High School Senior Turned Cover Girl

The best part about being a Beauty photographer is showing real women that they are every bit as gorgeous as the stars of fashion magazines.

When a young adult with a gleaming personality, an unforgettable smile, and an up-for-anything spirit crosses in front of my lens, you know there's magic in the making!

Read on for the full story behind Katie's senior portrait shoot or just enjoy her fabulous custom fashion magazine here:

Megan DiPiero Photography {High School Senior Turned Cover Girl}
Megan DiPiero Photography {High School Senior Turned Cover Girl}

Meet Katie. This is Katie's graduating year from high school.

She's the first born of three sisters (all with matching Rapunzel blonde hair and beautiful smiles). Katie has a fun sense of humor and a down-to-earth, humble personality. She's also got a knack for seeing the world with a level head and mature perspective.

The coolest thing about her is that she loves to learn and is not afraid to be at the top of her class. Ashton Kutcher might be on to something with his now famous tip: be smart, be thoughtful, be generous. Katie is all of the above. And her beauty shines from the inside out!

Katie and her mom decided to celebrate this big Senior year milestone with a very special portrait shoot. They wanted to go beyond the standard cap and gown shots and let Katie step into a model's shoes for the day.

Katie was psyched for the adventure. I was delighted to stretch my creativity. In this blog, I'll share some fave highlights and the story behind the captures.

Megan DiPiero Photography {High School Senior Turned Cover Girl}
Megan DiPiero Photography {High School Senior Turned Cover Girl}

As you can see, Katie is a gorgeous teen right from the start!

Our fab hair and makeup artist Brittany did a great job keeping her look age-appropriate but with that perfect glam touch. Everyone loves the luxury of spending an hour with professional hair and makeup artistry. During that time, Katie's mom and I got busy fine tuning the details of the day.

We plotted out a full day shoot with themes ranging from Grunge Princess to Woodland Fairy.

Megan DiPiero Photography {High School Senior Turned Cover Girl}
Megan DiPiero Photography {High School Senior Turned Cover Girl}

Nothing like a beat up, grafitti-ed warehouse to make an exciting backdrop! There's so much I love about the shot above. I situated the crates (a fabulous rental from Sweet Southern Charm) right in a beautiful patch of natural light.

Katie sat down to lace up her boots and I said “OMG” (...yes, I speak in acronyms...) “Stop right there!”

There was something so lovely about the metaphor of changing shoes, changing roles, changing life. The heels are perfectly lovely and pretty, but the boots keep it real. During our wardrobe consultation, Katie had the great idea to pair these kick-butt boots with her denim shorts. I said “How bout with the dress?” and her eyes lit up! It's juxtaposition like this that makes for exciting fashion editorial looks.

Megan DiPiero Photography {High School Senior Turned Cover Girl}
Megan DiPiero Photography {High School Senior Turned Cover Girl}

This next dress was an absolute show-stopper!

Katie looks like she just stepped out of a Vogue fashion shoot.

...Or maybe she just got lost in Frozen Arendelle.

All I know is that she's gorgeous!

Want to know just how glam this setup really was...?

What you don't see in this shoot was dutiful Brittany (camera right) with curling iron at the ready in one hand and makeshift fan (fashioned from cardboard) in the other, creating that fabulous whooshing hair. Meanwhile my assistant Deanna (camera left) came to the rescue by throwing the dress up in the air take after take after take. I squatted down low and tried to avoid falling in a puddle of stagnant water on the concrete floor. Katie kept her killer model face throughout and carefully followed every bit of my precision direction even as cars zoomed past, drivers scratching their heads at our ordeal and occasionally honking. We decided to take the honks as a compliment, thankyouverymuch, and carried on.

Honk if you love fashion!

Megan DiPiero Photography {High School Senior Turned Cover Girl}
Megan DiPiero Photography {High School Senior Turned Cover Girl}

Location #2 on our journey (3 if you're counting our in-studio shoot) was downtown Fort Myers. Downtown is perfect for a range of scenes. We climbed steps, scouted out great light and crayola color walls, posed in front of funky doors, and took a detour for cokes and cookies at Subway.

Megan DiPiero Photography {High School Senior Turned Cover Girl}
Megan DiPiero Photography {High School Senior Turned Cover Girl}

Just in case you were worried we'd never show you that fab smile of hers, feast your eyes on the shot above!

We wanted to have lots of fashion takes but we also were sure to capture Katie's soft side with honest, open, approachable headshots. This is a real expression and pose that everyone from school classmates to doting Grandma is sure to appreciate.

Megan DiPiero Photography {High School Senior Turned Cover Girl}
Megan DiPiero Photography {High School Senior Turned Cover Girl}

Finally, we rounded off the day with warm golden light and nature backdrop at Koreshan State Historic Park. Katie's mom came to the rescue with a delivery of flowers from the craft store that we fashioned into a hair wreath. Just before this shot we did a candid running and spinning series which resulted in wild, unruly hair. Rather than tame those tresses, I decided to celebrate the woodland fairy spirit and directed Katie to try out some new expressions. The whole look came together beautifully and just in time too! (We made it out just before the park closed.)

Great images deserve to be printed in a very special way!

The perfect keepsake for this model-in-the-making is a one-of-a-kind fashion magazine, complete with Katie's own words and reflections.

I designed a slick glossy magazine for Katie to share with her friends at high school (and soon college) and an heirloom quality album for the family to display at home. We're proud to announce that this design has been selected as an upcoming AsukaBook “Book of the Month” for creative design and beautiful imagery. If you didn't click it before, scroll back up and check it out!

Katie and Kristen, thank you so much for inviting me to create this adventurous day with you! I love how you said yes to every idea and brought your own ideas and contributions to the table too. Katie, I know you will do well in the years ahead. You are charming, bright, and a true joy to be around. Best of luck in college and beyond!

Thanks to all the readers for checking out this post and learning more about the fun Beauty shoots we have at Megan DiPiero Photography. Stop on over to Facebook to say hey or follow MDP on Instagram

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