What the Heck is a High School Senior Portrait Model Team?

Jennifer Rutledge Photography

Many of you know about Senior Reps for local photographers.  A few kids take some basic portraits

and in return they hand out some “rep cards” tell their friends to go see Photographer X.

The Senior Portrait Model Team at Jennifer Rutledge Photography are NOT Senior Reps.

jennifer rutledge photographyAt Jennifer Rutledge Photography, the Senior Portrait Model Team shatters that outdated tradition and delivers a senior portrait experience that feels more like an episode of Top Model (without the drama!). We don’t limit our photo shoots to the Shelton or Olympia, WA area, although we do love the beauty of Mason County! The Senior Portrait Model Team participates in on-location shoots as close as Olympia, and as far away as our dreams (and pocketbooks) can carry us! From the forest, to the beach, with cities and scenery in between, our models finish the year with not only an amazing senior portrait, but an entire portfolio of artwork starring them! Some of our senior portrait models have even been featured in nationally published magazines. Do you still think your average senior portrait session is all you want?


Being a Model is Glamorous, but Not Necessarily Easy.

I won’t sugar coat it, being a High School Senior Portrait Model Team member is not an easy job. You must get involved early – we are talking junior year – and you must have the desire to rock the stylized photo shoots. These shoots are optional, but highly encouraged; and so much fun! We do several photo shoots throughout the year with themes such as Bohemian, Vintage Glamour, and Extreme Sports.  It can be cold, it can be hot, and it can be a long day. Shooting outside of Shelton, WA means time in the car. There can be hot rods, water, lions, and tigers, and bears, oh my! But if you are having as much fun as I do on these shoots, you won’t even notice. Trust me, your senior portraits will be worth it.

jennifer rutledge photographyHigh School Senior Portrait Model Team is NOT Just For Girls!

Although the High School Senior Portrait Model experience may seem geared towards the girls, guys are encouraged to join as well. First of all, you will get to hang out with beautiful girls all day long, and secondly, you get your own magazine style photos to add to your portfolio. Win – win, if you ask me.

Are You Ready to Join Jennifer Rutledge Senior Portrait Model Team?

What’s the catch? Joining the Jennifer Rutledge Senior Portrait Model Team is by invitation only. Being a member of the team is not a free ride. I spend many hours scouting locations, planning shoots, and collecting wardrobes in order to create a unique and fully stylized senior portrait photo shoot. I collaborate with wardrobe stylists, hair & makeup artists and photo assistants to make sure, as a model, that you look your best and feel like the star that you are.  High School Senior Portrait Model Team members are required to invest in the program, otherwise we could not enjoy the professional entourage that we provide for you!  However, the perks you receive as a team member are almost triple the initial investment. If you love creative photography, and want a unique and varied senior portrait experience, you will want to be part of the Jennifer Rutledge Photography Senior Portrait Model Team.

jennifer rutledge photographyDo as much, or as little, as you’d like.

I expect a lot from my team members, but I could care less if you “rep” for me. You don’t have to hand out cards, even though you’ll get some.  You don’t have to tell your friends to book me, even though they will want to after they see your senior portraits.  All you have to do is show up and be the stylish senior model you know you are.  However, if you would like to do some rep work, I will give you plenty of chances to earn extra photo bucks so you can have every portrait you love hanging on your walls!

Follow me on Facebook and Instagram. Be sure to comment, share, and like the occasional post in order to keep seeing more in your feed. We are looking for models in Shelton, Olympia, Belfair, Tumwater, Lacey, and beyond. The model search begins soon. Are you ready?


Posted in Photography, Senior Portraits, Stylized Photoshoots Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

10 Makeup Tips to Help You Look Camera Ready

Jennifer Rutledge Photography

I love it when clients sign up for professional hair & make up for the senior portraits with Jennifer Rutledge Photography. Not only is it FUN, but it creates a polished look that really makes senior portraits beautiful. But not everyone wants the pomp & circumstance of a full style session.  For the more minimalist senior portrait client, who wants to do their own makeup, here are some helpful tips to follow:

1. LIGHTEN UP. Avoid going too dark in your foundation shade. Have your shade professionally matched to your skin tone as close to the day of your shoot as possible. This really matters!

2. MATTE IS A MUST. Especially for your cheeks, stay away from shimmery powder, no exceptions. For eyelids, keep shimmer strictly to the lids.

3. PRIMARY FOCUS. Primer is essential for keeping makeup intact! It’s like the base coat of a nail manicure. Oil-free versions are best and also sensitive skin-friendly.

4. SAY NO TO SPF. Primer and foundation should be SPF-free. Formulas containing sunscreen cast a ghostlike glow with the camera flash or reflector.

5. LINE UP. When lining eyelids, start in the center and work your way to the outer edge. Lining the entire lid will cause the eyes to appear smaller. Use a slanted brush with a dark (but not black) shadow to line the  lower lids brush with a dark (but not black) shadow to line the lower lids.

6. MORE IS MORE. Camera lighting will wash out colors, no matter what. Don’t be scared off by a dramatic finished look. It won’t photograph that way. Trust us on this. Your makeup should be darker than your every-day look.

7. BLEND, BLEND, BLEND. When it comes to concealer, cheek contouring and eye shadow, a quality set of brushes is key. The camera will highlight and pick up on unblended edges, creating a clown-like look. Unblended concealer will highlight fine lines.

8. MELLOW YELLOW. To set makeup, choose a yellow based powder rather than a translucent powder. Much like SPF formulas, translucent powders cast a white glow when photographed.

9. PRACTICE RUN. Don’t let the day of your photo shoot be the first time to try new products. Consultations and trial runs are essential to creating the perfect final look.

10. AU NATURALE. Always have makeup applied in a natural light. This will be the best indicator of how it will look when photographed.


*Big thanks to Teri Fode and her makeup artist for compiling and sharing their favorite tips!



Posted in Makeup, Photography, Senior Portraits Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

5 Things You Need to Know About High School Senior Portraits

Senior Portraits by Jennifer Rutledge

Senior Portraits by Jennifer Rutledge – All images @Jennifer Rutledge Photography 2015

You start high school feeling young and inexperienced, with four long years ahead of you; and then BAM!  Suddenly you’re a junior and you are bombarded with a Senior Year To-Do List that seems both never ending and crazy expensive. Some things are easy: Cap & Gown, check!  Some things are not so easy: Senior portraits are due when?!?

Every year, while booking high school senior portraits at Jennifer Rutledge Photography, I see countless seniors and parents who don’t realize how quickly the yearbook deadline arrives, and how hard it is to schedule photo shoots once the super busy senior year has begun. So today, I’m sharing 1 Don’t and 4 Do’s to help you conquer your Senior Portrait Experience.

→ DON’T Wait Until Fall to Book Your Photographer.

Summertime is for lazy days and photo shoots! Those precious twelve weeks of summer break are often the only time a busy high school student is free to prepare and participate in a portrait session.  As soon as school is back in session, days are quickly filled up with classes, sports, and jobs, not to mention the fading daylight.  If you’ve waited until September to book a photographer, you will be fighting for the last available session times, along with every other senior who waited too long to book!

Scheduling your session during summer break gives you time to choose clothes and locations that result in a senior portrait that reflects your personality, rather than a cookie-cutter picture with no real connection to you. If money is tight, booking early allows you to make payment plans, if that is something your photographer offers.  Knock on wood that it never happens to you, but; should you hate every single portrait taken, summer sessions allow time for a future  re-shoot, should you need one.

→ DO Get a Special Outfit, or Two!

Senior year is a huge milestone, and it might be your first professional photo shoot. It’s one of the few occasions, besides marriage and (hopefully) the occasional family portrait, to capture an image you love that will stand the test of time.  You made it through twelve years of school. That is something to dress up for!  Even if you can’t give up your trusty jeans and flannel,  get some new ones. Wearing clothes that are fresh and fit nicely will give you confidence, which absolutely shows in your portraits.

→ DO Think About the Style of Senior Portrait Photography You Want.

When you hire Jennifer Rutledge Photography for your high school senior portraits, I strive to create portraits that are YOU!  I’ve never met anyone who likes to lean against a brick wall for fun, so I’d rather not photograph you there. I’m all about environmental portraiture.  Look! It’s an elusive high school senior in their natural habitat!  Are you Woodsy? Beachy? City kid? Easy going? Serious? Playful? Contradictory? Pictures are worth a thousand words, what will your senior portrait say?

→ DO Start Saving Now.

Your senior year is full of expenses, if you and your parents save up during your junior year, and get photographed early, it will hurt the pocketbook much less. Trust me on this one.

Not gonna lie here: Professional portraits are expensive.  Unless you are a photographer, it’s difficult to understand all of the time and money that go into creating a quality senior portrait. Your session may take only a few hours, but your senior portraits actually take years of experience to create. And, hey, it’s less expensive than a 45 minute root canal or 2 hour surgery, and a lot more fun!

Let’s talk print quality.  Sure, you can buy a canvas print at the local five-and-dime for $59; but after twenty five years, is it going to look as good as the one created by a professional? My professional lab cannot touch the prices offered by consumer level printers, but I challenge you to appreciate the cheaper version when compared to the high-quality version.  Don’t let your portraits fade as fast as your childhood memories, because someday it might be all you have left!

Don’t you dare think digital files count as senior portraits.  Digital technology becomes obsolete very quickly.  A professionally printed portrait survives.

→ DO Leave It to the Professionals.

Did you know that your hometown museum has every yearbook on a shelf, just waiting for future generations to laugh at? Don’t be that high school senior. You know, the one with the TERRIBLE portrait.  Let’s face it, your clothes and hair will be enough to laugh at; at least make sure your high school senior portrait is a quality representation of your fabulous eighteen-year-old self. Professional senior portrait photographers can help you with details, like clothing and makeup – so you look your absolute best in your senior portraits!

Take pity on your high school Yearbook Adviser!  This poor adviser spends countless hours working on a yearbook to commemorate your senior year. When you submit an image that is not properly proportioned, cropped, or resized, you create: at the least, exacerbation; and at most, a horribly warped and nearly unrecognizable image that becomes your high school legacy.  The professionals know how to prep your portrait for perfect yearbook display.

You will, hopefully, be leaving the nest soon. Give your parents a loving portrait for them to remember you by! Hang your mug on their wall, so when you bring your new boyfriend/girlfriend home, they can coo over your adorable, yet charmingly nerdy, senior portrait. Finally, should you be lucky enough to someday have great-great-great-grandchildren, they will know you through your professional senior portrait, which, I think, is very cool.

Posted in Photography, Senior Portraits Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Bundles of Joy

Although I specialize in Senior Portraits and Commercial Photography, I couldn’t resist photographing this perfect new addition to the Hassett family in Coeur d’alene, Idaho. It just so happens, I’m lucky enough that he is part of my family as well!  Newborn, Waylon Michael, was 8 days old at the time of our Newborn Photography session.  The first two weeks are the perfect time for newborn photography. Baby usually sleeps peacefully as you contort them into the oh-so-fashionable “Baby in a Basket” type poses, however Waylon decided to be awake for most of our session, so we chose go with his natural posing abilities.  He was a fabulous model and I am thrilled that I captured those brand new baby eyes!

Jennifer Rutledge Photography

Jennifer Rutledge Photography

Jennifer Rutledge Photography

Jennifer Rutledge Photography

Jennifer Rutledge Photography  Jennifer Rutledge Photography

Jennifer Rutledge Photography

Jennifer Rutledge Photography

Jennifer Rutledge Photography

Jennifer Rutledge Photography

Jennifer Rutledge Photography

Posted in Newborn Photography, Photography Tagged , , , , , , , , |

Freedom, Flowers & Fields

When I saw this flower gown at Sew Now Studio, I knew it would be perfect for a flower crown and wide open fields.  I think she looks every bit as Fairy Princess as she does Bride.  You wouldn’t know it from the images, but it was HOT and the light was HARSH.  Thanks to my impromptu assistants, Heather and Jeanette, for being human light stands to protect my gear from toppling in the wind.

This shoot was made possible by:

Gown: Sew Now Studio

Hair & Makeup: Chandra at Elements Salon

Model: Adrianna


Posted in Photography, Stylized Photoshoots Tagged , , , , |

60’s Diva Photoshoot

What do you get when you combine a six foot tall beauty with heels and a foot of feathers? BAM! Some kicka$$ images that belong in the pages of Vogue Magazine!  So MOD.

These images started with a simple dress I found at Sew Now Studio. If you ever need a dress, or alterations, make sure to visit the fabulous ladies at Sew Now Studio in Shelton, WA. The ostrich feathers were also provided by Sew Now.

Chandra, from Elements Salon, and I had a a blast with this shoot. I love collaborating with creative people. It not only makes the job a ton of fun, but it encourages my brain to stretch out of its comfort zone and create looks I may not have discovered on my own.

The toughest part of preparing for this particular look was finding the right location. I originally wanted an industrial feel, but wasn’t having much luck finding the right place. I drove around town with an open mind (and eye) and then this wall magically appeared. I say magically, because I have driven by that particular wall thousands of times and never considered photographing it. I absolutely love how perfectly the location complimented the style of the shoot. It looks like it could be New York, or London in the 60’s, but it’s right here in lil ol’ Shelton, WA!


Posted in Photography, Stylized Photoshoots

Bohemian Rhapsody

This was such a fun photoshoot, despite the rain and cold trying to interrupt!  Inspiration came from Free the People …and the fabulous 70’s!  A huge thank you to the generous couple that allowed us to roam their homestead and frolic in the fields. The open expanse of the hay field beckons the soul to roam free, while highlighting the beauty found in simplicity. It’s like the most fun childhood dream ever. Does it make you want to run barefoot too? The dilapidated barn reminds us that beauty exists even in the oldest and most neglected places. Don’t even get me started on the girl: how can anyone resist a flower crown?  and those curls!  Yes, I am jealous. A lot jealous.

Thanks so much to everyone who braved the elements and made these gorgeous shots possible:

Photographer: Jennifer Rutledge

Stylist & Hair: Jené Sigl of Wear The Canvas

Makeup: Jennifer Rutledge

Model: Carly


Posted in Photography, Stylized Photoshoots

Mother’s Day Giveaway Winner

Family Photography by Jennifer Rutledge Photography

Family Photography by Jennifer Rutledge Photography

What a beautiful weekend for celebrating mothers! I want to give a big thanks to everyone who shared the love for their mom on my blog.

The winning comment is below:

It’s easy to love your children unconditionally. It’s easy to look at your child and admire the similar features and genes. Take
Pride in every new chapter your kids have. Love them trough terrible two, teenage years and life’s disappointments.
It takes a very special person to be a mom to a child you did not birth. My mom adopted me at 4months old, from a hotel room in Bellingham. She has loved me unconditionally with out a single shadow of a doubt my entire life. She went on to have to biological children, her love for me never wavered! She has been there for me throughout my entire life, from infancy to adulthood. She is my best friend, I am not the child of her body, but the child of her heart.
She is amazing. ❤️ -Shannon Roberts

Congratulations to the very special mom of Shannon Roberts! You’ve won a Mini-Family Session with Jennifer Rutledge Photography.

Call Jennifer to schedule your portrait session 360-789-5404.

Posted in Giveaway, Holidays, Photography Tagged |

Mother’s Day Giveaway

What does my mother mean to me? In a word, Everything!

My mother is my biggest supporter and my most trusted confidant. She has been an integral part of raising my children to become the wonderful young adults they are today. I’m so grateful to have her in our lives.

To celebrate the fabulous-ness of motherhood, I am giving away a Family Mini Session!

Will your mother be the winner of this year’s Mother’s Day Giveaway?

Comment below and tell me, and the rest of the world, what your mother means to you.

I’ll announce the winner on Sunday, May 10th.  Details will be provided to the winner at that time.

Posted in Giveaway, Holidays, Photography Tagged , , , , |

Perfectly Imperfect


I hear it from women all the time, and I know you do too:

“I look fat”

“My skin is so bad”

“I look old”

“My eyelids are droopy”

“I hate my smile”

“I never take good pictures”

“Make me look younger and thinner!”


Every woman I know picks themselves apart until there is nothing left but a puddle of low self esteem. We scream about the absurdity of advertising and the “ideal beauty”, yet we deny what is naturally ours. I’m guilty of it, and I get just as mad at myself as I do my friends when they do it. Why can’t they see the beauty and strength that I see when I look at them? Why can’t I see what they see when they look at me?
I recently did a self portrait session with the hopes of accomplishing three things:

1. Playing with my new parabolic umbrellas (woohoo, new equipment)

2. Capturing the beauty that I know is there, because it’s in each and every one of us, dammit!

3. Fearlessly sharing my self portrait to prove to you, and myself, that we don’t have to look perfect to be beautiful.

I took 94 photographs.  I loved exactly none of them.  I found one to be “acceptable”, but I managed to pick it apart until it became just as unacceptable as the rest. And there it has sat, on my hard drive, for the last three weeks.  Even as I write, I am thinking I will never have the nerve to post that photograph for the world wide web to see.  But that would mean I only achieved one, out of three, of the goals I set for that little photo shoot. Thats failure.  That’s not ok.  That’s buying into all the crazy ideals of beauty, rather than realizing my own.  That’s not ok either.

So here I am in all my glory!  Of course, makeup, lighting, and some fun clothing helps, but I still find perceived faults. I share this self portrait not to fish for compliments, I will only argue with them anyway, but to reach out to all of my sisters and plead with them to be proud.  When you receive a compliment, say, “thank you!” and believe that it is true.  And when you don’t receive compliments, know that you don’t need them to recognize your power and your beauty, SEIZE IT, for it is already yours!

This post is dedicated to my #1 LA PINUP Photog: Dave Doeppel!

Posted in Photography