Saturday, July 26, 2014

Published 6:01 PM by with 1 comment

Senior Shots and Some Weirdness

No, I'm not talking about hiding out on the rooftops taking potshots at senior citizens, I'm referring to the ritual of photographing high school seniors. It's a rite of passage for these kids as they step into the precarious world of adulthood. It's a tradition to hire a professional photographer and look as cool as possible.

My daughter Tara is no stranger to the camera. This  shot is from her senior shoot.

In my experience, at least, the high school senior is really self conscious and nervous so my job is a combination of photographer, therapist and cheerleader (stop visualizing me in a skirt). It's a tough job to gain the confidence of a complete stranger in minutes. There's usually no meeting ahead of time (only email or phone communication), so we just meet up at the location and start shooting.

Occasionally, I find a person who exudes confidence and is completely relaxed about being photographed. That makes my job easier and yields more usable shots. Luckily for me, my most recent senior shoot was with Xander Davidson, son of my good friend Jennie. Lucky because he is a natural in front of the lens.

This is one of my favorites from Xander's session

Watch out ladies! Xander was so much fun to shoot

Eat your heart out Pete Townsend! Xander lost points for not knowing any Kenny G songs.

He is also a Star Wars nut and got into the role so convincingly that I think he maybe an actual Jedi. He wanted to do some shots with his light saber and who was I to say no? I added the actual glow in Photoshop.

Xander in all his Jedi glory

I used a 12x12 softbox with a LumoPro 180 Flash for most of the shots. Working with a light meter made the shoot much more predictable. I was able to adjust the flash intensity so that it didn't look too "flashy" and blended nicely with the natural light. 

Halfway through the shoot, my meter began to give me some strange readings so I had to resort to using my eye to figure out exposure readings. I couldn't understand what was going on. Later I realized that I mistakenly hit the memory button instead of the measure button. It kept bringing up the meter readings I had taken previously under completely different lighting conditions. Duhr!

Lights, Camera, Action! A rare behind-the-scenes look at an actual senior shoot (with a Jedi)
What I learned: Know what all the buttons actually do on my equipment!. I never use the memory button on my light meter but I should have been able to figure out the problem. Fortunately, I have a good knowledge of off-camera flash techniques so I was able to continue shooting.


Glenn Lacey said...

What a great set of pictures. It's so wonderful that he'll be able to look back at this important moment in his life and have these images.