2016 Bainbridge Island High School Senior, Cora, loves fashion, style and anything purple! Her natural and simple style is what motivated us to include some time at the beach but her hipster side took us straight to the bunker. Yoga and workouts keep her dancer's body in shape even if she does love Ben & Jerry's Phish Phood! Texting, movies and hanging with friends are just part of her senior high plans. Cora hopes to study nursing in college so I'm sure her senior year will be filled with visits to colleges and  . . . dare I say . . . more testing. That's TESTING not texting! Good Luck, Cora! Your calm and sweet personality will make you a great caregiver and be a valuable asset in anything you choose to do.

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I had a great time with you, Cora. Thanks for being so much fun!


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I've met a lot of new people since moving to the PNW. I tell people I'm a professional photographer and they often ask what I photograph. I say my favorite thing to photograph is seniors. Many of them think I mean senior citizens - over the age of 65. Uh, no. In the photography world when we say seniors -- it's HIGH SCHOOL SENIORS. Not Senior Citizens. So, there's my "SENIOR MOMENT". Explaining to people the two very distinct types of "SENIORS". Ha! Many look at me like I just grew another head when I try to explain that when a child is graduating from high school he/she is a "senior" and their parents like to have a nice portrait of them before they leave the nest, and often, it's their last time to get a family portrait when the family is all still together every day.  

As a portrait artist, I always want to please my client but in the case of the "Senior" I really have two clients. 1) The Senior and 2) their parents. It's a tough time for both. The Senior is actually becoming an adult and leaving to go to school or work full time. It's their time to shine in that little window in between the ease of childhood and the reality of adulthood. They don't know it yet but they never had it so good. Right? Most of them are really feeling it. They can't wait to get out there and put themselves into the thick of it. Show the world who they are. They LOVE having beautiful, fun pictures of themselves.  The Parents - well, that's a different story. Most of us are starting to whine a bit to our friends and spouse (especially if they're the first to leave us). It's so hard to let them go. We can't stop thinking about how they were just little yesterday. How did this happen?! So when people ask me "do you really like taking pictures of senior high school students"? I don't have to even think about it. I absolutely do. Because I know that my photographs make them feel empowered and ready to take on the world they so much want to enter AND these same photographs will give comfort to their parents as they watch this person they've created and nurtured go out into that world. They won't be at the breakfast table every morning anymore. There won't be anyone to wait up for at night. But it's comforting to walk by a portrait that captures the the essence of who your child is and smile because they are a good person and are out there doing the best they can and trying to take a bite out of the world. I want you to look at these images and give yourself a pat on the back!  You did good! I want you to feel they're close, even when they may be far away at school. I also know you want your child to feel the very best about themselves and, let's face it, good portraits will do just that! They have fun and get some amazing images of themselves! 

Once upon a time when I was questioning my decision to focus more on senior portraits, I had an email from a mother who told me what a difference I had made in her daughter's life. Her daughter had never felt like she was pretty or special, no matter what her mother told her. She had an older sister who was always in the limelight and she just let her take it all in and stayed in the shadows.  She had an undiagnosed disease for years that had her growth and she had been way behind her peers until that year. She had a senior session with me. We had so much fun! She changed clothes, we braided her hair, we went to cool locations and played fashion model and acted silly and serious and in-between. The same thing I do with all my seniors. BUT it meant so much more to her. It always means the world to me. I would be honored to create something wonderful for you and your senior this year. 

Please join me at an Open House at Ericksen & Wallace Way, April 25th, 10-5pm. Come and visit, ask all the questions you may have about senior portraits, have refreshments, look at beautiful portraits and book your 2016 senior portrait session that day to receive $75 off your session fee. Let's create something beautiful for you!

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November 27, 2012

When Kate started school some 13 years ago, one of her first little friends on the bus was Everly. We soon found out she lived on the corner and she and Kate became fast friends. Years go on, girls change schools and move to new houses and life goes on. Kate and Everly lost touch a bit but I was thrilled when she called to have her senior pics taken by me! How fun! I had photographed her and her little sis when I was first starting my business and they were in grade school and it was fun then so I knew it would be more fun now! It was! We started out downtown, stopped by Cherry Street a bit and then ended up at the edge of the River. Can't believe how times goes by . . . our little girls are seniors already! Yikes! I love the woman she is becoming - independent, strong and beautiful, with a great bohemian sense of style! It's a good thing! I hope I get to see more. I could shoot Everly forever!

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Eric is a senior at BA this year. He's all about music, art and shoots a few photos too. He is going to enter college however - Pre Med. Go figure. Actually, I told him a know a lot of doctor/musicians. It seems to be a pretty common combination I think! It was really nice to be able to work with a guy. Don't get me wrong, I love all my girls but I don't tend to have too many guys who want to come play a bit for their senior pics! Eric had some great ideas and knew what he wanted so we just headed downtown and made it so! He got great applause for his drumming from the street popluation in downtown Tulsa, turning several shades of red afterwards. I say afterwards because when he starts playing, he is drawn into it all the way and I don't really think he knows anyone else is even there. A sign of a true artist in my opinion.  His music reminds me of a few old southern rock guitarists I love to listen to. It's a good thing.  Bottom line - I think he's one of those guys that can do it all ... and really well. Like Ferris Bueller. (my favorite exceller) I even got a Bueller sunglasses shot! Ha! Thanks for hanging out with me Eric! It was a blast and I wish you ALL kinds of fun next year!

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Catching a little air . . .LSD_WilsonEric-110.jpgLSD_WilsonEric-111.jpgLSD_WilsonEric-112.jpgLSD_WilsonEric-113.jpgLSD_WilsonEric-114.jpgLSD_WilsonEric-115.jpg




Tracy Shimanek says:

these are great pics. what a handsome fella. i cannot decide which is the best...so, gab, i think you will have to buy many :)

(04.23.12 @ 06:46 AM)
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I love when a plan comes together. Every portrait session starts with a great plan. Hannah came in for her planning session with a lot of options but as we talked about her life and her senior year, it became clear that a few things were just her favorite, most comfortable things. Things she wore all the time. And same with the things she likes to do - basketball, basketball and . . .basketball. She is THE girl next door. Hannah is the oldest of 8 children. Her parents homeschool and she plays basketball for the Noah Jaguars. She is a competitive, driven athlete and you can see the determination in her face even when we are just practicing a few moves!  After the wind beat on us at the river, we had part of this session at the family home which is a big part of her life and not only does it hold them all, there's a gym and a full size basketball court too!

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Siblings - the youngest and the oldest . . . LSD-HannahBranch-004.jpgLSD-HannahBranch-005.jpgLSD-HannahBranch-006.jpgLSD-HannahBranch-007.jpg

I think her celebrity doppelganger is Sandra Bullock. Agreed?LSD-HannahBranch-008.jpgLSD-HannahBranch-009.jpgLSD-HannahBranch-010.jpg

Doesn't everyone sit on the roof to do homework and watch your sister have her senior pictures taken? LSD-HannahBranch-011.jpgLSD-HannahBranch-012.jpgLSD-HannahBranch-013.jpgLSD-HannahBranch-014.jpg 

Thank you for sharing your home with me. It was really fun!


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