Marilyn Monroe Icon Session | Charlottesville Senior Photographer

Marilyn Monroe Icon Session | Ema | Charlottesville Senior Photographer

Every year, I try to come up with an interesting photography concept for my senior models. Last year we had color inspired sessions and I was thrilled with the way they turned out! This year I decided to do something different with my 2017 senior models. Each one of them chose a different icon and through out the year, we’ll have a session based on their icon. We’ll pick out photos of that person that we love and use them as inspiration for our photoshoot. With outfit choices, accessories and hair and make-up we hope to capture the essence of the icon!

Today I’m happy to share the first one from the icon series and it’s one of the most iconic people out there…Marilyn Monroe!

When Ema, an up and coming senior at Fluvanna County High School selected Marilyn, I was super excited but not surprised. When I photographed her at our very first session I totally got a Marilyn vibe!

We made a Pinterest board with tons of Marilyn photos that we liked and then slowly narrowed it down to three looks. Here are some of the photos we used for inspiration:

For the first look we went with the photoshoot Marilyn had with Milton Green in 1954. Here’s an interesting bit of trivia I found out when searching for photos from this session. Apparently the dress that they had planned on her wearing was too small in the chest. That’s why she’s either leaning forward or is holding her arms crossed over her body. Otherwise the top would have fallen down! Even though Ema’s outfit fit her perfectly, we decided to try to recreate the same poses.

Though I LOVE Ema’s serious look, the laughing shots are amazing! This one is just about the cutest thing ever!!

Ema changed her top and we had a whole new look! ANother interesting side note, Ema’s hair is actually pretty long…way past her shoulders. I was working with an amazing hairstylist, Mary Niefert, and she must have magical powers because somehow, she was able to make her hair look short!

We then moved onto the next look. A red dress that may not be identical to the dress Marilyn wore but it’s pretty darn close!

I started out this part of the session using a white background but it didn’t have the feel I was going for. We moved back to the black background but a quick test shot showed by background was too bright. They’re totally different from the rest of the photos from this session but I love them both!

Finally back on track with the lighting the way I wanted it and we moved on with the session. Man oh man Ema…you looked absolutely gorgeous in all of these looks!

Last look of the day was this incredible black sequin dress I bought. Mary made a few changes to Ema’s hair because I really wanted to recreate a specific look in the inspiration collage. We didn’t have a fancy black jacket though. I had the a feather boa (from who knows where) and  it worked perfectly to add some coverage. Talk about stunning!!! I know this was a Marilyn shoot but something about this photo makes me think of Vivian Leigh playing Scarlet O’Hara in Gone with the Wind!

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The fabulous Mary changed up Ema’s hair again and we had a completely different look. Time for another interested side note. Ema’s makeup was done by a former senior client of mine, Tyler Wilcher. Tyler is an up and coming Junior at VCU but I she could totally be doing makeup full-time. What a fantastic job! Oh and if you’re wondering, the Marilyn Monroe birthmark is thanks to Tyler’s handwork!

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Last shot of the night was the recreation of Marilyn’s jumping shot. I have NO idea how Ema managed to be pull this one off…she’s wearing a tight long dress and is jumping up and down on a concrete floor (after hours of shooting none the less) but she looks like a superstar!

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Thanks so much for a wonderful afternoon Ema! You absolutely channeled your inner Marilyn Monroe and blew me away!! Another gigantic thanks to Mary and Tyler, I couldn’t have done it with out you guys! Stay tuned for the next icon session…Audrey Hepburn!

CLASS of 2017 – Have you scheduled your portrait session yet? Weekends in October are full and September only has two more weekend openings left! For more info click here or contact me! | 434.906.0418 | photos@alijohnson.com

Ali Johnson is a portrait photographer specializing in senior portrait photography in Charlottesville, Crozet, Keswick, Albemarle and Fluvanna County VA

Studio Senior Portraits | Charlottesville Headshot Photographer

Studio Senior Portraits | Charlottesville Senior Photographer

Holy cow, the school year has flown by!! Fluvanna County High School just had their graduation for the Class of 2016 and the other schools in the Charlottesville area are coming up soon. It may seem hard to believe but it’s time for the Class of 2017 to start thinking about their senior portraits!

Did you know that you have a choice when it come to your formal senior yearbook photo? The schools in our area allow you to use whomever you’d like! If you allow me to take your yearbook photo, rest assured everything will be taken care of!

After you’ve selected the photo you love, I’ll edit and resize it to the precise yearbook specifications. I’ll also deliver the file directly to the yearbook adviser. You don’t need to worry about a thing.

I’ll be taking yearbook photos through out the summer but they are by appointment only so schedule your session today!

You have two different options for yearbook sessions.

Senior Yearbook Photo – $40

  • 15 Minutes
  • In Studio
  • Drape or Tux outfit provided
  • One image provided via download (print release included)

Senior Yearbook + Studio Session – $150

  • 30 Minutes
  • In Studio
  • 5 images (Yearbook photo + 4 additional images) provided via download (print release included)

I understand that not everyone wants or needs the outdoor lifestyle sessions that I offer. Sometimes you just want a few great photos that you can send out along with your formal senior yearbook photo. That’s why I also offer the Senior Yearbook +Studio sessions.

Over the past year, I’ve added tons of new backdrops (and a few floors) to my studio so I thought it was finally time to photograph them all. Last weekend I had my 2017 models come to the studio to test them out. This way you can see the different options I have to offer when selecting your outfit choices!

First off we have Savannah and Lindsay modeling two of my favorite urban backgrounds. I love the fact that I can swap out the background and floor and get two different looks!

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I also had Lindsay try out a new floor to see how it looked when shot from above…I love the results!

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Cameron and Aurora tested out one of my newest backdrops. The pattern on the backdrop adds just enough interest without overpowering the photo.

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Changing up the settings on my camera and lights, really changes the way the backdrops look!

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For these shots of Aurora, I turned the backdrop I used earlier with Savannah sideways and got a whole new look!

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Matt and Emily were next with another new backdrop of mine. I may be biased but I really think it looks like a brick wall not a fabric background!

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Another example of how changing up my settings, totally changes how a photo looks! Emily and her awesome shirt really stand out against the bricks!

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Megan and Gabby modeled another backdrop and floor combination. The pattern on this green is so subtle, it will go with both prints and solids!

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Next up is Grace. Though I’ve had the backdrop for a while, both the floor and the chair I found at Goodwill are new. That chair was such a great discovery!

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Charlie’s shirt went perfectly with this blue backdrop that I’ve had for while…that blue color really makes his eyes pop!

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Kristen tried out both the blue backdrop with my new floor and this awesome black & white screen paired with my dark wood floor.

So glad we had the thought to photograph her on this floor while wearing this hat…such a fantastic look!

Another backdrop that I’ve had for a while. It’s one of my favorite colors for a backdrop and I use it all the time! It looks so great with Toria’s beautiful blonde hair!

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The rich brown tones of this backdrop totally compliment Leanna’s hair and eye color…so gorgeous!

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I love using this black background, especially for dramatic shots where you want your subject, in this case the lovely Sadie, to be the main focus.

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Ema, one of my FCHS reps wasn’t available when I shot these so I saved one background out for her. I’ll be adding it to this page soon though!

I’ll be announcing the dates for my yearbook photo sessions in the new few weeks so stay tuned! I’ve also begun scheduling fall outdoor portraits, and my schedule is filling up fast! Have you scheduled your portrait session yet?

It’s never too early to get on my fall calendar, contact me today! | 434.906.0418 | photos@alijohnson.com

Ali Johnson is a portrait photographer specializing in senior portrait photography in Charlottesville, Crozet, Keswick, Albemarle and Fluvanna County VA

Senior Portraits Charlottesville – AJP 2017 Senior Model Team

 Senior Portraits Charlottesville – AJP 2017 Senior Models

Graduation is right around the corner and summer is coming fast. I’ve loved working with the Class of 2016 but now it’s time to pass the torch to the class of 2017!

I absolutely love taking senior portraits in Charlottesville but I’m even more excited than usual because last week I had my group session with my 2017 senior models! We had to postpone our session THREE times due to the weather. I actually thought we’d have to reschedule this time too but we braved the wind, humidity and impending rain and had SO much fun!

I’ll be photographing this awesome bunch throughout the school year (including our icon themed studio sessions) so stay tuned!

First we have the up and coming seniors representing Fluvanna County High School in Palmyra, Va.

Aurora – FCHS | Class of 2017

I’ve never met Aurora before but when she walked right up to me at our first session and gave me a hug, I knew she’d be a wonderful person to work with! She is a sport manager at FCHS and LOVES cats! 🙂

Cameron – FCHS | Class of 2017

Cameron runs Track and Field and Cross Country for Fluvanna and photography is actually one of her hobbies! She is super sweet and is actually good friends with one of my 2016 reps!!!

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Charlie – FCHS | Class of 2017

Charlie plays baseball and golf for Fluvanna and is a welcome addition to the team. This year I actually have two guys as reps and I’m super excited!

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Ema – FCHS | Class of 2017

Ema runs cross-country and swims for FCHS. I actually followed her on Instagram a few year (and loved her photos) so I was really happy when she applied to be a rep!

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Emily – FCHS | Class of 2017

Emily cheers for FCHS’s Football and Basketball Team and she dances too. Welcome to the team Emily I’m looking froward to working with you this year!!

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Lindsay – FCHS | Class of 2017

I’ve known Lindsay and her family for years. I actually took her sister’s senior portraits a few years ago! Lindsay is very involved with school activities, is a cheerleader and has played soccer for Fluvanna County High School since she was in the eighth grade. She’s also a member of an elite travel team too!

Senior Portraits Charlottesville

Matt – FCHS | Class of 2017

I’ve known Matt’s family for quite some time too. His mother was my older son’s first grade teacher and Matt played soccer for FCHS with my youngest son. He’s also an absolute natural in front of the camera!

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Megan – FCHS | Class of 2017

Megan is a baton twirler (really looking forward to photographing that!) and is another rep whose family I’ve known for a while. I even took her brother’s senior portraits back in 2013!

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Savannah – FCHS | Class of 2017

Next up is Savanna. Not only is she my wonderful assistant and loves photography, but she’s also involved in the school plays, is on the speech team and she sings too!

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Toria – FCHS | Class of 2017

Last but not least from FCHS, we have Toria. She plays volleyball, softball and she cheers. She also has been a weightlifter for FCHS’s power team for the past three years!

Senior Portraits Charlottesville

Leanna – CHS | Class of 2017

Leanna goes to Charlottesville High School and she is involved with art, softball and swimming. I took her brother’s senior portraits a few years ago and am very happy to have her on the team!

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Gabby – LCHS | Class of 2017

Gabby attends Louisa County High School where she is a cheerleader. She’s also been dancing forever so we’re definitely going to incorporate that into her one of her sessions!

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Grace – GHS | Class of 2017

Grace attends Goochland High School where she cheers for the football team and is involved with athletic training. She is very outgoing and I’m looking forward to having her as a senior rep!

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Kristen – WMHS | Class of 2017

Kristen goes to William Monroe High School and has a long list of activities she’s involved with. She is a ballerina, a swimmer and is a Girl Scout too. She also sings, acts, paints and reads poetry!

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Sadie – MHS | Class of 2017

Last but not least we have Sadie, from Monticello High School. She hikes and rides horses and one of her sessions will involve her horse…I can’t wait!

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What a fantastic group of kids!! I am thrilled to have you all on the team and really look forward to our sessions throughout the year! Thanks again for a great afternoon guys! I had so much fun and can’t wait until next time!!

It’s never too early to get on my fall calendar, contact me today! | 434.906.0418 | photos@alijohnson.com

Ali Johnson is a portrait photographer specializing in senior portrait photography in Charlottesville, Crozet, Keswick, Albemarle and Fluvanna County VA

Charlottesville Senior Photographers | Christopher | FCHS – Class of 2016

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Christopher | Fluvanna County High School – Class of 2016

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I hope everyone is having a wonderful spring! After all of the crazy ups and downs we’ve had with the weather, I’m so glad that it’s actually beginning to feel like spring! My senior portrait sessions are starting up soon but before they do, I’m hoping to get caught up with posting some of my fall senior portraits! Yes, I know it’s a little late but better late than never! 🙂

Today I’m happy to share the session I had with Christopher, one of my senior reps from Fluvanna County High School in Palmyra, Virginia.

I’ve known Christopher’s family for about 15-16 years! Our boys played soccer together back when they were 5 or 6 years old…and he even played soccer at FCHS with them. It’s been so great watching the boys grow up over the years and I even took Christopher’s twin brother’s senior portraits back in 2012!

When I began looking for senior reps for the class of 2016, I was happy to see that Christopher had applied.  There was no question that he was going to be on my rep team!

For our very first session, we started out with the traditional yearbook photo then took a few casual shots. You can check out that session here if you’re interested. Maybe it’s just the haircut but I feel like he looks so much older from July to November…way more than just the four months that had passed!

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We spent his session in downtown Palmyra. It always cracks me up to say “downtown” Palmyra. In some cities the downtown area is a collection of buildings and has typical bustle of city life. In Fluvanna County though, the downtown area is a tiny little area that consists of some houses, one or two business and the courthouse. Unless there is a parade or function of some kind, it’s almost always super quiet. I’m not complaining though, I love thi splace. For such a tiny area, it offers a ton of variety!

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We had the session in October and the leaves were absolutely beautiful! Everywhere I turned, there was gorgeous fall foliage…I loved it!

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Speaking of love, how adorable are Chris and his girlfriend Lindsay? 🙂 I’ll be taking Lindsay’s senior portraits in a few weeks and I can’t wait!

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At the very end of the session, we moved over to the Courthouse to try to add tiny bit of an urban feel to the session. No graffiti unfortunately but I still took advantage of the brickwork and steel door!

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Thanks for a wonderful afternoon Christopher and Diane! I’ve loved working with you guys over the years and look forward to your upcoming soccer sessions. I can’t believe the school year is almost over…as is my time photographing your boys!!

CLASS of 2016 – Have you scheduled your cap & gown photo yet? For more info click here or contact me! | 434.906.0418 | photos@alijohnson.com

Ali Johnson is a portrait photographer specializing in senior portrait photography in Charlottesville, Crozet, Keswick, Albemarle and Fluvanna County VA

Charlottesville Senior Photographers | Color Inspired Session | Purple

Purple Inspired Session | Breanna | Charlottesville Senior Photographers

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This year I decided to do something different with my 2016 senior reps. I wanted to step out of the box and get really creative. After a lot of brain storming, I came up with color inspired sessions. Each rep choose a different color and we had photo shoots based on their color. I’ve had gold, green, pink and blue. One even took place in a pool …it’s been so much fun!

Today I’m happy to share the session I had with Breanna, one of my senior reps from Monticello High School in Charlottesville, Virginia. She chose purple and it was awesome!

We started out with a sparkly purple top (as you can probably tell from my other sessions, I’m a fool for sequins!) and a simple gold necklace. Bree looked so wonderful and I was blown away by how gorgeous her eyes looked…they seem to pop out of the frame!

As with my other color sessions, I knew I wanted at least two different looks when it came to styling. Luckily I had the pleasure of working with two amazing artists for the hair and make-up. Bree’s grandmother worked on her hair while Sydney, a sophomore at Fluvanna County High School did the make-up.

 

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Bree chose the perfect color. She should always wear purple because she looked absolutely AMAZING! After a few shots with the sequined top, I had her change into a dress I’d purchased for the session and we switched up her jewelry. I loved the way she looked, so beautiful and regal but as usual, I wanted get a little more dramatic!

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Sydney glammed up the make-up and Bree’s grandmother braided her hair and added a few flowers. It’s always amazes me how a few small changes can have such a huge impact on a photo!

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I also switched the background to include, you guessed it, sequins! These series of photos blew me away!! Bree looked like a high fashion princess!

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At the very end of the session, I had Bree change back into the sparkly tank top and I pulled out some purple hair extensions. We gave her a loose ponytail and ended the session with a more playful attitude. As I was testing out my lights for the final time, Bree struck this pose. Absolutely adorable!

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Purple is actually Bree’s grandmother’s favorite color so she brought along this fabulous mask for us to use in a few photos…100% love!!

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Here’s one last shot of Bree before we changed the makeup and background. I love how completely different these two looks are!!

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Thanks for a wonderful afternoon Bree! I’ve loved having you as my rep and look forward to you final session in May. I can’t believe the school year is almost over! Super big thanks again to Sydney and Bree’s grandmother for their expertise. I had so much fun working with you both!

If you missed it, check out the rest of my 2016 rep color inspired sessions…they all did such an amazing job!

CLASS of 2016 – Have you scheduled your cap & gown photo photo yet? For more info click here or contact me! | 434.906.0418 | photos@alijohnson.com

Ali Johnson is a portrait photographer specializing in senior portrait photography in Charlottesville, Crozet, Keswick, Albemarle and Fluvanna County VA

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