Planning Your Photos with the Uncertainty of Covid-19

East Lansing senior photo ideas

I’ve had some questions about my plans for photos this spring, especially as we come up on a popular time for MSU senior photos. During Michigan’s shelter in place, the best thing we can do for the community is to stay home and encourage others to do the same. I’ll be spending the next few weeks hanging out with my four and six-year-old daughters at home.

Weddings

I’ve been working with my wedding couples to reschedule their Spring weddings (my friends at All Grand Events + Floral have a great blog post to guide couples on the tough decision about whether or not to reschedule). If you’re in this position, I’m so, so sorry. Jeff and I had to reschedule our entire wedding when our Chicago wedding venue went out of business. It was stressful, but the wait was worth it, and we had an amazing wedding day four months after the wedding we were initially planning for.

Outdoor Sessions

My MSU college seniors typically start scheduling in mid-April. At this point, I’ll continue to schedule for late April with the caveat that we will reschedule if it’s not safe to hold a session at that point. When it is safe, I imagine that we’ll still be avoiding contact, and I use a relatively long portrait lens, so I’ll still be able to keep a safe distance while capturing portraits.

Indoor Sessions

I’m not planning to take any new indoor sessions at this time. I’ve already talked with my clients who have indoor sessions planned, and we’ll be working to make the best decisions for those sessions when the time comes.

Sending love. Stay safe!

Featured In The Knot Michigan

Allie Siarto Photography featured in The Knot Michigan print magazine

It’s always fun to see the hard work of my couples featured in print. The Knot Michigan recently featured Lauren and Tom’s Ford Piquette Plant wedding in their Spring/Summer 2020 print edition.

Special thanks to the other wedding vendors who made it possible:

The Knot Michigan print magazine Spring/Summer edition

Michigan State Fall Senior Photos on North Campus

Ideas and locations for a Michigan State University fall senior photo session on north campus by Allie Siarto Photography, East Lansing Photographers.

Taylor graduates in the spring, but she loves the fall and wanted to capture her MSU senior portraits on north campus during peak fall colors (she’s from Texas and totally appreciates Michigan’s changing seasons). Taylor scheduled an extended 90 minute session so we could reach as many landmarks as possible during her session, and her mom came along to help with the puppy and other accessories.

Most students plan their senior photos at the end of April or early May when Spring flowers are at their peak (see a few examples and ideas here and here, or browse all senior sessions for ideas on my gallery page), but fall is a great time to highlight all of those energetic colors that spread across campus.

Pros and Cons for Fall Versus Spring Senior Photos

  • Fall can be a bit more windy and chilly, so it’s a good idea to bring along extra hairspray and a jacket (Taylor wore a plush green jacket over her white dress).
  • My fall calendar fills up quickly, so if you’re thinking about a fall session, be sure to book in early summer.
  • Spring tends to be very rainy, so be prepared for your session to be rescheduled in case of rain.
  • Key campus locations get very crowded in the weeks leading up to Spring graduation. You’ll likely need to bring a helper to jump in line for you at Beaumont and Sparty. I’ve seen the wait get as long as 20 or more minutes for a few quick photos. The crowds die down after graduation, and I’ve never had an issue with crowds at these locations during the week in the fall.
Ideas and locations for a Michigan State University fall senior photo session on north campus by Allie Siarto Photography, East Lansing Photographers. A photo showing clean stone architecture.
Ideas and locations for a Michigan State University fall senior photo session on north campus by Allie Siarto Photography, East Lansing Photographers. A photo showing a senior sitting on a stone wall with fall colors in the background
Ideas and locations for a Michigan State University fall senior photo session on north campus by Allie Siarto Photography, East Lansing Photographers. A photo showing a senior sitting on a stone bench with her puppy.
Ideas and locations for a Michigan State University fall senior photo session on north campus by Allie Siarto Photography, East Lansing Photographers. A photo showing a senior holding her puppy with fall colors.
Ideas and locations for a Michigan State University fall senior photo session on north campus by Allie Siarto Photography, East Lansing Photographers. A photo of an MSU senior sitting on a stone wall with colorful flowers behind her.
Ideas and locations for a Michigan State University fall senior photo session on north campus by Allie Siarto Photography, East Lansing Photographers. A black and white photo of an MSU senior.
Ideas and locations for a Michigan State University fall senior photo session on north campus by Allie Siarto Photography, East Lansing Photographers. A photo of an MSU senior sitting on a stone wall with colorful flowers behind her.
Ideas and locations for a Michigan State University fall senior photo session on north campus by Allie Siarto Photography, East Lansing Photographers. A photo of an MSU senior standing on bricks with her cap and gown and fall colors in the background.
Ideas and locations for a Michigan State University fall senior photo session on north campus by Allie Siarto Photography, East Lansing Photographers. A photo of an MSU senior sitting on steps by a stone wall by Beaumont Tower with fall colors behind her.
Ideas and locations for a Michigan State University fall senior photo session on north campus by Allie Siarto Photography, East Lansing Photographers. A photo of an MSU senior standing in front of the doors of Beaumont Tower with white flowers around her.
Ideas and locations for a Michigan State University fall senior photo session on north campus by Allie Siarto Photography, East Lansing Photographers. A photo of an MSU senior walking down a sidewalk with Beaumont Tower in the background.
Ideas and locations for a Michigan State University fall senior photo session on north campus by Allie Siarto Photography, East Lansing Photographers. A photo of an MSU senior holding her puppy with Beaumont Tower in the background.
Ideas and locations for a Michigan State University fall senior photo session on north campus by Allie Siarto Photography, East Lansing Photographers. A photo of an MSU senior walking down the sidewalk with fall colors behind her.
Ideas and locations for a Michigan State University fall senior photo session on north campus by Allie Siarto Photography, East Lansing Photographers. A photo of an MSU senior with bright orange fall colors behind her.
Ideas and locations for a Michigan State University fall senior photo session on north campus by Allie Siarto Photography, East Lansing Photographers. A photo of an MSU senior standing by the Red Cedar river in the fall.
Ideas and locations for a Michigan State University fall senior photo session on north campus by Allie Siarto Photography, East Lansing Photographers. A photo of an MSU senior sitting by the Red Cedar river in the fall.
Ideas and locations for a Michigan State University fall senior photo session on north campus by Allie Siarto Photography, East Lansing Photographers. A photo of an MSU senior standing on the bridge by Spartan Stadium with the Sparty Head in the background.
Ideas and locations for a Michigan State University fall senior photo session on north campus by Allie Siarto Photography, East Lansing Photographers. A photo of an MSU senior wearing her cap and gown in front of Sparty.
Ideas and locations for a Michigan State University fall senior photo session on north campus by Allie Siarto Photography, East Lansing Photographers. A photo of an MSU senior wearing her cap and gown and popping champagne over the grass in front of Sparty.
Ideas and locations for a Michigan State University fall senior photo session on north campus by Allie Siarto Photography, East Lansing Photographers. A photo of an MSU senior holding her puppy in front of Sparty at sunset.
Ideas and locations for a Michigan State University fall senior photo session on north campus by Allie Siarto Photography, East Lansing Photographers. A photo of an MSU senior holding her dog in front of the Sparty Statue.
Ideas and locations for a Michigan State University fall senior photo session on north campus by Allie Siarto Photography, East Lansing Photographers. A photo of an MSU senior sitting on stone steps showing classic architecture on MSU's campus.
Ideas and locations for a Michigan State University fall senior photo session on north campus by Allie Siarto Photography, East Lansing Photographers. A photo of an MSU senior standing in front of the classic architecture of MSU's campus.
Ideas and locations for a Michigan State University fall senior photo session on north campus by Allie Siarto Photography, East Lansing Photographers. A close up photo of an MSU senior sitting near classic architecture of MSU.

Learn More About Senior Photos >

East Lansing Personal Branding Photography Session: Beyonce Meets Literature

personal branding photography session in East Lansing, Michigan, by Allie & Co. Photographers

I had a lot of fun designing personal branding sessions this year. Here’s a small sampling of the direction Kinitra gave me in her Story Session Questionnaire:

Why did you decide to do a personal branding session?

I want to make sure I maintain control of my visuals and branding as my career expands beyond the scholarly work I currently do. I am expanding into more creative works (graphic novels, trade books, speaking engagements). Also, I want to make sure I maintain a certain flair and freedom as an Endowed Chair, which can be seen as a pretty “stodgy” appointment. I’m not stodgy. I am also well onto the path of becoming a Full Professor and want to make sure I have the personal visual narrative for that journey to heightening my national and international status as a scholar.

What specific stories, events, routines, or rituals do you want to share with these images?

Confidence, a kinetic stillness. Intelligent glamour. Reading, Researching, and Public Speaking. Mastery over intersections of race, gender, and popular culture. Tangential connection with Beyonce’s Lemonade. Southern Conjure Culture. Black womanhood. Black New Orleans. Fantasy.

Based on the questionnaire answers, I sent over a few location ideas, Kinitra reached out to Kirsten Elle Thompson for styling direction, and we made our final plans.

In the end, Kinitra selected her ten favorites for final retouching.

personal branding photography session in East Lansing, Michigan, by Allie & Co. Photographers
personal branding photography session on a colorful wall in East Lansing, Michigan, by Allie & Co. Photographers
downtown personal branding photography session in East Lansing, Michigan, by Allie & Co. Photographers
personal branding photography session in East Lansing, Michigan, by Allie & Co. Photographers
personal branding photography session in East Lansing, Michigan, by Allie & Co. Photographers
personal branding photography session in East Lansing, Michigan, by Allie & Co. Photographers
personal branding photography session at Blue Owl Coffee in East Lansing, Michigan, by Allie & Co. Photographers
personal branding photography session downtown in East Lansing, Michigan, by Allie & Co. Photographers
personal branding photography session downtown in East Lansing, Michigan, by Allie & Co. Photographers
personal branding photography session downtown in East Lansing, Michigan, by Allie & Co. Photographers
personal branding photography session downtown in East Lansing, Michigan, by Allie & Co. Photographers
personal branding photography session downtown in East Lansing, Michigan, by Allie & Co. Photographers
personal branding photography session downtown in East Lansing, Michigan, by Allie & Co. Photographers

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