Seniors

Eighth Grade Continuation Photos Denver

The continuation ceremony for Skinner Middle School was held at North High School where many of the students will attend as a freshman next year.  Miss S is moving on to high school with honors in music and attendance.  She is an incredibly accomplished musician who wrote a mashup of a couple pop songs which a quintet played for families as they took their seats for the event.  During the ceremony, Miss S was awarded music student of the year (no surprise) and received an award, along with 10 other students, for having 100% attendance.  Later she told me she went to school with a 103 degree fever for two days because she was so determined to win that award.  Crazy kids. It was heartwarming and sweet to see how so many of the kids broke up after the ceremony, openly crying in the hallway as they said goodbye to middle school, to each other, and in my own mind, to childhood.  It was bittersweet to see all these young kids looking so grown up, so adult-like both in their outer appearance and also in their personal conduct.  There was poignancy in seeing moments when they started acting like kids again, and then caught me watching them and reverted to their dispassionate teen personae.

 eighth grade continuation photos in denver
girls backstage
warming up for a performance backstage
students preparing for a performance
kids goofing off in middle school
girl with a violin
girl giving the side eye to classmates
eighth grade girls at continuation all dressed up
eighth grade continuation photos denver waiting in the hallway to enter
Skinner middle school continuation
eighth grade continuation photos denver girl in emotional moment
Girl after continuation in denver
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Want to learn more about documentary event photography?  Contact me.

Senior Family Photos Park Hill

I had a really moving experience with a client this fall.  They are a family with three sons, one of whom is 17 and was headed to college out of state, and two much younger boys.  It was important to the parents to get senior family photos before their oldest flew the coop.  I think we all understand that once a kid leaves for college, family photos will be few and far between. I have a personal understanding of where this family was coming from - my own oldest son flew the coop over a year ago.  While you feel somewhat liberated by having one less person to feed or clean up after, the reality is that there is a hole in your home and it feels very strange when your child is absent.  With this personal knowledge and comprehension of what this family was going through, I felt like I knew the type of story I wanted to tell with their photos.  Of course we got the typical, and ordinary pretty Christmas card shot, but we also worked on showing their uniqueness as a family, and their beautiful relationships.

After starting our session with some traditional (by my standards) beautiful group photos, I then concentrated on trying to show the connections in the family.  I asked mom and dad to talk to their oldest son and tell him how much they love him, tell him how wonderful he is and what he means to their family.  I couldn't hear what was being said, but I could see the emotions on their faces.  And then it happened.  Mom cried.  Oopsies.  It was happy crying, sad looking-to-the-future-with-your-son-in-another-state crying, beautiful I love you so much crying.  But crying nonetheless.  Fortunately, the crying then led to everyone laughing and relaxing and remembering that this story is about so much more than what outfit someone was wearing or whether or not one of the boys felt like smiling for the camera.

Each person had their own story and their own journey that day.  I think we made some remarkable photos together.senior family photos park hill Three boys walking away down a lane older brother walking with two younger boys senior family photos park hill family photo with mom and oldest son crying father looks down at his family father and son connecting on the beach father and oldest son connect while younger sons run wild in the background senior-family-photos-park-hill-13 senior-family-photos-park-hill-15 senior boy looks on at his family in the distance mom and oldest son talking in the sun father and son talking senior-family-photos-park-hill-20 goofy unique family photo connection between the two youngest sons family photos denver beach family photos mom poses like Shiva with younger sons making arms behind her senior-family-photos-park-hill-26 senior-family-photos-park-hill-30 sexy husband and wife photo

 

Follow my example and schedule a family portrait session during your child's senior year.

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Senior Boy Photography in Denver

I like to believe that one of the things that differentiates me from many of the other senior photographers in Denver, is that I am not focused mainly on photographing girls.  I think there is a perception that girls are the only ones who care about senior photos.   I say that's nonsense.  The senior photo experience is something that boys and girls both want, it's a time-honored tradition and a ritual of growing up.  And honestly, I've met just as many reluctant girls as boys.  Being a teenager is a self-conscious experience, and almost everyone goes through a period of feeling uncomfortable in the spotlight. As the mother of two boys myself, I'm naturally not a big fan of the idea that boys don't need or want senior photography.  I want photos of my sons just as much as any other parent wants photos of their daughters.  I want to honor this time of transition and moving into adulthood as much as other parents.  I want to hold onto my sons' youth and hang it on my walls just as much as any other parent.  With a sample size of one family (mine), I believe that other parents of boys feel much as we do.

Senior photography is a way of celebrating and marking the end of childhood.  We commemorate that transition with beautiful portraits before kids leave home for college or jobs or other adventures.  I always talk to kids about this and why it's so important to us parents.  I think it's special and important to kids, too.  Even kids who grew up in a household of annual family portraits, having all the attention on your for this special hour is a unique experience.  It's a time that we are honoring that kid in a very individualized event.

Regis High School Senior Photo in black and white
Boy senior photo
Black and white photo of senor boy
Senior Boy in blue shirt at City Park
Senior Boy Photography Denver
Handsome high school senior boy at City Park in Denver

Sharing here one of a pair of twin senior boys I photographed in Denver.  I'm separating their photos so each gets his own visual story.

Silly boy high school senior photo at City Park in Denver

Mountain Biker Senior Photos

Part of what I do differently with my senior photo sessions is I let kids have a voice in the decisions about what and how we shoot.  Typically when young adults reach their senior year, they want to have a senior photo that feels real to them and represents who they feel like inside.  I negotiate with kids and parents: a certain amount of time making pictures that the parents want, and time dedicated to photos that the senior wants.  We could spend an hour doing glamour shots or spend time capturing your sport, music, art, best friend, or spending time with the family dog.   I want seniors to feel like their senior photos are at the same time authentic and also hyper-real.  We all want to see the best version of ourselves. I loved this photo session because Aidan and his mom, Cyndi, were in agreement that they wanted both kinds of photos.  I was very excited to take the mountain biker senior photos because Aidan is an amazing competitive Enduro cyclist.  Watching him practice made me cringe with fear but it was also incredibly exhilarating and I knew we could get some pretty cool shots.

High school senior getting ready to ride his mountain bike.
High school senior getting ready to ride his mountain bike.
Cyclist unloading his gear.
Cyclist unloading his gear.
Cyclist going vertical on a hill.
Cyclist going vertical on a hill.
Catching air at the Grand Junction National Monument.
Catching air at the Grand Junction National Monument.
Enduro cycling - caught in the air.
Enduro cycling - caught in the air.
Cyclist up in the air above the ground.
Cyclist up in the air above the ground.
Smiling senior on a mountain bike.
Smiling senior on a mountain bike.
Flying over - cyclist in the air.
Flying over - cyclist in the air.
Catching air on a mountain bike - taken from below the cyclist.
Catching air on a mountain bike - taken from below the cyclist.
Senior photo on bycycle - action shot.
Senior photo on bycycle - action shot.
Going vertical on a mountain bike.
Going vertical on a mountain bike.
Mountain biking photo.
Mountain biking photo.
High school senior cycling
High school senior cycling
Enduro Mountain biking
Enduro Mountain biking
High school senior Enduro mountain bike photos
High school senior Enduro mountain bike photos
mom and son dressed in cyclig clothes
mom and son dressed in cyclig clothes
High school senior boy in front of beautiful rock formation.
High school senior boy in front of beautiful rock formation.
Photo of boy jumping in the air looking at the sky.
Photo of boy jumping in the air looking at the sky.
Smiling senior boy.
Smiling senior boy.
Black and white photo of high school senior boy.
Black and white photo of high school senior boy.
High school boy seior photo.
High school boy seior photo.

I'd love to hear what you think of Aidan's senior photos.

Check out more senior photos here.   Ready to schedule a senior photo session?  Contact me!

Unsmiling Senior Photos

Handsome young man with trees behind him.
Handsome young man with trees behind him.

I think a lot of people are uncomfortable with the idea of an unsmiling photo.  There is a mystery about an unsmiling person and that creates tension between the photo and the viewer.  I like that tension, I like that mystery.

We've come to expect the smile for personal portraits.  Yet an unsmiling portrait can be far more expressive than a grin.  There is so much more wonder in the unsmiling photo.

Arty black and white senior photo of boy through wet window.
Arty black and white senior photo of boy through wet window.

What's happening here?  What is he thinking?  Is he happy or sad, bored, angry, or just thinking about the next Jurassic Park movie?  A hint of a smile, and a whole new level of expression.

Striking photo of high school senior boy.
Striking photo of high school senior boy.
Brown haired teen boy looking into the camera.
Brown haired teen boy looking into the camera.

Without a smile, we have more questions about the image, we have more expectation.  We notice his reflection on the fence next to him.  We think he might have a secret.

Handsome high school senior leaning on a fence.
Handsome high school senior leaning on a fence.
Black and white photo of boy sitting quietly at a table.
Black and white photo of boy sitting quietly at a table.

It is no surprise this handsome boy blosssoms when he shares his smile, but it's an even more pleasant reveal when we experience that smile as a gift, not a thing of the ordinary.

Smiling photo of a senior boy.
Smiling photo of a senior boy.

More opinions on the subject of smiles in my article about Camera Face.

Want to book a senior photo session?  Contact Me!

Eight Unique Places for Senior Photos in Denver

Last year nearly half the seniors I photographed requested the same location for their portrait session.  I think a great photo can be taken anywhere, don't get me wrong, and so I didn't complain when the umpteenth person requested photos at Cheeseman Park.  It's my job as a photographer to deliver spectacular and unique images, wherever you choose to shoot.  I did a session at the Clear Creek History Park in Golden which has to be the most overused photography location in the state and there were no fewer than 15 other photographers there with seniors and families.  So I throw this down to seniors and photographers -wouldn't it be cool to go somewhere different? I offer these eight unique places for senior photos in Denver:

1)  Out in the open - no trees or flowers to be seen anywhere.  A good example of this is Central Park in Stapleton.  You can create a feeling of being out in the middle of nowhere, or on top of the world.

Two high school senior boys mimicing Dr. Who on top of a hill.

2)  A parking garage.  The darkness behind, the concrete, shadows, and weird industrial fences make for lovely lighting and shadows.  This one is near DPAC but I've shot in a half dozen different garages and love them all.

3)  At a trampoline park like Jumpstreet or Big Time.  Some yearbooks require a more standard photo but that doesn't mean you can't have photos for YOU about YOU wherever YOU want.  We can get ordinary photos anywhere.

4)  On a farm.  Farms have open space, vegetables and many beautiful bright colors. Think nature, animals, tractors, hay, vegetables, fruit trees.  There are small community gardens all over the Denver metro area and a number of nearby commercial farms in Denver County.

5)  Near a body of water.  We have several  reservoirs in the Denver metro area, plenty of docks and wide lakes that create a fantastic beach-like look.

6)  In a cemetery.  Even if you don't want headstones in your photos,  most cemeteries have beautiful and very peaceful, solitary, areas for sitting or walking.

7)  In front of murals or graffiti - South Santa Fe Blvd. has a lot of lovely murals that can be a fun backdrop for senior photos.

8)  An amusement park or carnival - imagine your photos on the tilt-a-whirl or just with all the sparkly lights in the background during an evening shoot?

Denver Teen Spring Photos

Loved my spring photo session with Cara in Denver.  We found a random blooming tree and had a blast shooting there.  You don't need a big park or much of a location, this spot was actually pretty ugly, next to a street and retail building, there were broken pieces of concrete on the ground.  But this tree hadn't been pruned and the branches hung low and were covered in gorgeous pink cherry blossoms (don't send me hate mail if I've misidentified the variety of tree, I'm a photographer not a botanist - smiley face.)  One thing about most teen girls is that they don't ask too many questions.  Cara wasn't worried that the spot was potentially ugly, she just trusted my eye and went along for the ride. Teen girl with long red hair blowing in the wind holding a parasol with cherry blossoms in the spring.Close up of teen girl holding blue parasol under pink flowering tree.Black and white photo of girl under cherry blossomsTeen girl under cherry blossoms holding parasol.Teen girl looking into the distance holding parasol.

 

 

East High School Senior Photos at the Botanic Gardens

African American girl in black and white dress on a bench smiling
African American girl in black and white dress on a bench smiling
Black and white photo of girl in glasses with scarf over her head
Black and white photo of girl in glasses with scarf over her head
Girl in black and white dress playing with orange and white scarf
Girl in black and white dress playing with orange and white scarf
Girl in black and white dress twirling under tress with an orange and white sheer scarf
Girl in black and white dress twirling under tress with an orange and white sheer scarf
Cute East high senior posing on a bench
Cute East high senior posing on a bench
High school senior and her mom press their foreheads together
High school senior and her mom press their foreheads together
Romantic and remote photo of girl on a bench on a pond seeming far away under a canopy of trees
Romantic and remote photo of girl on a bench on a pond seeming far away under a canopy of trees
High school senior stands in doorway of solarioum at the Denver Botanic Gardens
High school senior stands in doorway of solarioum at the Denver Botanic Gardens
Girl in a tie dyed shirt wearing blasses at the Denver Botanic Gardens
Girl in a tie dyed shirt wearing blasses at the Denver Botanic Gardens
African American high school senior girl psing on a metal bench
African American high school senior girl psing on a metal bench
Black high school girl in glasses posing under a canopy of trees
Black high school girl in glasses posing under a canopy of trees
Senior girl posing under a weeping birch tree at the botanic gardens
Senior girl posing under a weeping birch tree at the botanic gardens

I think it's really neat when a girl shows up for her senior portrait session and is full of confidence, brought a suitcase full of outfits, and a mom to be her sherpa.  It feels good to work with a young woman who knows herself, is willing to try new things, play model, and love every minute of her time in front of the camera.  Janae Brown a high school senior at Denver's East High just made my day.  She and her mom were so much fun to work with.  The Denver Botanic Gardens is always a magical place to shoot senior photos, there are so many different scenarios - you can be in fifteen different worlds within the acrage of the DBG. I hope to shoot a lot of East Senior Photos this year at the Denver Botanic Gardens.  

East High School Senior Pictures - Jasmine Lucero

East High School Senior Pictures featuring Jasmine Lucero.  I've known Jasmine since she was in about fourth grade when her mother was my son's kindergarten teacher.  Jasmine was kind enough to wear this vintage prom dress I found probably 10 years ago.  It is tiny, almost didn't fit Jasmine who wears size 0.  She was a trooper and wore it anyhow and pranced around for me in full supermodel mode.  Jasmine is such a smart girl and very fun to work with.   I was impressed with her kindness to her mom and sister and her willingness to try whatever I wanted.  She was a great sport.  Have a wonderful senior year Jasmine. East High School Senior Pictures Jasmine Collage 1 East High School Senior Pictures Jasmine Collage 2 East High School Senior Pictures Jasmine Collage 3 East High School Senior Pictures Jasmine Collage 4