Zach is a wonderful young man who I have the pleasure of knowing. He chose the Red Rocks Park near the Amphitheater as the scene for his senior portraits, and I was excited to explore the terrain in the area.
Colorado is a beautiful state, where certain plants grow where you think they shouldn't, and the sky is always blue.
I found a spot south of the amphitheater where traffic was less busy than the touristy area near the parking lots, and I picked the spot for some of Zach's photographs where he and I could sit in the middle of the road without imminent danger.
Along the side of the road were sunflowers, growing out of the dry red soil. They are beautiful.
Zach called me and let me know that he and his mother were up in one of the parking lots near the theater. I drove up there to meet them, and our session began.
The cool thing about the amphitheater area is that the big rocks curve into themselves, creating natural alcoves and seating which made for great photographs of Zach.
He really is a natural model. I wasn't expecting that at all. He's a goofball at heart, with joy following him around everywhere, and when the camera came up, his maturity and poise shined through the lens, making for strong portraits.
He knows how to tilt his chin just right to look into the camera, and was very natural in front of the camera, even though he told me he felt awkward at first. I just kept talking to him, being my sarcastic, joking self, and he relaxed. His mom is also very funny, and kept him laughing.
I like to include a more artistic portrait in their selections. I guess he liked it, because he has since made it his profile image on social media!
Zach really wanted a photograph in the tunnel near the parking lots. Problem is, it's a touristy area, so we really had to rush the shot before more cars came. I think we did a pretty good job! I had to edit the roof of the tunnel down into the image so that you could tell it's a tunnel, but I think it made for a poetic shot!
Back down at that spot I had scoped out earlier where the traffic was scarce, he was able to sit on the center line, as I laid down on my stomach in the middle of the road to get his portraits.
Thank you to Zach and your mother for allowing me to be a part of your senior year. Zach has since been accepted into college and has a great future ahead of him.
Jeremiah Rogers senior portrait session took place at Sloan's Lake in Denver, Colorado.
I had never been to Sloan's Lake before this session, so I made sure to arrive an hour prior to the session to scope out the area.
Turns out Sloan's Lake is a beautiful area near downtown Denver.
I scoped out about four places to take photographs, as this was an hour session, and as it was getting hot, I decided to find a shady spot to sit and cool off. I found a nice rock to perch on the edge of the lake.
I watched people cruise by on their boats, and wished for my parents old boat, "The Choo Choo Man". I watched a group of six young teenagers tubing across the lake, and remembered tubing on the river. I hated it. Scared out of my skin. I would like to try it again now that I am older though. I watched the waves lap against the shoreline, washing over the rocks at my feet, pulling the strings of algae gently with its wake.
Have you ever noticed how gently algae moves? Remember when you were a kid in the pool and you would open your eyes underwater, and you felt so cool that you could do that? You'd watch your hair floating around your face, and it was so gentle, that you wished it was like that out of water. Then, you'd surface and your hair would just stick to your face and you'd panic, just for a moment, as you struggled to wipe the hair away from your nose and mouth so that you could breathe. If you had short hair (or are a boy), then I'm sure you watched some girl in the pool experience this.
As I watched the algae sway back and forth like a waltz around the rocks, I grew mesmerized and imagined them as big islands in the middle of the ocean as I flew overhead miles up in the sky like Amelia Earhart.
I tend to take photographs of water with a high shutter speed, which results in the movements of the water being pristine in my images. Knowing that the larger market out there prefers images of water in a lower shutter speed so that it glows with an indescribable smoothness, I tried taking the shot again with a 1/10 shutter speed.
What a difference, eh?
Anyone following my Snapchat that day would know that I had this whole situation with the geese of the park. The geese had been surrounding me as well as they could while staying in the water as I shot those images. Geese slightly creep me out, with their beady eyes, and I hear they are not nice, so I moved away from the water and sat underneath a tree. As I sat down, I realized the geese had followed me.
Here's a headshot of one goose who got within arms reach of me. See his/her eye? Gah!
Anyway, by this time I had scoped out places, and it was really hot outside, so I walked across the street to the McDonald's, ordered myself the Pineapple Mango Smoothie, and sipped it down like a human who has been thirsty for three days.
I went back over to the park, got a call from Jeremiah Roger's coach, who was the woman who scheduled the session with me, and realized I was on the wrong side of the lake. My scoping out places had been for naught.
That was okay though, because they had spots picked out, so the session began!
He was so concerned about his socks showing the way that I had him sitting on the ground. I reassured him that my Photoshop skills included that of hiding his socks, and he relaxed a little. He really wanted to look like a young gentleman in his photos!
One of his coaches brought along this vintage car. He built the car himself, and as it goes with the school colors with which Jeremiah was graduating, Jeremiah wanted it to be a part of his shoot. He looks so handsome in his suit, and the car just completes the image!
His teammates and coaches are his family. I gathered this from our session. Parents of other players and the coaches were all barbecuing together near the lake, laughing and having a great time. While we were no where near a basketball court, Jeremiah obviously wanted some shots in his jerseys. I am really proud of the image to the right, below. Remember, we were at a lakeside park. I darkened everything around him, and added a basketball hoop in the background. I wanted him to feel like he had legitimate basketball photographs, and I really hope he enjoys them.
What a handsome young man, huh? Thank you to Jeremiah Rogers, to your coach, and to your mother for allowing me to be a part of your senior portraits!
Photographer, visual artist, mother to four fur-babies, and travel enthusiast.