Isabella's senior portrait session started innocently enough. We were going to start at Linear Park in Penfield, and end up at my Fairport studio....
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Ashley came to the studio from Greece for her senior portraits. She is a senior from Greece Athena, and also happens to be my niece. I have been photographing her since she was three months old, but all that means is that I have to dig deep and give her something really new for her senior portrait session.
We worked in the studio for awhile, then finished up near one of my "go to" locations in the Village of Fairport, the old American Can building. On the north side of the building, the light is always perfect, and the facade of the building changes every 50-100 feet. Plenty of options and different possibilities....all in one location.
Jen is one of the studio's five Model Representatives from Fairport High School for this year's senior portrait season. Her first session in the studio was in February, and during her second session we got to take advantage of the warmer weather and walked around the Village of Fairport.
Jen's biggest passion is softball, and she plays first base and pitches occasionally for Fairport's varsity softball team. She bats lefty and, like most lefties, has a sweet, pure swing which often sends balls over the fence. She calls herself a little weird and funny, but also a very caring person. The only thing I think is weird about her is that she doesn't like chocolate. I mean....who else besides Jen doesn't like a little decadent chocolate once in awhile. She does make up for this by loving mac and cheese, the all American comfort food.
Please enjoy these photos from Jen's spring time session, and a couple of videos from her sessions.
Marissa, a Model Rep. from Fairport HS, came in for the studio portion of her three sessions, and we were able to explore a whole series of looks and moods with her. She is one of the most photogenic subjects that have come through the studio. The term "photogenic" does not mean beautiful, pretty , or cute. It relates to their comfort level in front of the camera, which she is in total control of. She is able to turn on a beautiful smile in a quarter of a second, turn it to a sly smile ("I know something you don't know..."), and then has a stunning look when the smile leaves her face, that really shows off her eyes. Take a look through these and you can see exactly what I mean.
Haley is a junior at Fairport HS and is a little dynamo of a personality. I had so much fun with her and her mother, nicknamed Mer Bear by Haley, in the studio during her senior portrait session. She said that talking for hours is an unusual talent that she has...but I wouldn't call that unusual for a lot of teenage girls. But she is a bubbly smiling machine, and I firmly believe that she could go on for hours.
Haley's session coincided with a particularly nice day early in the year, so we were able to get outside the studio and work outside for awhile. And here are the fruits of our labor:
Crystal is one of the Class of 2016 Model Reps. from Fairport HS, and came to the studio for her session in between lacrosse games and practices. She said her favorite place on earth is the lacrosse field, and I've seen her there and I believe its true.
She brought in a variety of outfits and we worked through as many as we could during the session, but no matter what she wore, it was immediately apparent that her blue eyes took center stage in all of her photos. When my daughter saw these photos, she said that I must have really retouched her eyes, because they are "SO" blue. No, I really didn't. Her eyes really "ARE" that blue.
I always try to get to know my Model Reps. as well as I can, so that they feel comfortable with me and I know more about their personality, which enables me to bring out that inner personality in their photos. Crystal is on the quiet side, and she said that one of her dream jobs is oneirolgy...which, as everyone knows...is studying dreams. No, I didn't know that...she had to tell me. :-) And she confided in me that her hidden talent is breaking an apple in half with her bare hands. Next time I photograph her, I'm bringing a bushel of apples and letting her show me.
I had an intern at my Fairport studio for the months of December and January, and I wanted to take advantage of the fact that she was a dancer by having a dance-themed session before she returned to college for her spring semester.
Emily brought in a variety of dance outfits that she had worn to dance competitions while she was still in high school and we picked out several that we wanted to work with. The lighting for the majority of the setups was consistent: two striplights on either side of her acting as main lights, and a large octabox in front of her...over the camera....acting as fill light to soften some of the shadows that would appear on her face from the strong sidelight.
For the final setup,we moved into the daylight-lit studio for a ballet setup using softer window light. I set up apiece of burgundy fabric to camera left to act as a stage curtain, and had Emily posed on the floor putting on her pointe shoes. The background was the bare brick wall of the studio.
As I watched Emily suggest a number of poses that she has seen in magazines and dance publications, I had her make subtle position changes so that the resulting photo would look as good as possible. She had to hold some of these ridiculously technical positions for extended periods of time until I was satisfied with the results. She was being a real trooper, but I felt like a hypocrite sitting comfortably on the floor while she was posed in very physically-challenging positions, so I offered to switch with her and have her take my photo, so I could feel what it was like to hold those positions. Granted, I am more than 25 years her senior, but she was seriously impressed that I was even able to get in position, hold it, and get out of it without the need of a crane, hospital traction, and a wheelbarrow full of Advil.
Here at Luke Photography, many of the sports team photos that I do in Fairport and the Rochester area involve creating composite team photos. I prefer this rather than the traditional team photos because, well, it's not traditional. I want people to stop and look at the team photos and study them because they're different.
Does it take longer to do? Certainly.
Then why do I do it? The first reason has already been stated: they look different.
Why do they look different? It all has to do with the lighting.
By photographing each athlete individually, I can make sure the light is perfect on each and every one of them. I can also pick the best pose for each athlete, as I take a couple of photos of each of them, and pick the one that will fit into the team composite the best. The backgrounds are then stripped out and I begin building the team photo.
There is a saying that the devil is in the details. Nowhere is it more true than when doing these composites. If you don't create realistic shadows between players, shadows under their feet where they meet the floor, and reflections on the glossy gym floor, it will look very two-dimensional and fake, and it will be obvious what you've done, because it looks like the players were cut out with scissors and pasted on the paper. The biggest compliment I get is when people cannot tell between my composites and the traditional team photos that I do.
Here is a time-lapse video of the entire process, from setting up the lights to building the composite:
The Luke Photography studio expansion was finally finished in early August, but the workload has been too busy to share it with everyone until now. Most of the high school yearbook deadlines have passed, although I have high school seniors at three different schools whose deadlines are this week, and we gotta get moving on them.
But I wanted to share a couple of photos of he expansion as it is. There are a few things that have to be done to get it "tricked out" to maximize its use, and those activities will happen over the winter.
Jake and his family traveled from North Carolina to Luke Photography for his senior portrait session. because they liked the way I photograph athletes. The first part of Jake's session was done in the studio, but he's a big basketball and baseball player, so the last part of his session was done on a baseball field. Here are some behind-the-scenes shots and final photos from this fun part of his session.
Alina had one of the most fashion-conscious sessions I've had in a long time. As a small child, she used to model for Kodak for marketing materials. She may or may not remember it, but she certainly subconsciously recalls those sessions and brought all that memory back during her senior portrait session here in my Fairport studio.
Alina is one of the studio's Model Representatives from Fairport High School. This is her Art Book, which she will be sharing with her friends and passing out Gift Cards so her friends and classmates can get discount portrait sessions.
Which image is your favorite?
I first photographed Samantha during a family portrait session about 4 years years ago, and thought at that time that she'd be a great Model Rep. for the studio. She had a quiet grace and confidence about her that I thought was very real, it was not put on or fake. As most of my photo sessions are, her Model Rep. session was unique to her and the mood of the session really took on the character of the person involved. She proved even more confident than I had expected, and I think that really shows up in her senior pictures.
Which is your favorite image?
Maddie's older sister came to the studio two years ago for her senior pictures, and I had her pegged then as a freshman as a Model Rep. for this year. Maddie is an outgoing, talkative and friendly girl who plays lacrosse and is well-liked by many of her classmates. At least, that's what they have all told me. :-)
I knew right away that Maddie's blue eyes are her most prominent feature, and that became very apparent during her session. She had a lot of range during the session, and was able to pull off a lot of different looks very easily. If you know Maddie, make sure to ask her for Gift Cards to the studio for your senior portrait session.
Carlie is one of my Senior Portrait Model Reps. from Fairport HS this year. She is the middle of three kids, and is a typical 2nd child: talkative, funny, outgoing. She obviously had fun taking her senior pictures and has all the characteristics of a perfect ambassador for the studio: she is very comfortable with herself, like to laugh and be a little goofy, and is well-liked by classmates. I couldn't have picked a better Model Rep.! Here is the Art Book that she received the she'll be showing off to her friends to show them how fun sessions can be at Luke Photography and great her photos turned out.