“I’m sorry we make such unattractive children and make you photograph them,” the dad joked as we were reviewing the portraits from this senior session. We all laughed at his sarcasm, and then quickly made it very clear that all of their kids are great looking kids – I should know because I got to photograph this senior’s brother and sister just a few years earlier. I guess you could say this this session was the final in a trilogy series. Bittersweet, to say the least, but what a finale! Having photographed the rest of his family, he and his mom knew what to expect when we met to plan his session. He knew exactly what he wanted. Sometimes I have to dig around a bit to figure out what would make the senior portrait session fun and relevant to the participating senior (especially senior guys, who are mostly doing this to make their moms happy). It almost seemed too easy when he said at the very beginning, “Outdoors, with my fishing pole, a couple different shirts, and my yellow truck.” Great! I was really looking forward to this… Until we got rained out…
In the case of rain, I either suggest an alternative indoor session idea or we pick a rain date. We ended up picking a few different rain dates with this session since “outdoors” was a big theme on his portrait wish list. The weather for our alternative date turned out perfect, but our location needed some tweaking. I’m not sure if you noticed, but October is a big month for hayrides and end-of-the-season picnics. Our first location that we landed at had a jam packed parking lot, hay rides, and 267 people gathered for some kind of end-of-the-season BBQ. Ok… I didn’t count them to be sure that there were exactly 267. And do dogs factor into that number? If so, jump the count up to 493! Ha ha ha! I’m just kidding. All I’m saying is our remote scenic location was a little overcrowded because of the time of year and the great weather.
The lesson? Always. Be. Flexible. We drove to another part of the county park. Meh. That was my first reaction. The pond was scummy, the tree line wasn’t spectacular, and I realized I was missing my step stool (and, like his brother, I was only taller than this kid when he was 5). However, there was a log building with a porch that wrapped around. Yahtzee! It was deep and nostalgic with awesome log rocking chairs. I had the senior don his flannel and we got to work! The best part was all he had to do was sit around. He was very good at sitting, by the way. I dubbed him a professional.
The wish list consisted of very few outfit changes, so we switched the shirts up every so often. In reviewing the portraits, his mom said, “I know how few places we went and how few outfit changes he made, so I’m very surprised and pleased with how many looks we got out of this session!” Thanks! That made me feel pretty good, since that was one of my personal goals! We got a few different backdrops just moving around that porch an playing with the sunlight coming through the tree leaves nearby, and then it was time to go fishin’ (by that time my husband had found my step stool and delivered it to me – thank goodness).
We made our way back to that overcrowded spot since it was next to the lake and water is required for fishing. Oh, and he has enlisted in the United States Coast Guard, so water in the background would make more sense for his Coast Guard apparel that he wanted to wear. Our senior guy led us on a path around the lake until we found a charming little niche in the tree line perfect for dropping a line in. The whole scene was so idyllic because of the fall leaves, birds landing and taking off from the water, a curious-but-shy frog on the shore line, and the warm sun on our shoulders. For a few minutes I think he even forgot I was taking his photo – until I asked him to turn his nose to the left a bit.
The final location was in front of an old brick building with a loading bay that has great white peeling paint. There is a wide ban of fading primary green paint at the top of the building, lending itself well to the backdrop of this senior’s very primary yellow and beloved truck that he fixed up and repainted himself. As I was photographing him and his truck, I thought I might have missed my calling as a car and truck photographer; but then again, vehicles don’t talk to me like they do to some people. I’m very happy photographing humans! As I was taking his picture in and around his truck, I asked him what kinds of experiences this truck gave him. He lit up and told me that his friends love to go to the smoothie restaurant and pile in the truck bed hanging out together while sipping on their smoothies. I can only imagine the laughter and life-on-life conversations held in that truck bed. Now that’s a memory that he’ll take with him for the rest of his life!
As we moved to more traditional senior portraits next to the building, I asked his mom (as she’s reflecting on the last of her babies graduating) if she saw any personality traits from when he was a toddler exemplifying themselves now that he’s reaching adulthood. “Oh yeah!” she answered quickly, “His smiling personality!” I have to say, he is a very easy going, laid back, and genuinely happy guy that was an absolute pleasure to work with!
SEE MORE PHOTOS…
Putting a smile back in the world…
- Posted by hellobabs
- On October 30, 2021
- 2 Comments