Makayla and her family were visiting family from Michigan and wanted to have senior portraits made while they were in town. Makayla couldn’t decide if she preferred having her pictures taken in downtown Franklin or at the Park of Harlinsdale Farms, so we made both happen!
I have always been sure that the most important subjects in my photos are the people. That is why I don’t tend to use a lot of props with my photography (unless they have some kind of emotional connection). However, I also strongly feel that place is important too. I love including places that have special meaning to a family. Kaelan’s family owns the Franklin Mercantile Deli so she has spent her entire life in the area. She went to preschool at the church down the street, worked at the family restaurant, and even attended music classes in the area.
I love shooting senior portrait sessions in Downtown Franklin generally, but having such a personal connection to the location makes it even more beautiful to me. I loved getting to know Kaelan and her family. She was so photogenic and a joy to be around, not to mention gorgeous.
Kaelan attended Independence High School. I understand that they are attempting to have a graduation ceremony at the end of June. I really hope that these kids are able to safely celebrate their achievements.
I really can’t imagine what it must be like to be a senior during this pandemic. My heart breaks for them and all the experiences they have missed out on. Those lost memories are not trivial things. My sincere hope for the class of 2020 is that they are able to find some happiness in their day to day lives while maintaining hope for the future. I am confident that these young men and women will become the most resilient and resourceful generation yet. I have great confidence in them and can’t wait to see what their futures hold.
There are sooooo many things that go into creating photos at a portrait session. Equipment is just a very small part of that. I always hesitate a little to share too much about what equipment I use, but beginning photographers can put too much stock into that, thinking if they go out and buy the right thing, that their photos will look like they want, which is not at all the case.
With that being said, what equipment a photographer uses, and in particular what kind of lenses, does really contribute to her overall style. So I thought I’d take a moment to tell you about my favorite lens.
There are two main types of lenses: zoom lenses and prime lenses. If you have a entry level DSLR, then the lens that came with it (which we often refer to as the “kit lens”) is probably a zoom lens.
Zoom lenses provide ease in mobility…you can zoom in and out from where you stand. Prime lenses do not zoom to move in and out – you have to move your feet. However, the benefit in using this type of lens is that a detailed and sharper image is produced. The focus is quicker with this type of lens and will allow more light in your camera.
Why I love my 85 mm 1.8
I absolutely love the creamy backgrounds I can get with this lens. It’s super sharp, fast, and the 85 mm focal length is perfect for flattering portraits.
Why it doesn’t stay on my lens all the time
If you’ve had a portrait session with me, you’ll notice that I switch lenses A LOT. That’s because I do generally only photograph with prime lenses. If I’m shooting with my 85 mm, and your toddler comes to close to me, then I’ll be photographing their nose hairs and not much else. I can’t zoom out with my lens, since it’s not a zoom lens. So I either have to back up, or switch lenses. Also, I want to give you a variety of images for your gallery so I don’t always use the same lens. For example, if I want a wide photograph that takes in the entire scene, I’ll switch to my 20 mm lens that will include a lot more of the background in the photo than my 85 mm would. Here is are two photos taken from relatively the same spot.
The first is with my 85 mm and the second is with my 20 mm. You can clearly see the difference. Notice how with the 20 mm, you can see a wide view of the town in the background that you can’t see with the 85mm. I also stepped a lot closer to Gabe to get the second shot with the 20 mm lens.
A suggestion for new photographers:
My 85 mm is by far not the most expensive lens out there, but it isn’t the cheapest either, and not what I recommend (yet) for those trying to learn photographer. But I DO usually recommend that new photographers consider a prime lens. But instead of an 85 mm, i recommend the much less expensive, 50 mm (sometimes called a “nifty 50” or a 35 mm. Either of these will be a good overall lens that will perform way better in lower light than your kit lens. Are you into photography? What’s your favorite lens? If you are interested in learning more about photography, ask me about my photography workshop for moms.
Gabe’s Senior Portrait Session
One thing I love about shooting Senior Portrait sessions, is that I am able to use my favorite 85 mm lens a lot more than I can at a family session with little kids, because I have more control over my subjects, who generally stand where I tell them to (unlike an energetic two year old.) I also love that Senior Sessions allow me to play with creative backgrounds and framing more than I typically can with younger kids.
I have to brag a little on the guys I’ve photographed lately for Senior photos. They’ve done an amazing job, Gabe included. It’s no secret that the guys are normally having these photos done just because mama wants them, but that hasn’t stopped the guys I’ve photographed lately from doing a fabulous job. Their mama’s should be very happy & proud of their young men.
I’m so glad we rescheduled this senior portrait session from last weekend when it was cold and rainy. This weekend was absolutely perfect for a December photo session. Like they say about Tennessee weather…if you don’t like it, just wait 5 minutes. In this case we waited a week, but still….SOOOOO much better.
I worked with Eaman’s parents in my former life as an Engineer with General Motors, so while I haven’t really ever met him, I’ve sort of watched him grow up through facebook pictures and stories from his dad. So it was really fun getting to know him in real life. Before the session, his mom Regina had written to me that he was a “younger, quieter version of Pete.” Well she forgot taller, but other than that, was dead on. 😂 It’s a little crazy how much this kid looks like his dad. I knew that already from photos, but the expressions he gave me really made me feel like I was back in a conference room crunching numbers with Pete.
These senior sessions always make me feel a little sappy, but it’s especially so when I know their parents. I can’t help but think how quickly they’ve grown up and how my girls will be there before I know it. But I’m also excited to see what the future holds for them. ❤️