July 27, 2020
When Rylee (Mandy’s sister) asked me if she could buy a gift certificate for Mandy’s senior portraits for her birthday, how could I refuse! To me that is an honor to have someone gift a photoshoot to someone~ it’s really something from the heart and something they may not do for them selves! So we made a date for Mandy’s day in the park. Rylee told me that she would want her horse is some the pictures and that they would meet me at Sarah Helmick State park. What they didn’t tell me, (ha-ha or her) is that they didn’t tell her or give her the gift until the day before her shoot date! SURPRISE! One thing I know is girls love to plan out their senior sessions, clothes, location, their look, everything! But I have to give Mandy credit SHE ROCKED her surprise portrait session!
Let’s take a moment and talk about what time of day is best for portraits. I believe that natural light, from the sun and its reflections, creates photographs that feel fresh, timeless and truest to you. If you don’t know what golden hour is : it is what all photographers (at least decent ones) schedule photo sessions by! What is golden hour you ask? It is 1-2 hours before sunset or 1-2 hours after sunrise. It’s the softest lighting during the day, it gives the skin a glow, it creates a creamy dreamy light!
Our shoot time was 6:30, and I always try to arrive early to asset shooting locations, lighting, open shade, and possible 2nd locations if possible. When I drove into the park, since I had not shot in this location, I drove around to check things out. Looking at possible locations, shaded spots to shoot, areas where the sun may peek through the trees to give it beautiful backlighting, structors, water and any issues we might have. I also noticed as I was driving up to the park, there were fields near by that still had wheat/hay that we might be able to use as another location (BONUS)! So I took a little drive up and down the street to see if I could find a safe area we could pull over to the side of the road to take a few pictures. You will see the results a little later on!
I don’t know if I mentioned it before but Mandy and I hadn’t ever met before (as a lot of my customers are new to me) so sometimes there is shyness or feeling uncomfortable, not with Mandy! She got out of the truck and said “I brought a few things with me”~ Awesome!! We found a good spot in the grass that was open shade and sometimes when I first start a shoot, I want to find a pose that puts people/seniors at ease, she was a natural. She kept moving, changing her angles, her hands, holding her jacket, smiling, more serious looks. I usually shoot 2-4 frames per pose (in case I catch a blink or a better angle) in a 1 hour session I often end up with 300 photos to cull and pick from. With Mandy’s style, and her comfort level in front of the camera I just kept shooting, ending up with over 700 raw images to cull!!! More work but MORE AMAZING photos that both of us will be happy with!!!
I hear from so many people that picking out the clothing is the HARDEST part! Senior sessions are not like your parents or grandparents senior pictures, in a studio, stiff, very formal looking. Senior sessions are fun, they are a great way to shine and show your true personality. I (And any photographer) would encourage seniors to be comfortable, but not too comfortable. Girls/ladies of every body style look great in dresses, for colder weather portraits, consider a scarf, booties and a cute beanie! Boys, you are by nature more simple, you can look great in a button down shirt, nice jeans, khakis or even a great pair of suspenders. Don’t be afraid to dress up a little more than you usually do! Here are a few do’s and don’ts: DON’T wear bright, bold or neon colors and avoid patterns, choose solids if at all possible. Bold colors and patters can be distracting and can even lead unflattering color casts on your skin. DO: wear light, neutral tones and more muted shades ~ we are trying to show you off not your clothing. If you still need help with this, I have a What to wear guide for Senior guys or What to wear guide for girls! I think what Mindy chose to wear to her shoot was PERFECT! It was solid colors, neutral palette, and a pretty dress!
Mandy is a horse lover and currently has two horses that she brought to her shoot with her. Her sister was there to get them ready and make them beautiful for their big photoshoot! I love to add items to a senior shoot that are all about them. Something that they love, something that says “this is me!” I think they stole the show!
Mandy’s shoot was an hour, which gives a person lots of time for a few locations, a few clothing changes, a few things that you love!
Before I mentioned I drove down the road to check out a good spot to find and boy I wish I could do all my shoots in a field!!! SOOOOO Beautiful!!!! A field of any kind is a great natural reflection and soft lighting on any person, with a cute little white dress and an even cuter personality its a huge win! I think we got some amazing photos during Mandy’s shoot for a girl who only had 24 hours to prepare she did amazing!!! If you want to check out the rest of Mandy’s pictures go check them out!
If you want to book your senior portrait session with DL Photography by Darcie please contact me soon! My calendar fills up fast during golden hour!!!