Senior Citizens Photography

Graduation is just around the corner and do you know what that means? It’s time for senior citizens…I mean… senior portraits! Nothing like taking photos outside on the grass to commemorate such a huge milestone. Between the months of December to April is when I get a lot of 17 and 18 year olds asking if I can take their senior pictures. Well, since it is that time again, I want to share with you some of my favorite senior portraits that I have taken of one special girl in the Fall of 2015 and what I had to do to get the perfect shot.

  1. An Enchanted Forest
Photo taken by: Stephanie Lamas

Lydia Garcia was a high school senior ready to graduate in June 2016 when she reached out to me. She is a very nature loving person so she asked if we could take her portraits somewhere near water and with a lot of trees. The problem was that, at the time, Lydia lived in Gardnerville, Nevada, a place where it is really difficult to find lakes and rivers. We were able to find this little patch of water that looked more like a sewage disposal river, but I had to make it work. My main priority was to make sure Lydia was comfortable and that I would get a nice shot. I mean, you don’t want to be known as the photographer who messed up someone’s senior pictures, do you? I stepped as far back as I could. Far enough to capture and the trees and to make the river look blue with the reflection of the sky, but not so far where it was difficult to spot Lydia. I love it when my subject interacts with their surroundings, so I asked Lydia if she could touch the water (I know, gross!) to give the overall image a more enchanted feel. This was the final result.

2. Wondering just wondering

Photo taken by: Stephanie Lamas

Don’t worry, I promise I take photos where you can see the person’s face more clearly. But sometimes my subject doesn’t have to be posing. Sometimes candids are better than posed pictures. Here, Lydia was admiring the ducks swimming on the river and I couldn’t help but notice the perfect lighting around her. The sun was making her hair glisten while also making all the colors around her pop. Notice the greens within the frame and how the colors on her shirt stand out with the color of the bridge. Do you remember how I said that sometimes candid shots are better? Well Lydia actually selected this photo for her graduation invitations.

3. Face, Face, Face!

Photo taken by: Stephanie Lamas

See, I told you I had pictures that showed her face. However, in order to get this lovely photo, I had to overcome a new set of challenges. Like I said before, Gardnerville is not the best city to take senior pictures in. This park was coincidentally located right next to a Wal-Mart. How close was the shopping center to the park? Well the park and Wal-Mart shared parking lots. Last time I checked, parking lots do not make a nice background for photos. Another problem. I could only get a clear picture if I was facing the cars due to the light. I had to do my magic when it came time to edit. The blur tool became my best friend. I tried to blur out the cars while alos enhancing the colors of the trees and of Lydia. Good news? Her whole family, to this day, have not noticed the cars.

4. Oh no!

Photo taken by: Stephanie Lamas

No matter how many years of experience I have as a photographer, I’m still human. I still make mistakes because no one is perfect. This shot is a nice example of that. Towards the end of our shoot I decided it would be nice to have Lydia sitting on a rock with the water right behind her. I took the shot and thought everything was okay and left it like that. It was not until that I got home and began editing the picture when I noticed the problem, or should I say problems. To start it off, the river was obviously green and my subject was blurry. But what made everything worse was the object in the background. I guess this river was some sort of disposal because construction workers were covering up the hole that released all the water with cement. It is pretty obvious construction is taking place while I’m trying to take Lydia’s photo. There are fences and a broken bridge that is being fixed. I could not scratch this photo and just forget about it because Lydia told me it was one of her favorite poses. At the end of the day, I was able to crop the construction out and sharpen her face but this incident proved the struggle of senior portraits.

5. Oh the places you’ll go!

Photo taken by: Stephanie Lamas

I remember all the parents who told me they got their senior the famous Dr. Seuss book, Oh, The Places You’ll Go! Heck, my mother gifted that book to my sister when she graduated high school back in 2007. But Dr. Seuss knew exactly what he was saying when he wrote it. Life will take you to many places and give you so many opportunities. You have to enjoy the ride. Getting your senior portraits done should be a fun experience you share with close ones. It’s a celebration of all your work and accomplishments. It’s remembering everything you’ve gone through to get to this moment. When I took this photo of Lydia, she told me right afterwards that it hit her that she was graduating. That she was officially an adult. Life passes by fast but whenever it is possible, we have to stop and appreciate the moment.

Thank you for viewing my photographs and reading my short paragraphs about them. If you like my blog posts and want to stay updated, follow me on my social medias listed below. Finally, congratulations to the graduating class of 2017!