Fall Senior: Riley

“Artistic and strong headed.” That’s how Riley described herself to me. And from the first email she sent, I could tell Riley knew exactly what she wanted from her session.

Probably one of the most organized people I’ve worked with, early on Riley had sent me a link to an inspiration board on Pinterest. The board full of Lana Del Rey imagery, aptly titled “Goddess,” gave me the perfect idea of what she wanted her shoot to be styled after—something more editorial/edgy than a typical senior session.  

Blessed with beautiful weather, we set out for our session just before sunset to capture the moodiness of early evening. As the sun began to fall in the sky we moved from downtown Tiffin to the park, capturing so much along the way. Riley was a natural in front of the camera, and after I began going through the photos once I got home, I knew that this was one of my favorite shoots.

(As a side note, deciding which images to put in this blog post was traumatizing—there were so many amazing shots!)

Hannah: Senior

My job has allowed me to work with a lot of great people and to shoot in a lot of different locations. One location I had never really considered shooting at though was the zoo until Ann (Hannah’s mom) brought it up to me in conversation.

As it turns out the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo was an ideal location for Hannah’s personalized senior shoot. It was a place she had been coming her entire life with her family and later her friends. Walking around with Hannah as my guide (no map required!), she was reminded of specific memories and all the wonderful times she has had there. It was really a special shoot!

Summer Senior: Mackenzie

With the days getting shorter and the weather getting much colder, it definitely doesn’t feel like just over a month ago it was still “officially” summer. And as I looked over the photos from my first session with Mackenzie I couldn’t help but miss those summer days a little more.

Mackenzie and her mom approached me about doing a four season senior shoot a couple months ago. It’s something I haven’t done for a few years, but I was so excited to jump back in to it. 

When I started brainstorming for our summer session I knew the perfect location, especially after learning that Mackenzie loves the beach. While we couldn’t make it to Florida where she and her family spend a lot of time, Edgewater Beach became our picturesque backdrop for this shoot. 

As the sun started to set on the last “official” weekend of the summer, we began our session. The rain that had made me nervous earlier in the day had ended just an hour or so before and now the sky was filled with a golden haze. Mackenzie’s laid back and easy going attitude fit perfectly with the scenery.  Not to mention the fact that she was also a complete natural in front of the camera :)

1 season down, 3 more to go!

Summer Senior: Alexis [Wild & Wonderful]

West Virginia holds a special place in my heart. Every summer, since I’ve been 5, has been bookended by a family trip to the state.

After a long trip winding through the hills and down a dirt road is the land where my great grandparents home once was; now a destination for a semiannual family reunions. Each Memorial and Labor day is a chance to get together with family and close friends, reconnect, relax and have fun. I have countless memories and many things I always look forward to from this place: day-long four-wheeler trips taken through the hills, rolling in mud in the middle of a field, dinners gathered around the campfire, and just spending time with everyone. Tucked away from most phone service or even electricity and running water—there are campers and we bring water so I still shower :)—it’s a chance to separate yourself from the day-to-day, be with the people who matter most and enjoy everything. 

The rolling hills and wooded landscape surrounding the area is truly breathtaking, so when my Aunt mentioned to me that she wanted me to take my cousin Alexis’ senior photos there I was beyond thrilled. It’s been something I’ve wanted to do for a long time and I’m glad that I finally had the chance.

Alexis and I—with a little assistance—spent our morning just wandering around some of my favorite areas just snapping photos. It was one of my most relaxed shoots and Alexis certainly helped that along by being such a natural behind the camera. 

“All my memories gather round her, miner's lady, stranger to blue water.
Dark and dusty, painted on the sky, misty taste of moonshine, teardrop in my eye.
Country roads, take me home to the place I belong.
West Virginia, mountain mamma, take me home, country roads.”

-John Denver, “Take Me Home, Country Roads

Spring Senior: Monica

When I met with Monica and her mom Karen in February to discuss Monica's senior sessionI had asked them to do one thing for me—choose the location of our shoot. This isn’t the first time I’ve done this, but it’s something I’ve found to be really powerful. It wasn’t long ago that I read an article by photographer Jasmine Star about why she has her clients choose their location. To her point, it allows the client to be more a part of the process and help personalize their session. So, when they told me they wanted to shoot at their house I was thrilled. I couldn’t think of a place that is more personal and intimate. 

It was probably one of the first beautiful days of this spring—it had snowed the week earlier after all—when I arrived at the Klepper’s house. I was greeted at the door by Monica who was all smiles and ready to get started. As we got into the shooting things just flowed smoothly. Monica and her family were all so welcoming and relaxed it definitely put me at ease as we shot. I had a great time during this shoot and I think it shows in the final images.