How to Get the Most of a Location for Private Senior Portraits

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How to Get the Most of a Location for Private Senior Portraits

I think the best part about working with Hanna and her mom for senior portraits was how open-minded they both were.  They were there to get the job done and have a good time doing it!  And we found the perfect location!

When I received a call from my good friend, Sarah, asking me to take her daughter’s senior portraits, I was thrilled.  Hanna is stunning, and her brown eyes and freckles are simply to die for!  I couldn’t wait to pick a date and get her in my books!

When we discussed the possible locations, Sarah and Hanna were totally open to suggestions with just one simple request:  A place with privacy.  You see, Hanna is a quiet soul, and prefers not to have the spotlight shining directly upon her.  (Between you and me, though, I know a secret – this girl is going to change the world.  And most world-changers end up being in the spotlight at least once.  >wink< >wink<)

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In the end, I knew she would be most comfortable in an area with low traffic, so we chose the well-manicured backyard of the church in my neighborhood. 

Hanna Senior Portrait Closeup 2

Sarah and Hanna trekked out to our location on a quiet Thursday evening in August for the big date. 

Mom and daughter stepped from the car, covered in smiles and radiating excitement.  Hanna looked stunning in a yellow blouse and classic blue jeans.  Her raw and natural beauty was shining brightly.  We were all ready for the fun!

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The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.

~ Eleanor Roosevelt ~

Hanna’s been playing the violin since middle school, so we knew she’d need some action shots of her playing!  Her school will be displaying photos of the seniors with their instruments side-by-side with the picture of them with their instruments on their first day of middle school.  I can’t imagine the tears that will flow that day!

To get the perfect violin shots, we chose a shady spot in the grass where we could have some beautiful accent lighting.  It was perfectly shady with the wide-open sky above us, so we didn’t have to fight with any harsh shadows.  I opened the aperture quite a bit, so we could get that lovely creamy bokeh, but not all the way to ensure we would get her entire violin in the plane of focus. 

 To learn more about aperture and how it works, you must check out What Do I Need to Know About Depth of Field and Photography Facts:  The 5 Things You Need-to-Know about Aperture.

Always stay true to yourself and never let what somebody else says distract you from your goals.

~ Michelle Obama ~

Next, we went for a background that was a bit grittier.  We turned around and used the cement stairwell that goes up the back of the building.  I love the street-like feel that this staircase provided.  It’s a great compliment to Hanna’s natural vibe, don’tcha think?

If your subject is self-conscious of her size and shape, check this out: 5 Insanely Simple Ways to Make Your Subject Look Thinner

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For incredible overlays like the green and white smoke above, check out Summerana.

I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.

~ Maya Angelou ~

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And finally, we headed for the sweet walking path through the woods nearby.  The weather was mild, and the trail was fully leafed out for our shoot.  I love the leading lines that we were able to achieve by using a pathway.

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Can you believe this sweet little Kindergartener turned into this fabulous young woman!?  Time flies by so quickly!

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We had a fantastic time, and I loved every minute of this shoot!  I only wish Hanna would be a senior again next year so we could do it all again!  Thank you for including me in one of the most special moments of your lives!

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