Brielle wanted something different for her senior portrait session.
She’s getting ready to graduate from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts and wanted nothing to do with the average in-house portraits. She wanted to express herself in foilage-filled backdrops and along the beaches.
I agreed, but also knew that Brielle didn’t need great backdrops to make people look at her photographs. All she had to do was show up.
Brielle has a confidence about her that’s well beyond her years.
I like to say that a photography shoot is a 50-50 proposition. The subject has to give me the moments and looks to photograph. I have to have the technical abilities and knowledge of light to capture those moments when they’re delivered.
I told Brielle and her mother that this shoot was a 75-25 in Brielle’s favor. Almost anyone with a working knowledge of photography could shoot her well.
That became even more apparent when we sat down to make their photo selections. We had agreed on a delivery of 5 of their favorite images for her senior portrait session. That would have given them a variety of poses and looks to capture that important time in her life. When we started going through the images, it was very soon apparent that Brielle couldn’t take a bad photograph.
We were all overwhelmed with the session. They ended up taking more than 130 images.
I knew Brielle was a dance major at her school and I knew that we’d have to incorporate some of that talent into the session. How do you do that?
I turned her loose.
I picked the area and told her to walk along this straight section of the boardwalk and to walk back and forth along it and let her emotions out. She did. This is one of my favorite frames from those moments. To me, it expresses the carelessness of her youth and the beauty of her talents. To me, it expresses freedom.
We shot more of her dance as the sun set. Brielle loved the photographs, but was very particular about her form in the shots. She was a perfectionist, looking at her leg position, her arms and hands. She only wanted the frames that were technically perfect in their form. I loved the drama of beauty of the shots. I had always wanted to shoot a dancer at the beach at sunset.
This last frame is a little too centered for my liking, but I’m adding it anyway. It’s a great closing shot for the series. We had milked the day of its light. It was time to say goodnight.
Thank you Brielle.