Neena ~ Blossoming Tree

May 26, 2021  •  Leave a Comment

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! NeenaShell-2NeenaShell-2 NeenaShell-3-2NeenaShell-3-2 NeenaShell-4NeenaShell-4 NeenaShell-6NeenaShell-6 NeenaShell-10NeenaShell-10 NeenaShell-11NeenaShell-11 NeenaShell-12NeenaShell-12 NeenaShell-14NeenaShell-14 NeenaShell-19NeenaShell-19 NeenaShell-21NeenaShell-21 NeenaShell-24NeenaShell-24 NeenaShell-29NeenaShell-29 NeenaShell-30NeenaShell-30 NeenaShell-34NeenaShell-34 NeenaShell-36NeenaShell-36 NeenaShell-38NeenaShell-38 NeenaShell-39NeenaShell-39 NeenaShell-42NeenaShell-42 NeenaShell-44NeenaShell-44 NeenaShell-46NeenaShell-46

Eli ~ Arboretum

December 01, 2020  •  2 Comments

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! 

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Ian ~ Downtown

November 16, 2020  •  Leave a Comment

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!

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Jaden ~ Downtown

October 19, 2020  •  Leave a Comment

For some reason boys don't get official senior portraits taken as often as girls. I wish they would! Parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles love having nice pics to mark graduation. Plus senior guys deserve to capture the transition from high school to adulthood, too! Freezing time at 17 or 18 years old can be magical and will be something they can show their kids and grandkids one day if they come along. "Look how cool and handsome grandpa was back in the day!" Ha. So I am always happy when a senior guy comes my way. Especially one like Jaden. I thoughly enjoyed my session with him. He was willing to try different poses no matter how silly he felt and I think he had some fun, too! We meandered around downtown and I did a mix of my favorite photography spots along with some new ones. And WOW...look at the results! He was a superstar senior in my opinion. Mr. GQ-- looking like a magazine model:) I loved his hair, too! Very cool shade of purple on top. It is his trademark and I'm glad he didn't try to change it. He captured who he is at the moment and that is so important for senior portraits. 

Jaden runs track and is on the robotics team. He has plans to major in engineering. I told him that was a great career choice! My son is an engineer and it has been a wonderful field for him to be in. I wish him well his senior year with track, robotics, and his college search. I'm sure he is headed for success and will have a great transition to college life! And maybe one day engineer Jaden's kids will look in awe at the super cool pics of their dad:)

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Ellie ~ Arboretum

October 14, 2020  •  Leave a Comment

We originally had Ellie's photo shoot scheduled for two hours before sunset. However, the weather had other plans for us. With rain forecast, we moved the session to afternoon. It was supposed to be cloudy, but the sun kept peeking brilliantly through the clouds! You have to be careful with strong midday sun as it can be harsh, but I'm happy to say all turned out fabulous in the end. And it did indeed rain later on, so we made the right decision in changing the time! With photography it is always good to be flexible:)

Every time I visit the arboretum it is different. On this day, there was just starting to be a tinge of fall colors, berries dotted foliage, and there were still a few colorful flower blooms to be found. It was gorgeous and so was Ellie, so I had a great time as we explored the grounds with my trusty camera in hand. We did run into a snake on one of the paths, which gave me a startle. No stopping by the snake for pics-ha! I loved Ellie's outfits--the cream sweater looked perfect for the pond and tall grass, the dress complimented the butterfly bench and open field, and the orange sweater coordinated perfectly with the early fall colors. At the end of the session we went to a different area close-by but off the grounds and tried out a really cool sculpture as a backdrop. It is always fun to experiment and try new things! 

Ellie is lovely inside and out and I'm so happy I had the chance to work with her. She is an accomplished young woman with a busy schedule, participating in cross country and track, playing the violin in orchestra, and writing for her school newspaper as a feature editor. The college search is complicated I'm sure due to Covid (makes college visits a bit of a challenge if you can visit at all!) but I'm sure she will land where she will thrive. I'm hoping when she starts college that classes can resume to be in person and she can get the full college experience. And I hope she has a great rest of her senior year, despite all the difficult changes that have taken place. 

Best wishes for a bright future, Ellie! It was a true honor to be your senior photographer!

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