52 Week Project Blog

Week 36/52 - Rock It Senior Girl

Hello! Has anyone seen the moon lately? It is beyond captivating. These last few morning sunrise has meshed with the moon in the background and revealed a cotton candy color that is like heaven on Earth. Just wow. I hope you are having a great day. 

The young lady you see here is a high school senior graduating as the class of 2018. She is the 36th portrait of the week for September 3rd to September 9th. Please give a warm welcome to Naomi! I love photographing student's senior portrait because it is such an extraordinary experience between the student and the photographer to capturing who they are at an age so young. Her mother, Joy, asked me to photograph Naomi's senior portrait. Naturally, I asked to use the same images for my portrait project. To us, it was an honor to have both as a blessing in disguise. I cannot wait to dive in further in our session, share who is Naomi, and share our time together. :)

Naomi is a gorgeous and cheerful girl who has the curve on the current fashion trend. Originally from Boise, Idaho, and lived on the East Coast, her family moved to Seattle within a decade for a new life. She is the oldest sibling among a younger sister and baby brother. From what I see from Naomi, she loves to be around the people she love and have fun in the present. She enjoys mischief, yet harmless behavior with her classmates. That is the life of a high schooler. You are supposed to cause some chaos as your last year in high school. Besides that, an intelligent girl who will contribute greatly for her future.

How we met is actually from Joy. We used to be fellow coworkers at one of the largest cable and broadband provider for two years. Slowly, we all moved on to new endeavors and still maintained close contact. Earlier this year, Joy and her family along with me and Vanny, celebrated our New Year in April. We visited my Cambodian temple and their Laos temple. This day was filled with celebrating new possibilities and wishing prosperity. It was also about getting to know the kids intimately. That was the last time I saw the kids. 

For our session, this was all done in one day. It sure was a long day of traveling and shooting in three different locations under vastly shifted lighting situation. Our first location we went to Kobuta Garden. Originally, we wanted to go to the Botanical Bellevue Garden, however, it was closed on a Sunday. With quick thinking, Kobuta was the perfect alternative. Our first outfit. she wore a beige or tan top with washed ripped jeans and comfortable heel. You know how I feel about heels. I can't even. Anyways, she walked through the uneven trails and dirt perfectly. We walked around the garden to place her in different background. I am a sucker for waterfall and bridges so I brought her there. The one spot we had the toughest to maneuver is the image of Naomi's hand and body pushing toward the boulder. That area had large branches that somehow had long, pointy thorns hidden in between the leaves. This wasn't like this during my week with Nguyen! As we made our to the exit, we stumbled upon a golden opportunity. I am in love with sun flare. I wanted to give that magical experience for Naomi. You can see four images shown here with the sun beaming in front of me as it is beaming behind her. 

Our second location was at the waterfront. She changed into a chill casual outfit with a blue plaid shirt, a different ripped jeans, and the classic Adidas kicks. She wanted to get the Great Wheel behind her. We worked what we had despite it being extremely crowded. I bokeh the life out of her to ensure anyone in the background is blurred out to the max and have the focus shift only on her. For those who don't know what bokeh means, it is a technique used in mostly in portraiture to have the background out of focus with the subject being the primary focus. A lens with a high aperture or f/stop like f/1.4 can achieve that creamy effect. I asked her if she has ever been on the Ferris wheel. It will be her first if she does. Better get that fulfilled before you graduate!  

Our third location was at Pike Place Market. I have been to the market more times I can count on my fingers. In June, the market opened up a brand new area called The Pike Place Marketfront. It is an open public space encompassing a public plaza and viewing deck, 47 new rooftop day stalls for farmers and artists, and much much more. It was approaching near twilight time and we went for a night summer dress outfit. I wanted to capture her surrounded with the dusk light blanketing her floral dress. I love the way it turned out. The two images shown in the blog were her selection of the dress outfit. A simple yet gorgeous capture.

Typically, I select the images to show on the blog. However, I went for a different approach. Before taking the images home for post production, I asked her to pick twenty images to have for her senior portrait. What you see here are her selections. I set up and photographed her in different backdrop to capture her bright smile or be immersed with the surrounding. I say her favorites are the sun glare photos. I can say a full day of shooting, traveling, walking, and outfit changing I was gone at the end of the day. 

Lastly, thank you Naomi for rocking your first photo shoot and sharing your day with me. Thank you for your patience as I worked on getting the photos back to you. I hope you love what we created together and your friend get inspired to photograph with me for their senior portraits. Until then, I'll see you and your family on the next home invitation.

I am in my hustle mode to get these weeks written, arranged, and published this week. I am currently in week 41! Woohoo! Let's make it my goal to release week 37, 38, 39, and 40 this week. That means, hibernation into my writing time. Anyways, I hope you enjoyed the latest blog. See you later!

- Sally