12 Feb Senior Photos In Dramatic Fashion
I have a very fun set of photos to share with you all today. Carissa, a senior at Wilson High School, walked into the studio looking for something “different.” She also desired a dramatic style with a fashion flair. Carissa, you came to the right place. My natural photographic style and her ideal photos were literally on the same level. This was going to be a home run.
Senior photos… cue the brick walls, train tracks, and overdone shallow depth of field images. Nope, not a Matty Photography. Like all my shoots, I really try to tap people’s interests, bring out that character so you can see it in the imagery. It’s better than just picking a location “just because,” and shoot the session as if it wouldn’t have mattered who was sitting in front of my lens. That’s madness. Terrible, boring, and unimaginative madness. Seniors always have some form of hobby or interest regardless of their lifestyle – they are passionate about something (even if it’s “just” music or video games – more to come on a themed shoot in this arena). I still remember my own senior photos. Pulled into a studio, the photographer with no prior knowledge of me or my life prior to asking me to step on to one of those fugly backdrops and clicked away. All those photos mean to me now is a picture of my face at a specific moment in time, not a picture of ME. I never want any client to ever feel that way about my photos, regardless of how far down the road it is. I always want them to see those photos and love them, love that I captured them. Yes, it was a fun time in their life, and we made it fun. Ok, end rant.
After Carissa’s consult, I had a really good idea of where to go with the shoot – the location, styling, details, etc. I went to work on nailing down all of it to fit Carissa like it was 100% designed around her, well because… it was. Fashion and drama were my key motivators here, so I elected to design a 30-foot long chiffon dress, which would flow around in the wind. Placed in front of a post apocalyptic background… it was indeed dramatic. After finishing up that particular look during the shoot, I showed Carissa a few on the back of the camera. I believe the words were, “Different? Yeah, I don’t think anyone else at your school will have anything like this.” It was the first but not the last look for the shoot, we had a handful more ideas to shoot, and with the well-timed sun on its evening departure, the colors only got more intense.
We stuck Carissa in an amazing designer dress which had great color and retained some of that flowy nature which gave her something to play with. Nothing worse than a subject who is left wondering what they should do with their hands. Ricky Bobby, anyone?
Another reason why seniors are fun photo shoots – I can ask them to do just about anything… and they’ll do it! It’s a great age where they are always looking to have fun, and I’m more than happy to challenge that. I’d scouted the location a couple days prior, check tide tables, and knew we’d have a workable tide with a sunset. It just so happened there was a washed-up log with an interesting shape (when/if the tide was out). Come shoot time, the tide wasn’t quite as low as I’d like, but the key feature of the log was exposed, so we went for it as our light was fading fast. This meant we (light and all), had to wade out in about 3 feet of water to access the log. Carissa was cool with tolerating the frigid PNW waters for the sake of the shot, and I’m sure she’s glad she did.
The shoot was a blast, we got some great photos, and Carissa had something truly unique to standout from her classmates. Mission accomplished.