Lakeland Senior Pictures – Julia goes to the beach

In the last post, I wrote that Julia came down all the way from Erie, Pennsylvania for her senior pictures. My specialty in Erie was photographing seniors on the beaches of Lake Erie, and I often had senior dancers ask for poses and leaps at the beach at sunset. I developed an approach that allowed my seniors to capture a wide variety of images in a short period of time, including dance poses, silhouettes and leaps.

So  I was not surprised when Julia asked for the same, only Florida style. I was up for the challenge, and we headed West to the Gulf of Mexico.

Following a great dinner at Crabby Bills Indian Rocks Beach, we headed across the street to access the beach.

I usually capture a few images before we head to the water, just to set the mood. Here’s Julia with the dunes in the background. You have to be careful to stay away from the sea grass and other plants, as they are off limits!

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Julia made some nice dance poses and leaps. Here are a couple, caught before the sunset became too colorful. I kept the flash off for these, to develop more of a silhouette effect.

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Then we did a few senior poses with the developing sunset behind her. Note the balance of subject lighting with the water and the sky. That takes some practice to get right, especially at dusk, when the lighting levels are constantly changing.

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Here is a leap that we caught during the sunset. The key with dance leaps is using a fast shutter, the right light in front, and balancing that with the color of the sky and sea behind the subject.

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Overall it was a great session. Though the sunset was not as developed as I have seen, it did provide a great backdrop for senior pictures

Lakeland Senior Pictures – Julia

This summer as I was settling into my new life in Florida, our friends joined us for a few days. I had photographed two of their three kids for senior pictures. On their trip to visit us in Lakeland, I took some time to capture senior pictures for Julia, their third.

Julia’s a dancer and a lacrosse player, so we focused on some images which included some of her activities, as well as some great images in a variety of outfits. It was in the 90’s outside, so we jumped from the AC to the outdoors and tried to stay cool.

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I applied an infrared finish to the second image.

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I use large studio flashes outdoors, and I also take advantage of special lenses that can provide a very narrow depth of field, meaning that items in front of and behind the subject are nicely blurred, as you can see below.

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We spent some time in Hollis Garden. I like the garden but everyone uses it, so we captured a few ballet images and a couple of lacrosse outfit shots, and moved on. Of course, Julia is from Pennsylvania, so it’s safe to say that no one else from her school had Hollis Garden shots!

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Lake Mirror is a great backdrop for a variety of images.

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I put a bit of watercolor on this image, which I think turned out nicely!

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Next, we moved to downtown Lakeland where I found some really neat walls to use for close up and full-body portraits.

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We headed out to Florida Polytechnic for some bright daylight shots with the amazing architecture. This was full on mid-day, and I was shooting off a high-powered studio flash to balance the ambient light and clearly illuminate the subject.

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There are many great locations in Polk County and surrounding areas for senior pictures. I envision using several locations for each senior session. Check out the next post for some great beach shots with Julia!

Erie Senior Portraits: Jenna’s Journey

Jenna is a dancer. She is also a Senior, but what became clear to me tonight was that she thoroughly enjoys being a dancer.
We started in the studio with some great poses that she specifically wanted to try. Here is one on a black background, and another interesting one on white:
We photographed some other clothing changes as well. Here’s a nice black and white image of one outfit:
We then headed outdoors, hitting some of my favorite locations as well as a new one featuring sunflowers:
Then we hit the beach, and had a great time capturing some action shots of various leaps and other acrobatic and dance poses and moves:

Great images, Jenna! Many more to come soon!

Erie Dance Photography





Some more images from our dance competition this weekend. I had a pretty good angle, and shot wide open with my 70-200 at ISO1600. Perfect for indoor stuff. I had a touch of color balance to correct from Tungsten, but my batch process fixed them all up. Great images ladies!