August 17, 2017

Saratoga Springs Senior Portrait Behind the Scenes

Our High School Senior Portrait Photography Season is well under way here!

Recently I got to photograph Natalie’s Senior Portrait Session.  After we did her traditional Yearbook photo, we went outdoors on location.  Natalie is a runner, so she wanted to do this portion of her session at the State Park, which has hosted many of her meets.  While we were photographing, her mom Brenda was taking some Behind the Scenes photos.  When I saw them, I thought it would be fun to do a blog about what I was thinking when I photographed the images.  Some people think photographers just run around willy-nilly going click, click.  Nothing can be further from the truth!  A Portrait Photographer needs to constantly think about lighting, composition and posing.

Saratoga Springs Senior Portrait
Avenue of the Pines at the Park. So pretty.

I really like the Avenue of the Pines because the green color and the texture of the trees is really great.  The light was soft, but had good directionality.  The light was coming mostly from camera right.  I moved slightly to my left because there was lots of traffic on the road that would have looked bad in the frame, plus the trees on that side did not look all that great.  I was using my 70-200mm lens because I love that lens outdoors. It makes the background look dreamy.   I did need to use just a tiny bit of off camera flash to fill in Natalie’s eye sockets (raccoon eyes are never great), but other than that the light was good.  I had her look away because I feel like not every image needs to be looking directly at the camera.

Saratoga Springs Photographers
The light here was perfect for a portrait. Plus I really like sunflowers.

Next we went to the entrance at the end of Avenue of the Pines because they have some really wonderful flower beds. Natalie has a very pretty profile, so I posed her to show that.  No supplemental light was needed here.  The sun was camera left and slightly behind her, lighting the profile perfectly.  Still using the 70-200:)  You can see how far back I am.  The composition is not your typical high school portrait because I wanted something a little more artistic.  So I utilized negative space.  In post production I darkened the lower right corner to bring more attention to her lovely face.

Saratoga Springs Portrait Photo
There is a really nice open area that looks perfect at just the right time of day.

I love this last one because it shows the difference between the wide angle lens on Brenda’s camera and the 70-200 I had on my camera.  Natalie is very pretty, so the background needs to be secondary.  That is what the 70-200 helps achieve by blurring the background slightly.  You know it is a field, but your really don’t see too much detail.  Her body is posed to make a C shape to give movement in the frame.  The background is darker than she is so she pops out.  The main light is coming from the sun at camera right.  No supplemental light was needed.  You can also see that the photo on the left has a yellow cast, while the one I took does not.  That is because I am able to control white balance in camera and make adjustments in Lightroom in post production.  When I photograph, my camera is set to low contrast and low saturation.  I can control how much contrast and saturation I add in post production.  It is harder to subtract contrast and saturation in post.

That is it for this Behind the Scenes Post at a Senior Portrait Session.  Would you like to see more Senior Portraits?  Please check out our Senior Portrait Gallery.  Are you ready to book your Senior Session with us?  Be sure to read the Senior Portrait FAQ section first!