Lighting a Senior Portrait with the Sun and the Profoto B2

A quick lighting lesson for outdoor portrait sessions.

Devin is an amazing young woman and full of life. Her senior portrait session was a blast for us all. At one point, we were walking from one spot to another (shade to shade – we are in Arizona, after all) and I fell in love with the idea of Devin with her ukulele in this corn field. Cute right? Also very difficult to light naturally, because we are in direct sunlight.

So, I am going to give you the quick recipe for a bright sunlit scenario:

1. Turn your subject away from the sun. This give you a nice rim light to separate her from the background and it keeps her from squinting into the sun. And it keeps her face in her own shadow.

2. Light her with a powerful flash, but NOT from the camera. Our flash is coming from off the left side of the frame, as close to the frame as possible. Lighting her from the side keeps the subject full of volume, rather than flattening her out and looking like an obvious flash. On camera flash is the worst kind of flash.

3. To match the power of the sun, you will need a lot of light from your flash. Whatever flash you have (mine was a Profoto B2) you can increase its power and size by using a deep silver umbrella (on any flash) which will magnify the light by nearly double. So, even if you have a speedlight… you can double its power by using a Profoto Deep Silver Umbrella. Make sure to push the flash all the way into the umbrella.

4. Play with the power of your flash until you have the right mix of ambient light from the sun and flash light from the flash. Notice that we did not lover the ambient light so that everything was dark and rich blue, because it was a bright sunny day. We let it feel that way in the shot and then simply added light on her face to fill in the shadows under the hat and on the entire camera side of her body. But not so bright that we lost the feel of he being in her own shadow.

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Lighting with one light is simple, if you pay attention to and use the light you already have and just use your one additional light to augment the light that already exists.  Don’t fight the light, work with it.  Let God do 90% of the work and you just do the other 10%.

P.S.  Contrary to her look in the behind the scenes photo, Devin was having a good time.  But I think there may have been a bee flying around.

Madison’s Senior Portraits in Gilbert, Arizona

We spent the morning with Madison in Gilbert, Arizona, photographing her senior portraits. Here are my favorites from the shoot.
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Ellie’s Senior Portraits

We photographed Ellie for her senior portraits a while ago, but I thought I would share this behind the scenes slideshow.  Making senior portraits is one of the most enjoyable things I do as a photographer because it is a collaboration between me and an incredible and unique individual who is just bursting out into the world ready to conquer!  I love it!

Enjoy the slideshow and watch for more slideshows and photo posts throughout the summer months.

Location: Chandler, Arizona

Slideshow music by It Takes Two to Tango, courtesy of Triple Scoop Music

Senior Portrait Photography by Jared Platt, Platt Photography

Free Webinar with Profoto: One Light Portraits

On May 21, join me at Profoto.com/live on location for a real senior portrait shoot.

Those of you who do not live in the US might wonder what a senior portrait is. It is simply a portrait taken of a student during his or hers senior year of high school.  In this case, I am taking you on a real senior portrait shoot, which we have filmed just for you to see our lighting techniques.

We bring a single flash to the shoot and utilize simple yet effective lighting techniques that make lighting a portrait simple and beautiful.  This webinar is not just for senior portrait photographers.  Any photographer wanting to create beautiful portraits fast on location will have plenty to learn.

The webinar will take place on May 21 at 7PM CET (May 21 at 10AM Los Angeles, 1PM New York, 6PM London, 7PM Paris // May 22 at 1AM Beijing, 2AM Tokyo, 3AM Sydney).

Go to www.profoto.com/live to sign up or watch live.

Senior Portraits with Alex in Scottsdale, Arizona

Alex met me at the Scottsdale Center for the Arts for her Senior Portrait.  There is a little park there in the middle of the city and it is very close to old town Scottsdale.  Between the two, we had all sorts of options for backgrounds.  Here are some of my favorite images from the portrait session.

Scottsdale, Arizona Senior Portrait Photography by Jared Platt

Senior Portrait Photography

Senior Portrait Photography

I just realized, I have posted all smiling photos of Alex.  Well, she has a beautiful smile, so…

Senior Portrait Photography

Senior Portrait Photography

I love the rough planks on this building, but this wall of the building is only visible to the back parking lot and alleyway and there really isn’t much room to take the photo.  I would have loved a wider shot of the entire wall, but with all the cars in front of the wall, that wasn’t an option, so we went with a tighter portrait.

Senior Portrait Photography

Senior Portrait Photography

This next set of images remind me of an Anthropology catalog.  When Alex walked out in this dress, I immediately thought of Anthropology, so we went right to this ivy covered wall and my first order of business in post-production was to add the faded warm color treatment you see used on the photo.

Senior Portrait Photography

Senior Portrait Photography

 

Senior Portraits by Jared Platt, Platt Photography

Slideshow Music by Mindy Gledhill, Courtesy of Triple Scoop Music.

Location: Scottsdale, Arizona

Lindy’s Senior Portraits in San Diego, California

Meet Lindy.  Senior, class of 2013.  She’s a all around great girl with a great attitude.  I love to meet high school students who have perspective and can see the big picture.  Sometimes a teenager who is wise beyond their years can be a bit too serious so they aren’t super fun, but Lindy has a lot of energy and spunk, but still sees her world in realistic terms.  That’s important.  Well, I can’t say enough good about her and we wish her the very best during her senior year and out into her future.

We took Lindy’s senior portraits in San Diego at Mission Beach.  We arrived at the beach early in the morning, so the beach was fairly empty which gave us plenty of room to work.  I love the over cast day.  So many clients worry when their photo day or wedding has clouds, but when it comes to photos, I couldn’t ask for anything better.  I love the soft light.  It gives me a nice even exposure to deal with.  Then, if I want to sculpt with light, I can add a little light wherever I want to see it.

Senior portraits by Jared Platt (9)

Lindy brought along a hat, which I completely loved, so that stayed with us a lot during the shoot.  While in this next image, it is merely a prop, it finishes the photo in many of the images.

Senior portraits by Jared Platt (8)

Senior portraits by Jared Platt (7)

This is where the hat really makes the image!

Senior portraits by Jared Platt (6)

Senior portraits by Jared Platt (5)

This next image is very important to me as a photographer.  Catching a subtle and important aspect of a senior’s personality in an image is important to me.  And this image, speaks volumes to me about Lindy.  That strong determination is a big part of how I see her.  I suppose I can be wrong in my read of personality, but when I am photographing someone, I think I get a good read on people.  And with Lindy, because she is a good friend to our family, I think I can say with confidence that this one is very accurate.  But, I suppose you’ll have to ask her mom.

Senior portraits by Jared Platt (4)

Senior portraits by Jared Platt (3)

We did a few shots of Lindy looking at the camera next to her 2013 numbers in the sand, but I liked this one the best.

Senior portraits by Jared Platt (2)

This is a great example of the process of sculpting in a subdued and flat lighting condition.  I am using the ambient marine layer lighting to get the basic exposure accomplished, then with my Canon Speedlite 600RT flash off camera to the left and behind the subject, I am adding the crest of light on her nose and cheek-bone, etc.  This gives the photo great deal of volume with very little effort.  Normally, the sun would fill in as the backlight, but when the sun is held up behind a thick cloud, you have to create your own sun.  The nice thing about this manufactured sun (a flash), the power is completely controllable.

Senior portraits by Jared Platt (1)

Lindy, thanks for trusting us with your Senior Portrait.  May every year ahead of you be a success!

Senior Portrait Photography by Jared Platt, Platt Photography

Slideshow Music by Mindy Gledhill, courtesy of Triple Scoop Music

Location: San Diego, California

Sarah’s Senior Portraits in Chandler, Arizona

Sarah is my final senior for the class of 2012, graduating from Hamilton High School.  Smart, funny, talented and pretty.  She was fun to work with.  Here are some of my favorite images from her senior portrait session.

Lest you think this is just a bike we grabbed for the senior portraits, that’s not the way I roll.  Props are always extremely personal for my seniors.  This is her bike.  I have seen her ride it on several occasions, though I think that may change now that is it officially five thousand degrees outside.

Sarah was smart and got up very early in the morning for her portrait session.  This meant, we got to shoot in the cool of the morning and got beautiful clean golden light from the sunrise.  There is nothing like photographing in the early morning.  It just takes commitment.

A truck drove by on the dirt road and kicked up some dust so I sent her back out onto the road to get this shot, the dust made for a great change in the lighting scenario.  You can see the difference between this shot and the previous shot.  The difference is dust.  I have been known to have someone do a quick donut in a car to kick up some dust for a photo shoot.

I love this photo.  I took great care to make this photo as natural as possible.  Sarah’s grandfather has passed on.  She is wearing her grandfather’s jacket and holding a picture of him.  But the key to photographing someone and having them interact with someone who is no longer here is a tricky one.  If you dismiss the importance of the relationship, you are shortsighted, but if you overplay the visual, then you don’t do the relationship justice.  So when Sarah brought out a photo of her grandfather, I wanted to make sure I got it right.  It’s a simple photo, but I think it feels natural and there’s a softness and comfort level in the photograph that makes me think I got this one right.

I was adjusting the photos in front of another photographer and she remarked how striking Sarah’s eyes were.  I quite agree.

You are thinking, “the outfit couldn’t be any more perfectly matched to the car.”

Until you see the jeans.

Sarah is a very playful girl.  I guess it comes with the Theater background.  She likes to put on a show.

Case in point!

Now, I have to end with this image because I have a connection here with Sarah.  She loves Poe and I have always loved EA Poe.  Each Christmas Eve, my father would read the Christmas story from Luke or sometimes from Jesus the Christ (by James E Talmage), but after the Christmas story, we were then treated to a reading of The Raven, by AE Poe and then an encore reading of The Bells.  Some in my family complained and thought it was bizarre.  I have always enjoyed the tradition.  So I can relate with Sarah’s affinity for Poe.

Senior Portrait Photography by Jared Platt

Location: Chandler Arizona

High School: Hamilton High School

Mary’s Senior Portraits in Gilbert and Chandler, Arizona

Mary is one smart and driven girl… and as you can see, quite beautiful as well.  I have know Mary and her family since they moved to Arizona from Alaska.  The time flew so fast and now she’s graduating (of course graduating in three years makes made the time go by a lot faster).  Congratulations Mary.

Here are some of my favorite images from Mary’s senior portrait photography session.

A senior portrait session by Jared platt in Gilbert and Chandler Arizona (8)

When you take photographs of people, you look for identifying things about them, things that everyone else would notice.  One of those things about Mary is her eyes.  So lighting was extremely important to make sure her eyes were featured with enough light to show them off.

A senior portrait session by Jared platt in Gilbert and Chandler Arizona (7)

A senior portrait session by Jared platt in Gilbert and Chandler Arizona (6)

Mary’s sneior portrait session was photographed with the new Canon Mark 5D Mark III and a set of Canon Speedlight 600ex RT flashes.  The RT in the name basically means these flashes have radio transmission capabilities.  Which means extremely accurate off camera flash capability right from flash to flash, no additional hardware needed.  In this next set of images you will see the beauty of the system.

In this next shot, I have a lot of sun coming down at Mary’s back, which gives her a great glow, but without some kind of forward light, I would have her face in too dark a shadow.  So I have two Canon 600 Speedlights on either side the right flash just 2/3 stop higher in power than the other giving her a nice even fill on her face.  These flashes are fantastic.  Stay tuned for a full review of the flashes.

A senior portrait session by Jared platt in Gilbert and Chandler Arizona (5)

In this next shot, even though Mary is in the full shade of the house, I am able to give her a nice glow with the use of the Canon 600 Speedlight flashes.  I absolutely love this shot.

A senior portrait session by Jared platt in Gilbert and Chandler Arizona (4)

It took me by surprise, but Mary can be quite the performer.  After a little coaxing from her sisters and her mother, Mary opened up and gave us a great show.

A senior portrait session by Jared platt in Gilbert and Chandler Arizona (3)

A senior portrait session by Jared platt in Gilbert and Chandler Arizona (2)

Congratulations, Mary.  I wish you the best.  You’ll do great.

A senior portrait session by Jared platt in Gilbert and Chandler Arizona (1)

Senior Portrait Photography by Jared Platt, Platt Photography

Slideshow Music by Mindy Gledhill, Courtesy of Triple Scoop Music

Location: Gilbert Arizona and Chandler Arizona

Felicia’s Senior Portraits in Scottsdale, Arizona

I met Felicia for her senior portrait photography session in downtown Scottsdale, Arizona.  Within a few blocks, there is everything you need for a wide variety of portraits.  Felicia is a fun, down to earth girl.  I had a great time with her and her sister.  Here are a few of my favorite images from the session.

High School Senior Portrait Photography by Jared Platt in Scottsdale Arizona (1)

Jillian has the gravity assisted iCrack app on he iPhone.  But was still using it to snap some cool shots of the photo session.  This is what I think an iPhone war correspondent’s iPhone would look like.

High School Senior Portrait Photography by Jared Platt in Scottsdale Arizona (2)

High School Senior Portrait Photography by Jared Platt in Scottsdale Arizona (3)

Both of the following shots were fantastic.  What a fantastic smile on the first one and then a drop dead gorgeous look on the second.  I loved the bright and airy feel to the entire set.

High School Senior Portrait Photography by Jared Platt in Scottsdale Arizona (4)

High School Senior Portrait Photography by Jared Platt in Scottsdale Arizona (5)

There are some seriously cramped alleyways in Scottsdale.  I was in there setting up a light and the girls were peaking in.

High School Senior Portrait Photography by Jared Platt in Scottsdale Arizona (6)

This is one of my absolute favorites from the day.  The movement, the shallow depth of field, a great look on her face and the hair!!!!  It all makes for a nice photo.

High School Senior Portrait Photography by Jared Platt in Scottsdale Arizona (7)

The light on this image is great.  It is simply side light from the street down the alleyway.

High School Senior Portrait Photography by Jared Platt in Scottsdale Arizona (8)

And here is our iPhone war correspondent in action documenting the whole thing.

High School Senior Portrait Photography by Jared Platt in Scottsdale Arizona (9)

Then a quick trip to the desert for some twilight photographs.

High School Senior Portrait Photography by Jared Platt in Scottsdale Arizona (10)

I love this time of day for portraits.  It’s only a few minute window, but there’s nothing better than twilight.

High School Senior Portrait Photography by Jared Platt in Scottsdale Arizona (11)

High School Senior Portrait Photography by Jared Platt in Scottsdale Arizona (12)

High School Senior Portrait Photography by Jared Platt in Scottsdale Arizona (13)

High School Senior Portrait Photography by Jared Platt in Scottsdale Arizona (14)

While we were in downtown Scottsdale, we went to the side of the Sugar Bowl ice-cream shop and shot some fun stuff which works really well in a photo booth style display.

Felicia, it was a joy shooting with you.  You are beautiful, smart and funny.  It was a pleasure.

High School Senior Portrait Photography by Jared Platt in Scottsdale Arizona (15)

Senior Portrait Photography by Jared Platt, Platt Photography

Location: Scottsdale, Arizona

Slideshow Music by Fisher, Courtesy of Triple Scoop Music.

McKay’s Senior Portraits in Phoenix, Arizona

McKay and I took a drive out to the desert  to take his senior portraits.  I loved his selection of clothing.  It wasn’t what I had expected, but after spending some time with him.  It all fits him.  Here are a few of my favorite images from McKay’s senior portrait session.

I loved the white cowboy hat.  But in the blazing Phoenix sun, keeping that hat from over-exposing requires a little extra lighting, which I solved with a Canon Speedlight and a set of Pocket Wizards.  Besides, anytime someone is wearing a cowboy hat, something has to be done to light the underside of the brim.

Senior portraits in phoenix arizona by senior photographer jared platt, platt photography (9)

McKay brought a seriously tough lookin’ truck, so we employed it in a number of shots.  But when he threw the camo on, I couldn’t resist the tailgate shot.  If you follow me at all, you could expect the vacancy in this photo.  I had the choice of more truck, more desert or more sky.  I chose more sky; it puts some contrasting scale to McKay and his truck.

Senior portraits in phoenix arizona by senior photographer jared platt, platt photography (8)

As we were moving around the desert, we ran into a little building, it looked like a saloon replica, but the door was open, so we went in and got some great portraits with indirect light from the doors and windows.

Senior portraits in phoenix arizona by senior photographer jared platt, platt photography (7)

Senior portraits in phoenix arizona by senior photographer jared platt, platt photography (6)

There’s nothing like a long dirt road!  Sometimes I feel like there’s too much pavement.  Not to say I want to go back to the horse and buggy, but I do love the simplicity of a graded road, and even better the quaintness of a two track road.

Senior portraits in phoenix arizona by senior photographer jared platt, platt photography (5)

Now that’s a truck!

Senior portraits in phoenix arizona by senior photographer jared platt, platt photography (4)

McKay lives in the shadow of South Mountain.  So his back yard is perfect for desert photos in open shade for hours.

Senior portraits in phoenix arizona by senior photographer jared platt, platt photography (3)

Senior portraits in phoenix arizona by senior photographer jared platt, platt photography (2)

And once the sun went down, we did a few formal portraits inside.  I love the book shelf.

Senior portraits in phoenix arizona by senior photographer jared platt, platt photography (1)

 Senior Portrait Photography by Jared Platt, Platt Photography

Slideshow Music by Roy Ashen, Courtesy of Triple Scoop Music

Location: Awatukee – Phoenix, Arizona

The iCrack App: Adding Realistic Looking Cracks to Every Senior Portrait!

I just shot Felicia’s senior portrait in Scottsdale, Arizona, and her sister Jillian was along with her iPhone, documenting the experience.  Well, it turns out she has the iCrack App on her iPhone, which adds the most realistic looking cracks to every photo she takes.

We had a blast on the shoot.  Stay tuned for some of my favorite images from the shoot.

Photo of a cracked iPhone screen, taken at a senior portrait session in Scottsdale Arizona

Senior Portrait Photography by Jared Platt

Location: Scottsdale, Arizona.

Cracked iPhone still works.  Amazing.

The Twins’ Senior Portraits in Chandler, Arizona.

Megan and Caitlin are both wonderfully talented musicians, so when we were planning their senior portraits, I wanted to make sure that we included their musical talents in the photo shoot.  For Caitlin, this was as simple as bringing her cello along, but Megan just happens to play the piano.  I am used to carrying pianos into strange places from my portraits of Kevin Burdick, but it’s never fun.  Fortunately I had some help lifting that thing.  All pianos are heavy.

Here are a few of  my favorite images from Megan and Caitlin’s senior portrait photo shoot.

Senior portraits of twins in Chandler Arizona Desert (1)

I love the line of telephone poles down the right side of the frame, and with all the dirt and such, it needed to be altered to feel much older.

Senior portraits of twins in Chandler Arizona Desert (2)

Even though they are both smart and talented, Megan and Caitlin’s personalities are as different as their hair.  I love the differences in style and stance… even facial expression.  But still there is a solidarity that you expect from twins.

Senior portraits of twins in Chandler Arizona Desert (3)

This was the absolute golf light of the evening.  Moments before the sun went down.  I love what is does to the sky, to the tracks and the way is traces the girls.

Senior portraits of twins in Chandler Arizona Desert (4)

Senior portraits of twins in Chandler Arizona Desert (5)

Senior portraits of twins in Chandler Arizona Desert (6)

This is what I envisioned when I thought of bringing the piano to this location.  The Groves is a strange little group of trees.  I love it most in black and white.  I had no idea what Megan was bringing in the clothing department until we got to the location, but the hat was absolutely perfect.

Senior portraits of twins in Chandler Arizona Desert (7)

How’s this for sun flair?  Megan has a fantastic smile and while it is very genuine, can be delivered perfectly on demand.  How many of you can say that about yourselves?

Senior portraits of twins in Chandler Arizona Desert (8)

It was such a pleasure to spend the afternoon with Megan and Caitlin and their parents.  I love my job.

Senior portraits of twins in Chandler Arizona Desert (9)

We stopped on our way from one location to another and did a few shots of Caitlin in her soccer gear.  This was my absolute favorite of those images.  She just looks proud and powerful.

Senior portraits of twins in Chandler Arizona Desert (10)

And then to compare the above soccer pose to this next image which is as soft as can be.  There are two sides to every coin.

Senior portraits of twins in Chandler Arizona Desert (11)

Senior portraits of twins in Chandler Arizona Desert (12)

Senior Portraits by Jared Platt, Platt Photography

Slideshow Music by Fisher, Courtesy of Triple Scoop Music

Location: The Groves in Gilbert Arizona

High School: Hamilton High

Courtney’s Senior Portraits in Chandler, Arizona


Courtney, her sister, her mother and I all headed out into the desert for some cool senior portraits.  Here are a few of my favorite images from the photo shoot.

We started fairly early in the afternoon by lighting standards which means that the sun was high in the sky and very bright.  But with a fantastic camera (the Canon 1D Mark IV) and the best software (Adobe Lightroom) and a good understanding of lighting, harsh lighting does not have to be a problem.

You will notice that in many of those shots, I have Courtney facing away from the sun so that her face is in her own shadow.  This means I have a “north light” studio with a very strong hair light.  Then, with a little off camera fill light, matching the exposure is simple enough.  I prefer to keep the flash (a Canon Speedlight 580 EX – no longer available – instead try the new 600EX-RT) in manual mode so that I am getting the same flash output every time, but in these bright lighting conditions, that requires shooting well above the camera/flash sync speed, and that can only be done off camera with a set of Pocket Wizard radio slaves (TT1 and TT5).  With a speed light and a set of the pocket wizards, I can keep my flash in manual mode, but still have it operating in high speed sync, which makes matching the subject (flash) and the background (ambient) possible.

I do have to say that I am excited about the new Canon flash (600EX-RT) just released this month which may make the pocket wizards unnecessary.  But I will be testing those very soon and I will let you know how well they work.

Senior Portrait in Chandler Arizona

This is another example of using the off camera flash and high speed sync capabilities in a bright sunlight situation.  I couldn’t have done without the flash on this shoot and I didn’t have my assistant, so I am so glad the set up is light  weight and portable.

Senior Portrait in Chandler Arizona

Here, you will notice there are no catch lights in the eyes.  No flash was used.  But since I was not placing her against the sky, I could get all the exposure latitude I needed from the camera without a flash.  This requires attention to the highlights (making sure I do not over expose them) which makes the entire photo seem a bit dark.  But, since I am shooting RAW, I can then brighten up the mid-tones in Lightroom 4 and I end up with a perfect exposure in the end.  This is what Ansel Adams referred to as pre-vissualization.  Were Ansel Adams shooting today, he would be using Lightroom.  And no, that’s not blasphemous.

Senior Portrait in Chandler Arizona

I will always love open shade best.  And this is my favorite photograph of the day.  Courtney’s hair frames the photo nicely and I really enjoy the treatment of the photo.  I have always loved the look of film, digital can be too perfect and too smooth.  In fact, I have found myself purposefully shooing higher ISO shots on my digital cameras even when I have abundant light just to get a little more grain into the photo.

Senior Portrait in Chandler Arizona

Senior Portrait in Chandler Arizona

I love the composition on this shot.  The repeated lines in the skirt mimicked by the white picket fence is nice as well.  One particular part of the composition that I love is the way the porch windows frame her head and shoulders.  And I and so pleased with the faded black and white film look.

Senior Portrait in Chandler Arizona

Ah, the good earth…

Senior Portrait in Chandler Arizona

Courtney just looks fantastic in this shot.  And I love all the texture in the collar.  This shot is taken just as the sun dropped below the horizon.  My favorite time of day.

Senior Portrait in Chandler Arizona

Senior Portrait in Chandler Arizona

If you like the photo treatments on these images, check out my Lightroom 4 preset collection, especially the Film Pack, at www.jaredplattworkshops.com.

Senior Portraits by Jared Platt, Platt Photography

Slideshow Music by Mindy Gledhill, courtesy of Triple Scoop Music

Location: Desert south of Chandler, Arizona

Macey’s Senior Portrait in Chandler, Arizona

Macey is a Senior at Hamilton High School in Chandler, Arizona.  As with all my Seniors, I asked her what made Macey… Macey.  I got a long list of things.  This is where we always start with a Senior Portrait.  So in all of these photographs, you will see something that represents Macey.  I was thrilled to know that one of those things is photography.  Hence, the many cameras throughout the shoot.

I really enjoyed the photo shoot and I am very pleased with the images we captured.  Here are a few of my favorite images.

I am leading with this image because it is one of my favorites.  Especially the treatment of the photo.  It is a mixture of new and old, a bit vintage, but not overly so.  The outfit was perfect for it.

Macey's Senior Portrait - Hamilton High School Senior (14)

Macey’s sister, mother and good friend were all there for the photo shoot.  And if you are along for the photo shoot, you are going to end up part of the photo shoot in one way or another.  Macey’s sister and good friend ended up being used as “extras” in our little busy train station scene.  I think they played their parts pretty well.

Macey's Senior Portrait - Hamilton High School Senior (21)

This little “Baby Brownie” is one of my favorite little cameras in my wife’s collection.  I kept coming back to it throughout the photo shoot because it fits Macey so well.

Macey's Senior Portrait - Hamilton High School Senior (20)

But nothing could have been more perfect than the Polaroid camera that Macey brought to the shoot.  I was thrilled with it.  That little rainbow down the front was inspiring.  That is a camera that says FUN all over it.  Of course I would never want to go back to that technology, but the camera itself just keels super fun.

Macey's Senior Portrait - Hamilton High School Senior (19)

Macey also lovers to travel.  What photographer doesn’t love to travel.  The point of travel for a photographer is to go and photograph things in far away places and bring them home as souvenirs.  So Macey found a bunch of vintage suitcases as elements for the shoot.  As we were playing with them, I realized something about the past…  we always look back at the past with rose colored glasses.  Vintage looks so cool, but those are heavy suitcases, with no wheels and none of the modern ergonomics.  Same with the Polaroid.  Cute looking camera, wouldn’t go back to it in a million years.  I love the vintage look, but it always makes me grateful for advancement in technology.

Macey's Senior Portrait - Hamilton High School Senior (18)

Macey's Senior Portrait - Hamilton High School Senior (17)

Macey also loves to write, although I am not sure that she does most of her writing on the train tracks, but I took a little poetic license with the setting…

Macey's Senior Portrait - Hamilton High School Senior (16)

I love this shot.  Love it.

Macey's Senior Portrait - Hamilton High School Senior (15)

Macey's Senior Portrait - Hamilton High School Senior (13)

Macey also plays the Viola.  I have great respect for this.  I myself played the violin for many years as a child, but looked desperately for a way out of the activity as my violin teacher was a sour old woman with corns on her toes which I thought made her a witch.  Yet, I played the violin from 5 years old to about 13 years old and now I can only play a scratchy version of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.  So, way to go Macey for sticking it out for this long.

Macey's Senior Portrait - Hamilton High School Senior (12)

Having friends along at a Senior Portrait is a great way to make the experience more enjoyable and a great way to get even better photos.  Ellie and Sarah were on location with us, as I noted earlier, but this time we put them into the shot.  This was a super fun shot, and very beautiful as well.  And of course Macey looks like a million bucks.

Macey's Senior Portrait - Hamilton High School Senior (11)

Macey's Senior Portrait - Hamilton High School Senior (10)

Macey's Senior Portrait - Hamilton High School Senior (9)

I think the dress inspired the treatment on this photo and then I used the same treatment on earlier photos and later ones, but this photo was the inspiration being the color and tonality of all of the images surrounding it.  There was a softness to the image, a quietness, so it couldn’t have rich colors, but black and white would have been to cold for the image.  I think the tone is perfect.

Macey's Senior Portrait - Hamilton High School Senior (8)

The next two images were a continuation on the same soft theme of the last image.

Macey's Senior Portrait - Hamilton High School Senior (7)

Macey's Senior Portrait - Hamilton High School Senior (6)

Macey is also a runner.  This is also an amazing thing to me.  As I have chosen only to run in cases of extreme danger, and even then, I may just let whatever werewolf is chasing me just overtake me and be done with it.  But, Macey is a runner, and I was glad she brought such a colorful outfit.  I love it.  We shot this running set at sunset on a dirt road south of Chandler, Arizona.

Macey's Senior Portrait - Hamilton High School Senior (5)

Macey's Senior Portrait - Hamilton High School Senior (4)

Macey's Senior Portrait - Hamilton High School Senior (3)

And my favorite light of the day, the moment after sunset, arrived and we took this last shot which I love.  It is hard to decide to quit taking photos on a great photo shoot like this because each new situation you start shooting yields such great images, as a photographer, I was to just keep making great photos.  But, the photo shoot had to end sometime.

Macey's Senior Portrait - Hamilton High School Senior (2)

So we went back to Macey’s family’s home and finished up with a great portrait at the piano, yet another one of Macey’s talents.  She is a talented and lovely young woman and it was a pleasure to photograph her for her senior portraits.  Thanks Macey.

Macey's Senior Portrait - Hamilton High School Senior (1)

Senior Portrait by Jared Platt, Platt Photography

Slideshow Music by Mindy Gledhill, courtesy of Triple Scoop Music

Location: Chandler, Arizona

Go Devils! Megan’s ASU Graduation Portrait Session

Megan is an ASU Cheerleader (was, now se’s graduating), so needless to say she is a big ASU Football fan.  My wife was an ASU Marching Band musician, so I understand the fervor for the Devils.  Go Devils!  So Megan and I took to the streets in Tempe, Arizona to get some ASU Grad shots.  We were after a mixture of school spirit shots and graduation cap and gown type shots.  Here are a few of my favorite images from Megan’s ASU graduation portrait session.

This location is a parking garage on the ASU Campus in Tempe, Arizona.  It provided the open shade with something interesting in the background.  It is only partially covered.  The roof is a latticework of solar panels.

ASU Senior Portraits in Tempe Arizona (1)

I love this shot with the GO DEVILS block in front and Megan’s got the attitude, so it’s perfect.

ASU Senior Portraits in Tempe Arizona (2)

This is one of my favorites.  I know, it is just a close up headshot and nothing super fancy, but Megan looks great in it.

ASU Senior Portraits in Tempe Arizona (3)

We snuck into the basketball arena.  I like to sneak around when taking portraits.  It turns a normal portrait session into a possible security guard chase, which would be exciting…

ASU Senior Portraits in Tempe Arizona (4)

We parked in a reserved spot next to old main and ran out on to the lawn to get this last set of shots.  Old Main is the only building on the ASU campus that feels like a old style university.  ASU is more of a modern city.  So, I like the feel of Old Main, it makes the shot feel more collegiate.

ASU Senior Portraits in Tempe Arizona (5)

ASU Senior Portraits in Tempe Arizona (6)

ASU Senior Portraits in Tempe Arizona (7)

So now we come to the end of the day.  The sun is down and we are operating on very little ambient light.  Here is where the Canon 1D Mark IV shines.  I am shooting this image at 4600 ISO and leaving them in color (thanks to Lightroom 3‘s incredible noise reduction).  There is a bit of grain in them, but its manageable grain and looks cool (of course I like grain).  You can’t get a better available light scenario than this, but you have to have a serious camera to make use of this light.

ASU Senior Portraits in Tempe Arizona (8)

ASU Senior Portraits in Tempe Arizona (9)

Photography by Jared Platt, Platt Photography

Location: ASU Campus, Tempe, Arizona

Slideshow Music by Mindy Gledhill, Courtesy of Triple Scoop Music

Nathan: A Senior Portrait, Queen Creek, Arizona

Nathan is a Senior at Hamilton High School in Chandler, Arizona.  We made the drive to Queen Creek to take advantage of an old abandoned warehouse and some farmland for his senior portraits.  I keep asking myself why photographers like old broken things and the best thing I can come up with is that we love texture.  I think I also have an interest in the history of an object or a location.

Senior portrait in Queen Creek, Arizona of Hamilton High School Senior

I love the drama on this shot.  No lights, just one large door opening up to a large bay with indirect light filtering through.  There is a lot of volume in the image.

Senior portrait in Queen Creek, Arizona of Hamilton High School Senior

Softer light as we headed out into the bay, which was perfect to capture this genuine smile.

Senior portrait in Queen Creek, Arizona of Hamilton High School Senior

I thought the guitar shots needed a little funkification, so I went for a slight cross process look.  I think it worked well.

Senior portrait in Queen Creek, Arizona of Hamilton High School Senior

Needless to say, this lone tree was calling to me as we shot.

Senior portrait in Queen Creek, Arizona of Hamilton High School Senior

Senior portrait in Queen Creek, Arizona of Hamilton High School Senior

Senior portrait in Queen Creek, Arizona of Hamilton High School Senior

I love the warmth of this sunset.  It just feels like the world is on fire.  And Nathan… doesn’t care…

Senior portrait in Queen Creek, Arizona of Hamilton High School Senior

Senior portrait in Queen Creek, Arizona of Hamilton High School Senior

Photography by Jared Platt, Platt Photography

Location: Queen Creek, Arizona

Slideshow Music: Roy Ashen, “What Can I Say” Courtesy of Triple Scoop Music

High School Prom 2011: Savoldi and Friends

PROM Portraits 2011: Savoldi and Friends from Jared Platt on Vimeo.

We photographed this Prom Portrait Session in downtown Chandler, Arizona.

Music by Roy Ashen “Never”, Courtesy of Triple Scoop Music

I spent the afternoon photographing a few seniors going to prom on Saturday.  I photograph a lot of senior portraits, but  the last time I shot Prom Photos, was in college.  I photographed a prom as the “official” prom photographer with the back drops and lights and such.  I always though those kind of prom portraits were the worst.  Everyone gets the same photo and they are all very lame.  So this was a fun way to do prom portraits.  If I were in high school, I would get my prom portraits done on location like this.  They’re so much cooler.

So here are a few of my favorites from the portrait shoot.

Chandler Arizona Senior Prom Portraits

Chandler Arizona Senior Prom Portraits

Chandler Arizona Senior Prom Portraits

Chandler Arizona Senior Prom Portraits

Chandler Arizona Senior Prom Portraits

Chandler Arizona Senior Prom Portraits

Chandler Arizona Senior Prom Portraits

Chandler Arizona Senior Prom Portraits

See the entire set here. Contact the studio for a key code.

Photography: Jared Platt, Platt Photography

Subject: Senior Prom Portraits

Location: Downtown, Chandler, Arizona