Friday, November 13, 2009

High School Senior Portraits are the New Enviromental Portraits

When I was in high school senior portraits were a big deal but the type of images were completely different. We went to a studio, posed with giant numbers that read '99 (feel free to guess my age here) and called it a day. Back then, that was a non-traditional photograph and we all loved it. Things have evolved slightly in the last 10 years and more and more soon-to-be graduates are taking their portrait sessions on location and expressing themselves in more interesting ways then the kids in my graduating class.  For example, this senior is obviously a tennis player. Now a similar shot done in the studio with her racket and tennis outfit would have told you the same thing, but it wouldn't have been as interesting.

By shooting on location I was able to design an image that included the wonderful evening light as well as the texture of the asphalt and tennis net that comes on any regulation court. As usual though, my favorite part is the light. On the west side of the court tall pine trees were growing and as the sun sunk low in the horizon they formed these "beams" of light on the court. It also created the shadows from the net (which are just awesome). After taking a few shots of the subject standing behind the net I decided to have her sit in this spot and try a different angle. Standing directly above her (with slightly wide angle lens obviously) I shot this image at 1/60 @ f 6.3. I wanted good depth of field from head to toe on her and from the angle I shot it at (16mm) I was able to get her full body.

We shot a variety of images on location at with several different outfits and then finished our session at my studio. And just so no one asks, I don't have any giant letters or numbers that I force students to stand by.

The key to shooting portraits on location is creating a connection between the subject and the place. This is what environmental portraiture is all about. When you can create an image that tells a story using all visual elements that are at your disposal, you'll find that your work has more meaningful to you personally and your clients.

For more information about having your senior portraits with Irene Jones Photography please visit our High School Senior Site or our main page for pricing information and samples. You can also view this session and others in their entirety by visiting our client log in page.  Click on the session you wish to view and enter password 21366.

Next up: Infant Photography and photos of the newest member of our family!

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