"I definitely took some dance classes when I was, like, 5," Canyon mentioned as we walked over to the shoot site. I was wondering how she happened to own the corset and the tutu; I had sort of assumed that she was a dancer. "No," she explained, "not really. I did take a dance class last year but it was part of a theatrical production I was in."
So the corset and tutu? "A halloween costume!" She exclaimed. The corset was off Amazon and the tutu she actually made herself out of tulle.
I had seen a snapshot of her in this outfit on her instagram and thought: we need to get HER in THAT in the SNOW!
I spent a bit of time location scouting. And then I stumbled across this place and thought: game over!
I absolutely love stylized photoshoots: they are such a fun way to experiment and try new things! And just for fun, below is an unedited picture taken in between takes. The coat was helpful, but it turns out that wearing a pair of cage heels in the snow makes you cold faster than anything! Lesson learned.
In case you live in the Tri-Valley and don't already know who Madi is, allow me to enlighten you. Madi is a level 10 gymnast, which I guess is one step before an Olympic level. When she was 14 Madi was offered a full ride to Oregon State, and since she did a verbal commit then, she's known where she was going to college since she was in 8th grade. Consider my mind boggled.
Now in order to make this all happen Madi, who goes to HS in Pleasanton, commutes to her gym in the peninsula 4 days a week and practices 5 hours per day. Pleasanton USD was kind enough to allow her a class schedule that lets her to head out a bit early for this.
So I knew all this about Madi before our photoshoot, and I was really wondering what a person would be like with that kind of drive and dedication. Was she going to stare me down with steely intensity? Was it going to be all about focus, details, minutes on the clock?
Not at all. Madi drove up with her mom, we talked about outfits, we talked about classes...apart from a few shots in her leos, Madi's senior session was just like anybody else. Actually, I take that back. Madi is both totally casual and pretty silly so her session included more peace signs than I typically take.
Madi's cap & gown mini in the spring is going to be awesome because we're trying to time it for when her sister Lacy is home to get the two of them together: Lacy is already on the gymnastics team at OSU and Madi is super excited to join her in the fall. I can't wait to see you two together!
Jessica is a ballet dancer. The concept for her senior portrait shoot was poses on pointe in an urban setting. So we headed out to downtown Livermore. When we arrived, some sort of performance had just ended at the Bankhead theater resulting in a ton of high school kids wandering around wearing kilts. The timing could not have been better because it's much less weird to be dancing around on pointe, in a gorgeous dress, in a random alleyway, when everyone around you is a performer in some sort of costume anyways. When in Rome, right?
We had all kinds of fun figuring out which insanely flexible moves Jessica could hit. And we went around to several spots. In the black and white picture, when she came down from this pose I heard a strange metallic clinking sound near the ground. "Did something just pop off of your shoe?" I asked. "Umm...actually that was some change," Jessica explained. Apparently some guy in the parking complex behind us had showered Jessica with money. Another first at a photoshoot for me.
I am a high school senior portrait photographer in the SF east bay area.