During the initial phone call, her Mom, Yvonne described her as “not a girly girl.”

I arrived at their house for their pre-portrait and clothing consultation about 45 minutes too early. While I was catching up on homework in my truck, a vehicle pulled into their driveway and a young woman dashed into the house.

A few minutes later, the same young lady ran out the back door of the house, this time dressed in t-shirt, shorts, running shoes and headset firmly in place. (You can’t pay me enough to run any where, even for my life.) Sam likes to run. She likes sports – all kinds of sports. Right now, she playing Volleyball for Riverside High School.

During our clothing consultation, she had some clothes on the bed but told me that she’d really like to get a picture of herself with all her different athletic shoes – after all, it’s who she is.

I know there are cookie cutter school photographers out there who want to rush you through a photo session, make you look like everyone else, and move on to the next High School Senior but I think good photography is a collaboration between the person being photographed and the photographer.

I Googled “high school seniors” and “athletic shoes” and found some cool pictures for inspiration. I text her Mom the ones I thought she’d like.

I don’t care if you’re 8 or 80, most people are a little nervous in front of the camera, at least at first. On the day of her photo session, Sam and her Mom came to the studio. She was wearing a black, long sleeved Nike shirt and coral shorts. I thought she looked so cute and natural that I asked her to just sit comfortable on the white backdrop. (This is the second picture on the right, below.) This turned out to be one of Mom’s favorites!

After changing into her red dress, we turned our attention to the Hollywood Style Projected Background Set. Our studio has the only one in El Paso that I know of… It’s like MAGIC!!! Sam chose from a variety of different background slides that I slipped into the machine, while she posed in front of a solid grey screen. (The pictures show up in the camera with the background – so there’s NO photoshopping backgrounds!)

Their favorite was in the red dress with the blue grungy background.

My favorite is the dirty running shoes.

Sam’s favorite was her looking at all of her shoes, pondering all the memories she’s made wearing each pair and trying to decide which to wear today.

It’s Your Life… Your Year… Be Who You Want to Be & Just Do it!

Click to Watch Samantha’s Video below:

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