...I think it was the Fourth of July.
Well actually it was actually suppose to be October 21, but then the weather decided not to cooperate. Hailey and I had scheduled her second senior portrait session (Check out In The Beginning for more about our first photo session). We were all excited to go to Rotary Park in Blue Springs to capture some very nice images with colorful leaves in the background. However the wind that day was around 20 miles per hour. Needless to say, wind and hair don't mix well when trying to do senior portraits.
We rescheduled for Friday, October 27th. Sadly that day wasn't that much better. The temp was in the 40's and there was 10-20 mile per hour winds. When Hailey showed up, I gave her the option of trying to capture some images, or just rescheduling. She is such a tough kid. She chose to try some, and if it didn't turn out well to reschedule.
We began the shoot at an awesome bridge they have. The only thing I don't like about it is that there is a large metal bench at one end, and a parking lot at the other. It would be perfect if there were some grass, or trees around it for a background. We started with some standing poses. In the first image below you can see the metal bench behind her. We moved around and I tried to find ways to eliminate the bench from other images.
We also did some photos sitting down, and laying down. Hailey is such a trooper. She would simply do what I would ask and trust that I knew what I was doing. My wife was there also and was a great help. She was blocking the sun and wind with a reflector on some of these shots. She would also fix Hailey's hair when the wind picked up. You can see some "flyaways" in her hair if you look close, but overall Hailey and my wife did a great job of keeping her hair under control. By the way, have I said how much fun it is to be able to share my hobby with my wife... IT ROCKS!
After several poses at the bridge, we moved around the corner to a tree overlooking the pond. I had several poses I wanted to try at this tree, but it ended up being more of a challenge than I was expecting. I thought the background would be nice, but once we started shooting I noticed how cluttered the background actually was. I had to try to hide trash cans, people, a children's playground, and of all things... geese! The tree was also much more crooked than I thought. I had to reposition Hailey several times so that the angle of the tree and the pose would work together. After all the work we did, I feel like several of the images really came together.
Across the trail from the tree is a gazebo. It was a perfect place to capture some images. It had a railing just wide enough for Hailey to sit on, and the white paint really made the colors she was wearing pop. Sadly, I am fairly new to portraiture photography. I really missed with my settings in the gazebo. The sun came out and the white all over really required me to lower my shutter speed, but I didn't. To make it worse, I didn't check my LCD after the images like I had been doing to make sure they looked good. It wasn't until we were back in the car when I was flipping through the images that I noticed they were over exposed.
Luckily, I shoot RAW. RAW is a file type that is very large and saves every little bit of data that my camera captures. Most people shoot JPEG and that file type compresses the files. Since I had the data in the RAW file, I was able to "save" some of the images. I love that shooting RAW allows me to make mistakes, and still fix the images in Lightroom later.
The last place we were going to try to capture some images was a bench. It is a beautiful wrought iron bench painted black, that sits on top of a little hill. You can shoot down at it and get the pond in the background, or you can shoot up at it and get some beautiful images with tree-tops and sky in the background. Unfortunately, by the time we got to the top of the hill, we realized that the wind was even worse up there. It was just too much to try to capture any good image. We called it a day, and will be going back again sometime soon to take similar pictures in different outfits.
I've really enjoyed working with Hailey, first as a track athlete and now as a young woman getting ready to go out into the real world. She has grown so much in the last 4 years and will be very successful in whatever she decides to do. Thanks for asking me to take your senior pictures, Hailey, and opening my eyes to the world of portrait photography!
Song: Saturday In The Park by Chicago