Time for a long overdue High School Grad blog update! I love shooting grads, it’s probably my favourite genre photographically. It incorporates such a variety of styles from headshots to detail shots to environmental portraiture to off camera flash to natural light, the whole gambit. And, 99.99999% of the time, the grads actually want their photos taken. So they cooperate! 😎 This goes a loooooong way to making awesome lasting memories for the client. This gallery has a few of my fav images from this past grad season.
I had the wonderful opportunity to shoot a good friend of mine’s son who is going into his senior year. Susan Hill , who relocated to Michigan, had her boy Ethan up in Saskatchewan visiting family and requested a sunset shoot. Our weather didn’t pan out for days but as they say, third time is a charm and it worked out. We tried to get him some photos that were uniquely Saskatchewan in context. This meant lots of environmental portraits to me.
Thankfully the Canola was in full bloom and we were able to shoot a bunch with the glorious golden backdrop. What’s more Saskatchewan than a Canola field!?
For the uniquely sunset part of the shoot, we tried some shots down at the Alameda Dam. Water is always a winner at Sunset. But seeings how Ethan now lives on the shores of Lake Superior, it was kind of a gaff on my part! We probably should have stuck more to the dirt roads than the water. But it made for some pretty cool shots nonetheless and I was glad we could get some Canadian shots for my exPat friends!
We just about didn’t survive this grad shoot! First of all we were attacked by a relentless army of mosquitos. Poor Janissa was eaten alive from head to toe which translated into a metric tonne of editing. Then our weather turned absolutely heinous. We had to take refuge inside nearby Trinity Lutheran country church and we were stuck there for a good 45 minutes as torrential rain poured down. But the results were well worth it and our Living Skies didn’t disappoint!
Janissa is a pretty hardcore athlete and she brought along some pretty sweet gear to get pictures with. I tried to match the lighting to the concept of athleticism which in this case was a simple one light solution with hard light for deep shadows. Soft wrapping light wouldn’t have matched the mood of the photo.
To end wrap up our shoot Janissa’s mom had asked for a studio type low key shot on a black background. From the safety of the church I was able to make this photo using a gridded soft box. The final specs on this shot were ISO 100 f/11 1/200s using a Nikon Df and 85mm f/1.8 lens. The closeness of the light to the subject made for quick light fall off and allowed me to kill off all other ambient in the room. Thanks for being such a trooper Janissa & all the best in the future! 🙂
Justin is the third member of his family that I’ve shot grad pics for. It’s a real privilege to come back to a family year after year! This shoot just about didn’t happen with impending birth of our 4th child, but everything finally came together! We even got the dog to cooperate! 🙂
This shot is an example of High Speed Sync. I was using a Nikon SB-900 flash through an umbrella. It adds just a smidgeon of catch lights and soft light and maintains the creamy bokehlicious background. Final specs on this shot were ISO 100 f/2.5 1/1000s shot on a Nikon Df with an 85mm 1.8G lens.
We got to make some pretty cool grad pics with Justin and I will be forever jealous of his hair. 😉
What happens when you mix hockey, baseball and gorgeous grad dress? Enter: Morgan!
For Morgan we did lots of the “nice” grad photos that Grandma wants to see. But then, we also hammered out some pretty cool athletic styled shots as well. We did some cool blue rim lights to compliment the blue dress and the orange bat. It really spiced up a traditional Grad shoot. I shot these with a 3 light setup. Two LumoPro LP180 flashes gelled blue for the rims and an Alien Bee 1600 through a Photoflex gridded softbox for the key. Despite the cloud cover, there was major ambient light to overcome. The final camera settings were ISO 100 f/13 1/200! To light everything up to f/13 through a modifier takes major watt seconds.
All in all we had a great time and captured a pretty good variety of photos! Thanks again and all the best to Morgan in the future!
Whenever you get to shoot a dancer, your day improves by at least 17%! They always have a keen sense of motion and shape which for photographers is a super blessing. Most people are unnatural in front of a camera. They are either uncharacteristically stiff or fake smiling. Dancers though have this 6th sense which makes the usual go far, far away.
We were able to do quite a few dance shots in unconventional places. This shot was lit with a speed light in simple white shoot through umbrella boomed overhead.
It was back to my favourite blue wall to get this shot. Amy was super full of life which made this shoot a lot of fun. All the best, Amy! You are going places!
I had a wonderful grad shoot with Hannah! She’s full of character and gave lots of creative energy to the session. It was another beautiful day for a shoot.
This blue wall is really cool. It provides a fun backdrop for some off the wall shots!
We ended the shoot back at the farm with some horse photos. The aptly named “Boo” was Hannah’s baby and he really put on a show for us too! What a smile!
Thanks for the good times and great shots Hannah!
Grad shoots are all but wrapped up now for 2018! It was probably the most random time of my life shooting photos this year as our 4th child was due at exactly the same time as these shoots were piling up! She was overdue which got quite dicey trying to schedule everything. But it all worked out and for that I am supremely thankful!
I started my Oxbow grad run this year with Michaela. What a great day we had. It was before the 17 billion mosquitos set in and before the weather got sweltering hot! The image at the top of this post was the last frame I shot during the shoot and I love how it turned out. We had a great sky and the colour contrast of her dress and the grass is super.
For this image we were working in full sun. I tried a new trick that actually worked really well. I held up a white shoot thru umbrella to modify the natural hard sunlight. It put Michaela into uniform shadow and caused her to be lit with this beautiful soft wrapping light that looks like flash but is all natural. I’ll keep this setup in the tickle trunk for the future for sure.
All in all we had a great shoot and got some nice shots! All the best Michaela in the future!
It’s a super cool experience taking grad photos for people you’ve known since they were little. Shawna is one of those such people for me. It’s hard to believe she’s graduating! The time has gone by far too fast!
This photo below here is Shawna beside a tree she planted on the first day of Kindergarten! How fitting to have a photo beside it when she graduated!
All the best & God bless, Shawna! You’re going to go far!
Wowza! Been super busy with grads this year! It’s been great and we managed to get some keepers. Also, we’ve moved to USB drives for digital file delivery. Thanks to JF Custom Engraving for the laser work!
Congratulations to all the grads from Arcola, Carlyle, Oxbow and Carnduff! God’s blessings on the future!
Well Boo ya! This years grads are all done graduatin’. And what a crazy fun time it was taking photos of all these amazing young people. It’s hard to believe that our kids will one day be wearing the suits and dresses! Another reminder that time truly does fly by far too fast. Anywhos, here’s my quick picks of Oxbow grad shots this year. After a MARATHON editing session today, I got them all done. The kids will have their photos at the start of the week. Just glad the weather cooperated today by being heinously wet and rainy as to dispel any fun things I could have otherwise done. 😀 Also, I invented a new photo this year. I call it “The Smiling Suit.”
Look at this handsome & dashing young man ready to start the world on fire! We had a fast and furious grad shoot, but not with sports cars or Tokyo drift. Instead, we had the venerable Model-T Ford. 😎 And, we got to make an incredible photo with three generations of Hammermeisters alongside the Model-T and their iconic mini grain elevator in the background. There’s a lot of history in these parts and I have been privileged to be part of it for a couple of years. 😀 It was a metric tonne of fun doing this shoot and I wish Logan all the best in his future endeavours. God bless, my friend!
Alexandria ain’t just a town in Egypt. 😉 Another one of my little Lutheran lambs, I’ve known Alex since she was a wee one. It’s amazing to see these kids grow up right before your eyes and become . . . adults!!! It’s crazy. But I guess, given enough time, it happens to all of us. Makes me feel old! 😕 But regardless of my sentiment, we had another great grad shoot. It was done ahead of grad day so we had lots of leisurely time at our disposal. I like that because it means greater opportunity to make even more photos you’d otherwise have to pass up on the fast paced grad day. Josh did a great job as escort too. He gets to add lighting assistant to his resumé. hehheh… All the best to the both of you in post high school life! 😎
Grad in Saskatchewan is, how shall we say, a wee bit different. 😉 Nah, just kiddin’! Especially when you have an awesome couple o’ kids to work with. I’ve known Alyce for almost 6 years now, which is hard to believe. Where does the time go! I was stoked to take her grad pics. She was up for anything and we had a great grad shoot. Her family through a shindig out at the family farm last night and brought my trusty fuji along and we got the shot above. We were going for the quintessential Saskatchewan Grad look. Motorbike? Check. Glorious grad dress? Check. Rider hat? Check. Camo hat? Check. Killer sky? Check! Add in some cool dramatic light and viola! It’s a keeper. 🙂 All the best to you Alyce, you’re an amazing girl! . . . And, your escort Riley is not too shabby either. 😎
Congratulations to all the 2013 Grads! It’s been a long road but what an accomplishment! We had a great grad day here in Oxbow. A bit chaotic to start the day with a massive power failure from 8AM to 3PM but everyone prevailed and looked fantastic. I shot these grad pics of Mariah in advance of Grad, but I didn’t publish any lest I spoil the grand reveal of the dress. 😎 She was up for anything and we had an awesome shoot! We even were able to make it down to the wire and squeeze out what was left of a sunset. 😀 Congrats Mariah, you rocked the set!
I’ve often wondered why we call “Grad” Grad and not Prom. I continue to ponder it. 😎 I got to go and do some grad shots for a couple of lovely Arcola girls and their families on the 17th. It was a riot and the weather held out giving us some sweet, sweet dramatic skies. I took my trust X100s along for the ride, as well as my D800. With my two favorite cameras in hand we got to make a ton of really exciting images with lots of different looks. Just one note on Sarah’s pink dress – it really is THAT pink. 😎 And the guitar, yep, Juliana can totally rock it. It’s not just a prop. Thanks for the fun times girls! You’re amazing! It was awesome to do back to back shoots for such cool friends!
What is a mix of sadness, change, excitement and happiness? If you said high school grad, you’d be right. I had the privilege of taking some grad photos for our family’s favourite grad today. Our long time babysitter is going to be spreading her wings into a brave new world in no time. It’s sad!!! We will miss our beloved Erin soooo much! But at the same time, it’s happy and exciting! This chapter of life is complete. The next one is just beginning. It’s life is it not? We are always growing and changing. I guess that makes it fun! 😎
I’m shooting a series of environmental portraits from rural Saskatchewan and I’m including this photo we made today. It’s a really meaningful shot. The Lion’s Park in Oxbow was where Erin and the gang hung out – forever. I knew we had to make an image there. The park is being updated and the old equipment replaced with new stuff. The old-timey spring ponies are still there though and Erin played on them as a little girl. There were two other little kids playing in the park. They ran through the frame and symbolize the fleeting blink that childhood is. We ought to never underestimate how fast time flies. Savour every moment of every day! Cherish the memories 🙂