• Autumn Merica

Blake - Senior Sunday Spotlight

It's the end of the week, and I am definitely ready to share Blake's photo session from yesterday with you on this Sunday. This session got in touch with my creative side, and brought out some aspects of my photography I haven't had to use in years!


Making Every Session Unique

One of my favorite things about shooting seniors is that every single session is unique in it's own way and makes a lasting impression. I've photographed well over 100 seniors in my career, and each guy or girl stands out to me no matter how long it's been since their session. I can easily recall details of the interests they had, the photos we captured, and the time we spent together! Blake's session was definitely not the exception to this, he included a "prop" I have used before but not since my senior year of high school (which was 5 years ago!) - a fire truck. He's a member of the Elkton Volunteer Fire Department, and firefighting is something that runs in his family!

I spent a lot of my pre-teen and teenage years growing up around first responders, my aunt was an EMT in Elkton & Shenandoah and is currently a dispatcher and I have two uncles who are firefighters in Grottoes and Shenandoah, which means that any time I'm in the first responder crowd it only takes about a minute to find a connection between someone I know and someone they know. I love connections like this, and the first responder communities are so close knit and have great people among them. Getting the opportunity to photograph Blake and incorporate this big part of his life into his senior photos not only made it effortless to get great photos, it's also one of those things that serves as a constant reminder of why photography is truly my passion! Firefighting is already a unique occupation for someone still in high school, but another thing that makes these sessions stand out to me is that Blake will most likely be a part of the fire department for the rest of his life, and he will always have these photos to look back on to document the early years of his journey.

We began our session at the fire station, where we actually used a back room to set up to do Blake's formal photos. I set up my portable studio and he had rented a tux out to get great formals, which his mom was already picturing hanging up on his grandma's wall! After that we jumped straight into Blake's comfort zone, and pulled Engine 36 out to the parking lot where we had a perfect backdrop of downtown Elkton for his photos. He did these photos in his full suit for most of them, but Blake told me he's not really the "concrete jungle" type and asked if we could do the remainder of his photos down by the river. He changed into a more casual outfit and his family brought the engine down with us to do a few more shots with a natural background. I love an urban setting, but to my surprise I ended up enjoying the photos with the engine down by the river the most! For the last shot with the engine, they decided to cut on the water that's attached to the top of the truck (please excuse my lack of terminology here) and I've saved that photo for the end of the blog because it instantly became my favorite photo from the session. We finished off his session with another casual outfit and a great backdrop of gorgeous green grass and the flowing river. Once we were done, I was ready to get home and edit a few of these images to write his blog post to share today. I'm so thankful Blake and his mom chose me to do his senior photos!

I have 7 more senior sessions this month, and today's was a great kickstart for all of them! I cannot wait to share them all with you guys, having a creative space to share about my senior sessions has become the highlight of my week and such a fulfilling part of my career! Happy Sunday everyone and I hope to have you back next week :)



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