It was a rather warm morning in The Woodlands. We decided to take some portraits of Gloria in the lovely WG Jones State Forest. Even though it was early in the morning, it was sure to get a quite toasty in the sun, so I tried to plan to stay in the shade as much as we could. The light filtered through the pine forest providing fairly mottle shade, but it produced some neat highlights in the background. I kept my model in the forest shade, trying to keep the leaf- shaped shadows off of her face and body, for a more evenly lit portrait.
The forest floor was not as lovely as it seems in the pictures. It was overgrown, full of ants, and thorny weeds. Walking was treacherous in high heels so Gloria kept her tennis shoes on most of the time, only changing shoes right before portraits were taken.
The first and second sets of lovely portraits were taken in the same general area, dodging the sunny areas peaking out from behind the trees. We used a speedlite in a softbox as a main light, using filtered daylight as fill.
For the last set of portraits we moved elsewhere in forest. I found a large log nestled in with some young pine trees, and thought that it would be a perfect setting. The sunlight backlighting the leaves and branches produced a lovely glowing effect. I moved the softbox close to Gloria from the side opposing sun, so that we would have plenty of light to fill the shadows. We took some full length portraits, combined with ¾ length to make a very lovely set.
When I edited these images, I tried to let the vibrance and contrast of these portraits speak to me. There were a few that were so lovely, I just couldn’t decide if I liked better in color, black and white, or chocolate. That is why I provided a few images here with the different color treatments.
It was 8:00 am and we met right as Mercer Botanical Gardens, in Spring, was opening. I think it was already in the high 80s, but it was nothing compared to how hot it would be in a few hours. We walked back to the Bamboo Garden section for this portrait session. Since Monika is a friend of mine, our sons played together while we took photos. I set up my camera and lighting gear, and off we went making some great summer portraits. These were taken with 1 speedlite attached to a softbox, with occasional use of a gold reflector, using morning sunlight as a fill light.
The sunlight filtering through the bamboo made this portrait session so beautiful. The images started to come effortlessly. The lighting, the posing, the atmosphere was extremely pleasant. We changed locations within the bamboo garden several times, and each location seemed as lovely as the last. The fan was not an intended prop. It was something she had on hand to keep cool, and I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to take a few images of her amazing eyes. The parasol was a prop that she brought and wanted to use, upon which we both loved the final images with the light shining through her purple parasol. The 2 hours that we were at Mercer seemed to just fly by. We only decided to end the portrait session since it was getting nearly too hot to be out without profusely sweating!
After heading home to take a look at the images that I got, I started to see the possibilities in post production. To me, these finished portraits have a surreal, yet very 50s feel to them. The slight selective de-saturation and the brightness of her eyes make these images unique. These portraits truly transformed Monika into a bamboo princess!
We did this future rockstar’s senior portraits near Waterway Square in The Woodlands. He was easy to work with, and had lots of ideas about poses and such. I was quite happy with what we got in just a short amount of time. I love doing senior portraits because they usually have such great ideas and interesting props which allow for a lot more edgy portraits than normal.
We started at 8:00a, so that it wouldn’t get too hot out, during the course of our portrait session. We started at the Woodlands Waterway, near some of the restaurants. This first picture was actually taken at the entrance to a parking garage. The tile matched his purple shirt perfectly. The light was coming in overhead from a tinted glass canopy, which seemed to diffuse the light a little bit. The tile was only complete down to his waist, so all of these pictures were taken from the waist up.
The second picture was taken near The Woodlands Waterway. There is a stairway that I was able to get up on and take the portraits pointing down at him. There was light bouncing all around the stairwell, but I did use a small reflector to bounce some more light into this senior’s face.
The last two portraits were taken at a little known out of the way place in The Woodlands, on College Park road. I used a reflector on the last portrait, but only natural light on the second to last photo. These old scarred and beaten freight trailers were just the urban and grungy backdrop that this senior was hoping for.
These senior portraits lent themselves to an edgy and colorful post-production. I brightened the colors and sharpened the details, which allowed the colorful nature of this senior’s personality to shine through. I did play with the lighting a bit, which made these senior portraits really unique.
Since I have recently moved my blog to a new site I will show you some highlights from my last few sessions in the next few posts. Jacquelyn was my first senior portrait shoot. I think that this is my favorite photo though!
On location family portrait photographer in The Woodlands, TX