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Calling All Ole Miss Seniors; Get the Best Possible Grad Portraits

These aren’t your daddy’s graduation photos anymore, folks. Senior portraits are taking on a personality of their own.
Instead of staid, hands-folded under your face pics, Lamar Norsworthy and Lauren Forsythe decided to go with a freelance photographer for their portraits.
“We wanted someone who would do good work, and Tristan’s Instagram page showed us that he would be the man for the job,” Norsworthy said.
Tristan Ruppert is an Ole Miss student who has been taking senior portraits since April. He has clients at Ole Miss and the University of Alabama-Birmingham. Much of his business comes from his Instagram page where he has close to 500 followers and over 200 posts.
“The page is growing, and these graduation portraits will help it continue to grow,” said Ruppert.
When we spoke to him, Ruppert had taken photos for more than 20 people this graduation season, and he had four more photo shoots for 28 people left to do.
Ruppert says there’s a secret to making each portrait special.
“Definitely personalize it. That’s the key actually to success in life is your interactions with individuals, you have to personalize everything.”
Ruppert will take pictures of students outside the buildings that house their degree programs, and he knows there are some “must-shoot locations” at Ole Miss.
“Everybody wants the base pictures; the Lyceum, the Circle, things along that line.”
Client Jennifer Ventura chose Ruppert because she likes the way he works with people.
“He’ll purposely try and just talk to them and make them laugh which makes the photos come out better because it makes it look more natural, but he’s also entertaining you at the same time,” Ventura said.
Ruppert has done a variety of senior portraits ranging from individual, couples and group photo shoots, including one for the entire Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority.
But Ruppert is not the only freelance photographer in town who benefits from graduation.
“This is my business and my full-time job,” said photographer Kayla Beatty. “I’ve had somewhere between 15-20 shoots so far since March.”
Like Ruppert, social media and word of mouth are Beatty’s best sources of business.
“I advertise through social media, mostly Instagram, I also have my website linked to my social media,” said Beatty.
Her Instagram page has almost three thousand followers, and her website provides information about pricing and styles of photo shoots available.
Original content contributed by Chance Robertson.  Edited by Kira Bettineschi.

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