A common question we get asked is “I love my senior pictures so much, but what do I do with them now?” Let’s be clear, portraits only have value when you look at them. I’m sorry, but photographers who convince you that you want “all the pictures” on a disk or thumb drive are doing you a disservice.
Why? Be honest. You know what’s going to happen to those pictures, right? You’re going to share a couple on Facebook, where your friends and relatives will “like” them and then they will disappear into the cyber abyss. The rest are going into a drawer where you plan to do “something” with them “someday”.
Then one day, maybe 10 or 20 years from now, your kids or grand-kids will discover that disk or drive and either won’t have the technology to open it (remember floppy disks?) or will discover that the tiny magnetic charges that make up those images have degraded to the point that those images just aren’t “there” anymore.
Social media? Do you think you are going to be able to locate images from 15 years ago on Facebook, if that’s even still a thing? Let’s face it, unless you have prints made from your important family portraits, they are going to be lost to future generations, and you are not going to fully enjoy them the way you should.
We truly believe that artistic portraits of loved ones should be displayed prominently in your home, where they will quickly become the centerpiece of admiration.Our clients tell us often that their portraits, when properly printed and displayed, soon become some of their most treasured possessions.
The most popular products our client purchase to help them truly enjoy their treasured portrait are:·
Wall Portraits. Portraits 16” and larger are suitable for displaying on your walls. They can be hung individually, or in groupings, and can be printed on conventional photographic paper, canvas, metal, acrylic, and a number of other unique and artistic surfaces.·
Multi-image Composites. Framed and matted wall pieces that feature multiple images are a popular option as well. Especially when you have a variety of images that you enjoy, placing images together that tell a story is a beautiful and fun way to display them.·
Albums. Albums are a wonderful way to keep and display a larger number of images from your senior portrait session in an easy to view and store format. As your family grows, the images you display on your walls will no doubt change. Wedding pictures, then grandchildren, extended family portraits, on and on. But your senior’s album can be on your bookshelf or coffee table to be viewed and enjoyed often. Imagine the joy and pride (and nostalgia) you will feel looking through your daughter’s senior album the night before her wedding day. Have the tissues handy!
Your photographer’s job shouldn’t be done when she or he takes the photograph. A real professional is there to guide you all the way through, including helping you with your selections, and deciding which products will give you the most enjoyment and value. You haven’t done this before. We have. Take advantage of our expertise. That’s why we’re here!
Our Senior Model Team members are local incoming seniors who are hand picked to represent our unique and fun style of senior portraits to their classmates and friends.
Senior models are featured in our printed and online advertising, and participate in special themed and play shoots, as well as charity and public service work, while helping to show the world what we do and why it is different!
Meet Our Class of 2021 Senior Model Team Members!
Olivia A. Lenape High School
I enjoy hanging out with my friends and family. I am a varsity cheerleader for my school, and I also enjoy dancing! I love to stay involved in my school and community, I am involved in a couple clubs in school and also volunteer as much as I can outside of school. I love participating in my schools Mental Health Club, in order to advocate for the importance of mental health!
I decided to become a Senior Model, because I knew that I wanted extraordinary senior photos and not basic photos from the school. Once I saw Dennis Kelly’s photos I knew I wanted to be a Senior Model!
I love to hang out with my friends and family for fun! I enjoy watching movies with my friends and going to the beach. I really enjoy hanging out with my baby brother who is 6 months old! It is so fun to watch him grow up!
In the future I plan to go to college and study psychology. Once I am done college, I want to become a psychologist!
Zofia D. Washington Township High School
I have been in chorus all through my high school career. Through chorus I had been able to get inducted into tri-m which is a honor society for music. With getting inducted into the program I have been able to give back to my community. I also love to go see broadway shows with my family whenever I have the opportunity to go see one. And I always enjoy spending time with my family and my two dogs.
My older sister got her senior pictures done by Dennis in 2018, her pictures looked gorgeous and I couldn’t wait to get my pictures done by him. His pictures are always unique and really capture your personality in every photo. I was so excited when I got selected to be on the modeling team and I can’t wait to get my pictures done!
One thing I do for fun when ever I have free time is take day trips and mini adventures with my sister. I love traveling to new and different places and going to the happiest place on earth Disney World. And always enjoy spending time with my friends, family, and dogs.
As I approach graduation my main goal and focus is to become a cast member at Walt Disney World. Ever since I could remember I’ve always loved everything Disney. It’s something that always made me happy!
Amber D. West Deptford High School
I’m very involved in my community through my National Honors Society and my high school Key Club. I am president of both my STEM Club and my Key Club. I play both varsity and club soccer and lacrosse.
I decided to become a senior model because I thought it would be something new, fun, and out of my comfort zone.
I love to travel, play sports, and volunteer with my community.
I want to attend college for both soccer and lacrosse to major in secondary education. Also to travel and see the beauty of the world.
Nicole G. Washington Township High School
I am in the National honors society, national science honors society and the national art honors society. I play lacrosse for Washington Township High School, I am a goalie. One of my favorite hobbies is art, I love painting and using colored pencils.
I thought being a senior model would be fun and a good opportunity to try something new.
For fun, I love to play lacrosse, I paint, I enjoy spending my summers at the beach in Margate and I like to hang out with my friends.
I plan to go to college and major as pre-med. I will later go to medical school and become a surgeon.
Lauren G. Timber Creek Regional High School
I play varsity soccer and lacrosse at my high school. I am in the national honor society and the world language honor society. I am involved in many clubs and I am in a leadership position for them as well.
I saw the beautiful pictures that Dennis Kelly took of his senior models last year and I knew that I really wanted to be a senior model as well.
For fun, I play soccer and lacrosse both in and out of school. I like to spend time with friends and family, and I love being at the beach or at amusement parks.
I want to find my perfect college and work towards being a speech pathologist.
Emily H. Highland High School
I am a member of the Elite company of the dance work shop company at Dance! By Debra DiNote. I am a member of the competition team and have been dancing for 14 years. I love to sing! I have been Belle in Beauty and the Beast (freshman year) and Janet in The Drowsy Chaperone (sophomore year) and jet girl Cindy in Catch Me if you Can (this year). I’d like to continue my passion for musical theatre into my future. I’d also like to focus my future studies on psychology,
I love the art of photography and being able to bring cool ideas to life. I also like meeting new people so I thought this was be a super fun thing to do to ring in my senior year! I think senior pictures are super important, especially to capture ones personality and I think Dennis’s work does just that.
I’d like to become a psychiatrist. If I decide to steer away from the medical fields I’d like to get my PhD in psychology and focus on helping kids and conducting clinical trials. A goal of mine has also always been to be a model, which is something completely different but I’ve always loved modeling and that’s just a dream of mine. I also set a goal for myself to own a beach house in South Carolina!
Kayla J. Clearview Regional High School
I love to dance and I have been dancing for 12 years. My favorite style of dance is tap. When I am not dancing, I love being with my friends. I’m involved in many clubs at school and in the summer I volunteer at the Inspira hospital. I love assisting the staff and meeting the patients.
I love photography and appreciate the processes involved. I’ve always had an appreciation for pictures and I felt it would be fun to be behind the scenes of the pictures that are on your Instagram and Facebook pages. Also, some of my friends have done it in the past and they said that it was fun so I figured I’d try it out.
When I’m not dancing, for fun I love being playing with my dog. He is a golden retriever named Brodie. I also love writing, it’s one of my favorite things to do.
I plan on going to college and in the future becoming an occupational therapist. I love helping people and I am excited to start college after I graduate from Clearview.
Brenna M. Washington Township High School
I really enjoy singing and I also write sometimes and even draw. I just really enjoy creating things. Some of my personal accomplishments would be auditioning for an acapella group for the first time and making it in and auditioning for a solo in my school’s Pops Concert and getting that as well. Also my grades are something I take pride in!
I have seen previous pictures from Dennis Kelly Photography and I always thought that they come out so beautiful. I also really appreciate how different each picture is because they’re all unique to the person who’s in them. So based on that I already wanted to use Dennis Kelly Photography for my senior pictures. But when I saw there was a modeling team I figured it would be a fun experience and a great way to put myself out there and become more outgoing and confident.
I enjoy coloring because it’s something that can be very calming and satisfying. I like hanging out with my friends and just going on fun little adventures that sometimes are just decisions in the moment. I also like drawing, singing and watching videos or TV shows.
I would like to get involved in more things at school and keep my grades up and in a good spot. I also would like to become more outgoing and reach out to new people and meet new people easier. I also would like to become more confident in myself and genuinely see myself how other people see me and I think this experience will help me be able to achieve that goal.
Gabriella M. Washington Township High School
I am a dancer and I have danced at Dance by Debra DiNote for 13 years and I am apart of the company. I also dance at school and I am apart of the dance company there too. Dance is where I spend most of my time which I absolutely love. I am also apart of Freshman Transition and Interact at school. An accomplishment I am proud of is getting into National Honor Society for my school and receiving a scholarship at my dance school.
The reason I decided to become a Senior Model for Dennis Kelly is because friends of mine had pictures done by him and they were amazing. I love the creativity and quality of the photos. When I saw the opportunity to be apart of this it looked like a great experience and I couldn’t wait.
For fun I love to spend time with friends and family. I also love the beach and I spend most of the summer done the shore. I also love to travel and find new places to go. My favorite thing to do with my family and friends is go to amusement and water parks.
My goals for the future are to graduate high school and go to college for speech language pathology. I also hope to be apart of a dance team in college since dance has always been such a big part of my life. I also hope to be able to travel and create long lasting memories. Most of all I just want to be happy in my future.
Briana O. Washington Township High School
I am one of the members in National Honors Society at my high school and am an honors student. I am involved with travel basketball and played many sports throughout my life such as soccer, softball and dance as well. I am an elite leader and black belt at underground martial arts. I also love drawing and share a love for art with my mom. I’ve won some art competitions in my school life for drawings I’ve done as well.
Many of my friends in the past have been senior models for Dennis Kelly and had nothing but amazing things to say about the experience! They said Dennis was so friendly and fun to work with, and really made their visions come to life. Senior portraits mean a lot to me and my family, so getting to get amazing pictures along with a fun experience is all I could have asked for! I also wanted to meet new people and expand my horizon and love for photography!
I enjoy spending my free time doing community service for National Honors Society at my school, along with spending time with friends and family. My favorite sport to watch and play is basketball. I enjoy spending time playing street ball with friends or sitting back and watching a game with my dad. I also attend underground martial arts where I am a black belt in mixed martial arts.
My goal for the future is to hopefully attend a four year college that can help me get my dream job in law enforcement and criminal justice. I hope to keep getting good grades in school and to continue my academic and athletic abilities at a good college.
Caitlyn S. Hammonton High School
I have been dancing for 13 years including the styles of Ballet, Pointe, Jazz, Hip hop, Tap, Irish Tap, Musical Theatre, Acrobatics, Contemporary, and Modern. I also made the Varsity girls basketball team at my high school. I also have been playing the flute for 8 years. I do many after school activities including Student Council. I also was accepted into National Honors Society as a junior. I also work as a Lifeguard at Sahara Sams water park.
My Lola(grandma) and mom have always wanted me to get into modeling. I decided this would be beneficial to my life because it brings out the more outgoing side of me.
For fun, I hang out with my sisters, brother, boyfriend, and friends. My family and I love to go to the beach in the summertime. We also love to go on runs in the morning.
I want to graduate college and become a Nurse Practitioner.
Lizzie S. Washington Township High School
I love to dance! I am in the dance program at Washington Township High School, and a part of their Dance Company. It is one of the best things I have gotten involved with in high school. Outside of school I dance at Jazz Hands Dance Academy. Dance has allowed me to meet many of my best friends and become close to so many people I wouldn’t have without dance. I love spending time with my friends and family and just being surrounded by the people I love and doing the things I love most!
I have wanted to become a Senior Model for Dennis Kelly ever since my sister was a Senior Model for him in 2019. I loved how her pictures turned out and how much fun she had during the photoshoots. Being a Senior Model for Dennis Kelly gives you so many opportunities and I just think it is so cool to be the face of his company and have your pictures posted advertising his work. Dennis Kelly Photography is amazing and I am just so happy to be a part of this!
For fun I like to hang out with my friends. I am always busy with dance, which is something I really enjoy to do, but when I am not there I love to be around friends. I have a love for shopping, so I love going to the mall with my friends. Even just hanging out at home and having a girl’s night always makes me happy!
Some goals I have for the future are to be accepted into Rowan University to study Early Childhood Education. It has always been a dream of mine to go to Rowan University ever since I was little. I also hope to be on the Rowan Dance Team. Throughout college I am hoping to still be able to be involved with dance at Jazz Hands Dance Academy since dance at the studio has always been such a big part of my life!
Morgan S. Washington Township High School
I work at a local food store as a cashier while still being an honor student, I have my drivers license and my own car that I am responsible for all expenses. I like to be around my friends, we always have a good time when we are together and we can forget about school and just have fun together.
I’ve seen Dennis Kelly’s pictures of other students and saw how amazing they turned out and heard how nice he treats his clients so I wanted to be a part of his team to show more people how great his pictures come out. I’m excited to have this unique and exciting experience.
My goal for the future is to go to a four year college, and major in business. To hopefully one day have my own restaurant, dnd to also one day to start a family.
Hunter S. Washington Township High School
I have done Marching Band throughout High School. I am also a youth track coach with the distance track team. I like to play video games. I love all kinds of animals. I currently have Dogs,cats,fish,hamster and a leopard gecko.
I wanted really nice photos. I saw my sister’s from Dennis Kelly and really liked how they turned out. I’m excited for my Marching Band shoot. For fun, mostly I play online with friends.
I would like to be a Math Teacher.
Julianna T. Gloucester County Institute of Technology
My favorite thing to do is to dance. I major in performing arts while at school and then I come home and dance even more at my studio. Pointe is my favorite style, but ballet is a close second. I am also on my high school swim team. I usually swim backstroke in meets!
I wanted to be a Dennis Kelly Senior Model because I have seen many of his photos. Each one showed who the person in the picture was and what they loved. I wanted my pictures to also show who I was and have fun taking them. I knew Dennis Kelly could get me those pictures I was dreaming of.
One thing that I love to do is watch football with my dad. We are huge Kansas City Chiefs fans and love traveling to see them play.
In the future I am planning on attending college. Hopefully I will be a Kansas University Jayhawk!
Gabby B. Camden County Technical School
I am a student athlete who is a captain of my soccer team for school and I also play for a travel team during the spring and fall season. I am also involved in Skills USA and the Athletes Against Bullying Club in school. My greatest accomplishment as a student is maintaining a 4.0 GPA, and getting accepted into National Honor Society where I love volunteering and helping others. My favorite event to volunteer for is Special Olympics.
I decided to become a Senior Model for Dennis Kelly because it seemed like such an amazing experience to represent his photography company while also getting a unique style of senior pictures. Being a model for Dennis Kelly overall makes me feel confident and beautiful which is why I can’t wait for the shoots ahead!
For fun, I play soccer, hangout with friends, bake and listen to music!
After I attend Camden County College for my senior year of high school, I plan on going to a four year university to study Forensic Psychology. Afterwards, my goal is to attend a graduate school to receive my masters. My career goal is to eventually become a behavioral analyst for the FBI!
I recently read a Facebook post from a highly respected fellow photographer and industry leader about the importance (and difficulty) of trying to remain creative and relevant while still running a business where one must make a profit to survive. In it he writes:
“One of the more difficult parts of being a creative professional is the balance between satisfying the client and not getting stale in the process. If you are good at what you do, really good, chances are you have a learned a lot about how to do things in a certain way. You loved it when you finally got all the parts to work together but eventually the shine began to dull.”
source: Jeff Lubin’s Portrait and Business Tip of the Day
Once at a class I was teaching, I opened my program with a slideshow of some of my work. At the conclusion, I received a (quite humbling) ovation from the attendees.
Then I surprised them when I announced that every image in the slideshow had one thing in common. They were NOT purchased by the client who I created them for. That’s right, an entire show of some of my best work, all rejected by the customer for some reason or another.
In the business of professional photography, this is simply not an unusual occurrence. As a photographer, when you strive to grow, learn new techniques, and stretch the limits of your abilities and vision, sometimes you encounter people who just don’t “get” what you may have to offer. That’s life.
They might be conditioned to expect the “big smile, look at the camera” image, even though the pensive look touches their heart. They reject an image that shows a facet of their personality in an artistic way, because “you can’t see her face”, or “there’s too much background” , or my favorite, “you cut the top of her head off!”. He continues:
“Over time, a lot of your work will begin to look similar except with different people in it. Finding something new that is actually better than what you have spent years learning to do is very challenging. This isn’t always because of the technical aspects of new creative efforts but because you are working with the public…”
Jeff Lubin’s Portrait and Business Tip of the Day
All of us in the photography field know the story. A new photographer comes on the scene and achieves a level of success, either by creating something “new” or by copying an existing style. Then that photographer settles into a habit of just cranking out the same images over and over, just with different people in them. Before long, they are just going through the motions and become a “picture taker” rather than an artist with a vision. You cannot grow in a vacuum. And the willingness to take the shot without the smile, to include the background and make the subject small, to shoot for the mood instead of the sure sale, even knowing that the client may well never purchase it, is actually important to your growth as an artist.
“It takes a highly motivated photographer to spend their free time looking for new creative efforts and finding the appropriate models to experiment with. However, if you can come up with new concepts that excite you and can create in reality what you see in your mind’s eye, you will breathe new life into your day to day studio work…
Jeff Lubin’s Portrait and Business Tip of the Day
This is the major reason I still participate in professional image competitions, gallery shows, and other artistic exhibitions. I have already earned my Master of Photography and Photographic Craftsman degrees, the “big two” awarded for excellence in photography and service to the profession. But I find that competition is an excellent way to keep the creative juices flowing and push yourself to learn new things and experiment. And yes, sometimes I will even agree to, or even solicit people to photograph for (gasp) FREE! (I feel the collective shudder running down the spines of my fellow pros…)
I recently learned that one of my creative collaborations is up for some very major awards. I’m nominated for a Grand Imaging Award in Portraiture by the Professional Photographers of America. This means my image was selected as one of the top 10 images in its category out of about 6,000 professional entries. It was also selected to be a part of “Team USA’s” submission to the Photography World Cup. That means it was selected as one of 3 portrait images in the US to compete against photographs from 40 other countries!
The image is a fine art black and white nude of a ballet dancer at a moment of peak action. “Balance of Power”, edited here to be work safe, illustrates the stunning beauty of the human body and its miraculous power and athletic ability.
Here’s the thing. This is an image that never would have been created as “customer work.”
Can you image a dancer coming to me and saying “I want you to photograph me nude in semi-silhouette so you can’t see my face, but instead highlights the lines of my body, my muscle tone and flexibility, and I want 2- 8×10’s and maybe some wallets? Never gonna happen!!
If I hadn’t taken the initiative to find a model willing to pose for me with the abilities I needed, convinced her of the artistic value of my vision, earned her trust, worked to put together the shoot, and pushed until I was satisfied with the final result, this image would simply never have happened.
“Fine portraits will always be appreciated and well accepted by your clients and this is a good thing since they will be willing to part with their hard-earned dollars to support your being a professional. It’s a bit of gamble to reinvent how you do things experimentally and still give a client what they expect after seeing a certain style of work in your website and on your studio walls… Change isn’t all that easy but if you don’t, the repetition will grind you down if you don’t occasionally challenge yourself to grow artistically. “
We understand that some photographers these days have built a business model upon simply shooting and delivering digital files on a disk or memory stick.
At Dennis Kelly Photography, we have decided this is NOT the model we choose for our business. We have made the conscious choice to focus on printed art as our medium. We have made this decision for a number of reasons:
¨ The photography process involves more than taking a picture. If you went to a five star restaurant and they brought you a pile of ingredients and told you to “cook it yourself”, you could expect it wouldn’t be quite the same as if the chef prepared it for you. The same is true of photography. All the details that go into producing a final printed piece of art are lost when providing raw images on a disk. We choose to be a full service studio and offer the full range of our expertise to our clients.
¨ The printing process itself is an integral and very important part of the photographic process, and it can be done poorly. We want to insure that our clients receive the most beautiful and long lasting artwork possible from our studio. We deal only with professional labs that closely monitor color calibration, use only the best materials, and stand behind the quality and craftsmanship of the products they sell. If we allowed our files to be printed just anywhere without our oversight, this would be a disservice to our clients who have chosen us for quality. It would also reflect very poorly on our reputation for producing only top notch photography.
¨ Photographs only have value when you view them! This seems obvious, but we all know people who have disks of images sitting in a drawer, probably never to be viewed again. Our belief is that our responsibility as a full service studio is to help our clients choose printed artwork that they will enjoy and treasure for many years.
¨ Prints offer longevity that digital files do not. Digital files consist of magnetic charges stored on a medium, and they ALL will eventually deteriorate and become unreadable. One day, future generation will try to view those images and will be unable to. Those family heirlooms will be gone forever! Prints may indeed fade slowly over time, but will not disappear in the blink of an eye. Future generations will have decades to view them, and have them restored if needed.
A big issue facing our children’s future is the lack of the printed image as a family legacy and heirloom. Years from now, your grandchildren will be going through the history of their parent’s (your children’s) past. Will they find round silver disks or ancient memory sticks containing all the image of their parent’s childhood, only to find they no longer have the technology to open and view them? Or, will all the photos from your child’s past be lost on discarded or non-functioning cell phones and computer drives?
Think about how hard it is even now to view or convert old movie film from your parent’s past. Fortunately for us, our parents made prints from our childhood. These prints last longer and are the easiest media to view. They are the best way to preserve our history and heritage. The will not become instantly un-viewable if a few disk sectors become corrupt. Even if they begin to fade or age, you will have years to have them them restored and reprinted. They will not become lost to history in the blink of an eye.
With photography playing a larger part in our lives today, some people may think that the immediacy of social media somehow will take the place of an album of family photos, or the family portrait on the wall. What they fail to realize is that it is highly unlikely today’s platforms will even be around 20 years from now. We will have moved onto something else, and all those images and memories stored in the cyber world of Facebook and Instagram will be long gone.
As we progress in our lives, our photos and other memories of our past play a more significant role than we realized in our youth. It’s important that you help your children to understand this, and encourage them to “make those memories” or they will be lost forever.
Portraits displayed in the home give a personalized warmth and character that no other decorating touch can give. Studies have shown that children gain a sense of belonging and connection when their parents display pictures of them in the home.
It’s astonishing that people will display a large painting of flowers or a landscape in their home, but not artwork featuring their greatest accomplishment, their family!
Don’t let a “photographer” convince you that you want a disc of your images from your family or child’s portrait session. Insist on high quality prints, from a reputable studio, with a guarantee! Otherwise, your family’s heritage may consist of some pretty silver disks hanging over your sofa.