Chicago Senior Portraits | Destination Photographer


Chicago Senior Portraits

You thought that because I live in Cincinnati that I only shoot in Cincinnati??  Nope! I’ve been all across the United States to create once in a lifetime photos for teens who want to celebrate graduation! I’ve been doing this for 9 years and have begun teaching others how to be successful at designing unique sessions as well as running a photography business. This time, I got to make Chicago senior portraits.

It was an honor to be asked to lead two classes in Chicago for ClickCon’s 2019 debut. These classes focused on high school senior portraits, of course!  I was able to share with 80+ photographers what my photo shoots look like. I discussed consultations, products, the photo shoot itself, posing, how I decide wardrobe for the seniors, products I offer my clients as well as the sales process.


So many people stopped to watch us because how often do you see this many photographers trying to take a picture of ONE girl?  A passerby even asked if she was famous! I guess it would make the attendees look more like paparazzi!

chicago senior portraits

Just walking around the block from my hotel on the Magnificent Mile, Hilton Downtown Chicago, there were so many great backdrops to create urban senior photos. I had a group of girls to pose as my seniors and they did a terrific job!

senior pictures in Illinois


I was worried about whether I could talk over the noise of the city but my husband assured me I have the voice for it. (Is that a compliment?? LOL) Well, I tried to pause while the trains went by but I’m sure there were times when some couldn’t hear everything I was saying. The image below was taken just below an elevated track!

senior photos in Illinois

We even dodged traffic to make some cool images of a girl posing in the street– one of my signature shots.  As she was standing there, the Suburban and Mercedes happened to pull up to the red light creating the perfect background that screams LUXURY Chicago senior portraits!

chicago senior portraits

Underneath the elevated tracks combined with the great Sigma Art 135 mm lens makes for beautiful portraits like this one. Don’t you love how it blurs out the background?  A photographer’s dream!

Chicago senior portraits

I enjoyed doing this so much. Helping other photographers learn and grow is something that is close to my heart. I have many that I follow and learn from everyday. This industry is one that constantly changes so as an artist, I have to stay on my toes and keep educating myself every chance I get. In turn, I share what has helped my business with others.

Take a peek into my two classes in this two minute vide o of highlights:

Since I was working most of the time, I didn’t get to see any of the sights of Chicago while I was in town. Guess I’ll have to go back soon!



I was so happy to get great feedback on my classes from the organizers of ClickCon as well as those that attended. I was invited to teach again. This time, I made sure I had time to be a tourist after my classes were over.

It was so nice to be together again in person since all of the pandemic chaos!  We made some great images once again in the streets of Chicago.  We had a casualty on this trip as the Windy City took my big reflector right out of our hands.  Never to be seen again!  Within the next two weeks, I received TWO brand new reflectors in the mail as gifts from my students.

senior pictures in Chicago

As usual, I’m always stopping traffic on my photo shoots. ^^^ On this visit, I was asked to not only teach how I shoot senior pictures but also instruct on the business side of photography.  That is my favorite class to teach so I was READY! Here is a behind the scenes picture one of the conference volunteer’s took during one of my business classes:

ClickCon speaker Tonya Bolton

Teaching others how to be profitable in their own businesses is what I love doing. When someone approaches me after a class feeling inspired and motivated knowing what a positive effect this will have on their family that it moves them to tears… that really touches my heart. Someone did this for me when I started out. I had the best mentors that showed me the right way to do business.  I feel the urge to pay that forward. I want everyone to be successful!

Chicago senior portraits
Senior photos sunflower building
Destination session photo shoot in Chicago, Illinois under the elevated train.