Updated: Jul 17

Born in 1981, I spent all of my teen years in the 90’s. When Clueless came out I was obsessed, not with just the fashion, but the music, the cast, the concept made all of my 14-year old dreams come true. And here we are 25 years later, and the 90’s classic is still one of my favs.

Let’s take a step back and flashback to January of this year. I started brainstorming ideas for editorial shoots for my 2021 Senior Rep Team. I knew I wanted something bright and fun, but honestly I was clueless (pun totally intended). I felt like so many things had already been done and any concept would look unoriginal.

I happened to stumble across the fact that this year marks the 25th Anniversary of my personal teen fav, Clueless (the movie was released on June 19, 1995). Aside from being completely obsessed with this movie, I hadn't seen any editorials that resembled this concept, but I wasn't sure if my class of 2021 reps would think the concept was cool or lame. I mean, they were born 7 years AFTER the movie's release, but when I told them about the concept, I was shocked at how many said the movie was one of their favorites!

What I really loved most about the Clueless concept is the fact that here we are 25 years after its release, and the fashion trends that were made popular by this cult classic have made a total comeback - plaid, co-ords, tiny backpacks, fanny packs, are all back and better than ever!

When I started planning for the shoot, I knew that I didn't want it to be like Halloween with each senior "dressed up" in an exact replica of the iconic Clueless looks. Because many of the trends from the movie are still popular today it was easy to find similar looks on hot online boutiques. When stylist, Danielle Sten-Guillermo and I met to finalize the looks, we worked to give nods to the ensembles in the movie, but updated them a little to portray how teens would rock these styles in 2020.

I was adamant about using only seniors on my 2021 Senior Rep Team, so I knew I couldn't feature every character from the film, but I wanted to emulate the looks of the different style subsets in the movie.

We were supposed to shoot back in April, but with the Covid outbreak, we were forced to push our shoot to July. Trust me, there was a point that I thought this all wouldn’t happen before the actual anniversary date which was my goal from the beginning.

We kicked off our shoot in studio and then went to a local high school to obtain some shots straight from the movie. I really wanted to incorporate some of the iconic scenes, so I'm thankful for my amazing friends who let me borrow their kick ass white Jeep Wrangler. We had a blast re-creating some of the scenes with Cher's epic driving skills.

So snaps to all of my Class of 2021 Senior Reps for helping make my vision come to life. And a HUGE thank you to my amazing creative team and some of the brands that are killing the style game in 2020:

Concept + Photography // Desiree Ortman Photography

Stylist // Danielle Sten-Guillermo

Make-up // Rachael Wontrop, Fleurt Beauty Company

Hair // Meaghan Whalen, Fleurt Beauty Company

Calligraphy // Whimsy & Ink Studio

Marvin the Martian artwork // Patrick Ortman (my talented hubby)

Stickers // RedBubble.com

Coffee Cups // Z Vault, Bel Air

Wardrobe // 40/Love, Nasty Gal, GUESS, Amazon, Marc Jacobs

Shoes // Nike, Converse, Reebok, Vans

Oh and don't forget to scroll down to get #cluedin on how we're going to channel our inner Cher and do some good!


Also, in true Cher fashion, we want to use our popularity for a good cause and do something good for humanity. We're going to give away this custom, hand lettered jean jacket by Whimsy & Ink Studio! But that's not it, for every 10 entries, we will donate $5 to VolunTeen, a community-based youth service organization for Harford County teenagers.


1. Make sure you're following me on IG @desireeortmanphotography 2. Share a screenshot of your fav image in this blog post or my Clueless post on Instagram from July 16, 2020 on your Instagram stories

3. Don't forget to tag me @desireeortmanphotography

Winner will be drawn at random on July 23, 2020 after 9:00pm and announced on my Instagram on July 24, 2020. Open to continental US residents only. Shipping included. This giveaway is run by Desiree Ortman Photography. This giveaway is not sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Instagram and/or other brands included. Desiree Ortman Photography will donate up to $500 to VolunTeen. VolunTeen is a community-based Lions Clubs youth service organization for Harford County teenagers, centered in Bel Air. It is teen formed and teen ran. Whether the purpose is to fulfill a community service requirement for school, support a cause, or to just gain an invaluable experience, their mission is to create opportunities for teenagers to give back to their community. For more information on VolunTeen visit volunteen.us.

Next up in my tribute to my 2020 Seniors is Lizzie. Lizzie was one of my 2020 Senior Reps this past year. This group of girls will always hold a special place in my heart because they were part of my very first rep team. I just loved getting to know them all this past year and I'm so sad that they didn't get to finish their senior year like they should. Luckily, we'll be gathering (don't worry it's only 6 of them) next week to say farewell with a fun little impromptu photoshoot. I can't wait to see them all again!

Lizzie really wanted all the Fall vibes for her shoot, so we did Part 1 of her shoot last November. The collection she chose allowed for 2 locations, but it was a little too chilly for a tutu, so we had plans of doing an indoor ballet shoot after the holidays, and then.... Covid hit and we were stuck waiting it out until restrictions were lifted. Well last weekend was my first weekend back to work and we finally finished Part 2 of Lizzie's senior session. Since she missed her prom and her graduation, we made sure to dedicate a portion of her session to celebrating these milestones. After I sent Lizzie's sneak peek over to her mom, she told me,

"Lizzie was so excited to get pictures in her prom dress. In any regular year, she would not have had this opportunity photobably to get this "princess" photoshoot." It helps to make up for the loss of prom."

I'm so thankful I could bring even the tiniest bit of joy during a not so joyful time.

In the fall, Lizzie is off to Penn State University where she will major in Early Childhood Education.

Part 1:

hair + make-up: Fleurt Beauty Company

Part 2:

Back again for another 2020 Senior Spotlight. Before all of this Covid craziness, I was starting to blog some of my 2020 seniors, and then well, life happened, but I'm slowly catching up. If you missed my post from last week, make sure you check it out!

This week, I'm highlighting Sierra who is graduating from Edgewood High School in Harford County, MD. Fun fact, Sierra's mom, Nicole, was my JV Cheerleading coach at C. Milton Wright High School over 20 years ago... man does that make me feel old. I'm so grateful for social media for allowing me to stay in contact with so many people these days. Nicole was actually one of my very first paying clients. I did her anniversary shoot as I was just getting my business up and running. Her older daughter was my very first senior EVER! I'm so thankful she's trusted me from the get-go. Before I had the nice equipment I do now... before I specialized in seniors. She's also sent so many others my way and for that I'm forever grateful.

Nicole contacted me last summer after seeing another session I'd done at Longwood Gardens and asked if we could do Sierra's shoot there. Truthfully, I've lived an hour from this beautiful location forever and last year was my first time visiting (woops)! Since then, I've done 3 shoots there and it has quickly become one of my favorite places for portrait photography. There are really just so many options!

I seriously couldn't narrow Sierra's gallery of over 190 images down, so this post is a bit longer than others.

Next year Sierra will be staying local to the area and attending Harford Community College. Congrats, pretty girl, on this next chapter. I am sure it will be amazing! xo

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