Senior-ish style Portrait Session

I have never been a big fan (I say that with respect to the few photographers that treat senior portraits like head shots and make it a big production) of “styled” senior portrait sessions. I think they are usually very corny and lack an interesting… I don’t know what to call it… situation?

To get on with this long point, I know I’m not the greatest thing to ever happen to portraits. I just know when I had the opportunity to shoot an authentic scenario with this girl Christian and her dog, I took it. I knew the beach would be softly lit and when we arrived there was this beautiful haze/fog coming off the ocean. The light only improved the entire time we were there. The area where we were was a prestigious part of the low country called “Pawleys Island”. Nestled between scenic Murrells Inlet, SC and the historic sleepy city of Georgetown, SC, its the ‘creme de la creme’ of the grand strand. We stood below what are called “Hugo Houses” ( homes that were destroyed by the hurricane Hugo in 1989 and rebuilt, most of which are multi-million dollar ocean front mansions) and the pier. The setting was ideal, considering we were shooting photographs on the beach in January. River – Christians pup, was young and energetic, she was having a hell of a time keeping him in line. He’s going to be a great dog as he is very loyal and attentive to when she’s speaking to him.

Back to what I was saying about the photos… you know when you have so many tricks and techniques it seems impossible to recall all of them?? That is exactly what happens to me, thankfully I recalled a little trick that you use when you’re shooting into the sun.

  • you can control the size of the sun in photos by using the aperture (lens opening) the wider the aperture (small number) the larger the sun will be. Likewise the smaller your aperture is (larger number) the smaller the sun is.

My favorite thing to do in outdoor portraits is shoot into the sun creating a lens flare, the aperture trick makes it possible to get the subject in focus without blowing out the entire frame. Without completely overexposing. What makes this situation the most difficult is making sure the subject isn’t underexposed. what would help produce a well lit image would either be a light, or a reflector…some sort of lighting modifier.


Hopefully you found this information useful, or entertaining, either way… If you made it this far, Thank you.

Lifestyle senior portrait style


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