Class of 2018 Senior Model Team – Brainerd Photographer

2017 Senior Model Team


2017 Senior Model Team prepares to head off to college in the fall.
I met with a few ladies from the Class of 2017 Senior Model Team recently to get a few photos of them in their college gear. Hard to believe they’ll be heading off in the fall!

This past week has been a week of reflection and of looking ahead for me.

I did a photo shoot with my girls from the Class of 2017 Senior Model Team AND I did the initial photo sessions with the guys and gals that will be with me for the next year on the Class of 2018 Senior Model Team.  We often hear people talk about “young people these days”… and generally it’s not in the most positive light, but I am here to tell you that there are a lot of great young people out there, many of whom I have had the opportunity to connect with through my Senior Model program.

Looking Back to Senior Model Team 2017

If it hadn’t been for two girls who were instrumental in helping me launch the Class of 2017 Senior Model Team, there wouldn’t be anything to talk about for the Class of 2018.  Hanna and Jaelyn, thank you for helping me find the talented young women I’ve had the pleasure to photograph and get to know over the past year!  I appreciate your help more than you know.

The Class of 2017 is winding down their senior year, and will soon graduate and head off to college in the fall.  They are a group of beautiful, talented, and genuinely nice young women, and I can’t wait to follow their future adventures.  Thank you for allowing me into your lives, ladies, it’s been an absolute pleasure getting to know you and your families!

Looking Ahead to Senior Model Team 2018

The Class of 2018 Senior Model Team is packed with a diverse group of guys and gals that I am so excited to get to know better.  We’ve got athletes, writers, dancers, musicians, artists…I cannot wait to see the types of creative shoots we’ll be able to put together over the next year!   Most of the girls and guys were in the studio recently for their initial photos, and it was such an awesome buzz of energy and positivity.  We had fabulous fashions for them to model (Thank you Jennifer at Fashion Affection Boutique and Maya at Modern Man), and makeup artists to give the girls that polished look (Thank you Corrie and Casey from Moxy Hair Studio).  At one point during the week, I looked up and saw moms and daughters hanging out in my studio and having a great time, and thought “this is it, this is what my vision is all about!”.  I always talk about the experience, and seeing everyone in my studio getting ready, having a great time, and waiting for their turn behind the camera…it was the experience I had envisioned for the model team, and it was fun to see it become a reality.

Stay Tuned

Stay tuned to the blog and my social media accounts to see the Class of 2018 Senior Model Team introductions and to follow our journey over the next year.  You can follow me on Facebook at or on Instagram at @dmitzphoto.  You can also subscribe to my VIP list to receive exclusive access to future specials, tips, and other behind the scenes goodies. Sign up form is on the right side of the blog.  And, of course, there’s always, where you can see more of my work, link to my blog and social media accounts, and find information about booking your own photography session.

Until next time…make it a great week!  And check out the photos below from the “College Shoot” with my 2017 Senior Model Team.


Class of 2017 Senior Model Team College photoshoot
A few moments from the “college bound” shoot with the Class of 2017 Senior Model Team.


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Brainerd Photographer – My Senior Experience

I’ve talked before about the great experience I had with my senior photographer.  I grew up in a small town, so I had known him all my life, and he was only a few years older than me.   I have written about the fact that I never really felt like I could smile.  I don’t remember specific anxiety about it, but I distinctly remember being pleasantly surprised when my proofs came back and I was happy with them and how my smile looked.  I am a child of the 80’s (yes I’m old), and at that point the majority of senior pictures were in a studio in front of some lame bookcase backdrop, and most of them looked the same.  My experience, however, was significantly different.  Jay (that was my photographer’s name) did some of those indoor studio shots, too, but the backdrops were better, and then we went to several different outdoor locations to shoot as well.  I think I had four or five different outfits, and he made the entire experience comfortable and enjoyable.  It obviously must have been, because 30 plus years later (yep, I said I was old), I am still talking about it.  In fact, I enjoyed working with him so much that he was also our wedding photographer when my husband and I got married.  That positive and personal experience with Jay is what drives my passion for developing a relationship with my clients and providing the best senior experience possible.

I understand that most of us are a bit insecure about having our photos taken, so isn’t it nice to know that you’ve got someone on the other side of the camera who wants to get to know who you really are, and will do everything in their power to present you in the best light, in the way that everyone else sees you?  Not necessarily in the critical way you see yourself?  Man, speaking of that…the other day I went on a shopping trip because I was in desperate need of some new clothes.  So, off I went, determined to find something new to make me feel good and spunky again.  Well, that whole idea went south as soon as I stepped into the dressing room at the department store.  When was the last time you stood in front of the mirror in the harsh light of the department store dressing room half clothed?  Well, I did it the other day, and I’m here to tell you, it wasn’t a pleasant experience!  Now I work out regularly and try to watch what I eat, but man, it was still a “come to Jesus” moment for me.  Fortunately, I don’t live my life half clothed under the harsh lights of a department store dressing room, but if I did, I would need someone alongside me to peel me off the ceiling from that scary experience!  That, my friends, is what I try to do for you as your photographer!  I think we all view ourselves as half clothed under those harsh lights, and we need someone to come along who sees the real us, and can show us what we really look like under soft natural light with all our clothes on…let me tell you, it’s a very different, and much more pleasant experience!


Until next time…


P.S…and if you’re going shopping, be sure to bring a friend along for moral support!

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Brainerd Photographer – Planning for your Photo Session

If you’ve ever talked to me about my photography or spent much time on my website, you know that providing an “experience” is very important to me. I know the idea of providing an experience has become a bit of a catch phrase in the marketing world – don’t we all like doing business with people we know, like and trust? Sure we do – it makes perfect sense, and I guess to me, that’s just common sense! With regard to my photography business, my goal is to take experience a little further. Photography is such a personal thing – it’s just me and my camera with you, in what, for most people is a pretty vulnerable position. Some people like having their picture taken, but most are a bit self conscious. I completely understand that and don’t take those fears and concerns lightly. I want to make you feel at home in front of my camera, and know that I will do everything in my power to have you feeling comfortable during the process so you walk away feeling confident and excited to see the images that I’ve captured.

I want your session to be reflection of you, so we’ll put a plan together to make that happen before I ever pick up the camera. We’ll do this during your pre-session consultation. This is when we’ll meet in my studio to get to know each other a bit and plan out your session. I am specifically referring to my process with seniors here, but other than business headshots, I prefer to meet with all clients ahead of time for a consultation. I like to know what your goals are for the session, what you’re planning to do with the photos, who you are, what you’re into, what your concerns are, what you’re excited about. I want to tell your story through images, and capture you in a way that is authentic and true to the person you are at this moment in time. If I don’t have the opportunity to meet you until a few minutes before your session, we’ll still capture some great images, but they may not really tell the story of who you are, and I want you to look back at your photos when you’re my age (which is pretty old!), and remember fondly where we went, what we did, and some funny story that happened along the way. That is the authentic experience I want for you!

When it comes to senior photos, or any photos for that matter, deciding what to wear can often be an extremely frustrating process. Wouldn’t it be nice if you could work with someone to give you honest advice and help you find the outfits that look great and help you feel “like you”? I’ve been working with Jennifer and her team at Fashion Affection Boutique in Baxter for the past year with my senior model team, and they have done a fantastic job finding clothes to match the style and personality of each model. We will be working together again this year for my model program, and Jennifer has graciously agreed to provide some wardrobe guidance to those of you who might need it when planning your sessions. If this is something you’d be interested in, just let me know when we schedule your session, and we’ll arrange a time for you to stop by Fashion Affection and get the help you need. Having clothing that makes you feel good and looks good on you is so important! Thanks to Jennifer and her team at Fashion Affection for helping us make your senior experience just a little bit better!

I recently did a photo shoot with the ladies of FAB. They are one fun loving bunch of ladies, and I promise they’ll take great care of you when you visit their store!

Until next time…stay Modern. Authentic. 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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