Leah O'Connell

client tips, Featured sessions

A natural approach to senior photos

senior photos of boy with horse
I'm Leah!

I’m obsessed with stories of family, creativity, and simple joys.  A nostalgia nerd, educator, wife, and mom of 3, I believe life’s most fun when you’re dreaming big and having kitchen dance parties. 

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When senior year rolls around for your teen, we know that there is a running list of things to do before graduation day. College decisions, dorm preparations, exams, prom outfits – oh, and senior photos.

I am not entirely sure when senior photos, outside of cap and gown, became a trend. What I do know is that they allow for the unique personality of your senior to shine through as they get to slip on their favorite outfit and maybe even choose a location they love.

When we step outside the posed parameters, we are able to pull out what makes your senior’s heart beat.

A love for reading, the sport that they spent countless hours training for, or their heart for friendship and making others feel loved – any of that can make its way into a senior session.


Our goal for senior photos is to create a comfortable space where your son or daughter can come alive in confidence as we capture this huge milestone!

Here are a few ways we will do that:

  1. We want to hear from them

When you book a senior session with us, we send out a questionnaire and we want to hear from your senior. What do they want to remember from their senior year? What are they most proud of? These are the photos they might post to their Instagram, send out to family and friends with their graduation announcement, or pull out to show their significant other 5 years down the road. Our questionnaire will help us learn a little bit more about their interests, personality, and what makes them unique.

2. We want to hear from you

Our hope is that these photos warm the walls of your hallways, dining room, or coffee table. We envision your senior 10 years from now coming home for a visit and reminiscing (or giggling) at their senior year photos with you recalling memories. How do want to embrace this last year with your senior? What is it that you want to remember when you look at these photos 10 years from now? What story do you want to tell? We will have an opportunity for you to share that before we jump into the session!

3. Comfort over perfection

Let me just be upfront – we do not offer hair and makeup with our senior sessions. We know this is a popular offering right now and if that is your cup of tea, awesome! We value comfort and simplicity here at Firefly. Your senior is invited to show up in what makes them feel the most comfortable in their own skin. If that is a dress, great! If it’s their favorite pair of joggers and a white shirt, we love it. I know from experience, If I walk into a photo session and wear an outfit I would never wear to the farmers market with my friends, I don’t feel like my best self. We want your seniors to feel like their best self. Those awkward middle school years are over and we want their confidence to shine through as they enter this next transformative season.


Interested in senior photos that don’t feel fake and awkward?


Reach out here to get on the calendar or check out more on our experience and pricing here.

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Hi, I'm Leah.
Family photographer, writer, educator.

I’m  one of the first to meet your newborn baby, the one who won't judge your clothes baskets and unmade beds, and the one who can capture the way your husband looks at you with a twinkle in his eye after 12 years of marriage. I believe in honoring people and telling stories.

I believe art has the power to light up the world in dark places, starting at home.