High School Senior Photography: Behind the Photoshoot

Portrait of a High School Senior

Emily is a High School Senior and an avid reader, dreamer, artist, singer, and poet. She didn’t want a traditional photoshoot, but wanted something unique that showed her how she was, right at that moment. To help prepare for the photoshoot, we looked at photos of styles she loved – retro 70s hair with big ‘cat’ eyes. Dark moods and humor, like ‘Emily the Strange‘. I collaborated with her on the style of the dresses and make-up so she would be happy with them.

On the day-of, she came with gowns that her mother wore when she was on stage singing old 40s hits, plus a number of other outfits she loved. I had also made two dresses for the photoshoot, which you can read more about below. For now, enjoy the video that shows Emily during her hair and make-up session, as well as the photos that she said were her ‘favorites’.

Making the Dress

Two of Em’s dresses were made for this shoot. The first was a black tulle skirt that I added to a tube top to create a ‘black princess’, something she had mentioned to me during our chat a week before the photoshoot.  The all black outfit was a beautiful contrast to the gold, traditional couch she lounged on.

The second dress was the one you see her wearing at the top of the hill. I had found the dress at a local thrift store and altered it into one ‘fit for a fairy’. Flowing fabric and lace to blow in the wind, along with the black tulle to add the fullness. It wasn’t something you would wear out to a dance, but it was a beautiful couture piece.

For that dress, Nirzhar had a vision of being at the top of a hill with the wind blowing the fabric in the breeze. It was the last shoot, and it was getting cold and the light was fading. We rushed up to the top of a near-by hill we call ‘kite hill’, but it’s actually where all the model airplane enthusiasts like to hang out. It has a perfect view of Aliso Viejo as well as the rolling green hills of Aliso Canyon Park. Emily fought goose-bumps from the cool early evening air as I waved the lace and fabric in the breeze to help Nirzhar get that last final shot.

When she and her mother saw it they gasped. Emily said, ‘You made my dream come true! I’m a fairy in Lord of the Rings!’ It will be a beautiful wall art for their home.

High School Senior Portraits – Orange County CA

We want our High School Seniors to love their photos, and we do that by getting them involved – in the outfits, the style, and what they want to create as ‘their look’. If you feel like the average High School Senior photoshoots don’t fit into your style, then contact us. We’d be happy to chat about what you’re looking for and see if we can help you create it.