Varsity field hockey captain, Alexa, is sweet, strong, kind and according to her mama, “The toughest person I know”
Why Rhinehart Photography?
Alexa shared, “I chose you because I have seen so many photos of yours and they are all very unique and show so much personality. It seems like all of the details in the photos are accounted for, from the colors to the lighting, and overall just have a creative quality that is very different from other pictures that I have seen.”
She added, “On top of all of this, I thought that it was super cool that I knew you when I was younger when you used to work at the library. It’s almost like everything came full circle, from you teaching me to love reading as a little kid, to you taking my pictures in the year I will be graduating! It also helped me to feel more comfortable.”
Awww, yes, my old library days! Alexa, you have grown into such an accomplished and beautiful young woman. I’m so glad that I was able to capture not just what you look like, but also who you are– your personality, your interests, your favorite places, and spaces…
Why Field Hockey?
Alexa, “I knew you customize people’s photos, and I knew first and foremost that I wanted to include a field hockey field, and my uniform. Field hockey is my favorite, and I would not have wanted to do senior pictures without including such a big part of me.”
Capturing the Movement
I love to use my camera creatively, and really wanted to capture Alexa zipping across the field as if she was a speeding racecar. I used a slow shutter speed and panned along with her and snapped this shot at just the right second:
Proud of Following in Her Mother’s Footsteps
Alexa shared, “The summer before seventh grade, I decided that I was going to follow in my mom’s footsteps and play field hockey. Knowing that I had never played before, and others had, I began to practice daily to try to have a grasp on basics before my first ever season.”
Alexa continued, “That season, I went in, planning on playing defense, like I had in soccer for my whole life, but they needed me on offense. I started on varsity that first year and, not only that, I fell in love with the sport.”
I love to get an eclectic mix of shots, from more traditional “smile-and-look-at-the-camera” shots like the one above to more artistic ones like the shot below. We met in the early afternoon and the sun (and heat) was intense. This gave us vibrant colors and also intense shadows. Here as she sits, you can see the pattern of the chain link fence projected on Alexa:
It’s not a Nike ad, but Alexa Running on the Trail 😉
Alexa explained, “I love to run, and run daily, often on the rail trail, to keep my fitness up, and because I enjoy running and the sense of accomplishment it brings. I wore an outfit for the running pictures that I wear nearly every day in the summer, a tank top and shorts.
Team Captain in Eight Grade
Alexa shared, “When I started field hockey I played it at any opportunity. I went to optional practices, joined any clinic or camp available. I also began to work with a family friend who played on the Shippensburg University field hockey team.”
She explained, “I ensured that I played field hockey daily, and continue that to this day. I was able to become a captain in 8th grade. Then I moved on to the next level- high school.”
Balancing High School and Athletics
Nervous but excited, I pushed myself, and was able to start varsity as a freshman. I took classes that gave me a lot of schoolwork, and would often be up very late into the night, sometimes finishing around 2 or 3 am throughout high school. I did not use this as an excuse though. I would do stickwork drills as quietly as possible inside to make sure I got touches on the ball that day.
Alexa continued, “I now play both indoor and outdoor field hockey and am a varsity captain. I am proud of this because I know that behind the title is countless hours with a stick in hand.”
She added, “Every single day I wake up with the determination to improve, to build my endurance, and make myself a better field hockey player. I can recall runs, sprints, and drills that make me feel like I cannot go on any longer.”
Hard Work and Determination Have Paid Off
She concluded, “I have never been someone to give up, though, and I know that these are the times to push harder and go faster. These are the times where I can improve, and the person I am today is the culmination of all of these moments of hard work and determination.”
Alexa’s Parents’ Perspective
Alexa’s parents shared, “Alexa is such an amazing person. Sometimes she may not say a lot, but she lets her actions speak for her. She is kind and caring. I have heard so many people describe her as the nicest person they have ever met. She is easily the hardest working person I know. She strives to do her best at everything she does and she works non-stop.”
They continued, ” She smiles all the time when she is with you and your day is better with her in it. She just makes people happy. But, and this cannot be overlooked, even with all of her amazing qualities, she is also the toughest person I know. I have seen her unfazed at things that have caused others to get carried off of the sports field.”
Playing with Silhouettes
I love getting creative, whether that is shooting through something interesting (like a field hockey goal), or getting at a crazy angle (in this case the lights and the blue sky), or playing with the math to ‘press pause’ during a quickly passing moment (in this case by choosing just the right shutter speed). In this case, I was able to do all three.
Alexa, what a pleasure it was to spend the evening with you. These are just a few highlights from the first half of your senior portrait session. To see the more relaxed side of Alexa, check out Part 2, here.