Recently I did a model call for high schoolers so I could connect with some local families and get warmed up for senior portrait season (I love spring and summer shoots in the PNW!).
I chose to photograph five students in downtown Edmonds, since everyone lives locally and I wanted to keep things simple. I’ve done plenty of headshots and senior photos in this area before, and I like the “city” feel of the buildings without having to trek to downtown Seattle. Also, there’s so much beautiful spring greenery (props to all of our Edmonds neighbors who take such care of their gardens!), so there are wonderful photo backdrops around every corner.
(For these shoots, we didn’t head to the beach, but that’s definitely another great place for portraits in Edmonds!)
Each of these sessions were 30 minutes, so I had to work quickly. I also wanted to mix up the locations so that they didn’t all look the same – but at the same time didn’t want to waste too much time walking around – so it was a fun challenge to find multiple ways to shoot in one space.
A few days after their sessions, I met with each person over Zoom for their image premiere and ordering appointment where they got to choose their five favorite images as a thank-you for helping me!
Here are a few of their favorites from their sessions (click to enlarge):
Kaitlyn is a sophomore on the swim team at Meadowdale High School. I wanted to photograph her in a more “industrial” (ha!) part of Edmonds, aka cinder block walls and a loading dock. However, we also found a few patches of greenery to mix up the background. I had a great time getting to know her and her mom, who helped out with my reflector during the session. (Thanks, Laurie!) 😉
Gunner is a junior at Meadowdale High School, where his height and wingspan make him a formidable opponent on the tennis court! Because he’s so much taller than me (and I’m 5’9”!) I had to get out my trusty blue step stool to be eye-level with him, but I was also glad to have some sitting and leaning poses that brought him closer to my level.
Adah is about to graduate from Meadowdale High School and head to Florida for college, where I’m sure she’ll be playing rec beach volleyball the moment she arrives! She’s also Gunner’s older sister, so it was fun hanging out with the two of them and their mom, Malissa (another huge help with holding my reflector – I love when family and friends join a session and are open to helping out!). Adah has an easy smile and was up for any poses I asked her to try for me.
Erin is a sophomore at Edmonds-Woodway High School (my alma mater!), a dancer and an aspiring model. She’s put in a lot of work already practicing her posing and facial expressions, and she’s clearly very comfortable in front of the camera. When she’s not re-watching The Office, she loves to wander around Edmonds – which is exactly what we did for her session. I was on the hunt for some large flower blooms, and as we rounded a corner and spotted a red rhododendron, I asked her, “Will you go stand in those flowers?” (Models are adventurous and usually up for getting a bit uncomfortable “for the shot.” Haha.) Erin was such a sport and I love her photos with flowers.
Also, here’s a pic I took with my iPhone just so you can see the area we were in. When you don’t have a lot of space to work with (or don’t want sidewalks and buildings to be in your background), lens choice is crucial to framing the scene the way you want.
Sanjana is also a sophomore at EWHS, where she plays tennis and takes IB courses (oh boy, the hours I put into homework for my IB courses! They’re no joke!). We met a few blocks up from downtown on the Edmonds Library rooftop, which was lush with spring greenery and flowers, with lots of direct sunlight. Fortunately we had a bit of cloud cover here and there to make the lighting softer on her face.
Sanjana’s friend Joli joined the fun and was another unsuspecting victim of my requests to hold my reflector, hehe. (Joli, you rock!)
I’m so glad I got to connect with each of these awesome high-schoolers, and that they were up for helping me try some new techniques and skills. I’m looking forward to working with more high school seniors this summer!
Which setting is your fave? What do you think you’d want for YOUR shoot?
Are you in the Class of 2022? Do you live in Seattle, Edmonds, or the Eastside? I’m looking for 10 awesome current-juniors to join my model rep team – The Scene – and not only have your senior portraits experience with me over the summer or fall, but also to participate in several other themed photoshoots throughout your senior year. It’s gonna be a blast, and I’d love to tell you more about it! Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line “The Scene” for more details!