Best time for Senior Sessions (pss.... not fall!)

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It’s Ohio…. if you live near me, it’s good ol’ Wilmington, Ohio where the weather goes from 30 degrees up to 75 degrees back down to 20 degrees and then 85 degrees all in ONE WEEK! Senior portraits revolve around our weather because senior’s want their photos taken outdoors and I love outdoors vs in studio shots because we can travel to uncharted territory for some really epic shots.

The truth is, fall is a great time for senior portraits because the weather is cooling off. However, what most people fail to realize is that from the time a senior hits their feet on the first day of school, they barely have time to fit in other activities. Their schedules are slammed! 

So you think… okay, but one day for the senior shoot is just one day. Well, hopefully but what happens if the weather is bad? About 25% of the time we have to cancel due to rain, crazy wind or even heat (remember, it’s Ohio!). So we book you in for a last minute rain date but sometimes that’s not as easy as it sounds when you have a jam packed schedule. We see it all of the time, “I can’t book that day, I have a ….” and the list goes on.

So when do you need to book? Right now, during the spring before the weather gets too hot! Everything is green outside, flowers are blooming and it’s easier to reschedule if we get rained out. SO.MUCH.EASIER!!!

So let’s say you still intend to book for fall, then book your session NOW because all established photographers will be too busy to take last minute clients during September and October. Also, if you need a weekend date such as Saturday or Sunday then keep in mind that we only have 8 Saturdays and 8 Sundays to book for 2 months. That’s 16 seniors tops for the weekends! 

Every year I get phone calls when the kids go back to school and the senior wants a session but the only thing I have left are a couple of November dates, when the trees are beginning to die, it get’s cold outside so you have a red nose and checks and your schedule is loaded with school lists a mile long.

If you play any sport in the fall…. book your session right now! It’s totally worth it, I promise!

Side note: If you are planning to book your senior session with AKRP, then know that we are only accepting 50 seniors this year. As part of that 50, you will get access to the Spokesmodel team at no extra charge to be on the team. We will be doing extra sessions, get togethers and more so be sure to reach out ASAP so you can become an AKRP Spokesmodel too!

So what do Senior Portraits cost anyway?

When it comes to senior portraits, the questions are usually the same. 

How much is a senior session?

What comes with a senior session?

When do I book my senior session?

Now that your senior year is vastly approaching, you need to think about these things. This is the first email of a small series designed to help answer your questions.

So let's begin with the most common question, price. You can expect a wide variety of photographers when you're pulling up google, asking for referrals or simply looking at social media. So how much does a professional photographer cost?

Here's your short answer, anywhere from free to 5,000+. Whoa... don't get your panties in a twist, I need to explain!

The better the work and the more experienced the photographer is, the more they will cost. **ALWAYS look at a photographers portfolio because that will represent what your photos will look like**

So... how much is a senior session with AK Rustic Photography? The answer is simple, but not what you'd expect. Senior sessions are 250 for girls and 175 for guys with prints/products/digitals being additional. 

"If you charge 250, then why am I paying extra for the prints/products/digitals?" The 250 covers my time to plan your session (that's the preconsult) and host your session. 

**Note** Did you know that I gift all of my senior girls a makeup artist for no additional cost? I also have a ton of jewelry, hats and other accessories that are perfect for your photo session! It's like playing dress up!

So now that we know AKRP is 175 - 250, how much are products/digitals? This price is where it gets a little more complicated. All of AKRP's products are fully edited to hi resolution and we've picked the most elite professional labs to work with to ensure that your products last for ages, not just a season! Prints begin at 35 and go up.

How much should I expect to spend? Our average client spends 1,250+ on products and gets several digital images, several prints and wall art (basically everything that you want and need). This hopefully gives you a general idea of what to expect.

It's also important to note that you pay for your prints/products/digitals AFTER you've seen them to a beautiful slideshow during your "reveal;" (when the edited images are revealed to you for the first time). It's a pretty special moment and we like to make it a big deal for the senior and their families!

Want to see a price list? Email me so we can set up a FaceTime call or in person consult to go over all details and what to expect.

One important factor to note is that we do anticipate a waiting list this year because we are limiting ourselves to 50 seniors for the whole year! Once those spots are all taken, we are fully booked. This ensures we have plenty of extra time to do fun sessions and get togethers with all of the seniors at no additional cost. We are building our senior team to have multiple sessions throughout the year, not just their individual session. 

Keep an eye out for the next email, I'll be covering some more hot topics that you all want to know. If you'd like to ensure your spot on our senior team this year, email us so we can set things up before all of the fall dates book up!

Talk to you soon,

- Amanda

Spokesmodel Team Update: What you need to know!

Hello everyone, I am so glad you have stopped by!

Just incase you are unaware, I LOVE offering my clients the best products out there. I grab all of the samples I can and pick the top quality items that I believe will be your favorites. Now… I also love to hear your feedback and do what I can to make your process as easy and fun as possible. 

During the year I will have exclusive offers for my seniors who currently work with me! Simple. Easy. Fun.


After much consideration and reviewing all applicants, we will not a set Spokesmodel team like we had anticipated. If you’re bummed about the Spokesmodel team, don’t worry because I will have extra sessions for all seniors who book their individual sessions with me. The sooner you book, the more sessions you can take advantage of! If you need to inquire about your senior session, just reach out so we can chat via text, email, phone call or messenger.

Talk to ya soon,


Ladies, let's talk deodorant!


One of the things that I had a hard time switching was a deodorant once I was told how awful they were. I knew it was bad but ignored the warnings because “everything causes cancer”, right?

However, when it was time for my little girls to start using it, I couldn't just ignore the warnings and give them something that could potentially cause breast cancer, alzheimer's and more.

The problem... it takes a few months for your body to react (aka stop stinking) to a new deodorant. I had been using an antiperspirant for so long that when I tried switching to all natural, I never knew if the deodorant was working or if my body just hadn't had enough time to heal itself. Nothing all natural was working!

I used several brands and finally just asked everyone on fb what they used. The Whiskey Ink and Lace deodorant was my last stop! It took a little while to detox but I finally found the perfect one that I felt confident in using and knew I could give it to my girls (ages 8 & 10) and they were safe. 

We buy the unscented kind and have 2 tubes auto shipped each month so I never need to worry about going out of stock. 

Now, just a heads up; when you get the deodorant tubes in from the mail and it’s cold outside, you need to let them sit indoors so they can warm up. If you twist the bottom piece too hard for the deodorant to come out of the tube then it’s not ready and will break a piece inside the tube which causes the deodorant to be stuck inside of the tube. I did this on my first 2 tubes and contacted customer service; they were amazing! 

I switched in January so it was still cold outside. However, I knew the true test was around the corner when Wilmington, Ohio's weather hits hard in June/July. So far, so good and I plan to stick with using this company for a while. 

Here is a link to explain the difference between the deodorant and antiperspirant and why it matters.

Here’s the Whiskey Ink and Lace link and be sure to watch the video at the bottom so you understand their product.

All views expressed on this site are my own and do not represent any entity whatsoever with which I have been, am now or will be affiliated.

6 Easy Tips on how to choose your senior photographer

How to choose a senior photographer:

It’s that time of year and everyone is reaching out to choose their senior photographer. You must get your photos done before it’s too late or the photographer is booked up. Here are some helpful tips to get you started on what to look for in your photographer.

#1 Look at your photographers portfolio or work. All photographers are different. Some have been in business for 3 months and others for years.Do you love the majority of the photos? Don’t choose one that got lucky and took a good photo a couple of times; good photographers can replicate gorgeous photos time and time again and you want that photographer to be yours. 

#2 Ensure they can offer exactly what you want. AK Rustic here in Wilmington, Ohio offers to customize ALL sessions to the senior. Need a couple indoor studio shots and lots of outdoors? No problem. Want all outdoors at a couple locations? No problem. The list goes on and on but sometimes the photographer doesn’t. We also travel around the area to work with clients in Clermont, Clinton, Warren counties and more.

#3 Meet with your photographer BEFORE your session. Why? Because you need to be on the same page and ensure your photographer knows exactly what you want. You need to discuss how to prepare for your session (tips/tricks that help), all the fine details that make your session fun and perfect. Plus it’s less stressful making the experience amazing. Happy, fun and relaxed shows when you’re taking the photo but so does stressed and frustrated.

#4 This tip is up to you, however, I wanted to mention it to you. Choose a photographer that is legal. Find one that has a proper business set up through the state. Why? Because if they take your money, don’t deliver your photos, treat you badly and such then they can get into trouble. Time and time again I hear of senior kids right here in Wilmington, Ohio talk about how they had someone take their photos and then the person never returns their calls after and they never got their photos back. Don’t be taken advantage of. Choose a photographer that has a business license in the State of Ohio so you’re insured to be in great hands. 

#5 Find out what all your photographer offers. Do they just show up at the scheduled date, take your photos and then send them to you? What happens if you don’t like them, want to see something in black and white, need products and more? AKRP offers a full service studio. You have your pre consult so I can ensure to have you prepared and that I have all gear to make that happen, you even get a magazine with tips/tricks! We have your session that isn’t time limited and then meet 2-4 weeks later to go over your edited images to a beautiful slideshow. It’s how we treat you like a Prince/Princess that makes us the photographer to talk about. There’s no rushing around, it’s simply easy going and fun. Did you know that we also give all of our ladies a hair stylist/makeup artist plus a beauty box to prepare for their session? Oh yeah, we know what these seniors want and go for it!

#5 Don’t wait to book. Photographers in Wilmington, Ohio are already being sought out and booked all the way into late fall, some even into next year. We’re currently booking 2019 and 2020 Seniors now so you can contact us here or check out some of our portfolio here. 

6 Fun S'more Variations

With the summer intact, there’s lots of fun activities to do outside. One of our favorite things to do is going down by our creek right here in Wilmington, OH and roasting marshmallows. Everyone grabs a stick and marshmallow to get the marshmallow as burnt as they’d like. I personally like mine burnt to a crisp!

It’s intriguing to watch how people vary on how they cook their marshmallow over the fire. From barely brown to nearly falling off of the stick burnt. 

Now let’s get the nitty gritty, what’s your favorite s’more?

I’ve seen a few variations with s’mores with most being a graham cracker, hershey chocolate car, marshmallow and then another graham cracker to make a sandwich. That’s the way that we do it here, what’s your favorite?

Fun facts:

  • Marshmallows used to be made from a wild plant in the marsh
  • National toasted marshmallow day is Aug. 30th
  • More than 50% of marshmallows are toasted over a fire!

S’more variations:

  • You can add bacon to your s’more (not my jam, but have at it!)
  • Add fresh strawberries and banana’s to your store for a sweeter treat (now we’re talkin’!)
  • Instead of a Hershey bar, use a Reese’s cup
  • Add some Nutella to your s’more
  • Place your s’more ingredients in a waffle cone (omit the graham cracker) and wrap in aluminum foil over the fire so a fun twist
  • Use Girl Scout cookies or Oreos’s instead of graham crackers

Now it's time to go out and try a new recipe, enjoy!

CM Father - Daughter Dance 2018

It was just a couple of weeks ago when a ton of male role models brought their little ladies out for the father / daughter dance; from dad's to uncles to grandfathers and more right here in Clarksville, Ohio. 

As a momma of 2 girls that were accompanied by their dad and grandpa (poppy as they call him), they had a blast! The Clinton Massie High School Cheerleaders brought this fundraiser together and were amazing throughout the entire dance. One of the cheerleaders gave my daughter her grass skirt and she's worn it nearly everyday since! 

Thank you to the CMHS Cheerteam for allowing this Wilmington, Ohio photographer to come out and capture some cute moments for a one night only dance!

Here are just a few of the photos that were taken at the dance that night. . .  enjoy :) 


Congratulations to the Class of 2018

Can you believe it? You're officially booted out of the local schools and entering a new chapter of your lives. From college to trade school to your new jobs, you are all on the best track to an amazing future.

Thank you for allowing me to be your senior photographer in Wilmington, Ohio. I LOVED working with each of you and cannot wait to follow along to see where you all are in the following years. Congratulations to the class of 2018! 


Headshots are crucial to your business, why is that?

Did you know that headshots are something that you can’t just have someone use your iPhone and take a photo with.?

Many times business owners do not realize the importance of what a headshot really means. When someone looks at your profile photo or business card for the first time, they want to see how serious you take your business. That reassures them that you will take them serious as a client/customer. Are you committed enough to go to a professional photographer to get your photos done, or will you be seen as someone who gets their business products done via the “cheap and easy” way.

Now I know that many of you haven’t done professional headshots because it can seem a bit daunting, but with my help, I can guide you in the right direction so that you’ll fall in love with them just as your clients will too.

Here in Ohio, you need to be seen as a friendly face but also taken seriously. By finding the photographer that can capture what you really look like (with some enhancing editing, of course) can make all of the difference. 

I’m here to help and right now is the most beautiful time of the year to get this done! Outdoor headshots are becoming more of a trend than ever before. The grass is green, the trees and flowers are in full bloom and it’s time to get out there. Your location will depend on your speciality. For example, a realtor would need somewhere in town or around houses. A farmer would want an open field with what they grow or with their equipment in the background. As a Wilmington, Ohio photographer, I can help guide you in the right direct... it's my job!

AK Rustic Photography makes things easy. simple. quick. Just ask me for more info and I promise not to be pesky or that typical “sales woman” that you dread.  It’s fun, easy and can attract more clients to your business than ever before. This is their first impression of you so let’s make it count!


Click here to contact me today.


When do 2019 Seniors book their portrait sessions?


You have a HUGE to-do list your senior year... sports, homecoming, prom, graduation, tests, college apps but my favorite - SENIOR PORTRAITS!

While the 2019 seniors are still juniors, it's good to know what you're up against when it comes to picking and scheduling your senior photos.

It's ideal to book your senior portrait session at the mid-end of your junior year. Why so soon? Because good photographers book up quick and your photographer needs to prepare you for your amazing session, hold your session, edit your photos and then bring you back to show them to you. Here at AKRP, we prefer to book seniors as soon as possible because fall books so quickly that we cannot fit everyone into our schedule. We also need you to view your images prior to your senior yearbook due date, here around Wilmington, Ohio, that can be as early as November! Eek! Plus, if your session gets rained out then we have ample amount of time to combine our schedules and still get you in for your session. Did you know that we have a cap on how many seniors we can accept each year?

Currently we are seeking 2019 seniors who want to be apart of our modeling program. Not only do you get tons of perks, you have an experience that you cannot get anywhere else and have fun doing so. The deadline for the model program is at the end of April, so click here to fill out the application or here if you want more info on a senior session.

We'll see ya soon!