I took a little time off the past two years from pursuing a rocking awesome photography career. Oh, I have had a few clients here and there… conventions, conferences, portraiture, and a wedding… and I have a few coming up… but I didn’t HUSTLE and work the business like they say you must if you want to stay in the photography business. That’s OK. Everyone deserves a break now and then.
However, when you really love something, you will return to it. Even if it takes a while. I see my daughter doing that with her visual art… even though she talks about pursuing a music career and works full time at Starbucks. She can’t resist art. It just happens.
That’s me with my camera.
I decided to go down memory lane with a few photography jobs each week on the blog (as long as I have time to get to it). This week I’m sharing my senior session with the budding photographer, Gracie. She graduated the same year as my eldest (2016). That was right before my life kind of turned upside down for a while. I know I’ve shared a few of these on Instagram, but for the record, and because she and her family have been on my mind this week a lot, I’m sharing them here, too.
Gracie doesn’t actually live in Austin, but she comes here often and visits with her family, who love it here. She wanted to go to all the famous spots around Austin proper. This photo was taken off Congress Bridge.
And of course, what more famous spot to take someone than the 360 Bridge Overlook? The girls absolutely loved it up there. Just remember, it’s a little “weird” in Austin, and you might catch a fragrant smell of something illegal wafting through the cedar trees if you venture in to the forest. The scenery is so worth it, though… and there’s a prayer box up there chained to the top of the cliff… which is a perfect spot for it, since there’s the tendency for some thrill junkies to test the limits (ahem)…
Sisters. Aren’t they lovely? I can’t say that it was just those two, though… my own daughter was with us and hanging her feet off the cliff, too.
Kids these days. I was certainly not above doing this back at their age. You couldn’t get me near the edge of a cliff like that now, though.
Of course, the girls all wanted to check the murals out, and this seemed to be the favorite. They also checked out the juice bars. This was just a fun shot… and I thought her new sweater was a perfect match for the mural.
We also stopped in at Waterloo Records. There’s a yummy cafe next door and an Amy’s Ice Cream just around the corner. And for the purist, Whole Foods is also a stone’s throw away. So much good food in Austin… it’s hard to pick every time you decide to eat.
We found quite a few spots around town where the girls wanted to stop in and do some shopping and grab a quick portrait on the fly. I even made a business card out of this one. Looks so cute on glossy cardstock.
Seniors are fun to photograph. They are a lot easier to photograph, too… something about being fresh, new, and excited… who knows. Maybe it’s because they are not stressed out about life yet… or wrinkles. They have unlimited energy, too. Boy, those were the days.
You can ask Grace and Kate… I had to stop a few times and rest on the short trail up and down to the overlook. Give me a break, though… I was severely anemic and diagnosed with stage III cancer just months after this photoshoot. It’s surreal to look back on how bad I felt back then (tired) and I had no idea I was ill. This is the part where I tell you to get a colonoscopy when you turn 40. Period. I was only 43 then. Three years earlier, I would have probably been only a stage 1 or 2 and would have not gotten so bad that the doctor said I would have been dead in less than six months, had it not been diagnosed. It’s hard to hike up hills carrying camera bags when you have a hemoglobin level of 6.
Gracie’s blue eyes are hypnotizing like her mama’s. It’s hard to take a bad photo of her.
Sometimes you just have to make your own sunshine on cloudy days.
Even Grace’s sister, Kate (who wasn’t a senior then) decided to get in on the photo love. She bought a shirt (like one I have) that says “A is for Austin”. This is one of my favorite shots of her from the day.
We actually took photos all the way up to dusk. The traffic made lovely bokeh and how can you resist that smile? Austin is a fun place for senior shots.
I love asking my seniors where they like to have their photo taken and what places are special to them. We have an “outing” and enjoy ourselves, rather than making it formal and intimidating. You must relax to take good photos and have real smiles.
If you are looking for a senior photographer for the Austin area, or anywhere (I travel for photography, also)… give me a holler. You can see more of my photos at my Photography site.