This post is a long time coming. Months, in fact, because this was Mason's Senior 2017 shoot.
Senior sessions, or any sessions really, can be kind of tricky. When we work outdoors, we are at the mercy of the elements. We could also deal with equipment malfunctions or other issues. Those things are both manageable-I always travel with a spare camera, lots of batteries and memory cards, and there are ways to work around weather.
The real wild card is the people. Some people-not naming any names but I'm closely related to some of them who call me Mom-do not like having their photo made. They will pull faces and do weird dances, look anywhere besides at the camera, and let my reflector blow across the pasture.
Mason, however, was awesome. He looked forward to his sessions and had ideas about exactly what he wanted, and was game for all of my suggestions as well. He was almost-dare I say it? Excited!
The first day we shot, we took photos at the school, and with an antique tractor owned by Mason's granddad.
A few days later, we got to take photos out in the country and include even more things that meant something to Mason, like pickups both his great granddads had owned, his guns, a deer skull from a hunting trip...I could go on, but the point is, everything included in the photos showed a little more about Mason's life and personality.
I have known Mason since he was about a three-year-old dinosaur lover. As I have watched him grow, I have realized that this is a person who genuinely loves helping other people. It's in Mason's nature to want to assist others. He has taken EMT classes and looks forward to entering the fire academy soon. It wasn't soon enough for him, though, because even in high school, he became a junior fire fighter with our local volunteer fire department. So, when Mason had a rough idea for a photo with all of his firefighting gear, we made sure to make it happen, and the result was pretty awesome.
Most of the time, people don't want a lot of editing on their portraits. I get it! I do. I want my kids to be recognizably my kids and I want to see their eyes and their smile. But this time-this image became so powerful, and so meaningful to so many people, especially after a spring of life-threatening wildfires in our area. It was a fun project to create this portrait for Mason and his family.
But wait, there's more! I was also lucky enough to stretch my design muscles and make Mason's graduation announcement! I got to play with textures and fonts and images that aren't always part of basic photo sessions. I think it turned out well!
Mason's whole family was involved in this process, and a joy to work with. I know I say that about everybody, but it's true. I'm just lucky that way. Belated graduation congratulations to Mason, and all my best wishes for your future.
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