A Different Kind of Senior Portrait Session

We've all been there. Sitting on a stool in front of a drab back drop, staring into some big, aggressive, blinding light, listening to a complete stranger say, "Ok, now...tilt your head left...no - right...chin down...hands in your lap...good...ok, that's fine." CLICK. That's fine?! Oh, I hope this doesn't look stiff. Do I have something in my teeth? I forgot my lipstick. Am I pretty? This is awful. Never again.

The AGONY! Why oh why. Here at Woke Beauty we fiercely believe in a different type of senior portrait session. The type that is liberating, beautifying, authentic and fun. We want you to feel beautiful because you are...duh! 

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See what I mean?! ^  Vero arrived at my home in the morning; we had planned on shooting some inside, some around the neighborhood - but first, coffee. Talking was fun and easy. Vero has an unmistakable charm, a laugh that echoes and a unique elegance. We sat outside on my deck and chatted about the happenings in her life. We talked about her summer, her future plans, college, food (obviously). We digressed. Vero's primary goal in our session was: "to feel beautiful and confident." I knew it would be easy to translate her aura to an image. 

We frolicked through Travis Heights, walking down alleyways, admiring the breeze, the flowers, the trees. Vero's hair danced with the light. She told me she didn't know what to do with her face. But she was doing it! I encouraged her, "Spin around! Smile big! Now kind of smile!" I love it when my subjects move; it loosens them up and eventually aids them in finding a space that feels right. Vero found hers with ease. 

Vero has so many sides to her personality - sweet, silly, sultry. Somehow we managed to share them all. The glasses were helpful... (hint, hint, props encouraged)

We had so. much. fun. We told silly jokes, danced around and shared stories. Whenever I saw Vero looking a bit unsure I brought her back. I have no problem looking like the kookiest girl you've ever seen...anything to get you into your comfort zone. Because I know the result will be everything you were looking for. Maybe more. Especially if you're Vero.

How's THAT for a senior portrait session? ;) 

Road to Marfa

I wrote about my trip to Marfa with Katherine Squier last year - gosh, almost exactly a year ago...time, I command you to stand still! (Time does not obey.) I was so inspired by our road trip, Katherine's unmistakable elegance and a quaint, little town I had never been to before. I wrote about how places are just like people, there are so many of them yet we meet so few. And even fewer will touch us in a way that makes us pause with admiration. As I reflect now I think of how lucky was I to be dually struck with awe. 

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We were supposed to arrive in Marfa in 6 hours and 19 minutes but we're both photographers so...naturally, it took us 8. The aesthetic of the desert gripped us like little kids watching an ice cream truck pass them by. 

Photographing Katherine was just easy. That sounds so trite but really, there's no better way to say it. Katherine's essence comes through on camera, in a really authentic way. Which is crazy because, I mean, having a large device stare you down isn't very natural. I've decided its her sweetness, humility and overall generosity that makes her so approachable. I think this directly correlates to her love for dogs and dogs' love for her. I swear I'm not getting off topic. Between almost every picture I took of Katherine, there was a moment (or 2 or 3 or 4 or 50) of her with a dog. 

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She would say, "Ohhhh myyyyy goodnesssss look at that one. Look at his eyes, they're so blue and red. Wow. And his tail and those markings ohhhh I just have to meet him. I have to." I heard exclamations such as this countless times. It was awkward and precious and revealing. And let's be real, any girl who loves on dogs like that has a flawless soul. 

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I've had a really hard time getting away from these images. You're probably thinking what does that mean. I know, right. Well, I just keep sharing them and using them. I think that's why they are my very first blog post on this platform (I sound so formal). They speak to me and they accurately portray our trip, how it felt, what we did. 

Katherine and I had met once before. Once. On Instagram! In my defense, Instagram has been an incredible way to make friends. Once I get past all of the superficiality (which, I might add, exists everywhere), I come across these people (or they come across me - both very exciting) and we connect. Maybe it's mutual viewpoints, a love of similar things, or wow, you seem amazing, let's be friends. In our case, it was immediate friendship. 12 hours in a car? So what! Leaky tent? An adventure! 

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This is what I love about photography: people. It's always been people. I'm just not that shy, cool (ok, well admittedly, sometimes I'm cool), quiet art kid. I always envied those people, they just seem so suave. I know you know what I mean! But no, I'm talkative, outgoing, excitable, outwardly passionate. Because people are incredible. Women are incredible. They possess so much complexity, fortitude, kindness and beauty. They are magic. And photography allows me to study that magic, hold onto it just a bit longer. 

Katherine is the perfect example of what I'm trying to say. So if you don't get it, just look at these images. They say everything. 

Want your essence captured?? Girl, I can make that happen. Let's chat!

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