humboldt county senior photorapher

Senior Summer Sessions


The sun is beaming bright and temperatures are rising, summer is here and it is HOT!   This time of year often makes me feel like I am shooting in a sauna every summer when I head to an outdoor photography session with my high school senior clients.  Even on those scorching hot days where I can feel the hair on the back of my neck drenched with sweat, I am so thankful for where I live. Nestled in the heart of redwood country, I love the ever changing weather and climate variations of Southern Humboldt.  With having experienced the weather in all of it’s glory, I feel confident in my ability to adapt to any changes in temperature.  With that being said, having my clients feeling good and looking their best is important! Not to mention I don’t like spending an entire session feeling gross and sweaty either…  


I have put together a list of some of my favorite outdoor photography tips for beating the heat this summer!

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Schedule With Purpose.

If you check the weather channel and it looks as if it’s going to be hot on the day of your photo shoot, make sure you consider which times of day might be the coolest.  From my experience, early morning and late in the day work best because it’s not uncomfortably warm. The lighting is also gorgeous around these times. :)

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  Be Prepared to Hydrate.

When you have arrived at the spot you picked out, if it’s outside, chances are there’s no air conditioning or fully stocked fridge with cold drinks.  Bringing a cooler with lots of ice, water and your favorite drink is a great way to help you stay hydrated! 

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 Keep the Motor Running.

Even though you might not be able to duck into an air conditioned house on location, your car can help keep you cooled off it the heat starts to get to you.  Take a 10-15 minute break in between shots by sitting in your care with the air conditioner on for a bit. This is a great alternative for a quick cool down.

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 Plan the Itinerary Ahead of Time.

If your outdoor senior summer session includes a number of locations, a water attraction might make for a great final pit stop!  Squeeze in a fun and refreshing dip in the water somewhere along the Eel River.  Not only will this little adventure be sure to cool you off toward the end of your photo shoot, but  I will get the chance to take some jaw-dropping action shots of you in the water! It’s a win win!

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 Bring a Battery Powered Fan.

A battery operated fan can sure be a lifesaver on a hot outdoor session!  Not only will a fan provide air circulation and help keep your makeup from running, but it might just create that perfect wind blown shot with your hair dancing in the breeze! 

 

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How About A Cool Treat?

With senior summer sessions I sometimes love to incorporate ice cream into the session. It provides a quick cool down on a hot day and well… let’s face it.. Who doesn’t like ice cream!

 

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 Use the Landscape.

When you’re planning an outdoor photography session, it’s a good idea to think about how much the surrounding landscape impacts the temperature.  Wooded areas such as in Humboldt Redwoods State Park can be a cool backdrop for a very hot day.  The top of a hill is always several degrees hotter during the heat of the day, so be sure to save those locations for either very early or very late.    

 

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 Bring Supplies for Quick Comfort.

There are a lot of simple, inexpensive ways to cool down on a hot summer session. Cold, wet towels are great, especially draping one on the back of your neck during a pause between shots.  Pouring cold water over your wrists also gives your body a quick cool down. 

 

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Think Like a Boy Scout.

You want to make sure you’ve got all the essentials you’d pack if you were heading to the beach or out on a hike.  Sunscreen and bug spray are a must for an outdoor photography session and it’s a good idea to keep a first aid kit in the car and a little bit of perfume and deodorant, too.

 

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There are so many unique & fun images you can create with a senior summer photo session!  The landscape alone brings excitement and adventure to photo shoots. I highly recommend doing an outdoor photo shoot, the possibilities  are endless for capturing some of the most amazing photographs! Strike while the iron is hot and book your summer senior session today!  

 

 












Vianney's Southern Sunny Humboldt Senior Session

Vianney and I met in Southern Humboldt for her senior session. There are a couple of different reasons that I love to shoot in the southern end of Humboldt County. 1. The weather is almost always nicer than it is northern Humboldt. 2. I know of many great locations, all within a small radius of one another, so you can get many different looks in one shoot! We spend some time shooting in both Redway and Garberville and I think we got some great shots! : )

Hannah's Senior Session in the Snow

I had made a post back in December about wanting do a snow session. Hannah’s mom Sumer contacted me about booking a session in January. It took a few tries, but we finally made it happen. We had to work around both of our work schedules, so I wasn’t sure if there would still be snow on the mountain, but there was enough to get a couple of different looks. This was my first time shooting in the snow and it was SO much fun!

How to have a great Semi-Formal Experience!

Semi-formals are one of the special high-lights of the high school experience.  I remember all the chatter in the halls at school, all the talk and excitement everyone felt, girls talking about the latest dress styles, how they were going to do their hair & makeup and of course, who their date was going to be.  It’s a night full of fun, laughter, time spent with friends and of course, dancing! There are moments in high school you won’t forget, and a semi-formal dance, is one of them! Here are some important steps to take to help make this a night you simply won’t forget!


Plan your Appearance


It’s all about the dress.  Set a time and a date ahead of time with friends to go pick out the perfect dress.  It’s best to start looking a couple of months before your semi-formal. There are various styles and types of dresses you might want.  Be sure to choose something that you love and that you feel the most confident and comfortable in. You want to feel great in what you are wearing!


Find the perfect accessories to match.  It’s a great idea to choose accessories to go along with your dress, after you picked out the perfect one and the shoes to match!


Will it be a tuxedo or suit?  Tuxedos tend to be more on the formal side and traditionally worn at evening events.  A suit is more casual and is considered appropriate for both daytime and nighttime occasions.  If you know who you will be taking to the dance, you might want to check in with her and ask what color her dress is.  You can add a little color and flare to your outfit by adding a few colors to match her dress.


Hair do’s & dont’s.   Decide first who you want to have do your hair.  If you are going to create your own style and do it yourself, start thinking of how you would like to have it. Once you’ve decided on a hairstyle, buy any products or supplies needed (hair spray, clips, curlers etc.) ahead of time, and start practicing so you get your desired style dialed in!  If you want to have a hair stylist do your hair, be sure to book your appointment in advance to secure your spot. Don’t dye your hair right before the dance because you never know what could go wrong! It’s always best to dye your hair a couple of weeks before so you have time to fix any mistakes that might happen.


Decide how you want to do your makeup.  Look at makeup styles online that you like and buy the makeup you will need to perfectly execute the look you are going for.  Practice before the dance so you have it down on the day of. Be sure to only wear the amount of makeup you feel comfortable in.  It’s your choice if you want to go with a lot of makeup, a little or even none. The most important part is that you feel comfortable and beautiful on your night!

Get Ready with your Friends


A little get together.  What better to get ready for the big day then to be surrounded by your friends!  Spend the day talking, laughing and helping each other look your best! There’s nothing like being around positive energy and creating memories you won’t forget!


Dates to the Dance


Your date.  You don’t need a date for a formal dance, but if you want one start figuring out who you might want to take in advance.  If you don’t have a significant other, think about a friend you could ask to go with you as your date or who you think might ask you.  Choose someone who you think you will have fun with!


Going with a group.  Whether you go with just your friends or with a date, go to the dance in a group.  Plan your group a few weeks before the dance. Ask your friends, your date’s friends, and their dates if they want to go together.  It makes doing all of the pre-get together and after activities a lot more fun!


Take pictures


Decide where to take photos.  Once you have your formal group determined you can then decide where you want to take photos before the formal.  There are many different places in Humboldt county you can take some great photos: a backyard, an elegant staircase, a garden full of flowers, on a hilltop overlooking a valley, or along the bridge near the Benbow Historic Inn just to name a few.


What’s for dinner?


Plan where to have dinner.  Have dinner somewhere that everyone in your group likes before the dance.  The restaurant should be near where the dance will be held. Once you have all agreed on a place, make reservations ahead of time because the popular restaurants fill up quickly!


How are you getting to and from the dance?


Figure out your transportation.  There are many options for getting to formal, depending on your budget and what you are wanting.  Taking a limo is definitely a fancy stylish way to arrive to the dance, but may not always be in everyone’s budget.  You can always select a parent or two to drive!


Make a plan afterwards!


What to do after the dance is over.  What you do after the dance is entirely up to you.  Have an idea in mind of what you want to do. A group of your closest friends over for the night is a great way to end an evening!  You can stay up late reminisce about your favorite memories from the dance around a bonfire in the backyard!


In the blink of an eye you will be graduating and your high school years will be over before you know it.  Take moments like the semi-formal dance, and make memories you won’t forget!