Some senior girls just like variety! That’s how Rachel felt about her senior pictures. She wanted the best of two worlds since she loves both the city AND the country/nature. To accommodate the mix, we split her extended senior portrait session into two, one hour sessions.
Planning Rachels Photo Session
Our adventure began when Rachel and I met up last summer to discuss her senior pictures. We knew each other a little from church, but not too personally, so I was looking forward to our coffee talk! As we sat at St Thomas Roasters, coffees in hand, I asked her what she was into and whether she had a vision for her senior photos.
She told me she loves to read, draw, listen to music and hang with her friends. As 3rd oldest of 7 kids, she doesn’t get much quiet time! She loves travel and has a heart to serve and has been on quite a few mission trips; Honduras, Kentucky, North Carolina and New York, and hopes to do many more in her lifetime. She’s been accepted at Messiah College to pursue her BS in Nursing and hopes she can use those skills on the mission field some day.
City Girl/Country Girl Senior Pictures
Rachel told me it was hard for her to decide on a location, because she loves nature but also really loves the city. So I suggested we split her session into two shorter ones so we could capture a little of each. She liked that idea, so together we decided on Mid-town, Harrisburg followed by a field of flowers. We were excited about the idea of the contrasting environments for her!
Posing for Senior Pictures
When I asked Rachel if she had any concerns about being photographed, she said that she felt unsure about posing and would need help there. This wasn’t a concern to me at all. I actually prefer when a senior girl or boy doesn’t have any pre-conceived notions about how they should pose. So I told her not to worry about that because I would give her plenty of direction and it would be fun.
Her Midtown Photo Session
When the date for Rachel’s Midtown photo session rolled around, I met up with her, her Mom, Kristen and one of her younger sisters, Sarah. We looked over her clothing options and decided where to start. I brought along my new portable dressing room which worked out really well. Rachel and Leah instructed me on the art of the boomerang video to capture that fun… woohoo! Teach this grandma some new tricks ladies! ?
We made our way through alley-ways finding spots with lots of urban character. State street is littered with churches and other structures with interesting doorways, alleyways and courtyards. As it turns out, Rachel (who didn’t know how to pose) did really awesome with all these little head tilts and micro-adjustments without even being prompted. I literally laughed out loud and said, “I thought you didn’t know how to pose!” Friends. She’s a natural! Don’t let her fool you. Seriously, I think it’s just this young lady’s natural beauty and joy coming through. She can’t help it. It’s who she is.
After state street, we hopped in the car in search of a mural. Which led us to this fun and funky wall. Rachel said the boy on it reminded her of her little brother. I just loved the way her mustard-colored shirt popped against the purple mural. The random paint splashes made a cool backdrop for some fun and candid shots of her, her mom and sister. I really like the contrast between this casual look with the mural and the more formal feel you get from the masonry and other features we found on state street.
Her Hershey Photo Session: A field of flowers
A month or so passed since our Harrisburg session, and I had been keeping an eye out for something pretty for Rachel’s flower field session. One evening, as I took a different way home from work in Hershey, I drove past a field full of yellow and purple wildflowers and Rachel came to my mind immediately. So I texted her right away and we arranged to meet the following week for part 2 of her senior pictures session!
This time she brought her Dad and a girlfriend, Emily – see how I used those new boomerang skills?! We put on our bug spray and boots and waded into the weeds together. It didn’t take long to capture the nature-loving Rachel looking beautiful in her grassy field. Dad captured a few BTS shots for us before wrapping up our time together.
A Pandemic Senior Year
It’s now spring of 2020 as I post this. Thanks to COVID, Rachel has finished her senior year online. We talked just the other day about how the pandemic has stolen so many of the things she and her friends looked forward to doing together. Like their Senior trips and events that were cancelled. Then Prom was delayed and may be missed altogether. Now graduation isn’t going to be the event they expected. It’s a big disappointment for her and her friends.
In spite of all the disappointments, she’s been making the best of this time. She keeps busy – enjoying the outdoors and time with close friends where she can. This girl has a great attitude and an outlook that I admire. I just want to say congratulations Rachel. You’ve made it to this big milestone in your life and you’re going to do great things. I just know it. I can’t wait to see where God leads you!
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