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Photographing Your High School Senior

The last time I saw Lauren, she was not all glamified waiting to rock her senior high school pictures, rather she was a little girl showing me how to expertly “Cups” to the song, “When I’m Gone”. 

Stepping out of the car, my mouth dropped open as I looked at Lauren and then at mom for verification.  Greeted by a hug and the warmest of smiles, I knew this was little Lauren grown up. 

Beginning this post, I began to write about Lauren then realized that there are probably many moms with cameras or new photographers that may want some tips on how to photograph your high school senior and I don’t have a lot to say about this incredibly intelligent, fun, beautiful and kind young lady!

My senior has began work or left for school already, how is this going to help?  Not to worry, mom or dad, they will come home at some point…lol, especially when they’re hungry or want their laundry done, you know I’m right!  Thinking about what I look for before photographing a pet, person, or a family, four things came to mind;  lighting, leading lines, structures (Architecture) and nature.  

Lighting;  when photographing your high school senior (or anyone), always look for the natural light. One to two hours after the sun is up, the sun creates a warm glow but not as warm as one hour before the sun sets.  During the day, the light becomes cooler so your photographs will be cooler.  Know where you will photograph your senior and pose her back is to the sun, you, unfortunately have to face it.  

I use an external light with a softbox at 45 degrees and above my clients to fill in shadows but you could also use a white reflective material, held under your child to bounce the light back onto her face.  

Leading lines;  scout out your yard or location for leading lines.  Is there anywhere that your eye follows such as a path, road, brick walkway.  

NO to Railroad Tracks;  did you know that photographing your high school senior on railroad tracks or anyone for that matter, is ILLEGAL? This is because railroad tracks are private property, even the abandoned ones are illegal.  Now, say you buck the system and think that no-one will know, except your amazing senior photograph ends up all over social media because you are amazing…oops.  Union Pacific can request that you remove the photographs and say, “shame on you”!

Ok, so moving on from the railroad tracks because they are the prefect leading line right to the jail cell, let’s look at other things to take into consideration when photographing your high school senior (I know, I’ve said that like a million times but that is what the search engine likes and how my name gets out there, another secret given away)! 

Structures or Architecture;  are there any arched doorways, open arches, pillars, big windows or brick walls?  Prop your high school senior (haha, kind of fun saying that because I don’t have one any more), in the middle, to the side, or against the structure.  

Nature;  if you are photographing in a field, beach, mountains or prairie, whatever you do, DO NOT CUT your high school senior’s head off!  Meaning do not have the horizon cutting their head off, well unless you want to hurt them but don’t want to go to jail.  The eye does not know where to look if there is a horizon cutting right through your child’s head and it’s just annoying.  Shoot from different angles. Go get a cheap step stool and drag it with you , along with your reflective surface, and bug spray and use it to shoot down for your high school senior’s picture…haha, it really is super fun to annoy people!  My son, has this same trait, poor world!

That is all basic stuff and while I am not an internationally known photographer, YET, I do have my Professional Photographers Certification through Professional Photographers of America, which I did work hard to obtain.  I have received awards for my work which I am very proud of, obviously or I wouldn’t have said that…haha!  I love questions so feel free to ask.

As far as my little friend gone young beautiful lady, we had more giggles and fun.  I was so blessed to capture her amazing very significant time in her life!

I wish you so much joy and determination to be the very best you can be, Lauren.  Mama Chris, you have a lot of free time so lets go drink some wine and celebrate the house being quiet!

                                                       ~ Blessings ~

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