Tag Archives: Portrait Photography Los Angeles

Ready to book your high school senior portraits Los Angeles ?!

high school senior portraits los angeles

The best high school senior portraits los angeles has seen!

Cheesy poses?  No.  Weird shooting locations?  Nah.  Awkward props?  Nope.  Bizare “edgy/fashionable” makeup?  Ew.  Best high school senior portraits Los Angeles has ever seen?  YES.  Don’t be swayed by the dramatic, overly filtered images you find at so many studios.  Those pictures will feel & look soooo out of date and embarrassing by the time you’re in college.  Those photographers that want you to do the Zoolander over the shoulder pose will just have to wait for someone else 🙂

Posted in High School Senior Pictures | Los Angeles, High School Senior Pictures | Thousand Oaks - Newbury Park, Senior Pictures, Senior Pictures Los Angeles Also tagged , , , , , , , , , |

Senior Photography Los Angeles tips, tricks

senior photography los angeles

senior photography los angeles

Researching Senior Photography Los Angeles

The images above were taken of a musical artist shot by senior photography los angeles experts Brandin Shaeffer & Amanda Max.  Usually, we’ll place pics like this in our “editorial” gallery, which means many kids and parents will totally miss them.  Lots of artists shoot edgier images – but they’ll rarely post them under their Sr Pics gallery….so when researching, look at more than just the high school samples to get a good idea of your photog’s level of artistry 🙂

For info:  310.622.5819


Posted in High School Senior Pictures | Los Angeles, High School Senior Pictures | Thousand Oaks - Newbury Park, Senior Pictures, Senior Pictures Los Angeles, Senior Portrait Ideas Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Los Angeles’ best senior photographers

best senior photographers

Looking for LA’s best senior photographers ?

Searching for the best senior photographers can be a daunting task!  So many good artist out here 🙂  Honestly, who works for you might not be who works for someone else.  Are you looking for super artistic images?  Are you looking for something edgy?  Something classic?  Or maybe a little bit of everything?!   You’ve found us!  🙂  Contact Brandin’s cel for more info 310.622.5819 and let’s get you on your way to amazing senior pics.


Posted in High School Senior Pictures | Los Angeles, High School Senior Pictures | Thousand Oaks - Newbury Park, Senior Pictures, Senior Pictures Los Angeles, Senior Portrait Ideas Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Senior Pictures Los Angeles & Thousand Oaks

Senior Pictures Los Angeles

Senior Pictures Newbury Park

Senior Pictures Thousand Oaks

Senior Portrait locations in both Thousand Oaks and Los Angeles

14 years experience shooting actors, models, musicians and High School Senior Photography, with studios in both Newbury Park, Thousand Oaks and Mid City Los Angeles.  Female photographers Amanda Max Weber and Brandin Shaeffer strive to create images and senior portraits that are both unique and timeless.  Sessions typically last 2-3 hours…as long as it takes for our subject to feel comfortable and get the BEST senior pictures possible!

To see more of our recent work, visit our studio facebook page.  To schedule an appointment or ask a question, contact us through our site.

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Senior Portrait Photographer Los Angeles & Ventura County

Senior Portrait Photographer Los Angeles


Los Angeles Senior Portrait Photographer


Senior Portrait Photographer Los Angeles & Ventura County


Senior Portrait Photographer Thousand Oaks


Senior Portrait Photographer Newbury Park


Senior Portrait Photographer Ventura County


Senior Portrait Photographers Los Angeles & Ventura County

One of the coolest things we (Brandin & Amanda Max) have access to is lots & lots of cool locations.  The sky is pretty much the limit 🙂  Above are a few favorites from our shoot with Austin B.  He has that James Dean kinda look, so we wanted to do everything from clean classic type images, to super preppy, to edgy bad boy.  There’s no reason why the girls get to have all the cool pics….guys can have absolutely amazing shoots too!  If you’re looking for a Senior Portrait photographer in Los angeles or Ventura County, we have got you covered with locations in both 🙂

To see more of our work, visit our studio facebook page.  To schedule a shoot, contact us through our site.


Posted in Headshots for Actors, High School Senior Pictures | Los Angeles, High School Senior Pictures | Thousand Oaks - Newbury Park, LA Actor Headshots | Los Angeles - South Bay, LA Actor Headshots | Thousand Oaks - Newbury Park, Senior Pictures, Senior Pictures Los Angeles Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Senior Pictures Southern California










 Senior Portaits Southern California

The pictures above just a few proofs sheets from an album we designed from one of our 2014 Senior Portraits sessions taken in Los Angeles.  Our albums are from Italian hand-crafted album maker FINAO, and come in a Lay Flat construction that people absolutely love.  We prefer a clean design, and steer away from silly text & flourishes that look outdated within a few years.  Your pictures will be SO amazing, they’ll look best displayed similar to a high end photographic coffee table book.  Simple & Gorgeous.


To have your senior pictures taken at one of our southern california senior portrait studios contact us through our site, or call Brandin’s cel 310.622.5819

To view more examples of our work, visit our studio facebook page!




Posted in High School Senior Pictures | Los Angeles, High School Senior Pictures | Thousand Oaks - Newbury Park, Senior Pictures, Senior Pictures Los Angeles, Senior Portait Albums, Products & Prints Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Senior Pictures Los Angeles & Thousand Oaks

Senior Pictures Los Angeles & Thousand Oaks

High School Senior Pictures – Locations in Los Angeles & Thousand Oaks

When shooting senior pictures for guys it’s all about getting that great suit shot.  To make sure you get amazing results bring a suit that fits impeccably, and a shirt/tie combo that looks great on it’s own (without the jacket) so we can shoot some with the jacket & some without.

Chris (our Senior Guy above) brought the perfect suit for his session.  The jacket & vest are sophisticated, with a current slim fit.  The shirt & tie add a dash of youth & trendiness without being over-the-top.  Removing the jacket halfway through shooting the look, allowed us to shoot with the vest & shirt for an edgier, more hip feel.  Then, we got rid of the vest, loosened the tie, rolled up the sleeves & got some amazing smiles & laughs….super casual & totally dreamy!!!

To make the day easy for you, we have locations in Los Angeles & Newbury Park of Thousand Oaks

To see more recent work, visit our studio FB page.  To book a Senior Pictures Session, contact us by phone or our site contact page.  Brandin’s cel:  310.622.5819



Posted in High School Senior Pictures | Los Angeles, High School Senior Pictures | Thousand Oaks - Newbury Park, Senior Pictures, Senior Pictures Los Angeles, Senior Portrait Ideas Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Headshots for Teens, Los Angeles

Headshots Los Angeles

Headshots Los Angeles

Headshots Los Angeles

Headshots for Teens

Shooting headshots for kids is (for the most part) pretty straightforward.  But, shooting headshots for teens in Los Angeles comes with a lot of “gray area”.  Teens are still widely cast in Nickelodeon style types – big personalities & smarty-pants humor.  BUT, when getting new headshots, teens should also remember to shoot for at least one “Gritty” type.  Teens are cast in Superhero movies, dark edgy dramas, & realism driven episodics.   A recent client, Piajae Marie, came to us wanting to explore more than just the “Cute Spunky Teen” type images.  She was interested in getting some shots that would show her range.  Above, you’ll see her version of Urban East Coast, Tough Action Star, & Ethereal Soul.  We’ll be posting more from her shoot when her agent selections come in!


To see recent work visit our FACEBOOK page.  To schedule an appointment, visit our CONTACT page.

Posted in Headshots for Actors, Kids Headshots LA, LA Actor Headshots | Los Angeles - South Bay, LA Actor Headshots | Thousand Oaks - Newbury Park Also tagged , , , , , , , |

MxB Senior Pictures Los Angeles & Ventura Counties CA

Senior Pictures Los Angeles & Ventura

Max Brandin has been shooting High School Senior Pictures Los Angeles & Ventura counties for over a decade.

Female photographers Brandin Shaeffer & Amanda Max Weber combine a strong sense of traditional & classic with just enough edge to keep images current, yet timeless.  Years of experience, experts in their field, and strong opinions have made them the first choice for high school senior pictures in Southern California.


The beauty of shooting editorial style senior pics is that we aren’t just doing a basic portrait – we get the chance to tell a story with each image.  And each one of those stories captures a different side of our HS Senior.
~Brandin Shaeffer & Amanda Max Weber


To book your senior pictures (los angeles or ventura counties) CONTACT MxB through our site, or by phone: 310.622.5819

Stay comnected!  www.facebook.com/MaxBrandinPhotography

Senior Pictures Los Angeles









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Choosing a Senior Portrait Photographer, Los Angeles


Los Angeles Senior Portrait Photographers

The following are some suggestions on how to choose a Senior Portrait Photographer Los Angeles.

LA is absolutely covered in photographers that shoot Senior Portraits.  It’s not surprising actually…there’s a higher than average concentration of artistic people in Los Angeles in general.  But, that makes finding the right one even tougher!  Below are some suggestions on things to look for when deciding who to book with.

Shooting IN los angeles?

You don’t necessarily have to shoot in the middle of LA.  At MxB, we’re proud of our ability to shoot pretty much anywhere ….as far south as Hermosa Beach, Long Beach, & even Huntington Beach.  We also have gorgeous locations in Newbury Park, Venice Beach, & Malibu.  Of course, if you’re looking to shoot something with an urban vibe, one of our favorite spots is our family owned urban warehouse in Los Angeles, which is absolutely perfect for edgy Senior Portraits.

What products are you looking to get?

Lots of portrait photographers can get you really great images.  The issue then becomes “how many millions will it cost to buy prints, canvas & an album?”  Just keep in mind when booking your session, that no matter how much you love the pics, they won’t mean as much to you in years to come if they’re only ever seen on facebook & in a couple 8×10’s.  We pride ourselves in having the absolute BEST & most inclusive print & product Collections of any photographer in Southern California…for the best prices.

Hair & Makeup can make or break your Senior Portraits

We include professional hair & makeup with EVER session, because it’s just so so important.  Not only do pros do a flawless job, they leave you with more energy to focus on being a model.  It’s just too exhausting to spend half your time making hair & makeup changes…and then have to go right back out & keep shooting.  You need that time to sit & relax and let our people work their magic!

For more examples, visit our PORTFOLIO and our FACEBOOK page 🙂  And if you have any QUESTIONS please feel free to contact us through our site’s contact form & we’ll be happy to help you book Max Brandin as your Senior Portrait Photographer Los Angeles!

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Senior Pictures Los Angeles – Where to shoot



Shoot your Senior Portraits in ONE location that offers almost ENDLESS possibilities!

One of the absolute coolest things about shooting Senior Pictures Los Angeles is that there are just so so so many places to shoot.  Most of our Seniors want several looks & they want each of those to be shot in a unique location.  However, driving from location to location is a time & energy killer – it’s no fun for anyone.  The best bet is to find ONE spot that offers lots of possible areas to shoot in.  Choosing that main location is really determined by the vibe you want for your Senior Pictures.  Want something funky & edgy?  Venice Beach has super awesome alleyways with tons of color & textures to play with – – – plus the buildings offer shadow from the mid day sun, meaning, light is always pretty perfect 🙂  Then, for the last look of the day, we just walk a few steps and BAM!  you’re on the beach!  a great way to end any Senior Photography session.  Want something classic & pastoral?  Just get out of the main city part of LA & find a hiking trail!  The canopy of trees in most hikes gives perfect shade from the sun for soft light – which is imperative for getting gorgeous Senior Pictures.

Our team makes shooting your Senior Pictures an experience you’ll never forget…

See the image above of our model getting her makeup touched up?  While she was getting a little tweak to hair & makeup, our photography assistant was setting our light perfectly for the romantic glow you see in the black & white image.  Little touches like back lighting make the difference between just “so-so” images, and images that are amaaaaaazing.  Having our hair/makeup artist present while we shoot is also a huge bonus, since she makes little changes as we go to get the MOST out of the day.  And it’s not such a bad thing to be treated like a supermodel for the day 🙂

For more examples, visit our SENIOR PICTURES LOS ANGELES PORTFOLIO and our FACEBOOK page 🙂  And if you have any QUESTIONS please feel free to contact us through our site’s contact form & we’ll be happy to help.  And remember, yearbook deadline comes fast….book your Los Angeles Senior Pictures today!

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Senior Pictures Thousand Oaks











Senior Pictures & Natural Light

Hayley is one of our 2013 MxB High School Senior Reps & shot her senior pictures with us a few weeks ago at our Newbury Park, Thousand Oaks location.  When Hayley arrived we quickly realized her eyes were going to be a main focal point for these senior pictures ….since they’re a vivid crystal blue.  In order to get the most out of crystal clear eyes is to use natural light.  Shooting indoors in a studio can produce beautiful shots, but very often there isn’t enough “constant” light to open up the iris of the eye & brighten it.  When your subject is outside during the day, there is usually enough light to cause the pupil to get a little smaller, opening up more of the eye color for your camera to see.  That’s definitely part of the trick to getting vivid eyes in a portrait.  Another big part is making sure your shutter speed is at the right setting to allow that sunlight to brighten the eyes.  Of course, if you’re using a simple “point & shoot” type camera, there may not be a way to control shutter speed….but that’s ok.  Point & shoots usually have very good automatic settings & will naturally set a good shutter speed for your picture.  Just take a moment to look at the eyes & make sure they’re getting enough light to brighten & open up without blinding them LOL.  One more consideration to mention when shooting in natural light is to be careful of “blowing out” your subject’s skin.  Even olive & darker skin tones can be lit too brightly causing them to photograph too pale or (as is in the case of very dark skin) to have blown out harsh shine on the skin.  If your camera has a histogram, learn how to use it (it’s pretty easy 🙂 & if you don’t have histogram, just take a test shot & see if your subject’s skin is looking more like white paper than actual skin.  Balance that with the amount of light needed to get vibrant glowing irises & you’ll end up with some gorgeous natural light pictures!

For more examples of SENIOR PICTURES visit our portfolio and our FACEBOOK page 🙂  And if you have any QUESTIONS please feel free to contact us through our contact form & we’ll be happy to help.  ….and remember, yearbook deadline comes before you know it…book your Senior Pictures with us today!


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High School Senior Pictures LA




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Senior Pictures Los Angeles

The beauty of shooting editorial style senior pictures is that we aren’t just doing a basic portrait – we get the chance to tell a story with each image.  And each one of those stories captures a different side of our HS Senior.  Above, you’ll see 4 very distinct sides of Jameela captured in very distinctly different settings.  Our Los Angeles Warehouse Location gives us the freedom to shoot everything from industrial, to sleek/modern, to romantic, to Cosmo Girl.

Senior Pictures Los Angeles – Look #1

We started the shoot with a totally industrial feel – using the work trucks in the back of the warehouse to shoot around.  This went perfectly with Jameela’s casual plaid shirt & jeans….but, we had our makeup artist bump up the hair & makeup to give the pictures more of a “Guess Girl” feel…proving that girls can be tough & still pretty  😉

Senior Pictures Los Angeles – Look #2

Next we moved to our Cosmo Girly Girl in Hot Pink, on a white background.  We kept the hair & makeup very young & fresh and encouraged Jameela to just be silly & have fun – there’s plenty of time to do fierce….and we don’t ever want to leave out our silly side in a photoshoot!

Senior Pictures Los Angeles – Look #3

Third, we had our makeup artist give the eyes a bit more of a smokey feel so that we could head out to the train tracks.  We thought the white dress mixed with the gritty tracks would be a beautiful juxtaposition, and giving the eyes a bit of edge was a fun way to keep the shots from being overly traditional.  A nice mix almost always works out better than hitting the same notes over and over.

Senior Pictures Los Angeles – Look #4

Our last look with Jameela was our chance to show the side of her that’s becoming an adult.  The belted sweater looks like a fabulous outfit to wear on your first day interning at a fashion magazine or art gallery.  Jameela did an amazing job of being very present with the camera & letting it capture her serious side.

Senior Pictures Los Angeles INSPIRATION

If you’d like to do a shoot like the one above, begin with charting out 3 to 5 sides of YOU that you’d like to show.  Then begin putting together wardrobe that reflects those aspects.  When you arrive at your shoot, we’ll lay your things out & put together a game plan to make your dream photoshoot happen!

To stay updated on our shoots this summer in los angeles, & see more pics to inspire your shoot, “Like” us on www.Facebook.com/MaxBrandinPhotography

For more examples of SENIOR PICTURES LOS ANGELES visit our portfolio and our FACEBOOK page 🙂  And if you have any QUESTIONS please feel free to contact us through our contact form & we’ll be happy to help.  ….and remember, yearbook deadline comes before you know it…book your Senior Pictures with us today!

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Senior Pictures Los Angeles




Senior Pictures for Boys (…er…Guys 😉

Rashad came to us for some quick Senior Pics for his graduation announcements.  We were planning on doing 2 looks, but they were primarily interested in getting a snazzy confident & handsome portrait of Rashad looking dapper in a suit – so, they only brought the one change of wardrobe.  NO PROBLEM!  We knew we wanted to get the most out of the day & Rashad’s little sis was there….so we were able to change up Rashad’s look by removing the jacket, loosening the tie & rolling up the sleeves.  His little sis was there with Mom & Dad for the Family Portrait Mini-Session, and everyone was coordinated beautifully (((notice the little purple flowers in Jade’s dress….perfect accent to Rashad’s shirt & tie)))  so after shooting the whole fam, we took Rashad & Jade out to the tracks for a super duper classic & gorgeous sibling portrait.  What we loved about the whole thing is that when Rashad ordered his prints, he & his family were able to order not only from the pictures we shot of Rashad, but they were able to order wallets, 8×10’s, etc. of the family AND of Rashad & his sis.  Regardless of the photographer you go with for your senior pictures, you should consider asking them if they could include a quick shot of your grad with siblings &/or with Mom & Dad.  Usually, they’ll be happy to consider it an “add on”.  Everyone’s so busy that having family portraits done is so tough….everyone’s schedule is crazy.  SO, take this opportunity to kill two birds with one stone!

View more examples of our Senior Portraits

View more examples of our kids headshots

View more examples of our adult actor headshots


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Headshots or Senior Pictures: Shoot “Sexy” the Right Way

Senior Portrait - Headshot Sexy

Shooting for “Sexy” Headshots & Senior Portraits

With over 20 years combined experience as photographers, we’ve shot a LOT of “Sexy” shots…..some that turned out amazing….and some that just didn’t seem right.  To be honest, we hesitate to even use the term “Sexy” when referring to pictures for Senior Girls.  The trend toward high-end fashion editorial type Senior Photography has resulted in a few photographers going WAY out of bounds on what is appropriate for this age.  However, these girls are very close to womanhood & it’s understandable that they may bring at least a couple outfits that would be considered by most people to be on the sexy side.  As female photographers we’re very cognizant of the line that crosses into TOO sexy & we are extremely conscious of going nowhere near it.  Below are some guidelines to pay attention to – not “rules” – just some observations we’ve made that you should be aware of before going for a “Sexy” pic.

For many of our Actors, “Sexy” is a very important shot….obviously.  But, there’s a line that probably shouldn’t be crossed there, as well.  The kinds of over-the-top sexy images you see on some shows & in some movies are NOT representative of what the industry standard is for “Sexy” headshots.  Below are some things to consider to make sure no casting director cringes when looking at your “Sexy” pic 🙂


For Actors

Color is a big big biggie on the “sexy” shot.  Sexy will naturally include a bump up in hair & makeup, and adding in a bright or loud color might grab the casting director’s attention – but, probably not in a good way.  Smokey Eyes, Big Sexy Waves in the Hair AND a vivid magenta dress start to feel a lot like trying TOO hard.  Black is an obvious choice that is classic & always will be.  Black is slimming.  Black is mysterious.  Black is sexy.  However, there are a few other colors that we’ve noticed over the years totally worked:

Navy / Dark Sapphire
Dark Gray
Deep Emerald
Dark Plum
Chocolate Brown

Not that we’re saying these are the ONLY colors that work for “Sexy” – we’re just saying these are probably better choices than hot pink, gold, silver, bright red, magenta or anything sparkly.  And, for prints, we just advise to stay away from them.  For a sexy shot, you’ll often be using a 3 quarter (to the waist or hips) shot, so a print is an unneeded distraction ….that takes attention away from you.

For Senior Girls

Color is still an important consideration for Senior Pics, but you have a LOT more latitude.  Honestly, if a color looks great on you, it’ll probably be great for the pictures.  There are some things to watch out for though:

Looking TOO sexy

You’re 17.  Let’s preserve this moment in time by capturing “Sexy” in an appropriate way.  We’re just not comfortable taking pictures of a minor in a skin tight hot pink spandex dress.  Enough said….

Choosing a color that isn’t flattering
Keep in mind that at least a third of your pictures are going to be 3-quarter or full length.  If you choose a really bright color, or a wild print, sometimes it will sort of “take over” the picture in a full length shot.  Keep these full length shots in mind when choosing color & prints.



For Actors

Stay away from tops & dresses that are billowy & loose fitting.  They look so cute in person….but they’re just terrible in a headshot.  They’re fine for looks where you’ll be cropping into a tight headshot.  But, for “sexy” you generally go for a little more body in the frame, down to the bust or even to the hip-bone (like Nikki’s pic above).  Many people think “Well, I’ll just chip clip the back to bring it in on the sides.  That’s fine – but you should test it before your shoot since very often, clipping tighter in the back creates a ton of wrinkles, gaps & general weirdness in the front.

Neckline is another biggie.  A sleek black mock turtleneck long-sleeve dress might look absolutely fabulous on you – but, in a picture it’s gonna look like you’re being constricted.   Really anything that covers your decollete is just a bad idea.  Shoulders, neck, collarbone – these are the sexiest parts….why cover them up.  Also, a nice neckline makes your neck look longer & makes you look more sleek.

Senior Girls

Senior Pics can definitely get away with more flowy, billowy tops.  For images where we can see your entire body, it actually photographs really cute.  The issue gets problematic though in images shot to the waist.  The bottom of the picture is a big blob of fabric…..not super cute.  So, keep this in mind when considering a loose fitting top or dress.  They’re not all bad for camera – and if you bring plenty of choices in wardrobe, we’ll be able to figure out before we shoot what’s gonna work & what won’t 🙂



For Actors & Senior Girls

Everyone loves getting a “smokey eye” done by a professional makeup artist….but for headshots & senior pictures, it’s often best to keep it a soft smokey eye.  For actors, wearing too much black eyeliner & eyeshadow, too much blush, overly drawn lips, starts to look like a makeup ad, not a headshot.  For Senior Girls AND Actors, too much makeup just looks like you’re trying way way too hard to be sexy – – – and it covers up your natural beauty, which is something we really want to capture.  Our makeup artists are the absolute BEST at creating a sexy makeup & hair look that still feels fresh.



For Actors

The entire point of a headshot is for the casting director to see what you look like.  When you’re acting, you’re rarely posing.  You’re generally standing, sitting, leaning, or walking.  So, in your headshot, you should keep it simple & stick to these basics when posing for the picture.  For “Sexy” you should also remember that the CD needs to see what your body looks like.  So, turning to the side, or contorting yourself into a funky pose keeps them from seeing your silhouette.  A funky or artsy pose might look super cool in a clothing ad, but if casting can’t see your shape, it kinda goes against the entire reason for doing a sexy body shot.  If you’d like to see some examples of “Sexy” shots that worked, view our portfolio:  http://www.maxbrandinphotography.com/portfolio/actor-headshots/



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For Senior Girls

Natural poses that feel organic are almost always best.  During your shoot we’ll guide you through some ideas that you can incorporate with what comes naturally to you.  Awkward poses & contortions just don’t photograph well (unless you’re a super model w/ years of posing experience).  The biggest consideration we’ll always be on the lookout for are poses that are just too sexy for Senior Pics.  Overly arching the back, etc. can take us into Maxim-land….so we’ll work with you on finding a nice happy medium that looks gorgeous & natural.



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Senior Portraits Los Angeles


Being Comfortable in front of the Camera

So, you’ve got the outfits together, you’ve paired them with super cute shoes, and the perfect accessories.  That’s a lot to prepare, but there’s one more important thing to consider prepping before your Senior Pictures – your smile.  One of the scariest things about shooting with a professional photographer is the fact that you’re most likely not a pro model.  But, DON’T WORRY – it’s easy to practice & get good before your shoot.  You’ll need a camera phone & a willing friend to take the pictures.

1.  You’re gonna want to do a variety of facial expressions at your shoot:

Smirks with Attitude
Small Smiles
Devious Smiles
Romantic Gaze (off into the distance 😉
Big happy Grins
Serious Faces
“Sexy” Serious Faces
Quirky & Shy Smiles (…aw, shucks 🙂

2.  Then review your practice shots & identify what worked and what didn’t….

Here are some classic pitfalls to watch out for:

Serious Expressions can look MAD if you’re not careful.   Usually, putting just a HINT of a smile under the serious face makes it look “fierce”, as Tyra would say.

Big Smiles often look like you’re totally cray-cray.  The way to master big beautiful smiles is make sure your eyes don’t squint too much & keep the lips from pulling back too far.   We wanna see those teeth – but maybe not ALL of your teeth….hehehe.

Subtle Soft Smiles can sometimes look like you’re confused or unsure of what you’re doing.  When doing a Soft Smile, picture someone you have a crush on for the perfect subtle smile.

When you arrive at your shoot

Once you arrive for your session, just let ALL of your practice go.  If you put a tiny bit of time in you’ll be able to just be GENUINE & enjoy the shoot.  …..and regardless of whether you practice or  you’re a natural, you’re in good hands with us!!  We’ve worked with & shot hundreds of people who were brand new to the whole experience.  In fact, most of the people in our portfolio had never been in front of a professional camera for more than the occasional family photo – – – – and we think they look pretty amazing 🙂  And if you don’t believe us, just check out the pics above of actor Isabella Santana – she’s just getting started with acting & but you wouldn’t know if from these pics!


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High School Senior Portraits Manhattan Beach



Senior Pictures South Bay

At Max Brandin Photography we include a family portrait mini session with 3 of our 4 Senior Portrait Session packages.  We encourage you to bring Mom, Dad, Sis, Bro, or even your boyfriend for a mini photoshoot.  We keep it simple, short & sweet – but we always get beautiful images 🙂  We suggest coordinating outfits before the day of the shoot so that everyone’s prepared & the mini shoot can go smoothly.  The pics above are a great example of what “neutrals” photograph like.  Definitely go with what best portrays the vibe & personality of YOUR family.  Some fams are bright & crazy – so, don’t be afraid of color.  Mom can wear a multi colored dress or top & Dad, Siblings & You can wear colors that compliment Mom’s outfit.  If you’re wanting to keep everything very low stress though….and totally uncomplicated….neutrals are always an easy way to go – and they look really nice when printed into wall art for your home.  In case you’re wondering:  YES, you can order from the family mini shoot when placing your order for all the prints & products that come with one of our 4 amazing MxB Collections.

FREE with 3 of our Session Packages:  Family Mini-Photoshoot!

REMINDERS:  Family Mini-Shoot

1.  Mom:  Do makeup & hair before arriving at the shoot

2.  Mom:  Bring a mini touch up kit to touch up hair & makeup.  Usually, just a powder, concealer, gloss.  Our Makeup artist will have any other items you might need, such as hairspray or a little blush to add some color for camera.

3.  ALL family members:  Wear the shirt/outfit you plan on shooting in

4.  If in doubt:  Bring a “back up” shirt, dress, or top

5.  Dad should probably get a little powder on the nose for the shots – our amazing makeup artist can take care of that for you 🙂

Any questions….don’t hesitate to call!  310.622.5819

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Los Angeles Senior Portraits – THE GUYS

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Los Angeles Senior Pics What to wear for guys

These are images we shot for actor Brooks Hall – he’s not a high school senior, but we loved his take on “the suit shot”….and we think this relaxed vibe is perfect for HS Senior Pictures for Guys.   Every mom & dad wants a portrait of their son in a suit – looking very grown up, handsome, dashing & ready to take on the world after high school.  The problem is, these shots often look very stiff & unnatural – and they don’t look up to date and modern.  One of the main reasons for this sort of “old-fashioned” suit pic is that they’re too stuffy – the tie is all the way up, tight & constricting.  The jacket is buttoned.  The poor guy is practically in a straight-jacket.  But, if you look at Brooks’ pics, you don’t see any of that….and the reason is we kept it natural & casual by:

1.  shooting with a LOOSE TIE


2. shooting with Jacket & OPEN COLLARED SHIRT

Does Brooks look any less grown up, handsome, or dashing?  Nope.  He looks like he was born to to wear these clothes.  A couple things to look for when choosing jacket, shirt, tie:

a) FIT.  The jacket & shirt should fit perfect, in the sleeve length, shoulders & waist length.

b) COLOR.  Try mixing classic colors like black & gray with a pop of something unexpected, like Sage Green, Pink, Purple, Apple Green, or Eggshell blue.

c) QUALITY MATERIAL.  If possible, choose a shirt & jacket with high quality construction.  A cheap collar won’t photograph well….

d) CLASSIC TIE.  Steer away from ties that are too overly trendy or too loud.  A little personality or style is great – but try to imagine it in 5 or 6 years….will you be cringing when you walk past your Senior Portrait hanging on the wall?   Something classic will always look great.

Follow these tips for full-proof drop dead gorgeous shot for your high school senior pics!

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Senior Portraits Los Angeles




What to wear Senior Pictures

One of the first things I like to talk to my Seniors about is the kinds of activities they’re involved in at school.  Most high school students are involved in 2 major school related activities, whether that be School Paper, Student Council, Drama Club, Dance Team, Basketball, or Art Club.  The question is always whether or not to dedicate one of your wardrobe changes to a particular activity.  Obvously, if you’re involved in sports & have a Letterman’s Jacket, that’s a pretty easy thing to throw on for a few shots.  But, what if your activity is dance?  Should we dedicate one of the looks we shoot to dance?  What would you wear for a “Dance” shot?  A recital outfit?  Basic dance class wear?  Really depends on you & your personality – and is something we can help you out with when we discuss your shoot details.  …..Then there are the activities that are a little tougher to capture in a photoshoot.  For example, Nikki, above in the gloves, has been kick-boxing for years & is considered to be pretty amazing at it.  It’s a really big part of her life, and not something she’s ever had professional pictures taken of, so it would have been silly to not include this activity in her shoot.  BUT, we didn’t want to make it look cheesy.    After tossing around a few ideas, we decided to keep the set-up simple & focus on getting great shots of HER, more-so than a bunch of action shots that would have just ended up having really crazy ((& not so pretty lol)) facial expressions.  If Nikki pursues kickboxing in the coming years as a profession, she’ll have some really fierce shots for a personal website for promo purposes – – – and years from now when she’s a mom herself, she’ll have these senior pictures to prove that she can kick some serious butt!!

More tips on preparing for HS Senior Pics




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Senior Portraits Los Angeles


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 What to wear Senior Pictures

You can never have too many blog posts on what to wear for your Senior Portraits.    We’ve come across a few pinterest boards, blogs & sites that we think have some great ideas & most importantly, some great pictures for INSPIRATION!

We also posted some shots (ABOVE) we did of singer Anna Nalick in Los Angeles – who, obviously was not a HS Senior….she’s a multi-platinum singer/songwriter – but her sense of style & fashion can give us some pretty great ideas.  She went for 3 distinct looks

  • RomanticAnna really nailed it with her first look.  The OFF THE SHOULDER top on the top right is simple & classic, showing off her collarbone, neck & shoulders.  It’s just a little sexy – but mostly beautiful.  The velvet top on the left feels luxe & from another century, which compliments Anna’s timeless features 🙂
  • Hardcore
    A leather bustier might be a little much for Senior Pics – but, it’s worth taking a look at how much fun it can be to do an edgy look.  How many times in  your life are  you going to have a top of the line hair/makeup artist give you several looks in one day??!!!  It’s silly to pass up the opportunity to capture the edgy side of  you – especially in capable hands that will make sure it’s not over-the-top.
  • Edgy Ethereal
    The last look is PURE Anna – – – she’s super ethereal, like a fairy or goddess in our midst….but, she wanted to give it an edge, so it wasn’t too “soft”.  This was a perfect place to use that vivid blue.  The gauzy material gives the image a light & delicate feel – and the camera LOVES color.  It was interesting that she steered clear of accessories in this one & all of them actually….most likely because when hair & makeup is that strong, you don’t want to overdo all the bells & whistles.  A necklace may have just been too much with those super smoky eyes & red hair.

Anna Nalick acoustic version of her song “Breathe” – just in case you needed a moment to sit & breathe 🙂


Senior Picture Ideas

So, below are some links to our newest findings for Senior Portrait wardrobe inspiration!  Enjoy!


And, please accept our apology if you lose several hours lost in the Anthropologie Pinterest page ; )







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