First time for Everything?

Okay, well, it's not my first time shooting senior portraits. Nor is it my first time shooting with Taylor. HOWEVER! It was my first Senior Session of the year, and my first time shooting portraits on a dock!!! Was I scared of losing my camera to a watery grave? Absolutely. Am I just clumsy enough that I came close to realizing that fear? ....maybe. Did I step out of my comfort zone anyway and do something truly fun? YES!

Taylor Haven, a Running Start student majoring in music at SFCC was the first of many senior shoots this summer! Tay and I go way back and I was so excited to put to use all the fun things I knew about her! Taylor is on the worship team as a vocalist at her church, a skilled piano player, a little sister, a beloved daughter, a huge fan of turtles and old vine quotes, a friend to many, a girlfriend of one, and the definition of a "sunshine girl". She loves the water, hence the lakeside portraits, and her smile radiates cheerfulness.

When we first embarked on our journey to create beautiful senior portraits, we planned on shooting near Bear Lake. But, the weather didn't agree with that plan and we looked for alternate locations. Taylor remembered her instant connection with a lake resort she discovered a year before, Granite Point Lake Resort. With a single phone call, we were given permission to shoot and we made our way there!

The location is everything you could hope for in a been-there-since-forever-type lake resort. With an old fashioned boardwalk, whitewashed wood buildings, paddleboards, lush greenery, a water feature, snack shack, and that classic diving board facing the sunset, I had my pick of great backgrounds! Taylor wore oranges and blues, and her eyes truly popped against the stormy sky.

Saving the day, sharing laughs, and loving your daughter.

Like with every shoot, not everything can go to plan. Remember when I said the weather didn't like Bear Lake? Yeah, it eventually decided to dislike Loon Lake as well. HA! The wind hit first, and it made Taylor's golden curls fly to and froe! Then, we were soon greeted with that classic Washington spring rain! What started as a little drizzle quickly turned into a straight-up downpour that required some quick thinking and even quicker feet! Definitely one of the more comical highlights of the night was Taylor's father, Russ, wearing his coat like batman's cape and shielding my precious camera from the rain. While it was a very gentlemanly gesture, his goofy personality shone through and I couldn't help but laugh as he flailed his arms around to ensure he was gettin' ALL the drops. A mere rainstorm wasn't going to stop me, but Russ and his humor almost did! Eventually the rain subsided, and the cold blew in! Taylor's mom, Carisa, got chilled the quickest and she raced to put on as many layers as she could, which included wrapping Taylor's dress around her neck as a scarf once the wardrobe change had taken place. The more time I spent with this family, the more I saw the two parents reflected in their daughter. Dad's humor, Mom's resourcefulness, their combined value for others over themselves, and the way they spoke their love and adoration over the little one they were so proud of. It was enough to make me choke up. With every photo I showed them, Russ would call out "You are so beautiful Taylor!" and her mamma would smile with pride as they watched Taylor shine. Once we were finished and I had all the photos I could hope for, I returned home and thought back on our shoot. It dawned on me that the love, silliness, and kindness of this family is why I love what I do! I photograph relationship, after all. And even though I wasn't shooting a family session, they were there. Loving her, supporting her, and celebrating with her as she enjoyed this first step in graduation. What a precious thing to get to share in. What a wonderful gift these moments can be!

Until next time my friends,