Ever since I was ten years old and was gifted my first Polaroid camera by my parents, I have lived life “through the lens”. I was enamored by light and capturing moments in time, even way back then. It was always my intention to be an artist. It wasn’t until my first child was born 20 years ago, when I purchased my first professional film camera, a medium format Mamiya 645 (boy that dates me right there!) that my vision, the medium and the results married together seamlessly. I had found my heaven! At Alicia’s Photography, I photograph seniors, newborns, children, and families. I recently brought Samantha Jensen onboard for engagement and wedding photography. This now makes our studio a full circle photography studio. From birth to marriage. It’s a busy life but I love what I do and manage to learn something new every day.
About her senior ambassador program:
I worked out of my home steadily building my business for 16 years until I took the plunge and opened my first studio in 2010. As my children grew, so did my business. In January 2013 Alicia’s Photography relocated to a booming central downtown location and now with four members on staff, we haven’t looked back! Last year I photographed 325 sessions and I would say that 60% of that total is senior sessions. The Alicia’s Photography Ambassador Program is a key part of that success. Since opening my first studio, year after year my senior sessions have
doubled. I like to cover a broad representation of the student population and just in our town alone we have five public and three private schools encompassing two school districts, therefore our senior ambassador program can get fairly large. Ambassadors are invited to apply with parental permission and from over 100 applications this year we will chose 20. Each ambassador is given senior rep cards to distribute to friends, a sticky album to share their session and their images are shared on their social media pages. In return they receive a discounted individual session and product discounts along with fully stylized group session. We also ask current ambassadors for recommendations for the coming year. We are keeping this year’s theme under wraps but it will include a two day shoot divided into 2 groups of 10 girls. The theme for our 2015 senior ambassadors is so exciting and I can’t wait to share the upcoming images!
For the 2014 senior ambassador session we initially thought that it would be fun to do a 40’s theme with a vintage car I had spotted for sale in my neighborhood. (We hired the car for a few hours rather than buying it!) Our stylist “Room 363” supplied clothing, jewelry and hairpieces to fit the 40’s theme. Our full time studio makeup artist Renee Beaton (Make up by Renee) along with hairstylists; Dina Costa (Owner, Amazing Bride) and Joanna Santora (stylist, Asha Salon) worked for six hours to get the girls looks perfected. At the very last minute I decided to ask my son to join us to help create a story of a 40’s charmer flirting with all of the girls. That’s when the Notebook theme was born. The shoot lasted three hours and was threatened only by a thunderstorm which rumbled off to the North and provided dark moody skies. The girls and this photographer had a blast! We also had a videographer on hand to capture all of the action both in front and behind the camera. Needless to say that since our notebook themed session, our Senior Ambassador Program has become a hot ticket among juniors throughout the schools! It’s funny how word spreads so quickly amongst teens.
Hair and makeup are a very important additional service for our senior sessions and this growing trend at our studio was recently reported in a story in the Chicago Tribune. I would say that 80% of our seniors add the hair and makeup services to their session. This is not just a great service for our seniors but for me as well. It makes editing the images so much easier when the girls have had professional hair and makeup for their photos. Videography is the latest add-on service that we provide our seniors. Parents can now have their teen’s photography session filmed to further preserve this important time in their lives. We are always looking for ways to enhance our studio services and keep relevant with this very important, ever changing young market.