High School Seniors Photography is among the most creative types of photography. Why? Because we’re photographing an individual we don’t have to worry about group composition and the space it takes to place a group within an outdoor background or a studio set. We are free to creatively use the many small niches in the outdoor environment that we don’t normally use. In addition we can do more variety in poses, with more interesting standing poses, that don’t work for groups. Then there are the clothing changes, something we don’t have time for in group portraits, that can really add creative variety to a session. And since the clothes matter to teens these different outfits tell us something about them. After all isn’t that why we’re doing their portraits at this pivotal moment in their lives?
One of my favorite types of sessions is what we call the Dual Senior Session. This is where we do both a studio and an outdoor session—usually on the same day. These sessions are far more challenging, but can reveal a lot more about them as well. And because the environment, the background, the depth and lighting is so radically different in our outdoor versus our studio sessions the teens often act differently—the whole look is fundamentally different.
This young lady is a good example….
|f11.0 @ 1/200 sec., ISO 200, Lens @ 110mm|
The parents always want their kids to smile in portraits and we do our best to accommodate them, but sometimes the child won’t comply. This gal had a definite, single minded, style she wanted to portray in the studio. We can relate to most parents. Our oldest son would rarely smile in front of the camera. I actually like this portrait of her—It has emotional content that is real. It tells me more about her than would a cheesy smile.
Then we went to a local park…
|f4.5 @ 1/400 sec., ISO 800; Lens @ 123mm|
Now, she’s really cutting loose! This was the smile she gave us; this is her persona. We were happy with the results and so were her parents.
Another reason we do a Dual Senior Session is when the clients need a formal studio session for the yearbook in addition to the usual outdoor session.
This young man was really easy to work with….
|f11.0 @ 1/200 se., ISO 200; lens @ 165mm|
I loaned him one of my tuxedos for his yearbook formal (we also provide the black drape for the gals). Then as part of our service we take care of getting their formal image to the yearbook staff at their High School.
Then off to the park for casual portraits…
|f4.5 @ 1/200 sec., SIO 400; Lens @ 222mm|
Both of these outdoor sessions were done in the fall—our favorite time of the year here in Idaho. These were done in early and late October where we go out about two hours before sunset.
My style is to only use outdoor locations that are lit by the setting sun—so that when I place my subjects the sun is setting behind them. Then I knock it all out of focus with a relativity wide aperture and as much telephoto lens as I can bring to bear.
That’s it for this week….as usual don’t hesitate to ask questions…happy to answer you….
Author: Jerry W. Venz, PPA Master Photographer, Craftsman
Training site: http://www.LightAtTheEdge.com
Client site: http://www.TheStorytellersUsa.com
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