November 9, 2017

Sydney's Senior Photo Shoot Was a Blast - Paso Robles High Class of 2018

Atascadero Senior Portrait Photographer - Studio 101 West Photography
Sydney's senior photo shoot was so much fun. She brought some great clothing selections, a basketball and two of her best friends to the shoot. One of her friends, Amanda made it on our wall from last year's seniors.

Paso Robles Senior Portrait Photographer - Indoor Studio Session - Studio 101 West Photography
 Sydney has a terrific smile and was not afraid to show off her braces.

San Luis Obispo Senior Portrait Photographer - Indoor Studio Session - Studio 101 West Photography
She brought about seven outfits to her combination studio and outdoor shoot so we had plenty of great choices.
Paso Robles Senior Portrait Basketball Photographer - Indoor Studio Session - Studio 101 West Photography
I tell people to come in with ideas and props and this is one of the poses Sydney showed me at the beginning of her session. It turned out to be one of my favorites.
Atascadero Senior Portrait Photographer - Indoor Studio Session - Studio 101 West Photography
Having your friends gawk at you during the shoot doesn't work for every shot but it makes for some fun outtakes.

Paso Robles Senior Portrait - Friends on Location - Studio 101 West Photography

Atascadero Senior Portrait Photographer - Location Portriat Session - Studio 101 West Photography

Paso Robles Letterman Jacket Senior Portrait Photographer - Studio 101 West Photography
It's always good to get a couple of shots in your letterman's jacket to show off your accomplishments and your school colors.

Paso Robles Senior Portrait Photographer - Outdoor Portrait Session - Studio 101 West Photography
I always look for new locations on our photo walks. I found this spot because the city is building a foot bridge at one of my other locations so we used this place instead.

Atascadero Senior Portrait Photographer - On Location - Studio 101 West Photography
I encourage seniors to bring a friend or two to their photo shoot. In this case one of her friends played music on her phone during the shoot, and that made it even more fun.

Paso Robles Senior Portrait Pictures - Location Photoshoot - Studio 101 West Photography

Here is a quick slideshow of Sydney's senior photo shoot.
To see more of our portrait work check out

September 21, 2017

Senior Portrait Yearbook Deadlines for Atascadero and Paso Robles High Schools

It's not too late to help make your senior year great! If you are a senior at Atascadero or Paso Robles High you still have a few weeks left to get an awesome senior photo shoot before your school's yearbook deadline. 

Atascadero High School's senior portrait yearbook deadline for the class of 2018 is October 6th. Paso Robles High School's yearbook deadline is October 20th.

atascadero senior yearbook portraits

At Studio 101 West we shoot both studio and outdoor portraits so you have a choice of cool backgrounds and dramatic lighting, or one of our favorite outdoor locations. And since we are a real studio conveniently located in downtown Atascadero we are easy to find any time.

paso robles senior yearbook portraits
Studio 101 West can give you the once-in-a-lifetime senior portrait experience that can help make your senior year great. Session times go fast so call now to save a time before it's too late.

paso robles senior portrait photographer

templeton high school senior portrait photographer

atascadero senior portrait photographers

Give us a call to check on available times or visit our website for more info.

September 12, 2017

Senior Portrait Review From a Real Mom - Atascadero Senior Portrait Photographer

I just got this amazing review from one of my high school senior portrait clients that sums up the experience that I try to give everyone of my customers. We honestly couldn't have written our own marketing any better. It is one thing to get people we know to say these amazing things, but to have someone completely new to our studio say what we hope every customer feels is an absolute WIN for us!
Atascadero High School Senior Portraits - Studio 101 West Photography
 "I want to start by saying I had written an even longer masterpiece regarding our Senior Photo experience here on yelp and lost it. This is a condensed version, unfortunately, as I can't say enough.... so I will summarize.
This studio is an amazing place to visit in the heart of rustic Atascadero's downtown district. As you walk in the first thing that strikes you is the amazing photos hung all over the place. From people to places and things, pets and families, weddings it is just a wonderful display of Dennis work. In addition, you will marvel at the amazing collection of vintage camera equipment that line the shelves, it's like visiting a camera museum. Then to the portrait studio. . . soft light, nice music and chocolate. . . where Dennis invites you in as a guest, where you sit on the big comfy sofa and talk about your ideas for a Senior Portrait. Dennis has a large, very large screen where he shows you some ideas and past work. He then goes over the clothing choices, determines if you want to use a prop or not..either from items he has in the studio to personal items academics, sports achievements and even hobbies can be what helps define your photos. As my daughter is a dancer we were thrilled to have the opportunity to shoot a few in the adjacent dance studio. . .and they are beautiful capturing my baby at the ballet bar, on the floor, and gazing out of the awesome windows this building has plus the large mirrors can help create a unique photo.  Then for the indoor, traditional Senior. . . .action. . .with the backdrops and all of the lightening and equipment... anyone would feel nothing less than famous for that moment. I was able to enjoy each shot pop up on Dennis computer as he was taking them and they took my breath away. From there we used the amazing opportunities right outside in the downtown Atascadero area with rustic buildings, hidden stairwells, brick work and the Sunken Garden within a 2 minute walk where a variety of shots can be taken and we took them. Dennis will go anywhere to do the outside shoot but we were happy with the options right outside the door. We had a wonderful time and felt as if Dennis was a friend of ours at the end. He is easygoing and fun to work with. Upon returning to view the proofs, Dennis puts them up on that big big larger than life screen and helps you to narrow it down. This was hard. . .for us anyway because every photo is worthy of the wall. . . and if your one of the lucky ones. . .this studio can get you there. . .on the wall outside where Dennis displays several of his favorite, larger than real life Seniors displayed on an 8ft. print for advertising (great advertising) but more importantly for the towns own enjoyment. This is 2017. . .give Dennis a call. . .the prices are competitive, the location is amazing, the studio is worth stopping by to visit. Call Studio 101 West if you get the chance and book early for upcoming Seniors of San Luis Obispo County. Thank you."
Paula Raught, Atascadero, CA.

Atascadero Senior Portrait Photographer - Studio 101 West Photography

San Luis Obispo Senior Portraits - Studio 101 West Photography

Paso Robles Senior Portraits - Studio 101 West Photography

Templeton Senior Portrait Photographer - Studio 101 West Photography
See this review and others on our Yelp page. You might have to look in the non recommended reviews, at the bottom of the page, to see this one right now. It's 100% real though.

Check out my website or call for more information on fun, professional portrait photography by Dennis at Studio 101 West.

September 1, 2017

Senior Portrait Photography - A Mom's Perspective

Senior Portrait Photographer - Atascadero Senior Portraits - Studio 101 West Photography
Studio 101 West Photography has been shooting senior high portraits for over 20 years, but it wasn't until my 17 year old baby needed her portraits done that I fully understood the "mom dilemma." I may be in a unique position, since my husband, Dennis Swanson, is a professional photographer, but getting it all taken care of is still a chore even for the most organized mom. Besides that, if you're not married to a professional photographer you have tons of choices out there. So, how do you pick the right photographer AND be assured that the high school gets the correct picture and you get amazing prints and albums of your senior high student?

Here's a few things to think about:
1. Does the photographer know how to pose the subject? Working with people and understanding what makes someone look relaxed in front of the camera is a learned skill. I am always amazed at how Dennis can direct someone in their stance or head position and have the end results be perfect – every time. He knows exactly what works and what doesn't. And he's not wasting the client's time trying to figure it out.
Senior Pictures - Outdoor Location Photographer - Senior High Photographer - Studio 101 West Photography

2. What makes a picture a portrait? A good photographer knows and understands lighting and composition. When I am looking through photographers' work, I want to see portraits that aren't all blown out and over exposed, ya know those really bright, sun drenched ones that are so popular right now. They may look cool in a magazine ad this year, but they aren't going to show who my daughter is ten years from now. I want a portrait that shows me their face and eyes without a busy, distracting background. There are so many photographers out there that shoot pictures that are more about the background than the subject. Why? Because they don't know how to pose the subject. This doesn't mean that the portrait can't feel contemporary or relaxed. It certainly can and still be a great portrait, if done correctly.
High School Senior Portraits - Senior High Photographer - Class of 2018 - Studio 101 West Photography

3. Will I get my order? I am very disturbed by the people that tell us they never got their pictures. Please, please, please check out your photographer's reputation. If you are just having a friend take your pictures, remember that all you are going to get is pictures. If money is an issue remember; you will NEVER get this time back with your child and most professional photographers offer great deals at the beginning of summer to help save you money. Every penny you spend on professional photography is money well spent. You will forever hold a piece of time that you can never get back.

Atascadero Senior Portrait Photographer - Senior Pictures - Studio 101 West Photography

Check out our list of school deadlines that you should be aware of: North County School Deadlines

For more information about booking us for your senior portrait session check out our website at: or call us at 805/460-6300.

This article is a re-post from 2014, with new images.

Yearbook Deadlines for 2018 High School Seniors - San Luis Obispo North County

If you have a 2018 senior it's important to know that the deadline to get your portrait in the yearbook is usually the first few weeks of school. Why? Because the portrait sections of the yearbook are the first ones to be turned into the yearbook publisher. The rest of the yearbook consists of events and candied photos taken throughout the year, so it makes sense that the portraits come first.
High School Senior Portrait - Studio Portrait - Rustic Ghost Sign Background - Studio 101 West Photography
Good senior portraits are not just for the yearbook, they are also used for graduation announcements, memory books, gifts for family and friends, and to commemorate this major milestone in the senior's life. That's why it's important to choose an established photographer who can create amazing photos while making the senior feel good about themselves during the photo shoot. Our years of experience at helping people relax in front of the camera helps us capture the essence of each senior during this special time in their lives. Our style at Studio 101 West is to create portraits that are intensely focused on the eyes and face. Its important to us that you be able to see the eyes clearly, the skin tones have good color, and the background is not distracting.
Senior Pictures - Outdoor location portrait - Class of 2018 Senior Portrait - Studio 101 West Photography

If your senior's school is in northern San Luis Obispo County, check below for your deadline.

Yearbook Portrait Deadlines for the Class of 2018:
Templeton High School senior portrait yearbook deadline is September 15th
Mission Prep High School senior portrait yearbook deadline is September 15th Atascadero High School senior portrait yearbook deadline is October 6th
Paso Robles High School senior portrait yearbook deadline is October 20th
For more information on Senior Portraits check out our website or call our studio at 805/460-6300.
Senior Portrait - Studio lighting - custom background for Senior Portraits - San Luis Obispo Senior Portraits - Studio 101 West Photography

Atascadero High School Senior Photographer - Senior Pictures - Studio 101 West Photography
Check out our related article on "A Mom's Dilemma"