30 Days Project: A Portfolio of Photography

Improving your photography through recognition.

After a weekend of rest and relaxation, I collected this set of portfolio images that range from weddings to commercial property to documentary images and child photography, portraits, etc. Really, the way I collected them was to pull out my iPad and open up Lightroom CC (what used to be called Lightroom Mobile) and scanning through various collections of images and selecting anything that stood out to me as great. I hope you see them that way. Each of these images struck me fairly hard, so that is why you are seeing them now.

I take great pride in a successful composition, a beautifully lit image, and a well-told story. Sometimes the images are successful at all three of these things. But when we are honest with ourselves, our images often lack in one or two categories. But looking through our own images and selecting portfolio groups and asking the hard questions about composition, lighting, and narrative is what improves us. Too many people think that you improve as a photographer by getting out and photographing… that’s a bit of “cart before the horse” thinking. Improving your photography is more about improving the way you see and the way you think about what you see that it is about the technical understanding of the camera. Now, I love great craft, but if a perfect exposure was what determined great photography, we would all be amazing photographers in the next five years as cameras get more and more intelligent. Focus and exposure will be so perfectly automatic in the next decade that you won’t have to think much to get a technically perfect photo. All of these technically perfect images will still lack the basics: composition, lighting, and story. These are the things you have to learn to find or create and the first step to finding and creating anything is learning to recognize what you are looking for.

Because of this need to constantly improve, I am constantly looking at my portfolio of images and selecting new images. This 30 Days Project has helped me do this even more often and I am glad of that. This is just the latest installment of my portfolio of images over the years. It is by no means a complete or exhaustive portfolio. In fact, I plan on posting a number of these over the next few weeks. This portfolio slideshow is accompanied by the music of Hive Riot with their song, “So I Dance.” Their music is some of my favorite music of all time, and lucky me, it is on Triple Scoop Music so I can license their songs for any project I make. Especially with Triple Scoop Music’s new subscription-based services which allows me to download as many songs as I need for my projects. Choosing a song for me is a very big deal. I often see images and know what song needs to go with them? Other times, I hear a song and know which images I would like to use to connect with the music. In that way, this is a collaborative effort. I make the images, Monday Gledhill and Hive Riot make the songs.

This slideshow was made with Adobe Clip and directly uploaded to Vimeo for distribution. Clip is such a simple way to make slideshows and can be done from your iPad or Smart Phone in just a few short minutes. I can’t say enough good things about Adobe Clip. It even has a few songs for simple projects, but the number is seriously small and they aren’t that great. That’s another reason to use Triple Scoop Music’s subscription service. No matter what program I use to make my videos, I have all the music I could ever want, ready to use anytime I need it. And that is very useful now as I am making 30 Videos in 30 Days…

Learn more at www.triplescoopmusic.com. Music in this video licensed through www.triplescoopmusic.com.

The music for this slideshow is by Hive Riot and can be found on Triple Scoop Music.

Unlimited music licensing plans are normally $995 per year and up. However, right now, for a limited time, there is special pricing! Get yours for just $499 per year (annual billing) or $49 per month when you sign up this month. If you only use one new song each month, you will save $221 this year. At those prices, I will save $1,301 this month alone! That’s pretty amazing. Choose all the music you need all year long. Choose from over 35,000 hand-picked songs and soundtracks. Click here to learn more: www.triplescoopmusic.com

Use the code “JAREDPLATT18” and save an extra 10% on your music membership!

You can follow this project here, or on my blog at www.jaredplatt.com/blog. If you are a Vimeo fan, you can watch this project unfold at my Vimeo Album: https://vimeo.com/album/5227999

For a complete list of my equipment, you can go to B&H Photo Video. https://bhpho.to/2Kx88bl

@Triple Scoop Music @triplscoopmusic #triplescoopmusic #musicLicensing #PhotographyLessons #jaredplatt #photography
#canonUSA @CanonUSA
@Adobe #AdobePremiereClip @AdobePremiere
#weddingPhotography #destinationWeddingPhotography
@BHPhoto #BHPHOTOVIDEO

triathlete has his portrait taken by Jared Platt before he goes to Worlds.

30 Days Project: Senior Portrait of a Triathlete

A Portrait of a Triathlete or Two.

This portrait session, as I mentioned yesterday in my how-to video, is of my nephew Mitchel, who is competing as a triathlete and is currently on his way to Australia for the world competition.  During our portrait shoot, we made sure to get images of him running, biking and swimming as well as the everyday portrait shots.  We even included his cousin Brigham, who is also a triathlete and competed at worlds the year before and who is now in Mexico serving as a missionary there.  So when you see the second athlete, that is who you are seeing.  These two boys are incredible young men who have been training together for years, waking up at 4 in the morning to swim or run or bike.  That kind of dedication and perseverance on the part of a teenager is rare and worth celebrating.  So I celebrate it in the best way I know how: photographs.

We spent the day moving between Gilbert and then out to the canyon lakes area outside the Phoenix area to photograph the lake shots and those on the canyon roads for the road biking shots.  Mitchel is on the Hamilton High School Swim Team, so we took some shots there in Chandler at the high school aquatic center as well.  We really moved around a lot that day, but we do whatever we need to to get the right shots.

Making a senior portrait is more than just taking beautiful photos of a high school senior wearing their school jersey or standing in front of a textured wall.  Every time I photograph a high school senior, I meet with them and discuss what is important to them, what makes them tick… and then I develop a production schedule for the day of the portrait session with the right props, the right activities, and the best locations to make the perfect portraits.  I want to make images that are meaningful to the student and their family.  But in addition to all of that, I want them to have a great experience while we are making the images.  It is a big production!  We have a lot of fun throughout the day.

As with all productions, there are a lot of stories on how we got various shots.  The photographers who are reading this will be interested in technical things like f-stops, light modifiers, and lenses.  But the rest of you will probably be more interested in the funny, interesting efforts made to make images like the ones at the lake.  At one point I was trying to get the splash that would occur as Mitchel would be running out of the lake, but the real splash wasn’t cutting it, so I ended up kicking water with one foot, balancing on the other and shooting the shot at the same time.  It took a lot of shots to get the right amount of splash!

Well, this is me, wishing Mitchel the best of luck at the world competition in Australia.

I am using a song by Krysta Youngs (one of my favorites on Triple Scoop) which is licensed by Triple Scoop Music through their new unlimited subscription membership.  I know, I have already used it once before in my 30 Days project, but I loved it so much and I wanted to try it out on a Senior Portrait.  I can always make another slideshow with the same images with a completely different song some other day. 

Go to www.triplescoopmusic.com to learn more about an unlimited membership.

This video is part of my 30 Days Project in connection with Triple Scoop Music’s new Pro Photographer’s unlimited Music Subscription Service.  The music makes the presentation and no service is better than Triple Scoop Music with thousands upon thousands of quality songs from independent music artists in every genre.  Enjoy this how-to video on making a Slideshow with Animoto.  The slideshow is shown at the very end of this how-to video.  I will post the slideshow on its own tomorrow.

Music in this video licensed through www.triplescoopmusic.com

This slideshow was made with Animoto’s online slideshow making tool.  The simplicity of uploading the images and song and letting Animoto do the work is quite appealing when you are as busy as I am.  Each slideshow can have one of a long list of styles.  This style is called “Chic.”  I am typically a very simple “documentary style” slideshow maker, but this one works really well for a senior portrait.

Speaking of music, this whole 30 Days project is possible because of Triple Scoop Music’s new subscription-based service which allows users to pay one monthly fee rather than per song.  If you are producing projects and need music, I highly recommend Triple Scoop Music.  The service is full of great original songs from independent artists.  License one song at a time, or sign up for the subscription service and use as many songs as you need, whenever you need them.  Learn more at www.triplescoopmusic.com

Unlimited music licensing plans are normally $995 per year and up.  However, right now, for a limited time, there is special pricing! Get yours for just $499 per year (annual billing) or $49 per month when you sign up this month.  If you only use one new song each month, you will save $221 this year.  At those prices, I will save $1,301 this month alone!  That’s pretty amazing.  Choose all the music you need all year long. Choose from over 35,000 hand-picked songs and soundtracks.  Click here to learn more: www.triplescoopmusic.com

Use the code “JAREDPLATT18” and save an extra 10% on your music membership!

You can follow this project here, or on my blog at www.jaredplatt.com/blog.  If you are a Vimeo fan, you can watch this project unfold at my Vimeo Album: https://vimeo.com/album/5227999

For a complete list of my equipment, you can go to B&H Photo Video.  https://bhpho.to/2Kx88bl

@Triple Scoop Music @triplscoopmusic #triplescoopmusic #musicLicensing #PhotographyLessons #jaredplatt #photography

#canonUSA @CanonUSA

@animoto

#seniorPortraitPhotography #highschoolSeniorPortraits #ArizonaSeniorPortraits

triathlete has his portrait taken by Jared Platt before he goes to Worlds.

30 Days Project: Making a Senior Portrait Slideshow

Making a Senior Portrait Slideshow with Animoto.

Today I am making a senior portrait in Animoto and showing you how to work with Animoto.  I am using a song by Krysta Youngs (one of my favorites on Triple Scoop) which is licensed by Triple Scoop Music through their new unlimited subscription membership.  I know, I have already used it once before in my 30 Days project, but I loved it so much and I wanted to try it out on a Senior Portrait.  I can always make another slideshow with the same images with a completely different song some other day.  Making a slideshow on Animoto is quite easy, but there are a few little tricks that are helpful when you want to customize the slideshow just a bit.  You can even import images into Animoto directly from your Lightroom CC account in the cloud.

Go to www.triplescoopmusic.com to learn more about an unlimited membership.

This video is part of my 30 Days Project in connection with Triple Scoop Music’s new Pro Photographer’s unlimited Music Subscription Service.  The music makes the presentation and no service is better than Triple Scoop Music with thousands upon thousands of quality songs from independent music artists in every genre.  Enjoy this how-to video on making a Slideshow with Animoto.  The slideshow is shown at the very end of this how-to video.  I will post the slideshow on its own tomorrow.

Music in this video licensed through www.triplescoopmusic.com

This slideshow was made with Animoto’s online slideshow making tool.  The simplicity of uploading the images and song and letting Animoto do the work is quite appealing when you are as busy as I am.  Each slideshow can have one of a long list of styles.  This style is called “Chic.”  I am typically a very simple “documentary style” slideshow maker, but this one works really well for a senior portrait.

Speaking of music, this whole 30 Days project is possible because of Triple Scoop Music’s new subscription-based service which allows users to pay one monthly fee rather than per song.  If you are producing projects and need music, I highly recommend Triple Scoop Music.  The service is full of great original songs from independent artists.  License one song at a time, or sign up for the subscription service and use as many songs as you need, whenever you need them.  Learn more at www.triplescoopmusic.com

Unlimited music licensing plans are normally $995 per year and up.  However, right now, for a limited time, there is special pricing! Get yours for just $499 per year (annual billing) or $49 per month when you sign up this month.  If you only use one new song each month, you will save $221 this year.  At those prices, I will save $1,301 this month alone!  That’s pretty amazing.  Choose all the music you need all year long. Choose from over 35,000 hand-picked songs and soundtracks.  Click here to learn more: www.triplescoopmusic.com

Use the code “JAREDPLATT18” and save an extra 10% on your music membership!

You can follow this project here, or on my blog at www.jaredplatt.com/blog.  If you are a Vimeo fan, you can watch this project unfold at my Vimeo Album: https://vimeo.com/album/5227999

For a complete list of my equipment, you can go to B&H Photo Video.  https://bhpho.to/2Kx88bl

@Triple Scoop Music @triplscoopmusic #triplescoopmusic #musicLicensing #PhotographyLessons #jaredplatt #photography

#canonUSA @CanonUSA

@animoto

#seniorPortraitPhotography #highschoolSeniorPortraits #ArizonaSeniorPortraits

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.

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

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

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

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.

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

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

Senior Portrait in Chandler Arizona

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 - Hamilton High School Senior (10)

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

ASU Senior Portraits in Tempe Arizona (4)

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