SENIOR MIX

(2 paragraphs, and then it’s 40-something photos. Please give them a minute to load, after opening, before scrolling. )

I’ve been shooting high school seniors for about 13 years now.  Naturally, my work has really evolved since my early years. (Thank goodness.)  I’ve always taken a limited number seniors each season, to be able to give each individual my creative best, because it’s the creative process I love, and those customized portraits that reflect my seniors true personality, that they deserve.  Shooting every senior in the same spot, in the same style, and positioned the same way, is far from my style!  I’m not a volume photographer, and I won’t ever care to be.  I want to get a good feeling for who they are on the inside, so it shines on the outside. They have dreams, and passions, and souls.  Their portraits should reflect who they are as a person. Not look like a replica of every other senior’s photos. It’s my own individual style of working with my seniors, and creating portraits that stand out and highlight their uniqueness, and what is important to them, that has helped me succeed as a photographer, and given my business a name in this field, in my area.  I’m blessed that there have been so many clients over the years who have wanted to work with me, because they could see, and truly understand, my mission, beyond the yearbook photo.

Because I invest so much creative thought process into my seniors, I needed to take a season hiatus last year.  It was the first senior season I took off, but it was necessary for me to focus on important things in my life. This year, I am lining a few seniors up again for this summer, and there is some unique & exciting stuff involved!  Although some of these seniors have posts in this blog that are a partial collection of their photos only, I wanted to share with you a mix from the past few years.  In viewing them remember….they are not not lumped together as youth at this age.  While they all (except 1, was a year later or so) have the common thread of it being their high school graduation year, they are as unique as their photos, with their own personal dreams and gifts.  It’s my belief that God has a life plan for each one of them, individually, and it’s up to each of them to find it.  Led by their passions, using their gifts, as the powerful tools they were designed and born with, to do so.  It’s my hope that I am some part of sending them off on their way, into the world to find their way, believing in gift of who they are, like no other, and believing that their life has a divine purpose, meant for only them to live .

Thanks for looking.


Brittany / A Senior, Graduated.

Meet Brittany.

Brittany already graduated from high school this past spring.  She is going for nursing too!  (I’ve had a few nurses-to-be in the last couple of years.)  Her mom is a nurse.  Brittany called me too late to book in time to get a year book photo from me too, but she didn’t care.  She really just wanted to work with me,  to get a collection of photos of her as a senior, (so important, I can’t say it enough…), and didn’t care when or how I could fit her in!

Well…..O.K.!  That works for me!

These are the kind of people I love to work with.  The ones who want to hire me for my style of work.  So I made it work for her, and we actually worked together for 3 photo shoots, over the period of 3 seasons!

She wanted my Senior Story Package, which is basically 3 locations, lots of clothing changes, the works.  We used a some urban locations, my studio, and a beautiful horse farm she had access too! (It was a dream, shooting at the horse farm.)

She had a LOT of photos, from all locations, in the end.  Too many.  This is only a small handful I am sharing with you.

These 2 above, may just be my favorite senior shots of the whole season.  I think she is stunning. Brittany was very interesting to work with, because she often had a very, very commercial feel to her.  Through my eyes, anyway.  Can’t you see these shots some Sears or JC Penney catalog, or something?

Maybe it’s me.

But another interesting thing about her, was that she was quite like a chameleon.  In different shots, when I angled her differently, or I let the light fall on her differently, she could look like a totally different (beautiful) girl.

These boots of hers…..they have history.  That’s all I need to hear.  (Well, actually I like to hear the whole story. lol)

I love  it when my subjects include meaningful things to them.  It inspires me to be creative and fun.

Is anyone else singing “These Boots Are Made For Walkin’ ” now?

I started singing it, while I was shooting it.  I do, every time I see this shot.

It stuck.

Look at those eyes.

I love this head shot.  This is her ‘natural hair’, Folks.

Oh what I wouldn’t do, to have it.

She does all kinds of things with her hair, as you’ll see in the upcoming shots.  But, if I had her hair, I would wear it like this every single day.

O.K., maybe on hot and humid days like today, I’d put it up in a clippy sometimes.

But only if I was suffering from the heat.

In these above and below, she reminds me of some super model….Stephanie Seymore, or someone like that?

I don’t know.  I don’t know much about the models out there, but she looks awfully familiar, as in she really reminds me of someone commercial.

If you know who,  help me out here, People!

These things keep me awake at night.

She definitely wanted some black and whites.

That made me happy.  I love doing black and white too.

Mixing it up makes me happy.

I love worn and  ripped jeans.  I always have.

The real ones, that came to be from actually wearing them.

Not the silly faux kind you could find in stores, and still can today.

I can tell the difference.  You can’t fool me.

My own ripped jeans drove my mother CrAzY.  She thought I looked like a bum.

They were comfortable, and I thought they looked pretty cool too.

I’m an artist, through and through.  Conservative in many ways, but I somehow still shock people today.

By accident, of course.

Brittany is an artist too. She can really draw and paint well!

And she wears ripped, worn jeans.

I understand you, Brittany.

Here we are, at the horse farm

She’s a bare-faced beauty, isn’t she?

I got so many beautiful shots, with the horses in the background too.

But really….there were just too many shots to share.

And how many would you really want to see, anyway?

But you get the idea.

I love to work with seniors.  Not just to take their photos, but for the opportunity to talk with them.   It truly is an opportunity, ; ),  and I always feel honored, when they open up to me.  When they share more of who they are inside, and listen some too. It’s good.

I always feel a little bit, like God sent them to me, to photograph, for a reason.  I am mindful of that, in conversation and photographing.   Sometimes, it turns out to be a big job, beyond business.  Yet in many ways, it’s always personal to me.

It’s a special place these kids are at…..graduating from high school.

They are on the brink of chasing their dreams, or going out into the world, to find out what they are.  They are who they are, at this age.  There are countless factors, that formed their unique selves as they are at this stage in their life.  It’s important to to capture this time, in detail.

Because only then,  can they ever look back, and see how they have grown.  They have so much growing to do ahead of them, in many ways, as their spirit unfolds.  As they approach adulthood.  It’s a beautiful journey ahead of them, full of more learning, through life, and God’s path set for them.  This I know.  I’m excited for them.  And happy to have had the opportunity, to freeze this youthful year for them, that is filled with so many special memories they’ll want to remember.

I hope you enjoyed seeing these.

We have lots coming up around here, including more Give-Aways! (See Home Page Note today.)  I also have the sweetest newborn blessing I can share with you right here, soon.

Would you like that?

Blaire – A Senior

There is always collectively so much work to share here in this section, between Michael and I, and yet it has ultimately become the most neglected area of the blog.  I have lots of photo sessions I never did share here, but always could still. But I know I have opted many times, to post in the other sections as an alternative most every time, and I’ve figured out why.   We haven’t really been able to read, if the posts that fit into this section, are something you all, as general blog visitors,  enjoy seeing and reading about, or not.  ??? While many do visit it when we post, even less feedback is left here, than the other sections.  So if you would please, could you let us know what your thoughts are on sharing our work here?  Michael is in the midst of his busiest season of the year with signs, boats, and truck lettering.  I am heading into my own busy season as we approach summer, with my portrait work.  So it is helpful to know if it is worthwhile to share much here, and/or how often. We would SO appreciate hearing from you, regarding this puzzle, whether in the comments or by e-mail.  After, our blog, is in part for our readers

Meanwhile, this is Blaire.  Beautiful, isn’t she?  She is graduating this week, I believe.  Blaire will be off to college to pursue her dream of becoming a…………… teacher, I think.  I’m questioning my memory here….I get my seniors mixed up sometimes.  Anyway, I did this big senior photo session of her just a few weeks ago, and this is a small handful of her photos.  We used the locations of her family’s beautiful yard, and then a boardwalk/waters nearby, where she spent a lot of her childhood growing up.

Only a couple years ago, I did her beautiful sister’s senior session.  Her name is Alexandra. Her locations were their yard also, and the very old cemetery down their street. No, she did not grow up playing there.  lol. But it was such a cool place, with the old iron gate, etc. Love places like that.  The shot on the right of the duo above, was my favorite of the session.  Of course, the quality of the image is low here on the blog, but the actual image is awesome.  She had perfect milky skin. Loved her attire for this setting. Anyway, these girls parents are fine folks indeed.  Their mother, is our eye doctor.

My client, in this case their mother, really loves my black and white work.  She has pretty good ideas of what she wants, and yet really trusts me as the professional. I love clients who are really enthusiastic and excited about the whole process, and she is just like that.  She loves contrasty images, and that is just my style, which she was so drawn to, and so hired me.   One of her optometry offices is right beside a pediatrician group practice, of which my children portrait work is displayed all throughout.  However, she also loves to see just a few in color.

So this is Blaire again, and we are in her beautiful backyard.

Their backyard feels almost….magical to me. I’m quite sure little fairies live there.  In part, because of the beautiful life-size doll house amidst lovely gardens!  What lucky little girls, growing up as sisters close in age, with this charming little doll house, to make the most of their imagination with.  The outside is painted a celery green, the roof is shingled, it has a charming front door, and yes, the inside is completely finished as well!  Look at the curtains in the windows!  Oh……I forgot for a minute there that the post is about my lovely senior subject.  But do you love that dollhouse or what?  I think it’s a dream. I want one.  So what if I’m in my 40’s?  What’s that got to do with the price of eggs, in France?  I would use the house as a drawing and painting studio.  And for some of that q-word, when needed.  Quiet.

The front yard is just as beautiful.  I love the stone walls and steps.  More flowers and beautiful landscaping.

The boardwalk is in the downright CHARMING village of Sandwich.  I love villages.  I can’t tell you how much.  I would live in Sandwich, if I could. In a very old house.

As I said, Blaire grow up at this boardwalk.  She used to jump off the bridge into the water!

I love doing all I can, to make senior’s photos very personal.  While this work session is actually far more traditional than my typical work, I still enjoyed it very much, and they did indeed have a very personal touch to work with:  Their late grandfather’s name is part of the boardwalk, and we incorporated it.

This shot above was the one they loved the very most.  Big portrait of this one.  They also ordered a 12 Image Session Album, and several 8×10’s.  The same exact order, and album, as for her sister 2 years ago.  The albums are gorgeous.  They are black leather, matted pages of 5×7’s, and come in a satin lined black box.

I have to tell you…..I was freaking out, walking along this boardwalk, and there was no hiding it!!  I’m a bit afraid of heights.  The boardwalk is very high at parts, over water sometimes, way too narrow for me, with no side railing or anything obviously, and wouldn’t you know it…….the wind was blowing!  I was petrified.  Not that I am light enough for the wind to blow off the boardwalk (lol), but….the fear is still there!  Honestly…..I was holding onto the back belt loop on the back of Blaire’s pants, because she was walking in front of me. I yelped a scream a few times. Professional, I am. Huh?

Blaire was a joy to shoot, just as her sister was.  But…..there aren’t any more kids in the family!  I’m going to suggest a family photo session at my next eye appointment, for sometimes next summer, when both girls are home.   I’d just like to see them all again, and all together. They are a great family, and I felt honored they hired me, based on my work.