Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Shawna: Senior Pictures!

I think that I would describe myself as an undercover perfectionist. I feel like I project a laid-back, go-with-the-flow persona, but secretly, I am really high-strung. It's kind of nice that photography gives me something to focus the obsession on, but I also have to acknowledge to myself that I could fuss with things from now until the end of time and still find things to tweak, so at some point, you just have to take a step back and say, you know what? This is good, and I like it, and it's time to let it go.

Part of what's taken me so long with Shawna's pictures is that there were so many really good ones. She was really a dream to work with--an amazing artist herself, who came with good ideas and was open to knew ones, and a natural model who required almost no direction from me. It was really a fun, creative, satisfying day for me, and hopefully for her too.
So anyway ... I didn't name this blog pictures and a thousand words (emphasis on the latter) for nothing, so let's get to it, shall we?

I really ended up liking how this one turned out. In the original, her face was too dark to really be usable, and I was starting to think it was a lost cause. Sometimes my lost cause pictures come out really fun, though, because I'm more willing to experiment, and in this case, I loved what happened when I went contrast crazy and really explored the full extent of Camera Raw's vignetting. It does a shockingly better job than the regular Photoshop vignette tool. And you know I love my shadow pictures, so I was glad to not have to scrap one.

Okay, now this one looks considerably different from my mac to my PC, so you'll just have to take my word for it that if she looks totally purple, she's not supposed to. This is another one that wasn't really working for me but that I really liked, so I added a significant amount of grain to it. And the grain is in color, which I would say is sort of "frowned upon" (if you care about that sort of thing), but it just wasn't happening in black and white. Anyway, I liked the effect and the end result, kind of dramatic and moody, but with a smile.

I can't decide which, but I feel like this picture totally belongs in a catalog or a magazine or something. And I know you can't tell, but this dress is a thin little thing, and she's totally leaning on the snow with nothing else to protect her. That's commitment! And, sidenote on the dog houses, there were SO MANY ANIMALS at their house! Every time I turned around, there was a new one. It was total heaven for an animal lover like myself. :)

I feel like this one is the best example of Shawna's love of Marc Jacobs current ads. I was having trouble imagining standing straight on toward the camera and looking at it working this well, but it really did and it was all her. There's an "outtake" of this shot that shows how freezing she was, but we had a lot of fun with the snow, and to her mom's credit, she just went with the flow. My own mom would have been freaking out (because she's the woman who claims you have to wear socks in months that have an R in them, "because that's the rule").

Awwww, this one. I loved the dramatic light, and she had a really neat room. And thankfully, she let me clear off her window ledge to put her in it. I don't think it's very clear, but the book she's reading in Cinderella, and that seems totally appropriate for this kind of picture.

Oh, now we're getting down to the last three, and these were my favorites! This one is Shawna laying on a snowy bench (I am just now realizing how much abuse I put her through!), and OMG. The eyelashes. The cheekbones. Wow. This girl was blessed with some amazing features. And I think this is the perfect time to add that I don't think she was wearing one spot of makeup in any of these--she's just naturally gorgeous.

Oh, and I loved this one too. It just seems like another total magazine shot. Be prepared to see that one on the website (one of these days).

And my last and most favorite! I added grain to this one as well, but I don't think it shows up so well in the blog (plus, it was a HUGE file, so I had to cut down on the resolution). Anyway, I loved this wall in Shawna's room and this picture really thrills my rock 'n' roll heart, and it feels so timeless, even with the records, like ... yeah, that's kind of what being a teenager was like.

Hey, also, I know I say this all the time, but please be encouraged to leave comments and suggestions and general thoughts about the pictures! I'm starting to get more into the senior picture thing (and I LOVE it, let me tell you!), and so feedback is really appreciated. The next senior is scheduled for March 22, so maybe when I post that one, I'll share the story of my disastrous senior pictures with you all! Seriously, THE HUMANITY.


Anonymous said...

I dig the Marc Jacobs-esque shot. This girl's talented. The photog's not bad either.

My senior pics were disastrous too! It's sad when you like 1 of about 35 shots.


Beth said...

These are totally better than the cheesy senior pictures that one usually sees. They are artistic and different. My favorite is definitely the one on the dog house, followed closely by the last one...it looks like a wall that would have been in the bedroom of one of the kids from Empire Records.

Melinda said...

I LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE the Marc Jacobs shot. I think it was absolutely amazing. She could have sold me anything in that picture and should DEF. be a model (if she isn't). And the photography caught by Ms. SB was not too shabby either! But you already know your amazing artistic abilities or you should anyway! Oh and THANK YOU for the wonderful picture of MY favorite thing - the UMBRELLA - in the first shot!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Maybe next senior pic you can include a fire hydrant and then we'd have the best of both worlds.

j.ro said...

oooh good job! i LOVE the first and last one the best! i'm glad you're having fun!

Anonymous said...

Good pics, not the usual. You have a good artistic eye & Shawna is quite creative. I think the both of you are nuts for spending so much time in the snow. Thanks, Shawnas' Mom.

Josh said...

Awesome stuff! There are some very creative shots in here, and the snow definitely adds to it:)

Keep up the good work!

And, thanks for the kind words on my blog.