When I first met Peyton and his mom they drove to my studio in Wahoo for his pre shoot consultation from their home in Elkhorn, Nebraska. He was like most of my senior guys - mom is making him get senior pics. Ha! But after talking with him, showing him different styles of clothing he could wear for his session, he started to relax and maybe just a little part of him was thinking, well maybe this senior pic stuff won't be THAT bad.
I am going a little out of order as far as when we shot his session that day. We finished his session with his hockey pics because he knew he didn't want too many, but enough to document the sport. I was pretty excited because I had never photographed a senior hockey player and it is always fun to get to photograph something new! Peyton was pretty laid back on locations and wasn't concerned that I couldn't offer him any kind of ice - it was August and Wahoo doesn't not have a rink. Instead we were lucky to get some pretty amazing lighting with the sunset just happening as we started this series. I did have a large portable light so I could capture the sky and also light Peyton with the 10 mins that we had before the sun was totally gone.
I always let my senior clients know during their consultation that changing up a look is just as simple as subtracting or adding an accessory like a jacket. Simple. When you are changing your clothes during your session it is usually hot and you are regretting all of your outfit choices. So my suggestion is always to simplify. Peyton only wore a few different pairs of jeans and when he added a jacket to a look it gave his images a whole new feel.
Peyton chose a 2 hour session or I should say, his mom chose a 2 hour session for him. He wasn't a fan of any kind of nature settings so we stuck with an urban look and about 4 blocks in the downtown area of Wahoo, Nebraska. Another thing I have learned within the 10 years of shooting seniors is to maximize shooting time. Sometimes seniors and their parents think that we could never shoot for a full 2 hours. But when they are reminded of drive time, changing, touch ups and then finally shooting that 2 hours goes by very quickly. So if at all possible, I will shoot a session in a location that we can walk around a few blocks and utilize those entire blocks instead of driving all over the place. The goal at the end is some awesome senior pics not a road trip, right?
Another passion of Peyton's is skateboarding and I mean, look at those shoes? They matched perfectly with his board and I couldn't resist using the Post Office in town for these shots. Don't worry, he didn't actually ride while we were in front of the Post Office. :)
I tried out a lot of different angles during Peyton's session. In my experience, high school seniors are pretty much up for anything. I haven't had one ever say "no" when I ask if they want to try something. I am sure in some of their heads they are thinking "this woman is crazy", but they always go with the flow. During Peyton's session he even started to make suggestions which I always welcome.
Photography is so much more than making amazing art. Of course, I want to make art that I love and that my clients love. But the human connection that I get to have with my senior clients and their families is something that I truly strive for. Getting to see Peyton open up during his session - laughing and having a genuinely good time makes this photographer happy. It is why I do what I do.
Even though, Peyton's session was back in August of 2019, I am writing this blog on April 10, 2020. In just a few short months we are in a different world. A world without human connection for the moment. I am taking everything in now. Maybe a little more than I did in August. Thinking about my choices and how I will move forward as a photographer once this all is over. One thing I do know, I will be ready with camera in hand.
Thank you to Peyton and his mom, Sonia for choosing me not only has his senior photographer, but also as your family and headshot photographer.
And Peyton, I know this is a crazy way to end your senior year, but I know your future is full of endless opportunities!