Senior Portrait Session for Rodriguez High School Early College Graduate
I love repeat clients. Not only do you get into more of a groove each time you work together, but you get to know them more and feel so much more comfortable right from the start! Elias' family did a storytelling session with me at the start of this year, then in the summer we had an amazing extended family shoot, and now it was time for his senior portraits. Once his letterman jacket arrived and we finalized the details of the specific hobbies, accomplishments, and vibes he wanted to incorporate, we were ready to roll!
We chose downtown Winters for its bountiful variety of backgrounds and immense charm, all condensed into a two-block radius. His mom joined us to bring along his cap and gown, jacket, and guitar, and to provide any extra poses suggestions or things she wanted to incorporate. I chatted with Elias throughout the session about all our shared interests -- Six Flags, weightlifting, playing the guitar, and future education plans.
The Story Unfolds...
I think one of my favorite things about senior sessions (and any session, really) is the way the true essence of each person comes out more and more as we have fun throughout the shoot. I have loved working with students since I became a high school teacher 11 years ago, and truly enjoy hearing their thoughts about the world and their aspirations for the future. As each person shares about the things they're passionate about, I see their face light up and more and more of their own unique spark.
Elias has an understated vibe that is an enigmatic combination of confidence and humility, strength and kindness. He wasn't jumping around in a bunch of gregarious and cheesy poses (which, don't get me wrong, is super fun too, LOL) but had a stoic dignity about him that was really awesome to capture, especially against some of the backdrops of our location that had strong architectural lines and stately features. It was also immensely rewarding to make a comment and catch a glimmer in his eye and a hint of a smile at the corner of his lips. He has plans to become a surgeon, and I can't wait to see his ambitions play out.
Senior Portraits... Not Just for Graduation Announcements
I'm realizing now that I missed an opportunity when I was a senior in high school myself. They're not just a formality for announcement cards or a yearbook page, they're a chance to create a snapshot of everything that has led to this point in time. All the sports, crafts, musical endeavors, community involvement, school awards, clubs, creative projects, and experiences that have gone into creating this unique young person about to launch into the world... it can all be captured in a sort of time capsule that serves a variety of purposes.
Family members will enjoy the heartwarming treasure that is a comprehensive look at all the facets of their wonderful child/soon-to-be adult. It's a chance to step back, in the busyness of life, and fully appreciate the wonder of the entire person. Students can enjoy this too, as they see themselves through new eyes and perhaps walk with a bit more confidence as they see all they have done and all they have to offer the world. It also is a gift of joy and nostalgia for years to come, as they can pull out the album (or virtual gallery on some kind of Iron Man hand projection device, who knows what the future will look like) and show their spouse, children, and grandchildren. They might laugh at some of the things they thought were cool, as we all do (hello super-thin eyebrows of the early 2000s?!), but I bet there will be an undeniable warm and fuzzy feeling as they reminisce about that fleeting stage of life that's unlike any other.
By the end of our session, Elias was a seasoned professional model. He was moving through a variety of natural poses that felt authentic and comfortable to him, interacted with his environment, and gave me some glimpses of the confidence and proficiency that he carries with him in all of his endeavors. He stayed true to himself, and his whole gallery reflects his unique vibe. It was such a joy and honor to share that time with him, and I'm so grateful for the wonderful variety of students I get to photograph!