Lakeland Senior Pictures – Julia

This summer as I was settling into my new life in Florida, our friends joined us for a few days. I had photographed two of their three kids for senior pictures. On their trip to visit us in Lakeland, I took some time to capture senior pictures for Julia, their third.

Julia’s a dancer and a lacrosse player, so we focused on some images which included some of her activities, as well as some great images in a variety of outfits. It was in the 90’s outside, so we jumped from the AC to the outdoors and tried to stay cool.

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I applied an infrared finish to the second image.


I use large studio flashes outdoors, and I also take advantage of special lenses that can provide a very narrow depth of field, meaning that items in front of and behind the subject are nicely blurred, as you can see below.


We spent some time in Hollis Garden. I like the garden but everyone uses it, so we captured a few ballet images and a couple of lacrosse outfit shots, and moved on. Of course, Julia is from Pennsylvania, so it’s safe to say that no one else from her school had Hollis Garden shots!


Lake Mirror is a great backdrop for a variety of images.

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I put a bit of watercolor on this image, which I think turned out nicely!


Next, we moved to downtown Lakeland where I found some really neat walls to use for close up and full-body portraits.

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We headed out to Florida Polytechnic for some bright daylight shots with the amazing architecture. This was full on mid-day, and I was shooting off a high-powered studio flash to balance the ambient light and clearly illuminate the subject.

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There are many great locations in Polk County and surrounding areas for senior pictures. I envision using several locations for each senior session. Check out the next post for some great beach shots with Julia!

High Key Portrait Photography in Erie

High key is the term used for a bright white background. It’s often difficult to light, requiring as many as four lights to properly expose the background and main subject.

In the original color image below, Lauren is properly exposed and the image is finished in color with just a touch of softness added in post-processing.

In the second image, I used a BW conversion that favored red tones, bringing her skin to a pure white, and providing some definition to her face, hair and hands. It’s interesting that in this conversion, her clothing begins to blend to the background, creating an abstract look.

This was one of the harder types of settings for me to learn to light. When done properly, the effect is stunning. But when the background is overexposed or underexposed, the result can be an image that is flat, grey or overpowering, causing undesired halos.

One of the benefits of my new studio is that I have all of my gear available, and can go from natural light to black to colored backdrop to pure white “high key” in just a few minutes. Plus the brick walls rock!