• Autumn Merica

Xavier - HHS Class of 2022

Updated: Feb 15

Happy Sunday and thanks for coming back to read another #SeniorSunday Spotlight this week! Today I'm featuring Xavier, a senior at Harrisonburg High School who did a session with me right at the peak of fall colors up on Skyline Drive.


Skyline Drive was definitely my most popular location for sessions this past fall. Not just for seniors, but I also did quite a few engagement and family sessions there. It's a gorgeous location, but it was especially perfect for Xavier, because he wanted a rugged natural landscape and to be able to include his dog and car in his session. I believe you can never go wrong with a rocky outcropping overlooking the mountain, paired with the sun setting and a casual and comfortable outfit. It helps during any session for my seniors to feel like they are truly in their element. It defeats the purpose of offering seniors sessions that are truly unique to them and reflective of their personalities if they aren't comfortable during every step of the way!


Big Meadows is a huge attraction for anyone visiting the national park. Every local I know has a love for Big Meadows, and I utilize the beauty of it at every session that I do on the drive. In the fall, the colors of each shrub or piece of tall grass that grows in the meadows is highlighted by the light to create the gorgeous colors you see in the background of my photos. On the day of Xavier's session, we had amazing weather with beautiful lighting. The colors of the meadows were exactly what I hoped of them, and even the mountains in the background of the overlook had beautiful orange and yellow outlines from the sun. I especially loved the fact that in the meadows, Xavier's blue and white shirt provided contrast to make him stand out, but at the overlook his natural toned flannel made him look like he fit right in!

Doing senior photos for a guy is very different than for girls, and I used to try to overlook that fact because I didn't want any of my seniors to feel like they are treated differently. Eventually, I came to realize that the best thing to do is to embrace the differences, because that is the only way to make sure that each senior I photograph is getting the best treatment during their session. In doing this, it helped me to find other ways to add elements to a guy's session. For girls, we can accessorize or do many different poses, and even incorporate a flowing dress or their hair into the elements of their photos. With guys, using things like buildings or trees to frame their photos and incorporating what they hold close, such as their cars or dogs (as was Xavier's case) gives their photos what they need to be unique and amazing! I am so thankful for seniors like Xavier that come to their session ready to have a great time and take amazing photos! I'm also loving being able to relive some of my sessions through my blog posts during the slow months of the year for my business. Check out the blog again next Sunday for a spotlight on another local senior!




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