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  • Writer's pictureAutumn Merica

Kenya - PCMHS Class of 2021

How blessed I am - this week I will be doing three blog posts! Every year, I'm so thankful for how many seniors I get to photograph and it's so important to me to include all of them in my blog features. So for my third blog post today the spotlight is on Kenya, a senior at Pendleton County High School!

The Beauty of Last Minute Plans

Winter is the slow time of my business, it is very cold and dreary outside and not many people are wanting their photos done in those conditions. But winter has that one exception in the photography business - snow. Every time it snows I am contacted by people wanting to do sessions, and I love it! But the thing about snow sessions is that the conditions have to be perfect for it to work out. Enough snow to show in the pictures, but not so much that it's unsafe to drive. It also typically has to be soft fluffy snow, sleet or slushy snow just doesn't work for the winter wonderland photos my customers are looking for. A few times a year though, we get the right snow conditions for gorgeous photos, and I pack as many sessions as I can into that short time! This year, my favorite of those was most definitely my session with Kenya.

Kenya's session was a little bit different than most of my senior sessions, because I had been talking and collaborating with her about doing a more styled session instead of a casual session. She loves her horses, and we both loved the idea of snow, but I had been searching for another detail to really set these photos apart from others I had done. I found that detail in a red prom dress belonging to another one of my seniors who let us borrow it for this session. So I gathered the dress and had Kenya stay on standby for a good snow day when we could make this happen! Finally we had a perfect day, I messaged her the night before we did the photos to work something out and we met that next morning with prom dress in tow. We decided to do them on her land where she keeps her horses, and our original plan had been to do them at the bottom of the hill, but Kenya told me that if we climbed the steep hill there was an open field with a view of the snow capped mountains in the background. Regardless of what my asthma was telling me, I knew I had to climb that hill - so we did! Kenya's horse Copper came along with us, and that climb was more worth it than I had even expected, the field and mountain views were everything I could have asked for. Kenya was an amazing model, executing every idea I had and trusting me and my artistic process to make these photos worth all of the work we had put into them!

I had asked my (then) coworker and Kenya's friend Josh to join us bright and early on this adventure, because I had an idea in my mind of some couples shots to use for advertisement as well as to enter into the annual Shoot & Share contest. He agreed, even though I had given him little details besides what clothes to wear. I had forgotten in my excitement and planning that Josh is not a very big fan of horses, but he had already climbed the hill and made the commitment, so he continued to do the photos and the results were exactly as I had envisioned them to be! Unfortunately the Shoot & Share competition has not yet happened this year, but I cannot wait until it does so I can share the results with everyone. If the voters in that contest love these photos as much as my followers on social media did when I shared them, then I'm expecting some great results!

We finished up this session very cold but also very happy! After warming up in my car for a bit I shared a few of the photos with Kenya and went home to immediately get to work on them - I could not wait to share these with everyone! I was so glad to know that Kenya and her mom had both loved them just as much as I did. These are photos that I know will be showcased on my website and social media for years to come. Thank you to Kenya for helping me make this vision come to life, and also to Copper for being an amazing model throughout the whole thing. I love working with animals, and that added on to a beautiful senior session was a recipe for success! Have a great week everyone and I hope to have you back next week to read about more #AmazeSeniors!

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