High school senior portraits

Tempo and Trust

Meet Melissa -- she’s a gentle soul. I’m not saying she doesn’t have a million other attributes that will guarantee her future success, like being smart, funny and clearly a razor sharp thinker. But her gentle nature is one of the things that strikes a person when you first meet her, it has nothing to do with the outer package (beautiful, I know), her warmth glows from within.

So how do I approach a session that originates from the inside and rolls outward? Well, to be honest, it takes a little time and shines brightest with a healthy dose of trust.  I worked with Melissa for over two hours. I can shoot a session more quickly if need be, but all things being equal, I believe authentic gestures come out over time. It’s these gestures and expressions that come forth as self consciousness falls away -- and it’s spontaneous, self expression that I look for with my lens. It’s never about being over posed and told to smile!

The first image with the wisteria was created at the very beginning of our session. Once you can see beyond her stunning beauty, you may find the intrigue of her quiet reserve. I see mystery, calm and strength. The middle two images show how I have begun to earn her trust and we are really having fun. Sessions are always pretty high energy and we laugh a lot. I guild, nudge and strive to create an environment where freedom reigns! The final image is one of the last of the session, the sun has almost set. We’d been on a little journey together and this last one shows how fun loving Melissa is, suggests her promise for the future, and momentarily captures her free spirit.

Once the session is complete, I get to quietly mine the images we’ve created to portray the heart of a young soul. It’s wonderful work. If you’d like to see the rest of the portraits I presented to Melissa and her family, click here.


Siblings :: Senior Portraits Over The Years

Whenever a child leaves home to venture out into this wonderful and complicated world, it’s a big deal. It doesn’t matter if it’s our first child, the last, or one in between, they all have their special place in our hearts and in our family unit. I’m so fortunate that I get to create something that is left behind when their feet hit the road and their future is in their hands.

Here are a few of the graduates from the class of 2014 and their siblings who I have photographed over previous years. These are clients who have canvas portraits on their walls of each child as they reach the milestone of their senior year. They make pretty beautiful collections. I’ve been shooting in Austin since 2001. I realize now how much I enjoy seeing the children I worked with years ago grow, change and experience the excitement that comes with leaving home. I don’t work with large family groups anymore, I love the artistic nature of having just one subject in front of my lens, photographing a high school senior fills that creative challenge perfectly. I’m always thrilled to be making portraits of the next graduating senior in a family.

A closer look at these young people reveal amazing similarities and differences. While I’m photographing a sibling, the tilt of the head or the flash of a smile can take me right back to a different session with an older brother or sister. And yet, these kids come across as such individuals. When I listen to their dreams and aspirations, it’s so clear they are uniquely their own spirits -- and it is their time to fly!


Portraits of her Senior Year -- Is it a race or a meditation?

Meet Stevie. She’s a lover of romance, my daughter and a high school   senior .  She’s amazing and she can swim fast! I noticed how this image is a great metaphor for our life together. Sometimes her growing-up feels like a marathon, we’re always trying to get somewhere. Other times, it’s so smooth, as we slip into the spring and flowing downstream together. If you follow along, you’ll be reading more about Stevie and her escapades during her last year as a full time resident at home. Right now she’s buried in college applications, class requirements and just trying to get it all done. It’s a little stressful. This shot is at Barton Springs and was made in the lazy days right before school started. It’s one of the many portraits I’ll make with her this year.     

Meet Stevie. She’s a lover of romance, my daughter and a high school senior. She’s amazing and she can swim fast! I noticed how this image is a great metaphor for our life together. Sometimes her growing-up feels like a marathon, we’re always trying to get somewhere. Other times, it’s so smooth, as we slip into the spring and flowing downstream together. If you follow along, you’ll be reading more about Stevie and her escapades during her last year as a full time resident at home. Right now she’s buried in college applications, class requirements and just trying to get it all done. It’s a little stressful. This shot is at Barton Springs and was made in the lazy days right before school started. It’s one of the many portraits I’ll make with her this year.