As I was spending time with family over Thanksgiving Break, my aunt asked me if I would take my cousins senior portraits. Of course without any hesitation I said yes since senior pictures are my favorite part about portrait photography! I got so excited just thinking about the endless backdrops that the beautiful Texas panhandle could offer me. Even though I had basically grown up at my grandparents farm, I had never done an actual portrait shoot there, so I grabbed my camera and my cousin and started to drive around the small Texas town of only 3,000 people. Because it is such a small town, there aren't many architectural things to photograph; however, there are thousands of miles of land that grows different types of produce. In many cases when you aren’t photographing something that is familiar to you, you must go out of your comfort zone and build a much larger creative box in order to successfully execute your photoshoot. I did this by scouting out many different locations for my cousin’s photoshoot a couple days beforehand and decided which location would be shot at what time according to the amount of sun that was available. Because I did this in preparation, I was able to focus on photographing my model and all her beauty instead of worrying about settings.
To give some more information on how I prepared for this shoot, I will attach the final images with some commentary on what was going through my mind before and during the photoshoot.
I chose this location to photograph first because the cilos and the buildings were tall enough to diffuse the correct amount of light for us to start photographing a little earlier in the evening. I gauged to spend about 30 minutes at this location so that it would allow enough time for the sun to set a little bit more so that we could begin photographing in an open field.
The best part about photography is that it’s all about chance. I had no way of knowing how the clouds would form at this location, but I certainly used it at my advantage. Because my cousin didn’t think she wanted too many photos in this location, I estimated about 15 minutes in the cotton field, but as soon as we started photographing, we both agreed that it was too beautiful to not keep capturing, so we cut down the amount of time at other locations so that we could spend an ample amount of time in that cotton field.
We traveled only a few miles down the same road to get to an unharvested wheat field that was as green as grass in May. It was a beautiful change of scenery that almost made it look like the photos were taken in spring rather than winter. I found that what most people love is diversity, so whenever you can change up those poses, scenery, and angles.
Lake Palo Duro:
Last, but certainly not least, was our trip to lake Palo Duro. I’ll tell you what, that lake could possibly be the most ugly, smelly, and dirty lake I have ever seen, but it made for some gorgeous pictures. Honestly, if you photograph the ugliest location ever, but with the perfect lighting, it’ll more than likely turn out better than you could’ve ever imagined. That’s exactly what happened at this location, the ones at this location are some of my favorite images from this shoot.
All in all, this shoot has to be one of my very favorites. Not only is it because I got to photograph my beautiful cousin, I was also able to push my limits and try new ideas and locations. Pushing boundaries is such a crucial thing to photography, if you don’t try, you won’t ever understand and it’s not something that someone can really explain to you, so go out and push your limits.