When I was contacted about a November senior session for Nathan, I was thinking it would be a sweater and coat shoot, with me shivering as I clicked away. But we ended up with the very last warm day of fall. The sun was shining brightly and temperatures reached the low 60's! It could not have been planned more beautifully. No sweater or heavy coat needed for Nathan and I was comfortable in my role as photographer without bundling up.
Nathan brought a nice variety of clothes, from dressy to casual. We started the shoot with Nathan looking quite dashing in his tie, dress shirt, and blue dress pants. Not long after the session started, I had a spur of the moment inspiration to drag a nearby chair into an open space and I'm happy I went with that spur of the moment idea. Sometimes trying something new works and sometimes it doesn't, but this worked out wonderfully. I loved the end result! I also loved the way the colors he wore paired with the tried and true backdrop of the Artfind Tile storefront. It is a gorgeous backdrop, which I use a lot, but very busy and can clash if you are not wearing something complimentary. Nathan's look nailed it. Next up was a more casual look and I think the light denim jacket/hoody with his black t-shirt really popped in the photos. Another great clothing choice Nathan made:) There were really so many terrific shots of Nathan that I took from the heart of the city square, that it was hard for me to get down to manageable amount to share on this blog! We ended his senior session by moving to an off street alleyway and with Nathan wearing a long sleeve t-shirt paying tribute to the college he will be attending--Moravian College--where he will be playing soccer. I am a big fan of at least taking a few pics with college apparel. They make great photos for graduation announcements!
I really enjoyed my time with Nathan. He was so polite and accommodating. And it is always great to know the family a little bit as well. I took his sister Violette's senior photos a couple years ago and she was a awesome to work with as well! Besides being an accomplished soccer player, Nathan also plays percussion in band. I'm glad he found time for senior pics in his busy schedule and I'm also glad I was asked to take the pictures. It is hard to describe the fulfillment I get out of creating forever memories of young adults who are soon to be transitioning to life after high school. It is such a special time for them and for their families. I'm just grateful to be a part of it and that the images will not be fleeting, but something that will be appreciated and looked at for years to come. So thank you to Nathan and his family for allowing me to be a part of Nathan's journey! I hope he has a wonderful rest of his senior year and wish him much success in college life and a bright future ahead!
I had the pleasure of photographing Andrew's sister, Anna, last year and she was so much fun to work with, that I was, of course, excited for this photoshoot as well! And Andrew did not disappoint:) He was such a good sport about all the posing requests and, as I told his mom, pretty darn photogenic to boot, which always makes my job a breeze! The main problem I had was that even though it was an evening shoot, the sun happened to be harsh and super strong. Not vey many big puffy clouds for the sun to hide behind, so I had to find shady spots that wouldn't make him squint! Luckily, with the trees and bushes at the arboretum, we were able to find areas that helped soften the overabundance of light streaming through. And towards the end of the session we were able to capture a few "golden hour" shots in the warm glow of the setting sun. Funny story--while the lowering sun rays surrounded Andrew in the last few snaps of the camera, I had him sweep his hair back off his forehead. I actually gasped when I looked through the viewfinder. I swore a young Leonardo Diccaprio from his Titanic days had time traveled back and sat before me! "Oh, my gosh, you look just like Leonardo Dicaprio" I couldn't help but scream. Andrew laughed and said he had heard that before. So no, I hadn't lost my mind. I was not seeing the ghost of Leonardo past. It truly was Andrew. Check out the last two pics and see if you see the resemblance as well!
All in all, I think we were able to get a good variety of backdrops, despite the strong sun, and it helped, too, that Andrew brought some shirt changes, which also added in creating a nice mixture of options. Andrew is quite handsome with his serious "look", but also has such charming smile. Some people photograph better one way or the other, but he wears both expressions exceedingly well!
Saying Andrew is a busy young man is an understatement. He has had an impressive high school career as a talented student athlete--varsity letterman and state competitor in swimming 3 years in a row, varsity goalie/keeper in soccer, and varsity letterman and team captain in lacrosse. He's also an honor roll student, member of SALT (student, athlete, leadership team) and played in Symphonic Band (trombone). He is planning on continuing the sport of lacrosse in college. I wish him much success and am so happy I was able to take his senior photos!
Last spring Neena's mother texted me a photo of the most beautiful, sprawling tree in bloom at the arboretum--a type of crabapple, Malus Rosseau, planted 70 years ago in 1951! We had hoped to do a photo session of Neena under the luscious pink blooms. Unfortunately, by the time Neena could come to be photographed, the blooms were gone. And the magical tree lost its brilliance and looked quite ordinary and ho-hum! We went ahead and did Neena's senior photos over the summer, but I promised we could come back the following year for a "mini" session with the tree. So this spring Neena's mom kept watch and texted me almost daily on its progress. We ended up deciding to do the photo shoot before it was fully in bloom because there was a freeze warning and cold weather in the forecast. But I think it turned out perfect--since the tree was a mix of fully open flowers and and buds it gave such an interesting variation in color. A mix of light and deep fuchsia. The tree was spectacular and so was graceful Neena the ballerina! Loved the white tutu against the colorful floral backdrop. It's funny, but it was hot and humid when I took her senior photos over the summer and for this mini session it was a little too chilly to be out in a tutu! You really can't custom order weather for photography sessions. But it really didn't matter in the end, because no matter the weather, Neena is such a beautiful and poised subject to have in front of the camera. She is simply radiant.
Neena just finished up her senior year and will be doing a gap year, after which she has plans to study music, dance, and political science. She will be a very busy college student, but I'm sure she will enjoy immersing herself in her passions. For years I have watched Neena perform on stage and what a joy it has been to watch her grow up from a tiny dancer to an accomplished young woman. I have no doubt she is headed for great things! Congratulations on your graduation, Neena, and I wish you the very best!
Brrrr! It was cold out when Eli had her session at the the arboretum! I have never done a session this late in the fall. The colorful leaves were gone and no flower blooms were left. Yet the stark and moody atmosphere was gorgeous in its own way--especially with the pops of color that Eli added with her red sweater, bright green jacket, and plaid skirt. Really loved the contrast and it made for some striking pictures. One of my favorite pics, though, is when she donned her late grandfather's black leather jacket. I thought it was so touching that she wore it--such a tender and meaningful gesture. And somehow the lighting at that moment was extra perfect with a beautiful glow surrounding Eli when I snapped that picture.
I wore my heavy winter coat and ear muffs for the session and I'm amazed that Eli looked so comfortable--and absolutely adorable, too! I know she was actually freezing, but you honestly can't tell from the resulting photos! She even laughed and joked and improvised as I clicked away. I was lucky enough to catch some of those spontaneous moments. It is so much fun when the person on the other side of the camera lets their personality shine through! She even bought a pair of really cool sunglasses to play around with and, oh my goodness, how cute did those pics turn out? LOVE them so much!
It's been a few years since I had seen and talked to Eli. Her older sister is friends with my daughter Hope and when Hope was in high school I remember Eli as the little sister who tagged along and looked up to my daughter. It was great to see her all grown up and doing well. She is active in Drama Club, acting regularly in the high school's plays and musicals. She is also a member of Speech and Debate with this being her second year competing in the humorous interpretation category. After spending time with Eli, I'd say that is a pretty good category for her. She is playful and fun and those characteristics just tend to bubble over and out! I'm happy she was secure enough to bring her good humor with her. She made what could have been a miserable shoot in the cold into a memorable adventure. And now she will always have these lovely photos forever to remember her senior year. After graduation Eli has plans to attend the Cleveland Institute of Art and major in animation and/or illustration. She is a creative soul, so I'm sure she will do well!
Thank you Eli for braving the cold! I'm so glad I was the photographer that captured these beautiful moments for you!
I've known Ian since he was born. He and his family are often fixtures at my family gatherings and holidays. I've known his father since I was a young adult--translation a very long time! Ian's dad, Eric, is a pilot and trained my dad on getting his instrument rating and they became fast and lasting friends. In fact, my dad was the best man at Eric's wedding. Eric is only a few years older than me and I guess you can say Eric is my brother from another mother:) So anyway, I was all too happy to take Ian's senior portraits. Ian's family lives a few hours away, so they had to travel to get his portraits taken, but they made use of the trip by visiting a few area colleges, too. So the trip was double duty!
We settled on a downtown setting for Ian's senior session, but before that came a quick family session at my long, wooded driveway. Since the driveway was so picturesque with the fallen autumn leaves, I took a few individual pics of Ian there as well before moving on to the downtown part of the shoot. Luckily, it was a warm fall day and Ian did not have to bundle up for his pics! Ian has a great smile and honestly all his photos turned out awesome. After all, what is not to love about his dashing dimple, beautiful eyes, and long eyelashes? The camera certainly noticed his good looks! And since I have known him since he was a baby, I can say in full confidence that he is as nice and kind as he is good looking. I think the camera captured that as well:) We had some misty rain show up for a few minutes during the session, but I kept snapping away and you can't even tell Ian was getting a little damp. I was sure it wasn't going to rain and Ian's father thought it would--we had dueling weather forecasts going on. I guess Ian's dad won that bet (moral of the story--always trust a pilot with the weather!) but thankfully all turned out well in the end.
Ian's high school activities includes soccer, bowling, tennis, and In The Know team. He is really hoping he will be able to continue to bowl in college. Right now he is leaning towards larger campuses with a lot of green space. They have had to do their own campus tours since colleges are not doing formal ones right now, and though it means missing out on a lot (for example Ian can't go into dorms to check them out due to Covid), it has still been helpful in getting a "feel" for what he likes and doesn't like about campus settings. I'm curious to see where he lands, but one thing I am sure of is that this wonderful young man is headed for success.
You were a terrific model for me, Ian, and I wish you great good luck as you transition to college life next year! I know I will see you at future family gatherings and am looking forward to seeing all that you become as you enter adulthood!