Oro Valley Photography: Blog https://www.orovalleyphotography.com/blog en-us (C) Oro Valley Photography [email protected] (Oro Valley Photography) Mon, 16 Mar 2020 07:12:00 GMT Mon, 16 Mar 2020 07:12:00 GMT https://www.orovalleyphotography.com/img/s/v-12/u783545521-o6898998-50.jpg Oro Valley Photography: Blog https://www.orovalleyphotography.com/blog 120 96 Senior Portraits: What Should I Bring? https://www.orovalleyphotography.com/blog/2017/1/senior-portraits-what-should-i-bring Senior Portraits - What Should I Bring

One of the most common questions that high school seniors want to know prior to their portrait session is "What to Bring?"  Since we provide a customized portrait experience, this FAQ is not asking permission.  The real question is "Can you help me think of some ideas to make my portraits tell my story best?"  This video helps start the creative process.  Additionally, Oro Valley Photography helps seniors think through some ideas in our FREE initial consultation which we also provide a more comprehensive list of suggestions.  Remember this time in your life with more than a sterile yearbook head shot.

[email protected] (Oro Valley Photography) FAQs Portraits Senior https://www.orovalleyphotography.com/blog/2017/1/senior-portraits-what-should-i-bring Sun, 29 Jan 2017 22:04:15 GMT
Do I have to go to Rembrandt for Yearbook Pictures and Senior Portraits? https://www.orovalleyphotography.com/blog/2015/5/do-i-have-to-go-to-rembrandt-for-yearbook-pictures-and-senior-portraits Most public high schools in Tucson, Marana and Oro Valley require senior yearbook pictures be taken at Rembrandt Photography.  Requiring yearbook pictures at one location helps standardize the look of the yearbook because each photograph is required to meet school district criteria.  This is great when you have 30 portraits side by side in a book, but may not be what you want to post on your Instagram or hang on your wall.


Emily Garcia-0745Emily Garcia-0745


Yearbook pictures are not the same as senior portraits.  Many seniors are choosing to have a second senior portrait session that expresses their unique character without institutional constraints.  The individualized senior portrait session allows seniors to choose meaningful locations and props that represent themselves and their high school experience.  Recently I received a thank you letter from a mom that reflects why seniors choose to have portraits done outside of the studio.


  • “Thank you so much . . . through all your shots, you truly captured her youth, happiness and beauty.  It was wonderful working with you.  I look forward to working with you in the future!”


For those who plan early, you have the opportunity to have your favorite portrait added to your yearbook.  Most high schools yearbooks allow senior dedications that are available in quarter, half or full pages.  The yearbook typically requires the images for these pages to be submitted early in the school year.  Senior clients that have portrait sessions in the summer and fall are able to share their favorite senior portrait in their senior yearbook.  Here is an example from the Canyon Del Oro Yearbook.





Some news articles on senior portraits is available from the Washington Post and Wall Street Journal


Oro Valley Senior Portrait Photographers:  Erik Wilkinson and Jacob Wilkinson

Senior Portrait Package Rates range between:  $140 - $500 (Includes personal rights to digital images) 


Your high school can mandate where you get yearbook pics, but you choose your senior portrait photographer.  If you would like to learn more, then please call Erik at 520.404.7007.

[email protected] (Oro Valley Photography) faqs senior portraits https://www.orovalleyphotography.com/blog/2015/5/do-i-have-to-go-to-rembrandt-for-yearbook-pictures-and-senior-portraits Mon, 25 May 2015 18:14:57 GMT
Photo Booth Basics https://www.orovalleyphotography.com/blog/2015/2/Booth One of the liveliest ways to create fun at a party, formal or corporate function is to add a photo booth.  Not only will your guest have a great time at your event, they will also enjoy reminiscing.  As photo booths have become more popular, so have the variety.  Some photo booths are like the old arcade style kiosk designed for a few people but always able to cram in one more body behind the curtain.  An increasingly more popular option is the photo booth that can be characterized more like a professional on-site photography studio with an event photographer.

When deciding on the best photo booth for your event, it is important to consider the size of your event, the quality of images and what you want your guests to remember. 

Go Big!

Warren Photo Booth-0373Wedding Photo Booth

Size matters when selecting a photo booth.  This is important for two reasons.  The first is how large of an area do you have for the booth and how many guests will want to be pictured together.  If you have a small area, then your best option is likely a rental photo booth kiosk.  The larger the size of your event the more likely you will have groups of people wanting to be in the photo booth at the same time.  The larger on-site photography studio creates excitement with more fun and variety with props, posing and expressions.  If you are anticipating group photos with more than four people, then request a minimum of a 10 X 10 backdrop. 

Go Bright!

With larger groups, a bigger backdrop and more flashes are needed to have a good quality set of images.  Some “Photo Booth” photographers and most kiosk units have only one small flash.  We have found that this method while economical, will typically exaggerate skin imperfections and leave people in groups over shadowed.  If this is a concern, then request a photo booth with a minimum of a single 48 inch light source or two flashes.  Bounce reflectors properly angled can also help with increasing the effective size of the light source.

IRHS Formal-9738IRHS Formal-9738

Oro Valley Photography recently photographed around 500 students at the IRHS Winter Formal, during this “Photo Booth” we used 5 studio flashes with 3 front lights and two back lights.  The back lights were used to create an ultra-white background which made a soft rim light that made the formal dress colors pop.  The multiple front lights made it easy to switch between groups and couples without having to reposition the lights.  As one school administrator commented, “Your photo booth is more popular with the students than previous photo booths."  Additionally, many of the students and parents have commented about how good the images look.  These high quality images are possible with professional lighting techniques

Go Flashback!

As everyone heads home from your event they will begin reminiscing.  The photo booth keeps those memories alive.  The big decision is how you want to keep those memories alive and how soon do you want the buzz to start.  In today’s world, the old norm of one to two weeks is too long to wait to see photos.  Oro Valley Photography offers our clients the ability to have images posted online the following day, on-site professional printing and on-site slide shows.  The on-site options provide immediate gratification and more importantly make the event more fun.  Additionally, these options can be used at corporate or fundraising events to create excitement around a brand or company.

The Running Shop in Tucson received several compliments from the Thanksgiving Cross Country Classic for providing a free photo booth with immediate professional prints from Oro Valley Photography.  Three month later, a friend of mine still has one of these branded images on her refrigerator.

Running Shop-7728Running Shop-7728Thanksgiving XC Classic 2014

When planning your next event, remember to Go Big, Go Bright and then Go Flashback.  When it comes to parties, people do not remember cell phone selfies, they remember the pictures with their friends and family.  Oro Valley Photography makes events more memorable.

[email protected] (Oro Valley Photography) Events FAQs https://www.orovalleyphotography.com/blog/2015/2/Booth Mon, 16 Feb 2015 02:54:39 GMT
Do You Think Professional Photography Is Expensive? https://www.orovalleyphotography.com/blog/2014/4/do-you-think-professional-photography-is-expensive How Expensive is Professional Photography?

In today’s world photography is everywhere.  Driven by improvements in camera phones, Instagram, Facebook and in-expensive 1 hour photo developing at your local drug store, there are plenty of candid photos of everyone.  This leads a few wonder why a professional photographer can charge as much as they do.  One of the largest local photography companies in Tucson will charge a $199 for a two hour on-location sitting fee and then charge an additional $39 for a single 5 x 7.  Although, our rates are much lower, this company has reasonable rates when you consider what is included to make those professional photographs.

You are paying for the time, expertise and equipment needed to create the image itself.  This is not just a focus, click and print.  There is much more that is involved.


  • Traveling: To/from the location
  • Shooting: – actual time with the camera
  • Set up and preparation: This includes packing, scouting, client communications and researching
  • Loading photos onto a computer
  • Post processing:  Cropping, contrast, color, sharpening, clarity, tone (much more time than you would think)
  • Posting photos to web-site
  • Printing:  Receiving orders, processing payments, ordering prints, sending orders to photo lab, verifying prints, and shipping.

Every hour of actual shooting time is often accompanied by four hours of non-shooting activities to produce high quality photography.  So, when you are paying $199 per hour for a two hour sitting fee, then you are not paying $100 per hour.  It is more like $20 per hour.

Equipment Costs

Although many of the DSL cameras that you see in the local electronic store look similar to professional cameras, there are some big differences.  Most notably is the size of the individual light sensors (not the number of megapixels).  The larger sensors capture more light which means less electronic noise is created.  This greatly increases the image quality.  A typical professional camera costs $3000 and up for the body only.  It is an additional $2000 for the most commonly used professional lenses.   The lighting system are even more and again much more than you probably expected.


Although the cost of equipment can be staggering, taking professional portraits involves more than just having a nice camera.  Professional photographers spend years developing their ability to visualize and create the best photos from properly posing to adjusting for optimal lighting.  In addition to learning how to use the camera itself, many long nights are also spent perfecting photographs with post processing software.

For more information on Oro Valley Photography rates, please see:

How much does it cost for Wedding Photography in Tucson?

Senior Portraits


Think of it this way – the next time you pay $100 to get your hair done, a pair of scissors only costs $1.50. But you gladly pay a lot more to hire a Professional to actually do the job.

[email protected] (Oro Valley Photography) FAQs https://www.orovalleyphotography.com/blog/2014/4/do-you-think-professional-photography-is-expensive Fri, 18 Apr 2014 05:07:22 GMT
FAQ: How can I get my images? https://www.orovalleyphotography.com/blog/2014/3/FAQs_Online_Purchase Navigating through the Oro Valley Photography web-site to receive your image is easy once you understand the process.  After finding the photographs that you want to keep, follow these ten easy steps:

STEP 1:  Select Buy (on the drop down menu "Select Product"

Step 1Step 1

STEP 2:  Select Category (If needed)

Step 2Step 2

STEP 3:  Select Product

Step 3Step 3

STEP 4:  "Add to Cart"

Step 4Step 4

STEP 5:  View "Cart"

Step 5Step 5

STEP 6:  Review Your Order and "Checkout Now"

Step 6Step 6

STEP 7:  "Checkout as Guest" (or use other options)

Step 7Step 7

STEP 8:  Fill in the Required Fields and "Continue Checkout"

Step 8Step 8

STEP 9A:  Enter Coupon Code then "Apply" (If Applicable)

STEP 9B:  Select Deliver Method and "Continue Checkout"

Step 9Step 9

STEP 10:  Select Payment Method and Enter Information

Step 10Step 10


After entering your payment information, you will be directed to a confirmation page.  On this page select "Place Order."


Thank you,


Oro Valley Photography



[email protected] (Oro Valley Photography) FAQs https://www.orovalleyphotography.com/blog/2014/3/FAQs_Online_Purchase Fri, 14 Mar 2014 00:59:47 GMT
Arizona Distance Classic https://www.orovalleyphotography.com/blog/2014/1/arizona-distance-classic The Most Scenic Arizona Race

Arizona Distance ClassicArizona Distance Classic

Celebrating 10 years, the Arizona Distance Classic has been described as the most scenic Arizona race event of the year and takes place in Oro Valley, AZ.  M3S Sports, the race organizer, has continued to grow the popularity of this event through community support.  The local support is huge from the major employers of our area including Ventana, Northwest Medical Center, Splendido, All About Running & Walking, Hilton-Tucson El Conquistador, Arizona Party Rental and the Explorer. 


Oro Valley Photography is proud to be the official photographers of the 2014 event and we look forward to capturing some wonderful memories of the anticipated 2500 participants.  We hope that you are one of them, so please come and join us.  You will not want to miss this event.


For more information please click:  Arizona Distance Classic

For race photos please click HERE


[email protected] (Oro Valley Photography) 5K Arizona Distance Classic Half Marathon Oro Valley AZ Quarter Marathon Sports Photography https://www.orovalleyphotography.com/blog/2014/1/arizona-distance-classic Sat, 25 Jan 2014 03:40:47 GMT
Family Photos are Forever https://www.orovalleyphotography.com/blog/2013/12/family-photos When you're with your loved ones these holidays, you will want to capture the perfect moment.

Running into the Photo - Wilkinson FamilyPicacho Peak State Park www.orovalleyphotography.com

Did you ever notice that when you look at pictures of yourself, the ones we typically like the most include our friends and family?  These images remind us of the people we love or a time that we enjoyed.

Here are seven photography tips for when you have your family together this holiday season.  These can help you take that photograph that will bring back wonderful memories for years to come.


Outdoor locations are usually best.  Look for shade and avoid direct mid-day sun.  The best time for outdoor photos is around sunset and sunrise, when the Arizona sun welcomes photographers.

Nickles FamilyBackyard photos overlooking Catalina Mountains


A friend with a load pleasant voice can be a great ally in getting your group to the location.  It lets everyone know that this is a team effort and takes some pressure off the photographer.


Most amateur group photos have everyone line up rows like a little league baseball team.  Although, this may be practical for large groups, it is not the best options for less than 10 people.  In these situations, you want your group laying, sitting, kneeling, and standing on multiple levels.  Avoid positioning multiple faces on the same horizontal or vertical plane.  This variety makes the image much more dynamic.

Pusch Ridge Homecoming 2013www.orovalleyphotography.com


Depending on your camera settings, everyone in your picture may not be perfectly in focus.  When you focus on the person closest to the camera, then even with others slightly out of focus, the image will be a keeper.  On the other hand, if the person in the front is blurry, the eye will be drawn to the imperfection of the picture.

Fill Flash

Sometimes your camera will not want to flash on a sunny day because of the amount of light in your background.  By forcing the flash to fire you can light your subjects, preventing them from being lost in the shadows.  This can be done with almost any camera, including phone cameras.

Wilkinson Family PhotoPicacho Peak State Park

Click, Click, Click

The hard work is done and it is time to click the picture.  Taking multiple shots can increase your chances of getting everyone smiling with open eyes.

Have Fun

Family and friend photos are better when everyone is having fun.  Sometimes this is hard with little ones or inpatient teenagers.  Keep the session light and remember no picture is perfect.  Plan the formal picture first and saver the silly picture to the end.


Ironwood Ridge Women's Cross Country2013 Ironwood Ridge Women's Cross Country Team

[email protected] (Oro Valley Photography) Arizona Cactus Desert Family Family Photography Group Holiday Photography Photos Saguaro https://www.orovalleyphotography.com/blog/2013/12/family-photos Wed, 18 Dec 2013 06:24:47 GMT
Look into Your Light https://www.orovalleyphotography.com/blog/2013/11/look-into-your-light Armed with a plastic almost disposable camera at eight years old, I clicked the shutter at almost anything.  Most of my pictures were blurred or over exposed.   One day, I snapped a photo of ducks on a pond that impressed several grown-ups, who would say, “You have an eye for photography.”  This was my first time hearing this phrase that unintentionally pierces at the heart of photography.

Do you have an "Eye for Photography?"

As photographers and everyone is a photographer, we need to develop our “Eye for photography.”  Eye sight is defined as our visual perception of our surroundings contained in visible light.  A photograph is simply capturing that perception to view or share in the future.  We can begin to develop our “Eye” with these simple three steps.



1.      Know Light

Understand light begins with seeing the world differently.  A simple exercise will help you achieve this.  You will need a flashlight (or other light source) and an egg.   Slowly reposition the light around the egg.  Notice how the appearance of the egg changes as the location of the light changes.  Identify a few angles of light that you prefer, try taking a few pictures.  Look around; see if you notice different shadows and degrees of light.

Dynamic-EggDynamic-Egg Static-EggStatic-Egg

2.      Use Light

Light can either be your friend or your foe.  Are you using light or is light abusing you?  A built in camera flash often produces flat images and annoying red eyes because the primary light source and camera angles are identical. 

3.      Follow Light

The angle of light is determined by the location of the light source, the camera and the subject.  A better angle of light can typically be achieved by moving one of these three.  Some quick fixes that can be helpful include having your subject move their head or body towards a light away from the camera.  Additionally, on a sunny day, have your subject step into the shade to avoid the direct hard light of the sun.  If you have a swivel on your flash, try moving the light source by bouncing your flash off a nearby wall.

As you begin to see the world differently, the heart of your photography will shine.  Remember this next time you hear, “You have an Eye for Photography.”

[email protected] (Oro Valley Photography) flash photography light photography portrait https://www.orovalleyphotography.com/blog/2013/11/look-into-your-light Fri, 22 Nov 2013 02:08:49 GMT