High School Senior Portraits

Understanding Dance

— 06/01/2016 by Monika Wertman —

Ballet and dance, especially the classical variety has always been my favorite to capture in photos.  I danced as a child and teen and my oldest danced seriously through high school and even attended a performing arts high school.  We were both trained in the Ceccetti method, and learning to understand the dancer’s body through training stays with you.  When I work with dancers, this knowledge really helps and makes it easy to show what I would like to receive from them in photos.


Dancers are wonderful creatures who instinctively know what looks right if they are at least a few years into their training.

ballet dancer

It is important to also understand that not every pose looks good in pictures,and that certain poses need to be shot from certain angles.  It is equally important for a photographer to see when the dancer is over her pointe, has the correct turnout and is holding her shoulders correctly.  All of these nuances can make or break the image.

ballet dancer

I have always felt intrigued by the “behind the scenes” aspect of daily training.  The element that makes the dancer tick.  As an audience we only see the beautiful outcome of countless rehearsals in the studio, but never the stretches, the rituals and the comfort zones that all dancers have.

ballet dancer

I have captured a few of those over the years and am sharing a couple of them in this post.

ballet dancer

I am also always intrigued by contrasting the softness of dance against something contrary, something hard and unusual.  Sometimes, however, it is nice to just capture the pure beauty of a certain gesture in warm light.


ballet dancer

If you have a dancer, consider Wertman Photography to capture her or his essence.  We understand how to portray it and how to create beautiful images.

Senior Sessions – not just for High School Seniors

— 12/22/2015 by Monika Wertman —

Senior Sessions are not just for High School Seniors


This past year we had some interesting senior sessions. Most were what you would expect, high school juniors getting ready to take on their senior year, but there were a few that did not fit that category.


We already told you about one of them in an older post. He was a college nursing student who graduated this spring. As it happens the session we are getting ready to tell you about was also with a recently graduated nursing student.

nursing school and pets


She is lovely young lady who by all accounts was very dedicated to her studies and according to her, her best friend helped her through the long hours and tougher parts of being in the nursing program at Towson University. This best friend is her furry buddy Nelson and he got to be part of the session as a reward for his support.

nursing graduate


As you can see in the images, he is a very photogenic cutie and was very well behaved. It is easy to see why he was a big help getting through a rigorous program.


We had a lot of fun both in studio and outdoors, capturing some sweet moments between Nelson and Nicole and creating some fun images showing off the season the graduation took place in.

senior photos and pets


So when you think senior pictures, think high school, think college, think university. We are not going to hold you to a certain age. Even if you are a non-traditional student and would like to have some unique photos done, call us and we will make it happen.

fun with leaves


Please browse our senior and portrait galleries for additional samples of what we can do for you and schedule your session today. If you are looking at a senior year in 2016 or are graduating from college this next semester, now is the perfect time to set a date for pictures to commemorate the event.





Want to schedule Senior Photos?

— 10/23/2015 by Monika Wertman —

Though summer is over and most seniors have had their sessions, some of you may not have had them done yet or are already thinking about them as a junior. No matter who you choose, what size session you commit to, whether you are a boy or a girl, you will want to showcase your interests, whether they are sports related, you have a favorite pet, or are into cars or other big toys. Are you into winter sports and would like to get action shots in the snow? Here at Wertman Photography we will be happy to meet you at your favorite location and incorporate that interest into your session.

senior picture outdoors


Now we all know that you want your senior pictures to look different than last year’s school picture, right? How do you accomplish this, you ask? Here are a few tips on what you should do to insure that you will get some one of a kind images from your high school senior picture session:


  1. Spend a couple of months researching the kind of imagery you would like to see. Look through sports magazines and browse the web for ideas and styles. Do you like the edgy, grungy look? Do you want to look like the latest gold medal winner in one of her endorsement commercials, or do you want to look like the girl or boy next door, clean and pristine in your gear?


  1. Once you have determined what look you want, contact us and show us what you are looking for. We will then plan your session and recommend the appropriate length of time we will need to accomplish the look you are after. If you are a football player, chances are you have access to your school’s field, if you are a swimmer, access to a pool may be more difficult. As a skier or snow boarder, we will need to wait for the weather to be cold enough to work in snow. We need to understand exactly what you would like to accomplish in order to give you the session of your dreams.wertman photography seniors 2016-6


  1. Understand that special requests require prior planning and that you are asking your photographer for individualized services. She will invest time in your session and you and your family will invest money in return. This tradeoff will ensure a fantastic session for you and great images for your family and you to share and display.                 wertman photography seniors 2016-1


  1. Ask about cost only after you have determined whether are the right fit for you. It is important to have report with your photographer to get what you want, when you have fun, the images show it. But do ask, you will want to know how much your family will need to invest in the service and what you will receive in return. Ask about products that are offered and be aware that a boutique studio and a boutique service such as you are looking for and we offer, will offer some great print collections for you to choose from.wertman photography seniors 2016-5


  1. Finally, after you book your session and have paid the retainer fee, enter the date in your calendar and arrive 5-10 minutes early at the predetermined meeting point. Your photographer will be there waiting for you and when you are on time all will go smoothly and you will have a wonderful experience which will in turn result in great photos to choose from.wertman photography seniors 2016-2


We have worked with some great seniors this year and some great athletes, and are looking forward to working with you. Please feel free to browse our senior and sports gallery for additional images and call us to schedule your session.

wertman photography seniors 2016-4

Photographing Athletes

— 10/08/2015 by Monika Wertman —

When I first started out photographing people on a regular, professional basis, I focused on families, children and individuals. All were portraits either for business use, portfolios, the family living room wall and Christmas presents. I eventually added weddings to my repertoire with the occasional student athlete during senior sessions.


Recently photographing athletes has become a bigger part of my business as I have entered into a fantastic relationship with XL Sports magazine as the primary photographer. I find myself going to games I never thought I would attend, sporting events I ever just heard about and capturing athletes in both the performing state of things and in the resting phase.

hurdles and sprint track


Many sessions this summer and early fall have been of the portrait kind, capturing a bit of the essence of the athlete, the strength that is needed to perform well and the physical aspects that created that strength.

swimmer on dryland


In many ways an athlete, starting in High School, becomes aware of his or her body fully, and starts to realize that training and hard work alone will not get them to perform at the highest level. It takes an inner strength, and inner desire to want to succeed that pushes an athlete to win.

track and running

Photographing seniors who play a sport and have taken it into college and then revisiting these athletes one or two years later, reveals that characteristic. The inner desire shows in their eyes. They have gained a confidence that was beginning to form in High school, but had not fully blossomed.

high school football and girls


It is that confidence that they will carry into adulthood and continue to use in daily life and when they participate in local, regional, and national events such as bike tours, running events, and triathlons to name a few.


I have included a few shots of sports captured in motion and athletes at rest in this blog.  Some of them are scattered in the fitness/seniors section of our website, some of these shots are new additions.

williamsport biking event


If you are interested to find out more about some of the people in these shots, please check out the fall issue of XL Sports Magazine coming out before the end of the month. We will have issues of the magazine at our display at the Prime outlets in Hagerstown as soon as they come out. In the meantime the current issue will be present in a few days, please feel free to take one home.


Are you an athlete or a parent of one? If so, and you would like us to capture what makes you tick, please call today to schedule a session. 301-693-3021



At the Hagerstown Prime Outlets

— 09/28/2015 by Monika Wertman —

In this blog post I will switch things up a bit. Usually I tell a story about one of my clients and their session, but we are trying a marketing approach that is new to us and I thought it would be fun to share the set-up.


The idea started when I got a letter in the mail about putting a booth display into the food court area of the outlets in Hagerstown. The cost was very reasonable and they caught me at just the correct time, with money left in the advertising budget and phone calls with crazy requests arriving every day. This opportunity, by far, seemed the most cost effective way to spend my money. Another benefit is the time frame. We installed the display today, September 28 and it will be up through the holiday shopping season until January 1.

wertman photography prime outlets


The decision about what to show potential clients was not as easy as the decision to give this new-to-us marketing strategy a try. We finally settled on bridal, athlete and seniors. As you can see, the selection shows a nice variety of gestures and poses, while offering a peek into studio lighting and on location use of architectural elements and natural light.  The selection can also be found throughout the galleries, so feel free to find the images if you want to see them more clearly, or go by the display to do the same.

wertman photography, Prime outlets display-6


Many couples get engaged over the holidays, so the hope is that they remember what they saw while shopping and will come talk to us about their wedding day, while families will see what can be done with just about any activity and book us for various occasions.

wertman photography, Prime outlets display-5


We also have informational materials about senior photos, boudoir sessions and wedding coverage, as well as regular business cards at the display area. Gift certificates can be purchased for any amount all throughout the year and make wonderful stocking stuffers. A sign planting that idea is on display as well.

wertman photography, Prime outlets display-2

We encourage you to check the display out for yourself, please let us know what you think and remember to check in on Facebook throughout the life of the display for contests and drawings. At some point we will probably add a little information collection box as well.  For now, if you can guess where this alcove is at the outlets, or if you want to go and find it, leave the exact location in the comments below and everyone who gets it right, will be entered into a drawing for a free one hour session for up to 5 people, a $150 value.  We will draw a winner at the end of this week.


Please browse our galleries, new work is added on a routine basis and you just never know what you may find this time around. Call us today to secure a gift certificate in any amount that can be applied to sessions and as print credit. Gift certificates make the most wonderful stocking stuffers as well!

Fun with Flour

— 08/28/2015 by Monika Wertman —


Seniors are so much fun, I love working with them and love to discover what each of them loves to do.

Creating images to share their passion is very special and great fun.


Two weeks ago I worked with a senior girl who is not only beautiful on the outside but has a great spirit and was looking to do something different with her senior pictures. She is enrolled in the culinary program at one of the local high schools, loves her dog and baking. She is looking to go forward with her culinary passion and decided that that passion needed to be captured in her pictures.

wertman photography Haylee senior pictures-4


I roll with what my clients want, and the prospect of having fun with baking items, tools of the trade and some flour, invited some great ideas. Haylee was open to playing and trying something that was a bit outside of the box.


We started the day with images of her and her puppy, moved on to the yearbook pose and finally arrived at the culinary aspect. We started with some poses and then decided to get messy. Throwing flour into the air in front of a black backdrop with high speed lighting was fun, took a bit of tweaking and produced some great images.


The first time I asked her to throw up flour, Haylee grabbed a handful and I thought, after looking at the back of the camera, that we had overdone it, quite sure that I would toss that first try. We proceeded to tone it down and arrived where I thought we should be.

wertman photography Haylee senior pictures-1


While editing, I discovered that the first try created one or two that were very fun and would stay as one of her choices. She loves it! It is shown below.


One of the images with less flour tossed into the air also remained as a favorite and both really show her love of baking. She is happy, is having fun and in her element.

wertman photography Haylee senior pictures-2


After cleaning up we headed out to get some more formal images in her prom dress, which also rendered some great photos as you can tell in the sample below.

wertman photography Haylee senior pictures-3


Here at Wertman Photography we capture what our client wants, we go all out if needed and have a wonderful time doing so. I invite you to vote for your favorite of the two flour pictures, and for doing so you will be entered in a drawing for a free one hour session for up to 5 people, a $150 value.


Please browse our galleries and if you are not a client yet, give us a call today to schedule your session.

RN Graduate Joshua

— 05/01/2015 by Monika Wertman —

wertman photography-Joshua Dingle-Nursing graduate-2

Just recently I had the privilege to photograph a college RN Graduate from Hagerstown Community College.  When we discussed what he wanted to get out of his session, he told me that he did not get senior pictures in High School and would love to capture similar photos now.  I immediately thought of how much fun it would be if we could gain access to the nursing program classrooms and create some fun images there.  I made the suggestion and Joshua liked the idea as he is passionate about his chosen field of study.

After a bit of a scheduling struggle we were allowed into the unit and were able to play with the life-size robots and reenact some things an RN does on a regular basis.  wertman photography-Joshua Dingle-Nursing graduate-1

We had a beautiful day the day of the session, and were also able to capture some shots around campus in some favorite spots.

Usually when my clients think of senior pictures, they think of the high school variety, but either repeating the experience at the end of college or creating it for the first time is a valid and fun option.  Being allowed into the nursing unit at HCC offered some great opportunities to not only see the state of the art facility that has recently won some awards, but also get a glimpse at the rigorous program aspiring nurses such as Joshua undergo.

I was able to capture Joshua’s personality in a setting he loves which led to some wonderful shots outdoors in his suit as well.  Please look over some of my favorites from that session and remember that Wertman Photography will go anywhere you want us to shoot.  Different locations are fun and intriguing and one of our favorite things to explore.

Please explore our entire website for other fun locations we have taken our clients to for ideas and inspiration.  They can be found in any of the galleries or other blog posts.

looking ahead

looking ahead

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