5. Gear and knowledge of said gear.
This is probably self-explanatory, but to shoot on high quality equipment, a photographer needs to know technically when to adjust their F-stop, ISO, shutter speed and how to work with all kinds of light. As clouds shift the sun's rays, or you head indoors for part of your session, a photographer shifts their settings to give you the best possible outcome. Higher quality equipment can render better results, but it's ultimately up to the user of the equipment to make it the best. (ie-if you can't remember your music note names or fingerings, even a $10,000 instrument won't work the way it's intended nor sound good.)
4. Location, Location, Location.
As someone who's been shooting all over Des Moines, when a senior comes to me and says they want X type background at Y time of day, I know where to go and what the light will be like when we get there. I can also manipulate light (because I can manipulate my camera's settings) if it's a new spot to me but is unique to you and helps tell your story. I'm also totally comfortable picking up the phone and asking permission to shoot in a venue that would help tell your story. You want to use your school's stadium? Email the Activities Director. Want to use a performance hall? I've got their number or can find it for you! You want a horse in your session? I probably can make that happen, though you might want your own horse in your photos to make it more meaningful!
3. Light and knowledge of how to work with it
I've touched on this above because it plays into your location, but knowing where the sun will be at our outdoor session at the time of day we will be shooting is a huge advantage. I'm not going to start a session 15 minutes before sunset! (We'll be wrapping things up then.) I also have the gear to do indoor on-camera-flash and off-camera-flash effects to make dramatic images that stand out from your peers'.
I've invested countless hours on so many posing classes over the last 7 years to encourage a flattering form no matter your shape or size. While I'm manipulating all the aforementioned gear, I'll be reassuring you that you're looking great while I make a few tweaks to highlight your best features. I know how to stylize the props you bring to our time together in a classy way (without the cheesy) to memorialize your high school career interests.
I knows what's relevant to you and can make it work well to your advantage. Additionally, as an LLC, I have access to heirloom quality albums for generational keepsakes. Most printers of these high quality albums will only work with registered photographers. Being an LLC gives me that advantage for you. And while all of this is going on in my brain shooting you, we're able to keep a session flowing smoothly, still operating gear, posing, lighting, and maintaining conversation to keep you comfortable and posed naturally.
Every senior session, I learn something new about life in Des Moines-be it geocaching (Michaela!), motorcycle riding (Natalie!), different aspects of track and field (thanks Hannah! #proshotput), different majors at colleges across the country, different places my seniors already have jobs (thanks Lizzy!! #BlankParkZoolettucelovers). It's so much fun for me to go out on an adventure with you and my camera! :)
I love what I do and I love showcasing YOU!! Class of 2018, let's do this!!