My, how things have changed!

Deb Mitzel Photography 2017 Senior
Richelle’s family has strong connections to the downtown Brainerd area, and 7th and Laurel in particular, so it was fitting that we capture some photos in this special place.

“Boy, grad pictures sure have changed since I had mine taken!” I hear that all the time from parents when I sit down with them and their senior at their Pre-session Senior Consultation. During this visit, I ask their senior what their vision is for the session.  Do they have a particular location in mind?  What are they into…cars, sports, music, computers?  Do they want to incorporate any of those interests into their senior photos?  Are they a Pinterest user?  Would they like me to create and share a board with them to pass ideas back and forth that will help me see the types of photos they like?  To me, these are all things that help me get to know my seniors, and ultimately help me create the best possible experience for them.  As I see it, this may the only time in their life that they are the center of attention at a photo shoot.  For some it’s no big deal, but for others, it’s a really big deal and they want it to be fabulous.   Sure, many of my seniors will go on to get married, but even on that big day, the focus will no longer be on just them, they’ll have to share it with a new spouse.  I like to make sure my seniors have an awesome experience that they will be reminded of every time they look at their photos.

On the flip side, many parents tell me they went in to the photographer’s studio, took a couple of shots against a backdrop, and that was it!  If they happened to be one of the lucky ones, they got to do one outdoor photo outside the photographer’s studio.  What a shame – for them, it’s not a positive experience they remember every time they look at their senior pictures.  I’ve written about it before, but I was very fortunate to have a fantastic senior photographer – one who made me feel special, took me to multiple locations,  and let me have a variety of outfits, which created a really great and positive experience for me.  That has stuck with me after all these years, and is probably why I feel so passionately about providing a fun, personalized experience for the seniors I photograph.

When you work with me, you need to know that I will encourage your creativity and ideas, but if you just want great photos and a fun experience without input on all the details, rest assured that I have plenty of great locations and ideas, and you will walk away with great photos and a fun experience, whether you personally chose all the details or not.  Stay tuned to my Instagram and Facebook feeds to see some of the fun sessions I’ve had that incorporate the senior’s unique personality into the session, as well as some of my favorite local locations.

You can follow me on Facebook at facebook.com/debmitzelphotography or dmitzphoto on Instagram.

Deb Mitzel Photography 2017 Senior
Caitlin loves everything outdoors, so doing her session outdoors in her element made perfect sense.

 

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Meet Richelle – Brainerd High School 2017 Senior

160615_untitled_0059-Edit.jpgThis beautiful young woman places a high value on family and friends, and it is evident by the way she interacts with them.  Respectful and even a bit reserved, you can tell that she thinks before she speaks to ensure that others’ feelings are considered, traits that will serve her well long after high school.  Richelle is involved in basketball and softball at Brainerd High School, and loves wakeboarding and hanging out with her friends.  Welcome to the Deb Mitzel Photography Model Team, Richelle!  We’re going to have some fun this year.

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Meet Sydney – Brainerd High School 2017 Senior

160522_PB Model Shoot_0086-Edit.jpgSpend just a couple of minutes with this beautiful young lady and you will get a sense of how important family is to her, which speaks to her kind and generous heart.  She is an ambitious young woman, working two jobs, but also finding time to spend with her friends, family, and her precious pups, which mean the world to her.  After high school, she plans to attend college in Colorado, which is one of her favorite places.  Thank you for being a part of the Deb Mitzel Photography Model Team, Sydney!

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Meet Sam – Pequot Lakes 2017 Senior

160522_PB Model Shoot_0441.jpgFrom the first contact I had with Sam, I could tell she was an articulate, “wise beyond her years” kind of girl, and I am having so much fun getting to know her.  She’s involved in volleyball and basketball at Pequot Lakes High School, and recently earned her black belt in taekwondo!  She’s a total sweetheart, but I wouldn’t recommend messing with her, because I’m pretty sure she could take you out if she had to. 😉  Thanks for being a part of my senior model team, Sam!  I’m looking forward to the fun we’re going to have over the next year!

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Meet Molly – Pequot Lakes 2017 Senior

160522_PB Model Shoot_0207-2-Edit-2.jpgGive her a day of laying by the pool in Maui, Hawaii, and this girl will be in heaven.  With her sun kissed blonde locks and sweet personality, this young lady is quietly charming.  She plays volleyball and basketball for Pequot Lakes High School, and has dreams of becoming a pediatric dentist someday.  I am so glad you are a part of my model team, Molly, and I have no doubt that you can do anything you put your mind to!  Let’s have some fun this year. 🙂

 

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Molly, and her friend, Sam, who is also a member of my model team.
Molly, and her friend, Sam, who is also a member of my model team.
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Meet Caitlin – Brainerd High School 2017 Senior

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Great things come in small packages.  This young lady has such a wide range of talents, and interests,  making it tough to put  her into any sort of a box.  And I think that’s probably just the way she likes it!  Caitlin seems a little quiet when you first meet her, but don’t mistake that for a girl who is shy or doesn’t know what she wants.  This gal is a captain of her high school gymnastics team and loves to hunt and fish in her spare time, but she can still get girly with the best of them!  I love that!  Ask her about muskie fishing and her eyes will light up like a Christmas tree. So glad to have you in my model program, Caitlin!  I can’t wait to see what the next year brings.

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Meet Hanna – Brainerd High School 2017 Senior

160522_PB Model Shoot_0364-Edit.jpgWith a flair for fashion, and an engaging personality that will draw you right in, Hanna has got it going on!  When I first talked with Hanna and her mom about the model program, Hanna’s enthusiasm and passion bubbled right up, and I couldn’t wait to work with her.  She’s got dreams of being a clothing designer someday, but for now, she’s a very active high school student who loves ice cream, spending time with her friends, and can’t imagine what life would be like without her phone.  Thanks for being a part of my model team, Hanna!  I’m so excited to have you here.

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Meet Jaelyn – Brainerd High School 2017 Senior

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Jaelyn 2017 Brainerd High School Senior

 

Can you say firecracker?  I’ve known Jaelyn and her family since she was a little girl, and I just love the attitude and personality she brings to everything she does!  There is never a dull moment when she gets going, so the fact that she loves to sleep, and her bed is her favorite place makes complete sense.  She’s involved in track, and is a captain on her high school gymnastics team, which doesn’t leave a lot of time for other interests, but she does love hanging out with friends and reading a good book when she can.  Jaelyn is looking forward to her senior year gymnastics and track seasons.  I know she’s going to have a great year, and I look forward to watching her grow, and enjoying all the fun and energy she is going to bring to the model team.  Thanks for being a part of my model team, Jaelyn!  It’s going to be an awesome year!

 

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Meet Jillian – Brainerd High School 2017 Senior

160522_PB Model Shoot_0260-2-Edit.jpgWhen asked what she likes to do in her spare time, Jillian said “play piano”.   It is her happy place, a way to decompress and get lost in the moment. When asked to list three things she couldn’t live without, music made the list, right after her family and phone, of course.  🙂  Jillian also plays the flute, but while music feeds her soul, this girl is also a hard core athlete as the pitcher for her high school softball team, and a straight A student with goals of pursuing a career in the medical field.  She seems a little shy when you first get to know her, but take a little time to get to know this young lady, and you’ll find an articulate, well-rounded young woman destined for success.  Thanks for joining the model team, Jillian!  I can’t wait to see what the future has in store for you!

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Need help finding something to wear for your photo session, or just need to find a fun outfit that makes you look good?

2017 Senior Model Team, Box Car, Paul Bunyan Land, dmitzseniors
This boxcar provided a perfect backdrop that is reminiscent of a TV Series poster. Model’s clothing provided and styled by Fashion Affection Boutique.

What should I wear?  For many of us, it’s a daily question, but when it comes time to decide what we should wear to have photos taken, many of us go into complete panic mode, and then we head out shopping.  Wouldn’t it be nice if you could have someone help you who knows fashion, what works on different body types, and what will photograph well?  Someone to give you peace of mind so you can come to your photo shoot confident and feeling fabulous?  Well, I happen to know the someone who can do that for you…her name is Jennifer, and she’s the owner of Fashion Affection Boutique, located in the Fitquest Center, right across from El Tequila.  The moment you meet her, Jennifer will make you feel completely at ease, like you are having a conversation with a good friend.  Just tell her what you need an outfit for, and she’ll ask you a couple of questions, then begin to work her magic, finding you exactly what you need, even though you weren’t even sure where to start!

Jennifer, Fashion Affection Boutique owner and fashion guru
Jennifer, Fashion Affection Boutique owner and fashion guru

Earlier this year, when I was putting together plans for my Senior Model Program, I approached Jennifer about working with me on a model shoot, and quickly found that we shared a similar passion in that we love to help people feel empowered and beautiful.  We go about it in different ways – she by helping women select outfits that make them feel beautiful, and me through the lens of my camera, but we both knew that by working together, we could have an even bigger impact!

I knew Jennifer had a gift from my own experiences in her store, but it really hit home when the models and I met with her to select their clothing for the model shoot.  She had asked 3 simple questions of them ahead of time, and we arrived to find that she had selected outfits for them as a starting point based on those three questions.  She invited them to tweak their looks, and let her know what they did or didn’t like so they could change it up, but she was absolutely spot on right out of the gate!  The moms in attendance were shocked at how well Jennifer was able to do without knowing their daughters, when they likely wouldn’t have fared as well knowing them their entire lives.  To say Jennifer is good at what she does would be a gross understatement!

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So… if you’re trying to figure out what to wear for your upcoming photo shoot, or you need a fabulous outfit “just because”, stop by Fashion Affection Boutique and meet Jennifer or one of the other ladies.  They’re all fabulous by the way, and will help you find clothes you just can’t wait to wear!  And one other thing… in case you’re thinking you’ll have to drop a lot of cash to have this experience, think again – there is nothing in the store priced over $50!  That’s a pretty lofty goal, and Jennifer has done it with fashionable clothes you’ll love to wear.

Jennifer and her mom, Sue, can regularly be found in the boutique, along with recent high school graduate, Hannah, not pictured. They are all fabulous at helping you find the perfect outfit!
Jennifer and her mom, Sue, can regularly be found in the boutique, along with recent high school graduate, Hannah, not pictured. They are all fabulous at helping you find the perfect outfit!

Check out the fabulous clothes on the girls in these photos – they all came from Fashion Affection Boutique.  Tell Jennifer and the ladies I sent you when you stop by – you won’t be disappointed!

The carousel provided a fun backdrop for our model shoot at Paul Bunyan Land. Model's clothing provided and styled by Fashion Affection Boutique.
The carousel provided a fun backdrop for our model shoot at Paul Bunyan Land. Model’s clothing provided and styled by Fashion Affection Boutique.
Model shoot at Paul Bunyan Land. Model's clothing provided and styled by Fashion Affection Boutique.
Model shoot at Paul Bunyan Land. Model’s clothing provided and styled by Fashion Affection Boutique.
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