I pride myself on photographing on location. Yes, this does sometimes mean that we'll need to reschedule due to inclement weather. Carrying a couple of lighting stands and reflectors is so much easier than photographing your subject within four walls! My creativity flows in the fresh air, not in a stuffy studio setting.
Meghan asked me if she could have her portraits taken at Madame Sherri's Forest in Chesterfield, New Hampshire. After doing a little research, I agreed that it would be a wonderful location for senior portraits. Meghan, then a senior at Black River High School in Ludlow, Vermont, wanted a different look for her senior photos. I was totally ready to see how this location could be transformed into my mobile outdoor studio. When someone asks me if I have a studio, I simply say: It's all around me, wherever I am, I'll make it work.
If you're looking for a unique location, try Madame Sherri's Castle Ruins. As you walk up the path it seems as if you're being watched; that you're not alone in the forest. What remains of the stone staircase sweeps upwards into the branches above, the stairs having arches under them.
Madame Sherri was known for the lavish parties that she held for her friends from New York City. Falling into poverty Madame Sherri left her lavish home in the forest. On October 18, 1962, the Castle was lost to a fire, with nothing left but the stone staircase and fireplace and the concrete that seems to be have been used by those who've practiced Wicca or Satanic type rituals, but this could all be the work of vandals. It was rather creepy down there.
The photo to the left was made with the use of a gold reflector to the right of the camera and a diffuser above the top of Meghan's head. Using the available light in the background and that sweet bokeh* blur to the right of her shoulder, I bounced the light to fill in the shadows that were on her face. Plus a natural lens flare always looks way better than one created within Adobe Photoshop.
Meghan informed me that if you climb to the top of the staircase, the Madame might push you off. I did climb up the staircase to capture this image! Luckily I was able to use my sheer charm and dashing good looks to convince Madame Sherri I was worthy of using her staircase, and because frankly, I would have fought her like a ghostbuster with a proton pack using all the batteries to create a makeshift particle accelerator to send her packing. (Well, I guess my inner nerd self needed a healthy outlet.)
The foliage surrounding the castle ruins was vibrant with color and able to make Meghan's blue eyes pop with the orange hues that encompassed the borders of this portrait. Having her mother and Aunt assist and fix her hair and accessories was an added bonus. Having those you trust there when you're getting your senior portraits taken can really be a calming force.
My goal is for your session to be as stress-free and enjoyable as possible. I know that planning ahead can make all of the difference in how our photographs turn out, so let's get started! The first step should always involve finding a location - if you're willing enough then we'll just need to plan where would work best with lighting conditions before moving forward from there.
I'm happy when people are excited about what they see after viewing their final product because it means my efforts were successful; however most importantly: Don't forget those little moments between parents & children which show off an unspoken love between two families...especially during this special time of year
*Bokeh is the visual quality of the out-of-focus areas of a photographic image.
Contact us today to book your senior portrait session: [email protected] or call (802) 770-0047. I would love to talk to you about a set of your choosing or any ideas that you might have. Remember I do believe in Unicorns, so let's make it happen.
B. Farnum Photography, offering Vermont Portrait Photography for high school seniors, families, couples, and business people.
Brian Farnum Photographer/Owner @ B. Farnum Photography