Answers to the most frequently asked questions…

When should I book my session?

Senior sessions are typically scheduled June-October. For your choice of dates, plan to book at least 2-3 months in advance, and we will finalize all your session details after your session is booked. Although it is best to book in advance, last minute openings do pop up, so it never hurts to ask!

What should I expect from my session planning?

Your senior session is an investment and should be a seamless and relaxed experience. Every session begins with a pre-session consultation. I am here to help you plan the best possible Senior session from beginning to end. From getting to know your interests and what makes you smile, to finding the perfect locations to best fit your style, to helping with wardrobe planning, to answering all of your questions… I want you to feel 100% confident every step of the way!

How do I choose a location?

I have numerous favorite spots around the Des Moines area where I like to shoot! If you have a style preference, please let me know the style of pictures you are wanting in your pre-session consultation. I will then come up with the perfect locations with the best lighting and backgrounds for your portraits!

Should I get professional makeup and hair styling?

Yes! While it’s not required for your session, I highly recommend professional makeup and hairstyling for Senior girls. Not only is it a fun experience to feel pampered for your Senior session, professional makeup and hair styling translates well on camera. I work with only the best makeup artists, who will do an amazing job of bringing out your natural beauty without over doing it.

What should I bring to my session?

As we prepare for your session, I will go over all of this in detail, but for the most part, please make sure to bring ALL clothing, jewelry, hats, shoes, accessories (hats, jackets, scarves, etc.) that you plan to wear. Make-up for touch-ups and a brush also come in handy.

What will my session be like?

Expect to laugh, have fun and even play some games. Of course we’ll take some photos with you smiling at the camera, but we’ll take loads of candid shots too! We will strive to make you feel completely comfortable and confident in front of the camera and to capture the real, beautiful YOU! I will be there every step of the way to gently guide you into the most flattering poses, so your photos turn out amazing!

Where will I change outfits?

I bring a Car Cabana to each session. The Car Cabana drapes over the back of any hatchback vehicle to create your own personal dressing room anywhere!

What if it rains on the day of my session?

Iowa weather is unpredictable to say the least, and there is always the chance that a bad weather day pops up. When I have outdoor sessions scheduled, I keep a close eye on the weather forecast. I will be in touch the day of your session, if I think we need to reschedule.

How long until I see the photos?

Your ordering appointment will most likely be scheduled within 2-3 weeks after the date of your session.

Are digital files included in the session fee?

Your senior session fee includes the time and talent of the photographer, as well as 35-50 images to order from. All digital images and print products are sold separately and are not included in your session fee. Prints begin at $190 and Collections begin at $990. Unlimited digital retouching is included with each print purchase. Please inquire for complete pricing details.

Is there a minimum purchase required?

There is no minimum purchase requirement for sessions. After your session, we will schedule an in-person ordering appointment. I offer only the highest quality photography and gorgeous, One-of-a-kind print products, and I know you will fall in love with your Senior portraits. You only buy the images and print products you LOVE!

What is an ordering appointment?

Your ordering appointment is when I finally get the chance to show you the images from your Senior session. You are going to be AMAZED at the beautiful photos we created during your session! I’m sure there will be some smiles, a few laughs and even some happy tears from Mom and Dad when you see how grown up and awesome you look. During the ordering appointment you’ll select the images from your session, as well as any print products you would like to purchase. I will take the time to show you how turn digital files into one of a kind, quality art pieces for your home and gifting. All orders will be taken the day of your ordering appointment.

Where do ordering appointments take place?

My private studio is located among the artists at Mainframe Studios. The address is 900 Keosaqua Way, Studio 457, Des Moines, Iowa. Mainframe Studio is conveniently located off of I-235 and Keosaqua Way, next to Methodist Medical Center. Studio parking is available, and Mainframe is handicapped accessible.

Do you offer family sessions?

Absolutely, I do! Michelle Lovell Photography is a full service studio, offering not only high school Senior sessions, but also sessions for families and children, maternity and newborn. Please view information on all of my photography services at

As always, don’t hesitate to contact me with any additional questions!

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Serving Central Iowa areas including: Des Moines, West Des Moines, Waukee, Ankeny, Johnston, Clive, Urbandale and Altoona

The senior portrait experience in Des Moines!