Arts & Entertainment

Riandi Photography and the dazzling grad photo

Grad season is upon us, ladies and gentlemen. You know what that means: graduation photos, internship panic, job seeking and — let’s be honest — probably a great deal of shopping.

If you’re like me, then one of the most important preparations for graduation is having professional graduation photos taken to give to friends and family. Because hey, you didn’t study your ass off for four plus years to look like a troll in your graduation photos.

Or maybe you just want to let your inner model shine, no shame there. Either way, there’s going to be a lot of people looking for photographers and photo backdrops in the coming months.

If you’re looking for a local photographer with a spunky spirit and impeccable sixth sense when it comes to what makes amazing photos, in my experience Riandi Photography is a great option.

Tonya Jackson is the self-taught owner of Riandi Photography. In my time working with Jackson she has had great ideas for photoshoots, not to mention the skill to actually pull it off. She’s the type of photographer to follow your vision. I once actually laid down in the ocean to get a one of a kind photo and she was all for it. Now not saying she’s going to make you go swimming in 30 degree water for a photoshoot, but if you want to I’m sure she’d oblige.

Photography isn’t something new to Jackson’s family.”[Her] grandfather was a photographer during WWII, so [she always] had a passion in photography,” she says.

She started her career as a dental assistant, doing photography on the side. She “would turn [her] one bedroom apt into a studio, and [her] bathroom was the darkroom … back in the film days.” Jackson now has a commercial studio with many different backdrops and sets to choose from, or you could go outside and find your own back drop!

Through many hours and mistakes, Jackson has learned and improved her craft. She says she feels like it took many years to refine her skill and better her style — she believes in the importance of always learning and continuing to improve.

Alex Nickerson a graduating senior says she does“want graduation photos but they’re usually expensive” and that she will probably take photos with friends.  Luckily for the average college student, Randi Photography offers many affordable grad photo packages that will not force you into a strictly Top Ramen diet. She says she offers mini sessions that are shorter as well as payment plans that many other clients utilize successfully.

If you’re not an upcoming graduate, she also does phenomenal shoots of all kinds. Family, modeling, weddings and even boudoir.

Jackson is no doubt a great photographer. Besides being skilled, she’s just a good, fun person to be around. Posing for pictures isn’t everyone’s specialty, so having someone to put you at ease about your model face is invaluable.