Meet Sayler, Class of 2018. She looks fresh as the morning dew here, am I right? What would you say if I told you that it was actually *97 degrees* when we took this shot in full sun? I would say that Saylor is amazingly impervious to heat! Her mom and I were juggling water bottles and misters and doing everything we could to just function. Sayler, meanwhile, was totally fine.
If you get to know Sayler you'll find that she has a deceptively sweet sounding voice. Don't get me wrong, she actually *is* incredibly sweet and I loved every minute I spent with her! What I mean by deceptive is that she is, in fact, a decisive person and knows what she wants --which I love-- but not necessarily what you'd expect after just casually chatting with her for a few minutes. I actually think that this contrast is going to serve her really well in life. Kind of like that old adage that you can catch more flies with honey...She has this honey-voice, but is definitely a catcher.
Sayler's an athlete -- she plays soccer and lacrosse -- and she's got some battle scars to prove it. But when the possibility came up of whisking them away with photoshop she said, "Leave them in." Love it! And I'm not just saying that because it's less work for me; I'm saying that because I love that Sayler sees them as a part of herself, part of a memory, an experience, and not something to try to hide or erase. It's so incredibly powerful to take a part of you that others might perceive as a "flaw" and valuing it as something that makes you unique.
Sayler's in the midst of college applications right now: one down, several more to go. She's mostly applying to schools in Oregon and Colorado. When I asked about writing personal statements she mentioned that all the schools she's applying to this year have writing prompts on heavy topics. And I do mean heavy. But she does have experiences to draw on and it sounded like her writing samples are going to knock it out of the park.
Sayler, you did an amazing job at your senior portrait session. I can't wait to catch up with you in the spring for your Cap & Gown shoot and find out where you will be next year!
I am a high school senior portrait photographer in the SF east bay area.