Grand Rapids, Michigan
Taylor wanted something different for her senior portraits. No beach photos for her. So, we rocked downtown Grand Rapids where she had some favorite street art in mind. We found a warm air vent so we played with her scarf in the updraft channeling Marilyn Monroe. We even made friends with a praying mantis that was hanging out in the city.
You know you have a creative teenager on your hands when they help scope out their own locations for their senior session. I remember Jon’s mom calling me and telling me where they were waiting for me. “You can’t miss us, Jon’s playing his guitar near this old red building.” I thought right then and there that this would be a great photography session.
As well as photographing Jon, we took some family portraits, too. Besides being creative and just really cool people, I loved their playfulness, authenticity and enthusiasm for one another. I left feeling like I wanted to be around these people more. It certainly didn’t feel like work. A few days later, I got an email telling me that they expected being photographed to be a bit like pulling teeth but they actually had fun. That’s what it’s all about – -both of us leaving feeling fulfilled.
Best of luck to you, Jon, in your senior year at North Muskegon High School and may your family always be by your side.
Alexis drove from Concord, Michigan to have her senior photos done near the beautiful beaches of Duck Lake State Park. We found an abandoned dugout in Homer High orange and used downtown Muskegon’s historic buildings as our backdrop. Most of all, it was fun to see Alexis all grown up. I’ve known her since she was a young girl and now she has transformed into a fierce softball player with sleepy movie star eyes. I teased Alexis that she looked like Alice in Wonderland so, Alexis, may your future always be filled with adventures…just like Alice’s.
It really doesn’t seem that long ago that I babysat Jeff. He might have been 3 years old or 4 at the most. I remember watching him play baseball with his family then, too. A miniature baseball gripped in his three-year-old little hand. And now, I photographed him as a senior. A small boy now turned into a gentleman, one who offered to carry my camera bag and used polite manners with every sentence, and one who still loves the Great American Pastime. Best of luck, Jeff, in all your future endeavors. It’s been fun watching you grow up.
These next two images are by Matt Gade who graciously agreed to help me with his lighting skills. Pretty amazing, if I do say so myself. (Oh, and he’s not a bad pyrotechnician either!)
I don’t know why, but Alyse was nervous to be photographed. She’s gorgeous AND photogenic but she brought along her mother and older sister, Emory (oops, I mean, Marie), to help her feel comfortable. Her mom carried my heavy camera bag the whole time and Marie held my reflector (if you two ever need a job…) Anyway, Alyse, you made my day. You shared your fun family with me, battled a few bumblebees and braved cold Lake Michigan waters. You have my best wishes for a happy and beautiful future because you are a happy and beautiful person.
Alyse drove from Lansing to have her senior photos taken near Lake Michigan. We did that and a whole lot more. I found out Alyse is a pretty good soccer player so I figured she’d be up to my photographic shenanigans. And she was. Alyse battled some bees, climbed through weeds and even jumped in the lake! To top it off, Alyse’s mom carried my camera bag the whole time (my shoulders thank you!) and her sister held the reflector. What a family. Thanks for taking risks, Alyse, I can’t wait to show you the whole batch.