Working with high school seniors has always been, and will probably always be, my favorite thing to do. They tend to have great fashion sense and personal style, and they enjoy being in front of the camera (I wish I could say that every client is like that, but some people are forced by their bosses to get headshots, and sometimes there’s a less-than-enthusiastic member of the family who has things they’d rather do than spend their free time posing for portraits). Additionally, I’ve had the joy of working with young people who have great confidence in who they are and where they are heading in life. I love this. It makes a senior’s personality easy to capture and allows their style to flow naturally.
This was definitely the case with Desirea, a Lee’s Summit North High School class of 2017 student on the verge of graduation and exciting next steps. She knew from the start that she wanted to explore Kansas City’s Crossroads Arts District for her portrait session, as she is an art student who often spends First Fridays at galleries in the area. I could tell that she felt right at home in this area, which is pretty much a photographer’s playground. The interesting doors, grungy alleyways, wide array of architecture, and colorful façades make this one of my preferred locations to shoot any kind of session, but it worked especially well for this young artist. Hopefully one day not too far down the road, I’ll see her back in the Crossroads in a gallery of her own!
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!