Central PA Creative Senior Portrait Photographers: Emily

Emily is daring, mysterious, adventurous & an ‘old soul’ with spirit and strength.  It was my pleasure to try to capture as much of that as possible in a single image…
Laurie Jo, Emily’s mother shared a bit about why she wanted me to photograph her daughter’s senior portraits.  She said, “You are so talented, your work is just incredible– artistic, unique and very personal!  I’ve been following you for years and there was no other photographer we’d even consider for Emily’s senior portraits!  You made her so comfortable right off the bat, you made everything so easy!  Worth every cent and more, absolutely!  You were able to truly capture her unique personality and just the essence of who she is!”
Emily added, “I had a lot of fun, and the whole experience was really cool.  I’ve never done anything like this before, but you made me feel so comfortable.  The whole shoot was very me, you made it so natural and easy.”
When I photograph a senior, my goal is to capture an eclectic variety of photos– some more traditional and posed, some more artistic and free flowing, but I really want the whole set to come together and describe them and capture the many facets of who they are– their personality, character, interests, etc.  I strive to capture all of these fleeting elements in a tangible, visual, lasting way through photography.
Here is a more traditional portrait…
As Emily stood on the dock, I captured her reflection and the oak leaves that covered the bottom of the lake.  For me this image captures Emily’s depth.
I felt like there was some significance to the oak leaves as well.  I looked it up, and found that they symbolize: “humility, patience, faith, power, endurance, and strength.”
I’m not sure that a more accurate description of Emily exists!  I love when things come together like this!
When we first met, I asked Laurie Jo to describe her daughter she said, “Emily is quiet, but not shy.  She’s strong, athletic, a real team player with lots of self-confidence.”
For me, this photo captures many of those elements…
As does this one– I loved this old mossy stone wall– I could imagine a similar wall standing in Ireland.  For me, it suggested depth and timelessness, an old soul.
And those eyes– the sun was hitting them just right… she seems wise and a bit mysterious…
Emily changed into Big Spring athletic wear and pulled out her basketball.  I wanted to capture her speed and the motion of her playing in a still photograph.
I used a slow shutter speed and special panning technique to capture this…
Emily shared, “I’ve been playing for 8 years started in 5th grade!  I’ve played for Big Spring High School  for all 4 years.  We went to districts this year, it’s been over a decade since we’ve made districts, so that was a really cool experience for my senior year!”
Haaaa!  If only you could see the behind the scenes version of this shot!  There was no basketball court at the lake, so we made our own!
It included me climbing that stone wall and Laurie Jo being a make-shift “pole” holding a net and having Emily show up with all of her fierceness…
I love the bold contrast of this photo, for me it shows intensity and focus.
While Emily is a fierce competitor, she also has a very laid back, soft side as well.
There is something about this photo that captures her quiet, peaceful nature…
I love to play with reflections!  Can you tell which one is the “real” Emily?
As the sun sank lower in the horizon, Emily changed into a white lace romper.  She seemed to glow, light in the darkness of the woods…
She almost looks angelic to me in this next photograph.
Her mother commented, “It captures her soft, quiet, feminine, side so perfectly!”
I was trying to capture her more joyful, optimistic, fun-loving side here…
Emily shared, “I love Tom Petty, The Beatles, CCR, I would love to live back then.  I like a more simple, laid back lifestyle.  I’m not really a techie, phone person, haha!”
It was twilight, the mountains were a stunning blue-purple and Emily stood barefoot on the beach looking at the view.
I ducked behind a few weathered ferns and used some “filmy” camera settings– a slower shutter, higher iso, etc.  I think it is *so* Emily
This could have totally been taken on the road home from Woodstock in 1969 ;).
One last photo!  Photographically I love the contrast– Emily has a light foot against a dark background and the reflection shows a dark food against a light background.
Emily stands on a rock about to leap from her current rock to a new one.  For me this symbolizes her adventurous spirit and her journey, taking the next step…
Laurie Jo, thank you for following my work for all of these years and for all of the work you have done for my children in the past at their school library!
It was such a pleasure to get to know your beautiful daughter, and to capture her incredible spirit!!!

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