Cedar Valley photographer follows her bliss creating senior portraits

“I started taking photos in high school of bugs and flowers in my backyard, but I have always loved photography as a tool to capture memories. When I was a kid, I was obsessed with looking through my mom’s old photos and scrapbooks to see what her life was like growing up in the ’60s and ’70s. I love the way photographs act as time capsules and can transport us back through time to see the way life used to be and to ‘meet’ people who we never get to meet in life.

“I started photographing people when one of my best friends in high school asked me to take his senior photos, and we ran all over Cedar Falls and Waterloo for two days taking as many photos as possible. We had a blast, and that shoot lit the fire in me of loving senior photography for its uniqueness and creativity. I received so many compliments from his family and friends, all telling me that his photos were some of the best senior photos they had ever seen (not to toot my own horn). It wasn’t even because of the quality or technical excellence of the images; it was because I was able to so clearly capture his spirit and personality. I knew then that I had a bit of a talent for that.

“When it came time for me to attend college, I started off at Hawkeye Community College in Waterloo going for a degree in liberal arts. I didn’t know exactly what I wanted to do, so I took classes from a variety of departments. It wasn’t until I took the general photography class in my second year that I found my calling. I knew I needed to get back behind the camera. I attended the professional photography program from 2018-2020 and graduated in May 2020 with my Associate of the Applied Arts in professional portrait photography. During my time at Hawkeye, I received numerous accolades and awards, including the Top Portrait Portfolio in my graduating class.

“As soon as I had graduated, I got straight to work starting my business, SRD Photography. I filed for an LLC, created a website and social media, and got to work. When I first started, I offered a variety of photo session types, from family to seniors to corporate headshots and more. It quickly became apparent to me that my heart was still with seniors and high school/teen photography, so I limited my offerings and went all in as a solely senior photographer.

“That was the best decision I have ever made. It allowed me to focus my time, finances and efforts into creating the premiere senior portrait experience for my clients; no splitting my time between a bunch of different areas of photography. I could really fine tune my work and guarantee my clients the best experience possible.

“At SRD Photography, my clients are at the heart of everything I do. My motto is ‘helping you shine,’ and I’d like to believe that I do just that. You are the driving force behind your session, and I offer you all of my tools and knowledge and experience to make your senior experience the most personalized, comfortable and affirming it can possibly be. From first contact to session selection, an in-depth senior questionnaire, an in-personal styling consultation, wardrobe and location consultation, professional makeup for your session day, a multi-hour timeline to ensure nothing is missed or rushed, to an in-person view + order session where your photos are present for the first time in a custom slideshow and you and your parents have access to all of your images as 4×6 proof prints and all of my archive-quality product samples to build your perfect senior collection to show off your images for decades to come. I even take care to personally review all of your products.

“And hand deliver them to your front door. I am with my clients every step. I pride myself in offering an unmatched senior portrait experience that is as memorable as the photos themselves.

“I also created the SRD Senior Starlet Squad in 2021 to allow high schoolers from all across the Cedar Valley to come together to participate in a social program that allows them to make new friends, share new experiences and document their time leading up to graduation in an inclusive, creative and supportive environment.

“Class of 2023 registrations are still open, and you can begin your booking process by filing out the contact form on my website (https://srdphotographycf.mypixieset.com). You can also follow along with behind the scenes content, session previews, session tips and tricks, and so much more on my Instagram (@srdphotography_cf) and Facebook (https://m.facebook.com/srdphotographycf).”

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.