Seniorologie » The Study of Senior Portrait Photography

Senior Inspiration – {Turning Leaf Photography}

Planning a session with a theme, prop or location in mind is how Kristie Andraschko came up with this awesome session.  She saw an ad in a teen magazine , tore it out and stuck it in her purse. (I have the exact same ad, torn out and in my purse!:))  The ad featured roller skates and she knew in that moment that she had to do a session with roller skates!

With the roller skates in mind, Kristie proceeded to plan an awesome photo shoot and collaborated with a makeup artist and this senior to do the shoot.  Check out what Kristie had to share about this session below and check out more of Kristie’s work here.  Thanks for sharing Kristie!

What was your inspiration for the photo shoot?

First of all, I work BEST with some sort of inspiration from my client or myself. I always find an inspiration theme, prop, location or color to run wild with and let the creativity take over. I am a child of the 80’s and last fall I was flipping through a magazine and saw an ad for Tampax (of all things!). That hit me as an inspiration. So, I stole the magazine ad and stuck it in my purse! Roller-skates bring back incredible memories for me! Mind you the ad I saw had palm trees and probably was photographed in California (I wish!). I’m located in Atlanta, Georgia so the closest photographic palm tree to me is a few hours, if I’m lucky. So, needless to say, the whole palm tree thing wasn’t going to happen near Atlanta!

With the roller-skates for my inspiration, I took the liberty to style the session myself with an ‘80’s feel and had a BLAST doing so! Since 80’s clothing, colors and patterns are popular again for spring/summer 2012, I had NO problem finding things to make my session work as I envisioned it. Typically clients give me creative liberty, which is awesome! I always say I am not a fashionista by any means, but I LOVE to help style and dress my clients for what they have in mind or what I see in my own mind! When I was shopping for clothing options for this session, I ran across the dress that you see on the model and it hit me “Pretty in Pink” revamped. A perfect complement to the roller skates. The boom box in the pictures was mine as well, luckily my mom still had it! The jean jacket was mine from the 80’s; the earphones are my daughters.

Where did this photo shoot take place?

The location I chose, was completely out of the blue. I have never photographed there before and may not ever be able to again! I had driven by this location on a whim last year, on accident, in the rain, on a dead end road I never travel! I and told myself I have to go back and see if the owner would allow me to photograph on his property. I dropped by the property one day out of the blue and scared the owner almost to death! I apologized and proceeded to present him with my business card, told him who I was as well as what I would like to do on his property. He was so nice and more than happy for me to use his location on the date I was looking to hold it on. He did let me know he would soon be tearing down much of what I saw. I saw decrepit buildings and junk…but all I knew was that the location was fantastic and perfect!

When we arrived for our session at the location, a few weeks after I had stopped by, I realized they were in fact tearing down much of what I had seen when I originally stopped to talk to him. At first I was so sad. However, the fact that they were still in the process of cleaning up a huge mess made it that much better for me creatively and we had ample opportunities for photographing! The turquoise truck you see was the property owners son’s. When I saw it, I was so excited! But he went to leave in the truck, stopping by to let me know he was leaving and would be back later. I made a silly comment of ‘oh no, we were looking forward to using your truck…!’ and he said “oh, then I will take another vehicle and come back later for this one!”. And he did…!! I’m so happy I made that silly comment. He even left the truck unlocked so we were able to use the truck and have the model sit in it!! The owners were so amazing and they left me at the property location with everything unlocked..! I called the owners when I was done and they came back to lock up. I did take them a plate of brownies and plan to bring them some prints of the model as well!

Did you collaborate with this senior to come up with the clothing and/or concept for this shoot?

For this session I had a couple of things that were going on. I had decided a little while back, that I wanted to offer a makeup artist to my clients as a session add-on option. I knew I would need examples of work to present to clients. The search began for a make-up artist and it wasn’t the easiest process! I finally enlisted a makeup artist friend of mine from years back to help me out with my selection as well as to help with any guidance {Sanni Sorma of Miss Sanni Mai’s Makeup, located in Paris, France}! I was very fortunate enough to have searched out and found a wonderful makeup artist, Brielle Brenner. Who in turn helped me search out the amazing model in the photographs, Christina Connor. All were willing and able to work with on this session collaboration! Brielle was awesome help as well with providing tons of advice and both were fantastic to work with! The concept and clothing/styling of the session and location was completely up to me.

What camera, lens and equipment were used for this shoot?

I photograph with a Nikon D3s. I used my 85mm as well as my 24-70mm, both Nikon. We did work past twilight and I also used my Nikon creative system with speed lights and soft boxes for a few of the shots.

What time of day were these taken?

We started in the afternoon and finished after twilight.

Can you share any post-processing techniques used when editing this session?

I’m fairly picky about my editing. I am currently processing with some slight color pop actions that I’ve made myself & I tweak with curves. I use Adobe CS6.

What is your favorite thing about this session?

I loved everything about this session, to be honest and I know that sounds cliché! Everything came together just as I pictured in my mind. This was the first session that I’ve “completely controlled”, from the makeup artist, to the model chosen and down to the exact clothing and accessories that were used and were my purchases. While I typically have creative control of my sessions, as far as helping my clients with what to wear, how to plan for their session and the best location to suit their ideas (among other things), this was a fun experience for me to shop and plan from the ad tear out sheet down to the final ending result.

What do you want this session to convey about this senior and about your senior photography style?

 As a photographer, I try really hard to create a session and vision with the clients best interests, personality and style in mind. After all, the photographs are theirs and they will treasure them forever. I really want a client’s personality to shine through in their images and want them to enjoy the session! This particular session, more so conveys that I am able to achieve in pictures what I have in my head. I’ve always been told I would be an artist and honestly, I’m an artist before I am a photographer. I love the creative process and I tend to throw conventional methods out the window because I’m not a technical person. It was funny, because since I was in control the styling/clothing choices for this session (and the fact that we were using bright 80’s colors as well) Christina said “I’m not used to wearing something this BRIGHT”! So, Christina was taken slightly out of her comfort zone into something she had not tried before and Brielle helped pull everything together with makeup. The experience was wonderful for all of us!

What is one tip you can share with other photographers regarding photographing seniors?

Seniors are very savvy, however not all of them are as comfortable as you would think in front of the camera. Getting to know your clients before a session and asking them to share what they will be wearing or using as props for the session is a great ice breaker! I love to know ahead of time what a client will be wearing for their session if at all possible. This also helps me know what my client is looking for in their pictures.

 

Amber Fox - This is such a FUN session!!! Every backdrop, prop and how you worked her wardrobe is perfect! Kuddos to you for creating an outstanding photo session, where the teen felt like a rockstar and you got brilliant images too! Gorgeous work.

Aaron - This session is awesome! I love the colors, the concept, & the editing is CRAZY!