Thursday, July 24, 2008

Get the Job Done: First Senior Portrait Commission

I had a consultation last night with the first teenager who has commissioned me to shoot a senior portrait. The young lady, Jordan, is the lovely daughter of her equally lovely mother, Teri, whom graces the banner of my blog and has been pictured in previous blog entries and featured photos. I can't believe how much (and how fast) Jordan has matured into this hip, driven individual, and I definitely want to add as much of those characteristics into our planned session.

I first photographed Jordan during my first portrait session with Teri and her family last year. What I remember most about that set of photos is this wonderfully captured moment between Teri and Jordan when Mom realized that Dad had given Jordan permission to have a piercing (of course without Mom's consent!). You can see how Jordan got found out as you read through this post.

I think this moment let's the viewer see not only the relationship between mother and daughter, but gives us an idea of the mischievous and ultra-urban nature of Jordan. I remembered this set of pics when I spoke to her last night to get her ideas of what she wanted done. And I also implemented some new business practices I've developed since the wedding.

Jordan and I looked over her yearbook to get an idea of the kinds of images she liked or didn't much care for. We also checked out the school's rules for submitting senior high school portraits, including the need for vertical and color shots, but no distracting backgrounds or props. We both agreed we wanted to try something edgy and nontraditional (meaning no green plants surrounding the subject or waterscapes). Jordan said no to vignetting and no to pictures where she's not looking at the camera, but yes to removing her piercings (to please her mother).

The one thing we noticed that no one else had (which we all know is extremely important to teenagers) is a night portrait. Since my free workshop with Illuminate Photography, I've become addicted to night photography. The school doesn't have any rules against it, but we think that's because it's never been done before! So we will try some urban shots with city lights behind her. We also want to play with center focused, nearly panning type shots where Jordan is focused but everything else around her is blurred and moving. I already have a couple of places in mind, but I will be scouting out more locales this weekend.

And just in case the school nixes our unorthodox ideas, we will do a few traditional poses too!

Jordan accepted several upgrades to her portrait package (which includes 2 8x10s or 4 5x7s). She will buy a CD with all of the edited images only printable as 4X6s, and she will get her makeup done from one of my makeup artists. To help grow my business, Jordan has agreed to refer her friends to me. For her efforts, any referrals who book sessions with me will result in either package discounts or extra prints. Looks as if she's going to want extra prints. And her yearbook gave me the idea of buying a full page ad sometime in the future!

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