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Natural Awakenings Indianapolis

Imaginative, Inspiring H.S. Senior Portraits: by Yelena: Photographer of Joy

If you find most high school senior portraits uninspiring, consider the expertise and fresh perspective of Yelena Yahontova, of Yelena: Photographer of Joy, in Bloomington. Mostly known for her soulful and magical portraits of families, children and women, she’s especially looking to assist high school seniors this autumn who dare to dream of nothing less than their senior portraits having the touch of magic.

She says her mission is to “create soulful, magical and joyful portraits for seniors that bring a smile to every time you look at them.” The elements in the process include “You, nature’s exquisite, integral help, a lot of talent and a lot of fun.”

The “magical fairy godmother” also has a collection of clothing, costumes and accessories that resembles a princess’s closet—vintage dresses, modern evening gowns, hats, flower headers, shawls, veils, and more. “Formal, posed, studio portrait photography has been done for almost 200 years. For me it was not inspiring,” she says. Instead she draws on her life in Belarus and the Slavic fairy tales of her childhood. A published poet with a master’s degree in humanities and a keen interest in mythology, she brings an eclectic perspective. Her portraits of senior girls look like “they have just jumped out of a fairytale book page.”

She believes beautiful senior portraits make a subject feel beautiful, important and special. If a senior girl loves her portraits, it helps raise her self-esteem. Above all, these portraits will be cherished for many, many years to come in one’s family.

Location: 924 W. 17th St. For more information or to make an appointment, call 812-333-8178 or visit
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