Kevin | Blue Springs High School Senior

There are so many details that contribute to a successful portrait session, and only a handful of them are within my control. I have my cameras, lenses, and lighting gear. I have tons of location suggestions. I know the best times of day to shoot at the location my clients want. I have backup locations to battle the “what if” issues at all times. Being a bit of a control freak and a perfectionist, I’ve got those details covered front to back. But there are a few details that are at least somewhat out of my hands. I can’t regulate the weather (which is a shame because here in Kansas City, we have wind, rain, humidity, excessive heat, hail storms, tornadoes, ice storms, and blizzards). And I can’t determine how comfortable my subjects are in front of a camera. Sure, I can help with posing, and tell a joke or two to help people relax, but what most photographers won’t admit is that our interpersonal skills and arsenal of poses can only do so much, or it can take half the session to get someone to relax. I absolutely love it when I can tell I’ve taken someone from apprehensive to confident during our photo session. To see a natural smile or a sincere laugh come from someone who initially had a hard time showing me those things is incredibly rewarding.

But, I won’t lie, it’s awesome when I don’t have to do a darn thing to help someone look and feel completely comfortable in front of the camera. Kevin is most definitely one of those people. He has style, charisma, a great personality, and a wonderful smile.

For Kevin’s session, we explored the West Bottoms, which is a perfect spot for great colors, textures, and variety of backgrounds within easy walking distance of each other. Paired with Kevin’s classic clothing style and perfectly photogenic ways, we ended up with an absolutely perfect photo session.

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Dylan – Lee’s Summit North Football

This wonderful young man named Dylan from the Lee’s Summit North High School varsity football team stopped by to get some portraits in his gear, and in the process reminded me of how much I enjoy photographing high school athletes. I love commemorating this time in their lives that they’re dedicating to a sport they enjoy so much. In many cases, their hard work, focus, and skill allows them incredible opportunities in college, which is so exciting! And when they step into my studio, it’s an opportunity for me to challenge myself to create more unique and dramatic lighting setups that set the mood for the image. Plus, we have things like footballs and helmets and such to use as props during the session, which is also fun!

For the studio portion of our shoot, I chose to use a gray backdrop, for its ability to appear as varying degrees of gray, all the way to complete black, depending on my lighting angles and camera settings. It allows me to quickly change the look of the photo, which gives us more versatile looks throughout the session – some traditional, and some more dramatic.

I am really excited about how these pictures turned out. I hope I’ll see more athletes in the studio and on the field this year to create some unique portraits for them to enjoy for years to come!

Good luck in the rest of your season, Dylan. Go Broncos!

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