Posts Tagged ‘senior portrait’

My brother was up from Memphis and I spent a good three days with many photo firsts:

  1. My first senior portrait session for my graduating niece
  2. My first time taking pictures of my brother and his family
  3. My first time using a flash (Canon 580 Speedlite–yeah, that takes a little practice!)
  4. My first time using a FOG machine (check it out people!)
  5. My first 10 foot seamless paper roll. (Um, barely fit in the car, and where to store?)
  6. My first time taking environmental, outdoor-among-the-day-lillies portraits, ever.
  7. My first time trying to truly use Aperature and Shutter Priority on the camera

Ahh, so where to begin. Well, first (aren’t there already so many?), I did plan. I found a variety of items to be sure to have as props. A raincoat, three cool outfits (you gotta check out http://unique-vintage.com), makeup kit, vintage camera, eyelashes, ottamon, and backdrops. And, I did practice with that speedlight and Lastolite travel softbox–even some training at http://kelbytraining.com. Alrighty, let’s get to the pictures already. Here’s pics from Independence Day of my brother and daughter Amanda using a new favorite–fog.

fog and fireworks portrait

umbrella and fog portrait

My brother (below). Officially, a rockstar in my book. Let’s start with just an easy portrait (outside…that’s different than the studio, you know…yowsa…trying to learn).

my bro rocks it

Now, let’s pump up the fog machine. It’s actually to the left of the camera, as well as a single continuous light hanging down from a deck with a daylight bulb. Michael’s actually holding the remote in his hand and pressing for the fog machine to run.

my bro in fog couple in fog

Well, that’s officially cool. Maybe you’ve done fog machines and that’s so 1998. But, for the newbie, I was looking for the fog to help bounce more light around the scene without resorting to the flash. If a photog has to “find their voice” then mine is certainly leaning to hone the cinematic, retro or graphic in the whisper of a click.

Now, onto some senior pics. A variety. I got a lot of good practice with the lights, backdrops, and makeup and hair application. Now, lemme tell ya. I’m not really practiced, but I am getting pretty darn good at stylin’. And, I have to try the “Dave Hill” look on that first one.

Senior Portrait goes retro glam senior portrait

retro black and white senior pic retro senior pic

Below, found the red dress at a store called Wet Seal and the backdrop is my family’s antique headboard from a bedroom suite. Ahh, it’s good to go home again.

Senior pic updo

Senior pic with rosesenior pic with rose 2

I scoured the city looking for “photo opp” locations. 100+ miles later, and it turns out the best is right around the corner at Hodge Park in Missouri.

Hodge Park senior pic

Hodge Park

Another location was the backside of a residential entrance water feature. The front side is the ubiquitous home association water fall. The backside is this completely underestimated vista of water, rocks and flowers.

Behind the gates

kicking water

Finally, it took a village, but we got the 10ft “thunder gray” paper roll up. That, and I dropped down some sheets of mylar on the floor.

Class of 2009

Using mylar senior session

senior pic cool boots

A few more for the vintage look against the basement wall.

glamour senior portrait retro look

Here’s a list of “learning tools and resources” I used the week before to prepare:

  • Joe McNally’s training videos for on-camera` flash
  • Book: “The Art of people photography” by Bambi Cantrell
  • Book: “Master Lighting Guide” by Christopher Grey
  • Book: “Minimalist Lighting” by Kirk Tuck
  • Book: “Canon Speedlite System Field Guide” by J. Dennis Thomas
  • Book: “Hollywood Portraits” by Hicks and Nisperos
  • Guides: The actual guidebooks that come with your camera and speedlite-read em’ front to back…geeking out now

Did I mention it’s my birthday? This is the best present that photography provides–the chance to spend a different quality of time with family. If anything, maybe that’s a gift that keeps giving.


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