can be helpful to bring a extra person for support and last minute inspections, it is our policy that no one with the exception of those being photographed can be in the photography studio or in the outdoor area during a session. In addition to it being unsafe around lights and equipment that can fall or be tipped over without our undivided attention. We've found over the past two decades that the quality of the session depends heavily on the personal connection between the photographer and the subject, and that other people in the camera room cause distractions and make the subject feel self-conscience. We've also found that expressions are far more natural and flow more easily when someone isn't watching from the shadows. It's also clearly evident that most of the time, the subject’s attitude toward the session changes dramatically when they enter the photography studio and leave their parent behind to relax in the waiting room. Often this transformation is nothing short of magical. We know as friends and parents it would be more fun to watch and that the anticipation of waiting to see the results can drive you crazy with excitement. But everything we do is with the same goal in mind. "To create the best images possible". And if you know our reputation, you already know we'll make no compromises when it comes to achieving our goal. Yes, we know some studios will allow you to watch and will let you do anything you like as long as they can sell you something. But the quality of our work, our reputation and the excitement you'll have when viewing your images are far more important to us then simply doing a session in any way to make a sale. Sometimes we hear "But we got to watch at the other place that took her sisters picture last year?". We humbly explain that this is part of the reason they didn't return there for their pictures again this time around. We will only give you our best, we WILL earn your repeat business... because we won't compromise our work just to make a sale. Our past clients often comment that they know we'll take good care of their son or daughter, and will make sure things are as good as they can possibly be before and during the senior portrait session.
Fort Vancouver High School
Evergreen High School
Mountain View High school
Camas High School
Grant High School
Gresham High School
Reynolds High school
Barlow High school
Mark Morris High school