The Senior Portrait

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Photography is more than just pulling out your camera and shooting; it is engaging with your subject and learning their personality, their flare if you will, in a short matter of time. Each photograph you make should portray the subject’s unique personality. This is through facial expressions, clothing styles, locations, and any accessories that may be important to you. Rather than shooting static photographs, I like to see activity happening, whether that’s interacting with the companion you’ve brought along or kayaking along the river. If these things are not present, I will still work closely with the individual to bring out what makes them, well, them!

The image above is a girl and her rescue dog. They have a close connection, and you can see from the look on her face that she adores this animal. I had a few different shots for this session, one where the dog was looking back at her as well, which could have worked given the expressions, but it was not as strong as this image. It was the emotion in her face that made the photograph. I spoke with her through the session and asked her to think about how and why this dog makes her happy, and it resulted in this image. Choosing unique photographs after the shoot is important as well. I do not give my subjects every single photograph that I take. I choose the ones that stand out.

Locations are everything! I, personally, love shooting in the studio, however it is much more fun to go out into the environment and shoot. I like to find an environment that suits my subject; the decision of place is typically up to you (we can help you decide, don’t worry). What places do you love and visit often? Is it your favorite nature preserve, the lake, or even your own home? At Glass Lakes Photography, we typically do two hour sessions. This allows us to move around and utilize the environment to the fullest. We can even do multiple locations!

The next image is an alleyway of a coffee shop downstate in Detroit. I choose this setting because of the urban look. In this case, my subject did not know much about the area, so I picked for her. It resulted in a photo series inside and out of the coffee shop. My subject brought several changes of clothes, but this jacket suited her spunky attitude. I scouted the location and noticed this vibrant red chair, and her and I decided it was a perfect spot. The pose is dynamic, but natural and relaxed.

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Below we get into movement! This image was done on a balcony in the Fall. (I’ll tell you a little secret: the background was removed and replaced with a much more interesting Fall image). Here we have a dancer. Instead of dressing up in fancy clothes and doing the typically lean against a wall photo, we wanted to show what her passion is. She did her own thing, while I directed her if I needed her to move positions or tweak a pose.

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Important things to remember: Personality, emotion, location, and dynamics!

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-Alyson

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