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Walk in the woods

When I first moved to Salisbury from Northeast PA(near where The Office was filmed), I wasn’t immediately won over by the flatness and the lack of variety of the terrain.  I had grown up among the Appalachian mountains and near the rushing waters of the Delaware River.   Little did I know, and would soon discover, that the Eastern Shore is one of the most beautiful places on this earth.  It may not have much to offer in terms of elevation, but the scenery is to die for.  From the salty sea air and powerful waves of the Atlantic Ocean, miles and miles of pristine beaches, little streams, marshland, and dense forests it is a photographers dream.  Since moving here I have fallen in love with the beach and count this area my home.  Not much beats a kayaking trip through the streams and lush marsh lands or an evening bonfire on the beach surrounded by good friends and good food.  This is the place I get to call home and where I get to work.  Everyday that I photograph a client is often an adventure into a breathtaking spot that you would be hard-pressed to discover anywhere else.  

As a photographer of high school seniors one thing that makes me unique is my Senior Team.  Every year I have the privilege of working with an exclusive group of beautiful young ladies.  We spend the entire year playing together and photographing in many of these locations I have been talking about.  We often meet for special shoots to showcase a theme or take an idea that the girls have and bring it to reality in coordinating and photographing them.  My aim is to not only capture amazing portraits for my clients but to tell their story.  Over the years I have shared many images knowing that those images would tell their own story.  And I believe they have.  Yet I have also wanted to deepen that experience for my clients this year, not only in the images but in the story telling of their sessions.  This blog post is a starting point for me in that regard.  This first post may be a little rough around the edges, but I want to convey what it’s like to work with me and, in a sense, have you come along with us on the shoot.

Recently, Hallie, Emily and I trecked into the Pocomoke Forest on an unusually warm spring day.  You know, one of those perfect days where it hasn’t been warm enough for the bugs to become active, yet warm enough to feel the sun on your skin and a cool breeze through your hair. As we wandered through the woods Hallie and Emily chatted about prom, life, and friendship.  They giggled at inside jokes, at me tripping over some fallen branches, and the sheer enjoyment of them being together and creating a memory that would deepen and add another facet to their friendship.  

The tall majestic oaks, the gently unfolding branches of the maples, straight as an arrow pines, and the spindly reaches of speckled dogwood trees became our backdrop for the afternoon.  The springtime sun hung low in the sky creating that perfect backlight and giving the images we created a wondrous glow.  This part of the forest is unique because it not only contains dense groupings of trees but areas where natural reeds and tall grass abound.  I do not know what the grasses are called but they are pure honey amber color, waist to shoulder height and sway gently in the breeze of the afternoon.  

I brought along my old Nikon F4 loaded with the last roll of TMAX that I could find in the studio.  I am planning on ordering some more and doing more personal work with film(but that is another story and another blog).  We stopped on the graveled road and I handed the F4 over to the girls and they enjoyed an impromptu photo session as they used us the last few frames on the roll of film.  As you can see they had some fun and Emily looked right at home with that camera in her hands.  They commented on the cool camera strap, which is older than both of them put together.  It felt great knowing that I have something vintage that resonates with them, after all I am somewhat vintage as well.  

I am not a fashion expert by any means, usually just a jeans and t-shirt guy(or whatever my wife dresses me in), but I loved the jean jacket and simple outfit Hallie wore.  Anytime your outfit moves people to see your face and your real beauty I think that is a winner.  Emily got her overall skit at American Eagle and I must say, it was absolutely adorable…another win.  They both wore some great accessories to round out their outfits(bracelets, leather choker, rings, and the shoes…never forget the shoes).  

Emily and Hallie…thank you for joining me on such a beautiful day.  Thank you for trekking through the woods and the briars for these portraits.  I am beyond excited to work with you this year.  You inspire me as all of the Senior Team has been doing this year and I look forward to more amazing experiences with you and of course capturing more images.  I hope that you loved this session as much as I did, you both rock!!!    

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