Hey, you know what would be fun? Turning the high school senior picture business on its ear.

I feel bad for the the school’s contract photographer. They have to bear the burden of pushing tens of thousands of seniors past their lens in a matter of a few short months. They don’t have the luxury of spending 60-120 minutes with one senior and stretching their creativity, or better yet, allowing the senior to stretch THEIRS.

This is where Newsome’s Studio excels. We’re purposely revolutionizing the look of our high school senior portraiture by finding that sweet spot of creativity that every senior has, and coaxing it out of them, then stretching our own creative genes in post-production to build what Newsome’s has dubbed as “The Bumper Shot.”

A Bumper Shot is an industry term in television. It describes the still shot of the host of a TV show that follows the commercial break and “bumps” up against the return of the show. It’s typically on the screen for all of three seconds.

The most famous user of the Bumper Shot is Saturday Night Live. The staff photographer responsible for the now iconic images for the last 20 years has been Mary Ellen Matthews. Every guest host and every musical guest on SNL spends time each week in front of Mary Ellen’s lens, doing what they do best… performing! Granted, she has access to a world-class prop department, a world-class wardrobe department, and photographing world-class performers, so one might expect her images to be incredible, however, her work is her own. Her images have now developed into what I believe is one of the most underappreciated bodies of photographic imagery ever created.

Giving Mary Ellen Matthews all the respect she’s due and then some, I’ve developed my own knock off of her Bumper Shots for high school seniors. One of the differences is, my prop/wardrobe department is in my client’s home. I ask all my seniors to bring me 4-5 objects from home, and it doesn’t really matter what it is because in a creative collaboration between both of us, they will improv with those items to create a series of memorable bumper “seeds.” I then take those seeds and put my own spin on them in post-production to finalize their very own personalized Bumper Shots. Trust me, I’ve seen everything from a roll of toilet paper to a lampshade, so if you’ve got a sense of humor, you’re on the right track.

So, with all of that said… I don’t just encourage you to think outside the box when it comes your senior pictures, I encourage you to stomp that box into oblivion, shake it out, and help usher in the new look for senior portraiture with your very own Bumper Shots at Newsome’s Studio of Photography!