Graduation photo session for teen/preteens!
Updated: Aug 7, 2019
Hey there! We are full on graduation week and I've been meaning to finally publish this post. Even though graduation season is over this week, it doesn't mean you can't book sessions with this milestone in mind. My daughter is graduating 5th grade and my plan was to capture some photos of her in a park but then it came to my attention that two of her friends are also graduating so I decided to make it a casual friends photoshoot. You know how they say... kill two birds with one stone! The following post will outline how I went about this shoot. I didn't plan too much before hand because I never photographed 2 out of the 4 children that are in this session so I really didn't know what to expect or how well they would be about being directed and told how to stand or sit and look at the camera.
Photographing Chaz was challenging because not all children like to be photographed but he did awesome with following direction. He just needed to be reminded to sit up a little straighter and to look at the camera and how to smile without feeling awkward. It was important for me to help him feel relaxed and comfortable. He also needed some breaks so it actually worked out that I brought my son along because even though he isn't a graduate, he was able to play with Chaz as I photographed the others. This was definitely a lesson learned for me when it comes to photographing kids... pick a location that is fun for them to explore between snaps that way it isn't boring to them and if you can bring a friend or two along ... you are pretty much making it a nice afternoon of it.
Next one up is his older brother Zach. He's a middle school graduate. Since he was older he was able to work along with how I wanted to take the photos I did of him. He was more chill, liked to talk between takes and it was nice to get to know him better and hear how excited he is finishing middle school and excited to start high school. I appreciated having the opportunity to not only take photos of this milestone for him but to also get to know him as a person and not just as one of my kid's friends.
Since Zach and Chaz are brothers, I chose to get in a "brothers" shot for their mom and dad. As a mom I appreciate sibling photos so I kept that in mind during the session.
Lastly, my daughter Isabel was ready and prepared to have photos taken of her. She is always ready to try something new for me and after many years, I've managed to train her how to take photos and she now even looks forward to them. She also did well in the setting I chose. A new park not too far with a pond and little trails that made it interesting for her and her friends to take photos in and play during the breaks.
I squeezed in a couple of group shots of all 4 friends. Time is passing so quickly and I like to capture my kids with their friends as a memento of their childhood.
My last thoughts on this session is that it was different going into or having scheduled a session without having it all planned out and not fully knowing the personalities of the people I was about to photograph. I didn't even really know the layout of this park till I got there so I took it as an opportunity to be more candid and work with whatever came our way and make the best of what was available which for a person like me isn't always easy because I do like to have more control of knowing the location before the photo shoot. This session also taught me to be open minded, understand and adapt to the disposition of my subjects, allow room for silliness and breaks. Its important to also show personal interests and talk to everyone involved in a session as it allows everyone to be comfortable and have fun which only means a smoother process of photographing. Guys, its beautiful out there. Summer vacation is in full swing. Look for opportunities to take portraits, enjoy the warmer weather and remember to have fun!