It is my pleasure to introduce MaKenna who is a member of the class of 2019 from Louisville High School. Her senior portrait session was highly anticipated, as I remembered MaKenna and her family so fondly. I had visited our chosen location, Quail Hollow in Hartville, and knew that we would be hitting the gardens at peak bloom. I also remembered that MaKenna was one of the sweetest people I had ever met, and was anxious to show that in her portraits.
As I met MaKenna and her mom in the parking lot, I was thrilled to see that MaKenna had grown in the confidence of her kindness and brought that same genuine smile and warm eyes that I remembered. As we examined her wardrobe options, we came up with a plan for which outfits to use in which locations. I devised an order based on what I expected from the sun's angles at the different locations throughout the session. We were ready to go!
Anytime I start working with my Senior, I like to explain my process so that they know what to expect. Typically, a couple of shots are needed to get warmed up and fall into a level of comfort with my method of running around and babbling like a crazy person behind the camera. Not true for MaKenna! The portraits of MaKenna on the path in the woods that are shown below are truly the very first shots. When I looked at the back of my camera, my jaw dropped. How anyone can be that poised and radiant in front of the camera right from the get-go is beyond me. Let's just say, I was bursting with excitement because I knew that the session was only going to get better.
Let's talk for a minute about her fabulous wardrobe choice. I love how the soft sweater drapes so beautifully. It is simple, soft, and a solid color. The patterned texture adds just enough interest without being a distraction. Notice how it allows her complexion to shine and really makes a nice soft contrast with the lush greens. It is the perfect complement to that lovely soft smile that is such a signature of MaKenna.
The next segment of our portrait session resulted in some amazing portraits that are actually among MaKenna's favorites. MaKenna brought this fabulous dress that is such a fun contrast to the sweater above. I typically advise against such a busy pattern, but it works because of the simplicity of the structure of the dress, itself. The colors complement MaKenna's warm skin tones and gorgeous brown hair and eyes. Notice that she wears the dress; the dress does not wear her. Because the dress does not cinch at the waist, I was careful to use poses that still gave her shape and created these beautiful feminine lines.
Posing MaKenna was like poetry in motion. I swear she was reading my mind and created these stunning outcomes that you see below. You see, MaKenna is a dancer. I have found that dancers have the most amazing body awareness and grace. Asking a dancer to walk through a field becomes a graceful stroll where every step is a work of art. She mentioned that she liked how I pushed her out of her comfort zone to get such great portraits. I have to say that she faked her comfort beautifully. What amazing results.
I know that I keep raving that MaKenna is an absolute sweetheart. Well, witnessing the bond that she has with her sister is further evidence of her sweetness. MaKenna's sister Riley arrived at Quail Hollow when we were part-way through the portrait session. Oh, if you could have seen MaKenna's face light up when she saw Riley in the car approaching us. Once together, they immediately started gushing about how the other looked so pretty. We showed Riley some of the portraits we had taken already, and she was everything a supportive sister should be. Makenna took much comfort in Riley's approval and I could almost see her shoulders relax once she had the assurance from her sister that all was going perfectly. Capturing these portraits of them together was very special to MaKenna, and I know these are such treasures to their parents. By the way... kudos to these parents for raising this amazing pair of girls!
As we continued on with our session, I was amazed to see this new boost of confidence in MaKenna that emanated from her sister's presence and how that confidence translated into her portraits. In the series that you see below, I felt like we had elevated the connection to a higher level, and the results are incredible. MaKenna's friends would describe her as caring, funny, loyal and with a great sense of humor. I see all of those qualities in her, but I also see a depth of character that adds credibility to all of her other wonderful traits.
This next series of portraits are also among MaKenna's favorites, and for good reason. We had been working around the outskirts of the inviting blooms of that garden all afternoon, but I knew I had to wait for the sun to be in the perfect location for these portraits to look as gorgeous as they do. It was certainly worth the wait. I wanted a very carefree look here, so we even did some hair adjustments and decided to forgo the part. One of MaKenna's favorite places to shop is American Eagle, and I feel like these portraits could be part of their catalog.
We decided to make these last few shots a little playful, so we did some spinning to get this great portrait below. These portraits just feel so relaxed and fresh. It was such a great way to wrap it up. It seems fitting that MaKenna likes country music and a favorite movie is Forever My Girl. She also loves Italian food. Pizza and Olive Garden are first choices. No wonder we get along so well.
MaKenna brightened my life and I was only with her for an evening. I can imagine the impact that she has on her family and friends who are blessed with her in their lives. She plans to attend Stark State College where she will be studying in the Dental Hygiene Program. Can't you just imagine how fortunate her patients will feel to have her working with them? They will be sharing her dental hygiene work with the world because she will send them away with a smile on their face.
MaKenna, thank you for trusting me with your senior portraits. You have touched my life and shown me such a hopeful future. I wish all good things for you as you make your beautiful mark on the world.
You make the memories; I will help you cherish them.
Love and Smiles,
"I liked that it was very organized. Laura had creative ideas and pushed me out of my comfort zone. I love all of my portraits, however some of my favorites are of me in my dress, sitting in the middle of the road, and the ones in the flower garden. I was surprised by how much fun I had."