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.
Laura is a senior at Pittsford High School but she spends her summers in Montague. Her mother told me that she’s a tough basketball player on the court but loves to be girlie, too. She also is fearless, climbing really high so I could photograph her in the family’s favorite tree. Laura was crowned homecoming queen at the beginning of her senior year and her team finished off an undefeated season to win the Class D state championship. With adventure, kindness, elegance and teamwork all in her favor, I have no doubt Laura will do great things.
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.
I love Natalia for being so unique. Vintage clothing, a viola and her tutu-wearing pug probably topped my most interesting senior session this year. And, we had some amazing light and a kind local who let us “borrow” his farm for the day. Congratulations, Natalia, in all your future endeavors.
It’s always a bit odd to photograph a senior when you’ve known them since they were little. Miles wasn’t too fond of having his photograph taken and his mom and I joked that the next time he’d have to take this many photos would be on his wedding day. (Now photographing Miles wedding would make me feel REALLY old!) Miles, although quite tortured by the whole picture-taking thing, was a great sport and even waded into a very chilly Lake Michigan to end the night.
Best of luck during your senior year, Miles!
Here’s a little peek from Evan’s senior session. Evan is awesome and here’s why: after accidentally getting locked inside a local marina, he scaled the chain-link fence like a Ninja to free ourselves, he shared his hoodie because I wasn’t prepared for the temperature drop (shame on me) and, lastly, he wins the can-stand-without-any-props-and-not-look-awkward award. Thanks, Evan, can’t wait to share more!
I know Jon is a teenager — a senior at North Muskegon High School — but he’s already quite an interesting human being. He plays the guitar. He’s traveled to France. He plays soccer. Interesting, yes, but also kind, polite and considerate (he offered to carry my camera bag!) Also, Jon scoped out his own locations for his photo shoot. Impressive. Nonetheless, his mom had to bribe him with a slushy for a smile or two. In between Jon’s senior photos, we took a few family photos which I’ll share soon. (And by the way, Jon’s mom and younger brother are pretty awesome too.)
Thanks for being fun, creative and, most of all, being yourselves.
There’s something refreshing about a teenager who can be bold and have her own style. Natalia came wearing a vintage black birdcage veil and jewelry for her senior session. She also brought her viola and pug named Peri who happened to be wearing a pink dress and bow tie. (You’ll have to check the blog in a few weeks to see Peri!)
She’s kind. She’s beautiful. She’s fun. She’s smart. She’s sweet. Marlee hasn’t changed a bit since she was a little girl….she’s still all of those things. I’m lucky to know her.
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.
“Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end.” ~Seneca
Birth. Graduation. Wedding. Engagement. So blessed to be photographing such happy occasions!
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.