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