Category Archives: graduates

graduation | folsom senior photographer

It’s that time of year. Of caps and gowns. Of speeches and tears and laughter and hugs.

Graduation.

That time when your life is on the brink of so many things. When you embark on your own journey, not just the one your parents have created for you. It’s an amazingly exciting, nerve-wracking, and humbling time when you realize you don’t really know everything and you do actually need your mom more than you’d thought. It’s about letting go while clinging at the same time. The transition from adolescence into adulthood.

It’s no secret that I adore photographing newborn babies, but I also cherish senior portrait photography. When it comes down to it, I just love documenting new beginnings, whether it be in a brand new life, or in one that’s about to start a brand new chapter.

senior season | folsom senior portrait photographer

It seems as though I was just tying up bows and wrapping packages to set under the recently decorated tree and now the blossoms are hanging on the trees outside and I’m pulling my spring clothes out of the back of the closet. I know it must mean I’m getting older, this blending of months and seasons and years into one big rush of time, and I know I’m not alone in saying “where has this year gone?” It’s April already and that means graduation is just around the corner. I only have a few spots left for graduating seniors, so if you haven’t had your portraits taken yet, please contact me soon. Here are just a few favorites from Lindsay’s session last winter. 

specialize | folsom senior portrait photographer

I am a huge fan of specializing in your work. With photography, I don’t think it’s always a good idea to be the jack of all trades. When I started I thought I had to do everything from newborns to families of 35 and possibly even weddings. I soon realized that what I was most passionate about just so happened to be the type of work that I was also the most skilled in. I fell in love with newborn, baby and child photography, and while I enjoyed high school senior sessions, I wasn’t sure if they fit with my desire to specialize.

I stopped pursuing the senior market and began to focus on my littler subjects. But when the school year started up again and I started receiving more senior portrait inquiries, I took them, knowing that I always enjoyed being able to play with light and photograph a subject that actually listened and took direction without having to bribe them with candy.

At Danielle’s session earlier this fall it all clicked for me. What I love is portrait work. Wikipedia’s definition sums up my vision for my photography and my business perfectly. A portrait “is an artistic representation of a person, in which the face and its expression is predominant. The intent is to display the likeness, personality, and even the mood of the person. For this reason, in photography a portrait is generally not a snapshot, but a composed image of a person in a still position. A portrait often shows a person looking directly at the painter or photographer, in order to most successfully engage the subject with the viewer.”

This is what I love to photograph. While some photographers adore elaborate scenes or love capturing the interaction between family members, what I really get excited about is an engaging portrait–one where  you can experience real eye contact and real emotion. So whether it be a newborn image where you can almost feel that newborn baby skin or a senior session where you are taken back to that excitement of being a teenager on the brink of adulthood, portrait work is where my heart is and I hope it shows.

one location, one hour, five outfits, endless gorgeous images | folsom senior photographer

I am in love with this session for so many reasons. I’ve been focusing on newborns and children over the past few months but when Danielle emailed and asked if I would do her senior portraits, I jumped at the chance. I photographed her gorgeous sister two years ago and was thrilled that she wanted to follow in her footsteps with her portraits and have me do them as well. I consider it a huge compliment when families come back to me over the years–it means I must be doing something right!

The location for our session was just perfect and I love how this is an example of finding the right place to photograph with the light available. When we first arrived the sun was still pretty high in the sky, so we started with some open shade under a huge oak tree and in the walnut orchard (images in the white dress). Then we headed over to the truck parked in an open field and I was able to use the actual vehicle to provide some shade while also still getting some great backlight. As the sun started setting we headed to the shed and were able to capture some incredible golden light streaming in through the windows of the building. Then, for the last five minutes before sunset we got some great backlit images before heading back to the orchard for a different perspective with Danielle facing the sun for the first time during our shoot.

This is only about a third of the images from her actual gallery, but I wanted to give you all an idea of how just one session in just one hour can provide such a variety of bright, bold images, hazy sun-washed images, and gorgeous golden light shots. Don’t be afraid to try different things with lighting–if you’re an open shade shooter step out into an open field and play with backlighting. If you’re strictly a golden-hour photographer, schedule your session one hour earlier than usual and play around for the first half of the session. Push yourself to learn a new technique and I promise you won’t be disappointed!

class of 2011 | folsom senior portrait photographer

I love this time of year. An abundance of blooming wildflowers, beautiful evening light, and gorgeous high school seniors.

Jenn, I had a fantastic time with you at your photoshoot! You are about to embark on an amazing journey and I wish you all the success in the world–you deserve it, girl!