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Photographing Seniors {An Interview with Photography by Natalie B}


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Today’s interview is with Natalie Bacon, of Photography by Natalie B and author of the “Senior’s Solutions Guide.” She has some phenominal tips for photographing seniors and breaking into the senior market. So enjoy the interview.

**** PLUS enter to WIN a FREE copy of Natalie’s Senior Solutions Guide. ***

The lucky person will be picked by a random generator as early as this Sunday (I cannot be too specific as I will be on vacation – but I will aim for Sunday to do the drawing). Just comment on this post to enter.


Tell us how you got started working with seniors?

I actually never planned on working with seniors. I knew there was a large studio close by and thought they would do most of them. One of my clients referred two seniors to me; I used them as reps and word of mouth spread. The seniors were looking for something new, fresh and non studio.How do you relate to seniors and make them comfortable in front of the camera? I try to have a pre-consultation, even if it is through email. When we are on a session I joke around with them, ask about their plans after graduating etc. They are usually nervous so I never let them wear their most favorite outfit first, that way by the end of the session they are not as nervous and wearing their favorite outfit. I give them some time to warm up to me as well. Often we end up talking about how different it is now, compared to when I graduated. That always brings a few good laughs!! Honestly though I think just being much laid back, and sometimes silly really helps them to warm up to me.

What is your favorite thing about working with seniors? Other then the fact that they stay still?

I love connecting with them, and being able to try new ideas.

What is your most important marketing tool to reach the senior market?

Hands down MySpace. Viral marketing is a huge part of this generation and I take full advantage of it! I know that in some areas Facebook is more popular, and I do use that as well but MySpace works great here.

How do you get seniors talking about you and telling their friends about you?

I use spokesmodels from several schools, as well as give complimentary watermarked/websize images of poses that the seniors purchase. They are usually so excited to post them in an album on MySpace. I receive a lot of inquiries that way, pretty much effortless!

Tell us about your style?

I would say that I am not very photojournalistic. I admire those photographers that are, I just have to step in a guide poses! With seniors you have to pose them, you need to make sure everything is perfect without looking too posed! I have been told my style is fresh, relaxed and natural.

What are your favorite poses? Share a few pictures?

24web Photographing Seniors {An Interview with Photography by Natalie B} Interviews

11web Photographing Seniors {An Interview with Photography by Natalie B} Interviews


14texture-web Photographing Seniors {An Interview with Photography by Natalie B} Interviews

What is your favorite camera and lens to use when shooting seniors?

The equipment I currently use is a Canon 5d with either the 135L or 25-105 L and the 30d with the 85 1.2 II L. Most of the images in my senior portfolio (other then the 2009 spokesmodels) were taken with the 30d and a Tamron 28-75mm and 135L. I recently upgraded this spring. I am anxiously awaiting the new 5d!

What is the strangest thing you bring with you on shoots?

Oh gosh it has to be this Polaroid picture of myself and a friend the year after I graduated. I had this hideous short hair cut. I bring the photograph and tell the seniors they can’t look at it until we are done using it. Then they get a huge chuckle out of how weird I looked!

What is the one thing you could not live without (besides family and photo related camera gear)?

Diet Coke

Where are your favorite places to do senior shoots?

I love to shoot in small historical towns. There are so many textures and color you can find there! I also have permission to use some old barns.What are your hottest selling product(s)?Wallets. I know that in some areas these are not popular at all but in Mi they still are! I probably sell at least 3-6 poses with a total of 200 wallets or more.

Describe your workflow: I shoot Raw, so I do a lot of my work in Lightroom. I adjust the white balance, brightness, exposure etc. Then I export my photos to photoshop and will do a few black and white, some color. I don’t spend a lot of time on the photographs unless they have a lot of acne. I also love using Portraiture and MCP’s Eye doctor.

What 3 photographers has been your biggest inspiration?

Mark Stein; he is incredible, Brianna Graham; love how she incorporates urban in her photographs, Teri Fode; she does wonderful seniors as well.

Tell us about your Senior Solutions Guide:

The Senior Solutions Guide is a comprehensive guide for those starting out photographers (or photographers very new to the senior market). There are no secrets, just lots of time saved with everything laid out from starting a spokesmodel program to setting up your pricing, products, etc. Bonuses include contracts, exclusive templates from several vendors and a Flickr group for support.

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  1. Susan P. on June 18, 2008 at 2:29 pm

    great interview! i look forward to checking out her book…and i love her pics you posted!

  2. Paul Kremer on June 18, 2008 at 2:44 pm

    Very cool. I have definitely been wondering on how to enter the senior market locally. This book will be very helpful!

  3. Adrianne on June 18, 2008 at 2:45 pm

    Jodi ~ Another great interview! You get some of the best in their fields and it really is a huge benefit to all of us. Natalie ~ Thank you for your time and openness. I really loved your pix and can’t wait to check out your guide. 🙂

  4. Wendy on June 18, 2008 at 2:51 pm

    Sounds great. Cant wait to check out her book. I have been feeling out the senior market!

  5. Juliet on June 18, 2008 at 2:57 pm

    Great Interview!! I’ll be coming back to this a lot more. Thanks for posting this and can’t wait to see who wins the contest (me! me! me! :D)

  6. Toni Hamel on June 18, 2008 at 3:02 pm

    Fabulous interview! I can’t wait to book some seniors… I think Teens are my fav’s to shoot so far!

  7. Jordan on June 18, 2008 at 3:04 pm

    Wonderful interview – thanks to your both for sharing your time and for the lovely giveaway!

  8. Kate on June 18, 2008 at 3:15 pm

    Thanks for the great interview! So much information.I was justed asked to take a friends son’s senior pictures. perfect timing for me.Thanks again,

  9. Katie Trujillo on June 18, 2008 at 3:41 pm

    I can’t wait to get her book. No one really taps the senior market where I live and I have a plan, but I will buy this book to help me out a little……although I would really love to win it……:)

  10. Kim Townsend on June 18, 2008 at 3:52 pm

    Great interview!!!

  11. Brandi on June 18, 2008 at 4:45 pm

    Great interview! I would love to break into the senior market in my area. I’ve done one senior shoot and I wasn’t as comfortable as I would have liked.

  12. Cindy Chen on June 18, 2008 at 4:49 pm

    Thank you! This was a great interview and it helps alot. I am just starting my business and the senior market is definately something I’d like to get in to. I will be looking into her book!

  13. Minnette on June 18, 2008 at 4:54 pm

    Great interview! I can’t wait to have my first SS!

  14. LisaB on June 18, 2008 at 5:44 pm

    Thanks for the interview, it was really an eye opener at what can be done when you pose yourself to do it! I loved the information of the camera equipment also, everyone thinks you have to have the most expensive to do the best. Obviously not!

  15. Carrie V. on June 18, 2008 at 5:45 pm

    Wow! I love, love, love those pictures! I never considered the senior portrait market, but seeing those incredible images makes me want to! Thanks for the great info!

  16. Christina N on June 18, 2008 at 6:14 pm

    I too am hesitant in doing any seniors since I know there is another great studio locally that already has a well established position in the senior market. However, I really would like to photograph some seniors (as something different than the children and families that I do now), just unsure of how to get my name out there to those seniors? I will def check into this book.

  17. Melissa on June 18, 2008 at 6:35 pm

    I enjoyed this interview. You can tell how “real” she is and obviously does a great job based on the images posted.

  18. Zig on June 18, 2008 at 6:58 pm

    This was a very helpful interview and the pictures include are outstanding. I liked learning about the equipment. The interview that talent(natural or from hard work) and creativity rule over have the best and most expensive equipment.

  19. Heather on June 18, 2008 at 7:28 pm

    Natalie’s guide is on the top of my wish list right now. DS is a sophomore, with lots of contacts at all the local high schools. I’m looking forward to using her guide plus his friends to give me the push I need. Thanks for the great interview and give away!

  20. Wendy M on June 18, 2008 at 8:31 pm

    Thanks Jodi for this great interview with Natalie. Thanks Natalie for a great product!

  21. Megan on June 18, 2008 at 8:44 pm

    Oh, great interview! I can’t wait to look into this book, it sounds so helpful.

  22. Jenni Carmon on June 18, 2008 at 8:58 pm

    Thanks for the interview. I will keep my fingers crossed and hope that I am the lucky winner!! I need the help.

  23. christy freeberg on June 18, 2008 at 9:06 pm

    great info! Can’t wait to read more!! Beautiful photos! Thanks for sharing your insite and knowledge!

  24. Elma on June 18, 2008 at 9:41 pm

    Great shots! Thanks for Sharing so much Natalie!

  25. Erin S. on June 18, 2008 at 10:51 pm

    Jodi & Natalie, Thanks for the interview – I learned from just reading it! I.Heart.Seniors! They are so much fun to work with. I would love to get my hands on the guide.

  26. kim s. on June 18, 2008 at 10:51 pm

    Love hearing more about getting into the senior market. Hoping to one day get there myself.

  27. Natalie on June 19, 2008 at 12:04 am

    Thank you all so much for such nice comments! I really appreciate it so much. Jodi is such an incredible person and I am so honored to call her my friend. Thanks Jodi!I love love seniors and I love to talk about photographing seniors too, can you tell ? LOL I really think that when you are excited and share that with your clients they get excited!!Totally right on too, it is NOT the equipement ( although it is nice and lots of fun) but your KNOWLEDGE, creativity and how you use it!!Thanks again everyone!!!Natalie

  28. Bettie on June 19, 2008 at 12:41 am

    This is really great to get some encouragement. I shot my niece’s senior photos and it was a blast! She smiled so much (for pictures and laughing) that her mouth was tired at the end of the shoot – that’s when we called it quits! It is nice to get some specific tips in this area. Thanks for the interview.

  29. Annie H. on June 19, 2008 at 12:49 am

    Excellent interview. Love your pictures.

  30. Kristy on June 19, 2008 at 12:57 am

    Great interview. You have some fanyastic photos Natalie.

  31. shelia on June 19, 2008 at 1:21 am

    Thanks for sharing the interview..I really want to break into the senior market! Hopefully soon!!

  32. Jovana on June 19, 2008 at 1:34 am

    I love to hear how people got started. It’s such an inspiration. Thanks Jodi for the interview, and thanks to Natalie for sharing.

  33. Cyndi Henry on June 19, 2008 at 2:07 am

    Awesome interview, thanks for doing it! I really enjoyed it, Natalie is just awesome with seniors!!

  34. charleigh on June 19, 2008 at 2:13 am

    great interview! love your style natalie! seniors are an area i’m keen to explore too!

  35. Rebecca on June 19, 2008 at 2:23 am

    Great interview! I’ve been thinking of expanding into the senior market – so this is great info!!! Great seniors pics!!

  36. Elena on June 19, 2008 at 2:46 am

    Great interview. I just moved into new town and am going to try to get into the senior market, which seems to be big here.

  37. gina on June 19, 2008 at 2:47 am

    great interview!!

  38. Chelsey on June 19, 2008 at 3:24 am

    Great interview! Love that first shot too. Fingers crossed here! Would love to win this. 🙂 Thanks for all your hard work ladies!

  39. Denise Olson on June 19, 2008 at 5:27 am

    Great interview with Natalie, Jodi!! The Senior market is full of versatile photographic opportunities and Natalie captures the portraiture with simplicity, yet incorporates the trends that these kids want in their photos. Thanks for sharing your “magic”, Natalie!!

  40. Michelle Garthe on June 19, 2008 at 7:31 am

    Great interview. Thank you. Does anyone who shoots Senior ever ‘intend’ to? LOL. Love that you bring a photo of you to the shoot! Great idea. Your work is gorgous!

  41. Sandee Rowe on June 19, 2008 at 8:07 am

    Thanks for sharing. I think the solutions guide will be very helpful.

  42. Susan on June 19, 2008 at 8:50 am

    Oh how I would love to win her Senior Guide book!! If I don’t – I’ll still end up purchasing it – but I know this will help me with my next step up in my photography business if I was to win it!Love Love Love – your recent interviews – they have been all great!

  43. Melissa C on June 19, 2008 at 9:04 am

    This book would be something that I could use as I am trying to get into the senior market this year. Thanks for sharing the tips that you gave and I hope I win =)

  44. Alaina St. Pierre on June 19, 2008 at 9:17 am

    Great interview, very inspirational! Her pics are beautiful!

  45. Kerri Tindle on June 19, 2008 at 9:43 am

    I love her laid back attitude! Her pics are amazing!

  46. Heather K. on June 19, 2008 at 9:45 am

    Wonderful Interview! This is such an inspiration! I am a new photographer and I actually have been trying to target the senior market. I would love her senior guide for new photographers. Thank you!

  47. Heidi on June 19, 2008 at 10:18 am

    I’m really hoping to break into the senior market… I had a few senior boys last year, but still have yet to photograph a girl!! Thanks for this interview – great information!!

  48. Mallika on June 19, 2008 at 10:50 am

    thanks for the interview. i have so much to learn abt the senior market.

  49. Kristie Nicoll on June 19, 2008 at 11:01 am

    Great interview!! From someone trying to delve into the world of “Seniors” and having one myself this year, I cant wait to check this out! Thanks again!

  50. Jana on June 19, 2008 at 12:30 pm

    Thanks for another great interview! It’s great to get a glance at differant peoples stories.

  51. Carrie on June 19, 2008 at 2:18 pm

    I have yet to do a senior session and I was not really wanting to do any…but Natalie makes me wanna!Carrie

  52. Jen Roberts on June 19, 2008 at 4:25 pm

    What a great interview. This is definately a market I want to tackle eventually & Natalie’s guide is definately on my wish list!

  53. Kayla Renckly on June 19, 2008 at 5:02 pm

    Great interview! I keep thinking about doing seniors but I’m just not sure how.

  54. Tracey Skadberg on June 19, 2008 at 5:09 pm

    Great info!

  55. Annie on June 19, 2008 at 7:57 pm

    Awesome interview! I have seen Natalie’s work before and have always been stunned by her vivid color and her creativity! It was great to hear from the person behind the lens!

  56. Deanna on June 19, 2008 at 7:59 pm

    I have loved Natalie’s pictures since I first became serious about photography – I can only imagine what a resource her book is!

  57. tricia dunlap on June 19, 2008 at 8:26 pm

    THANK YOU For the fab interview! 🙂

  58. Barb on June 20, 2008 at 12:09 am

    Great interview! I think it would have been fun to see that photo with the funky hair cut. 😛 I’d love to get into Senior Photography and to have a guide to help me.

  59. Marilyn on June 20, 2008 at 8:35 am

    Great interview! I’m just starting my business and can’t wait to check out her book! Thanks Jodi!

  60. Jonathon Campbell on June 20, 2008 at 2:42 pm

    This was a great interview. i really love hearing how other photographers are doing it!

  61. Alison on June 20, 2008 at 4:09 pm

    Love those photos and the tips are great.

  62. Casey Cooper on June 20, 2008 at 4:24 pm

    Thanks for the interview! As a new photographer, I learn so much from other photographer’s sharing what gear they are using and their favorite links.Casey

  63. Alisa Conn on June 20, 2008 at 6:20 pm

    Jodi, you have realy step it up a notch lately. There have been so many intersting tutorials and people you’ve interview lately. Thanks for helping us for free. Most people do not want to share any type of methods much less the scecrets. Thanks again,

  64. Jennifer LaChance on June 20, 2008 at 9:16 pm

    I so love Natalie’s work! Her marketing techniques are incredible – yet can be easily accomplished with a little hard work! Very informative interview! Thanks for sharing!Jennifer

  65. Lydia on June 21, 2008 at 12:13 am

    Thank you so much for sharing such great info wonderful interview! I love your work.

  66. Natalie on June 21, 2008 at 10:51 am

    Thanks everyone for checking out my interview!! Also the sweet comments on my work!

  67. Andie on June 21, 2008 at 1:50 pm

    love the interviews including this one. Thanks for sharing such great info. Great shots!

  68. Missy on June 21, 2008 at 10:26 pm

    Awesome interview! I’m really wanting to get more into doing Seniors. You can do so much with them! Thanks for all that great info!

  69. louise on June 22, 2008 at 4:44 am

    great interview, just shot my first senior shots a couple of days ago, would love to do more.

  70. Stephanie on June 22, 2008 at 6:55 am

    Fabulous interview. I have done 3 senior sessions and LOVE, LOVE, LOVE them! They are up for anything! I heard about this guide when I was researching “senior photography” and would sooo love to have it!! Thanks for sharing so much great info!!

  71. Angie on June 22, 2008 at 8:53 am

    Thanks for all the great info! This was a fun read! 🙂

  72. Eileen S on June 22, 2008 at 9:28 am

    Thanks for the tips. I have my first Senior Shoot tonight

  73. krystal on June 22, 2008 at 1:52 pm

    thanks for this post…I just started my own senior ambassador program and I am in the process of the applications…I hope I am going in the right your work.

  74. Chris on June 22, 2008 at 3:41 pm

    Fun interview! Thanks for the info. I’ve considered returning to the Sr circuit; it’s been many years since I was immersed in portraiture.

  75. Lori on June 22, 2008 at 8:30 pm

    Beautiful work! I enjoyed reading your interview. I get calls from many seniors and am always wanting to improve.

  76. Cindy Conner on June 22, 2008 at 10:33 pm

    I enjoyed the interview so much but I am very impressed with your skills as a photographer as well as how you handle seniors. Be blessed. Cindy Conner

  77. Rene on June 22, 2008 at 10:34 pm

    Great interview. I have 3 senior shoots coming up. Love the shots you posted!

  78. Cara on June 23, 2008 at 12:26 am

    oooh, hope I’m not too late to be entered in the drawing. I loved this interview and now I’m on to check out her site!Thanks!

  79. admin on June 23, 2008 at 8:59 am

    The winner has been posted. But comments are always welcome.

  80. Lynne on July 11, 2009 at 4:47 pm

    Thanks for a great site. I have my first senior next week! Should be a riot, although I hope I win before the shoot! Thanks.

  81. Nancy Cuppy on August 6, 2009 at 5:36 pm

    I ordered this but want another one. Like to give it my seniors to look at to get an idea of what they can do, makes them a little less nervous. Love your photography Natalie.

  82. Johanna B on August 26, 2010 at 9:58 am

    Love your work! Love the fresh ideas 🙂

  83. Jill E on August 26, 2010 at 5:41 pm

    wow this is exactly what i have been thinking about. most likely because its been a hot topic but what a great interview i am sure the book is awesome as well!

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