Dylan's Senior Portrait Session

Hey, you guys! And welcome to the blog! I've decided to start documenting sessions via this blog to have some more in depth tangible memories of the sessions I've done in the past and how they went! Going to be really honest and critical of myself here so I know what to improve on!

So to start off with, I guess I should say Dylan and I have known each other for a really long time! When I first got my camera in November of 2019, she immediately volunteered to be one of my "guinea pigs" to help me get the hang of photography! That session in the beginning of December is what made me love fun, lighthearted sessions where it doesn't really feel like "work." That same feeling really carried over into her senior portrait session (where I thankfully knew more of what I was actually doing) and we had so much fun! We laughed a ton, and I got to catch up with Dylan which is something I don't get to do often around my hectic college schedule. Dylan is by far one of the sweetest, most compassionate people I've ever met and she has a way with working with her horses that makes her very unique. She told me she wanted her session to reflect who she was, and I think we did just that!

After having a not so perfect experience with a client not being 100% happy with their gallery, I made sure to ask Dylan lots of questions about what kind of pictures she personally liked of herself, as well as showed her the images on my camera while we were taking them to get her direct input! I had never done that before and been so "involved" in allowing the client to pick and choose their images and it gave me a lot of insight! As a photographer, it's really easy to look at things only from a photography aspect. Examining the composition, light source, background blur, and all of these "camera" things. When in reality, things like that really don't matter that much to the client. They just want pretty images of themselves. An image I might think looks amazing because of the natural lighting and overall composition, the client could think their face looks fat and hate the image entirely and never use it. My point is, it's really important to get to know your client and get feedback from them on what they want. If the student (client) themselves is booking the session, ask them to go to Pinterest or through your portfolio and send you screenshots of pictures they like! It's the easiest way to tell if someone likes lots of natural images, headshots, full body, ect. And if the parent is the one planning and booking the session, just be sure to ask the client directly once you start shooting what they want! They are paying you to take these images, after all! Might as well make sure they like them!

Okay, now that little rant is over.. back to the session! So some things I think I did a good job on: coming up with poses, using the locations fully, making the client very comfortable, able to create identify good light quicker, got some natural smiling/laughing shots (which I promise are a lot harder than it sounds), and allowed the client to give feedback on the images on the spot. Anddd some things I think I need to work on: being a *touch* more serious when it comes to taking pictures of people I know (example, stop telling stories and wasting time!!), using all of my "go to" poses multiple times making for some repetitive images across different outfits, and using a higher quality SD card so the camera doesn't go into busy mode at the wrong time (face palm).

And now looking to the future! I expect Dylan's session to the be the last for the next couple weeks, or at least until the coronavirus isn't as bad! Since I do shoot with a 50mm lens, it's very important I stand close (not uncomfortably close, don't worry) to clients to get the really nice images, and I don't want to put anyone at risk while doing so. I'll probably be making several blog posts over the next few weeks to help some of the 2021 seniors prepare for their senior sessions early as well as working on graphics for all of my social medias!

(this will be boring if you're not a photography nerd like myself) OH, and I am planning to make a purchase of a new portrait lens that will hopefully produce much high quality images! I can't wait to play with it! I also REALLY want to get a new zoom lens for rodeos and I found a really good deal on a SUPER nice used lens I'm chomping at the bit to buy before rodeos start back up! By the way, if any photography enthusiasts like myself ever want to talk equipment sometime, HIT ME UP. Seriously, it's not something I get to talk about a lot but I am so passionate about learning as much as I can!