Des Moines, Iowa - Photography and Portraits for the Modern High School Senior.

I’m Jill Vander Zwaag.

I’m looking at you and I love what I see. 

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I make portraits of extraordinary high school seniors — like you.

I create an environment where you can be yourself - silly, moody, emotional, playful - and I document who you are in that incredible moment so you never forget it.

My ideas are tailored just for you and who you are.

Together, we’ll create images you can’t wait to show everyone.


In my nine years as a photographer, I’ve learned three things:

photo shoots rarely go exactly as planned (just how I like it!);

finding the unique beauty in the seniors I photograph is what I love best about what I do;

and no two photo shoots are ever the same.  

Most clients tell me that they’re uncomfortable in front of the camera.

If you’re nodding along and whispering, “Me too!” I’ve got you covered. I’m with you every step of the way to make sure you’re comfortable and look completely natural, as if we were hanging out together (what I like to call the “unposed pose”).

All you need to do is show up; I’m a pro at bringing out your personality and showing you all the ways you shine. 


I’ve photographed over 700 seniors, and I will document the real you in a way that is truthful and honest in photographs that you’ll love.

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I believe in unique, relaxed, and non-over processed photographs, which is why we get to know each other before your photo shoot to discuss what you hope to get from your session. 

I’ve learned how to improvise when the weather turns or a location isn’t ideal, but my favorite thing to do is spend time at the end of each session relaxing, playing, and experimenting.

Because that’s where real magic can happen. 


If “predictable,” “posed,” and “staged” aren’t on your portrait wish list, I’m the photographer for you.

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In this world where everyone seems to only show the highlight reels of their lives on social media, I believe we’ve all become too focused on comparison and perfection.

Let’s get real, together.


Want to know more?

Have you checked out the details page yet?

Find out more about the Jill VZ experience, or contact me today to book your session!


Who you are is a portrait waiting to happen; who you are right now is reflected in photographs you can’t stop looking at.  

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