Nothing was more beautiful than the shoreline of Ocean City, New Jersey, on this particular morning. With the casinos of Atlantic City in the background, we shot the beauty that nature gives us on the East Coast. And, of course, I was fortunate to have an incredibly beautiful (and smart!) high school teen model for this shoot.
We found the perfect beach to shoot this lovely teen – even midday with full sun the views and backdrops were spectacular. She was a good sport as well – able to relax and just enjoy the session despite a chill on a cool February day.
Before heading off to Las Vegas and Boston, I was fortunate enough to be asked to do a small private workshop in SouthWest Florida. Here is a sneak peek from two of the sessions.
I really like to break out of the norms and bring modern and edgy lighting to my senior (graduation) portraits. In this case, I had a teen from the High School football team that wanted something unique and interesting – not the same old graduation cap and holding a rose type of portrait.
I used very a modern 3-light type of set up for these two – they are actually the sweetest of people but we wanted to give them much more raw energy in their portraits. I think they accomplished the goal!
He had some great tattoos!
I have to admit, I love doing graduation portraits. Having teens as subjects allows me to let loose and really have fun with a session. But more importantly, it gives me a chance to introduce modern graduation portraits in a country still using a 60+ year old style for many session. It’s time to shake up the teen portraits and really show the unique personality and character of the 21st century Finnish graduate!
I’m happy to play with both the old and the new: the traditional white and black graduation cap in a timeless Finnish setting. In this case, a location in the lovely city of Kauniainen.
This lovely young lady joined me at an historic location for her school graduation photos. I chose the location because of that juxtoposition – a very old Finnish location for a beautiful young Finnish lady.
There’s something wonderful about the contrast of age and youth – a 500 year old timber building framing a young lady about to go out into the world. My primary challenge would be to bring out the natural texture of the wood but still keep skin tones soft and glowing.
For the set ups, I looked for locations with directional lighting. It was a darker overcast day and getting light on the side instead of overhead can be very difficult in an area with heavy tree vegetation. There’s not a lot of light bouncing up so we had to use areas that were open along walking paths or facing out toward the water. That lifted the shadows enough that we were able to bring light to her beautiful eyes. It also helped bring contrast to the wood and further bring out the texture.
I had a sweet subject with a soft personality. I didn’t want to do crazy or wild and chose more sedate poses to reflect her best. She had a quiet maturity that I felt fit better with the old timber structure than with the late Summer foresty areas. And, of course, how could I resist putting her on a pedestal, so to speak, by making use of the natural rock features of the location.
As always, I strive for variety in the session. Some shots are expressly shot for black and white and others for warm rich color. The light dictates the process.
It was a bit cool, we were hounded by several squirrels, and each location necessitated shoe changes – but I think the results were definitely worth it.