Grad sessions can be creative, fun, and formal all at the same time! When I shot Ashley’s grad photos at The University of Texas at Austin, I knew there would be a ton of great locations or backdrops to make good photos but how to use those spaces creatively was up to me.
I always recommend my grad clients to bring their regalia and 1 to 2 outfits to get them in different looks. Ashley decided on her cap and gown with one nice dress. So outfits are part of the creative part of the shoot. Lighting is the second way you can make the photo shoot more creative and as you can see in these 6 photos I used lighting pretty differently giving each image a different feel. I used both ambient and studio lighting.
Posing your client in fun and creative poses can make for fun photos. I sometimes ask my clients to spin or jump creating movement a sense of movement in your shots. You can also tilt your camera in odd positions for cool perspectives. What creates the most fun photo for a client is when you allow them to be themselves. Most people have their own silly way of being unique and when you can capture that you’ll have great pics. FORMAL
Grad photos can be a little serious too. These are big milestones for many people and sometimes these moments call for formal portraits. In grad photos that means full regalia or formal outfit. In these photos we shot formal pictures in both outfits.
If you are interested in taking grad photos please fill out the form below.
Back in my college days at The University of Texas at Austin I spent most of my days in the darkroom with my classmates. For those who have shot 35mm film and had to go through the whole process of processing film; you can also vouch that it’s frustrating as hell but extremely rewarding.
UT-Austin classmates Thomas Allison and Callie Hernandez
I took these photos during our finals. Everyone was frustrated and annoyed of having to spend our whole day developing and printing our film photos. I wanted to capture the ambience of the day since it was going to be the last days of class. Seen in the photo was my UT-Austin classmates Thomas Allison and Callie Hernandez. Both classmates have gone out to do great thing with their lives. Thomas is a great independent photographer for various companies and Callie is now a Hollywood star. UT-austin was filled with such talented people.
Moody College of Communication Darkroom
Moody College of Communication Darkroom
Honestly I enjoyed being stuck in there. I never felt more of a photographer until I shoot 35mm film, developed it and printed it. So for me being in the darkroom was kind of like a escape from the rest of academic responsibilities. I hated the smell of the chemicals but loved what they did. It was definitely an experience I will never forget.
UT-Austin Student waiting for film to dry.
Sometimes I miss UT-Austin, most times I don’t and just live the great memories I had looking over photos from that era of my life. This was a random blog but I just wanted to share some random shit about my experience at UT-Austin and include some cool visuals.
While at The University of Texas at Austin I shot the sport of Volleyball for the first time. I really didn’t know what to expect, where I was allowed to stand, or what to shoot exactly.
I had photographed collegiate basketball, track, soccer and baseball. Volleyball was going to a new challenge but I was up for it. Around this time I was shooting with a Canon 5D, 70-200mm 2.8 lens, 50mm lens, and 20-35mm 3.5 lens. I did my best with what I had and I took it as a learning experience. I don’t think the college newspaper or yearbook ever sent me out to another volleyball game after this but that’s okay, I learned.
The game was enjoyable because; One, it was UT athletics and two the crowd of fired up students as amazingly supportive. This shot is one of my best from this first time experience.
In 2010 I had the opportunity to photograph Neil Young for a publication known as The Horn’s, He called me up around 5pm and asked if I was free to shoot something. I said, “Yeah sure, what is it?” Neil Young, he is playing at the performing center at The University of Texas at Austin.
This was one of my first major photography jobs while living in Austin, Texas. Their were restrictions that I was not prepared for but I toggled on my knowledge of my gear and did my best. The stage was way further from where I was allowed to rome and shoot from.
After leaving performing center, I mentally kicked myself. Why? I didn’t take photos of concert goers, excited fans, and the staff at the center.
The lady in the photo below traveled 13-hours to see Neil Young perform, those are the kind of things that make a story pop. I hope next time I am sent on a assignment I will remember to shoot the whole story. For now this is what I could produce from this event.
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Beautiful. Bold. Intelligent. Studious. Adventurous. Strong. These are all nouns to describe Ms. Susan Sanchez, a graduate of The University of Texas at Austin. I met Susy while attending UT through a mutual friend. She and I became friends and kept in touch and when it was time to celebrate the achievement of completing not only one but two undergrad degrees she contacted me to document this special moment.
It’s been a a few years since this photo shoot and Susy is now saving lives and keeping the people of Austin, Texas safe. I wish you the best friend. I am very proud of you! \m/
If you are graduating from The University of Texas at Austin and would like a quote for our photography services please fill the contact form below.
Building healthy relationships is a key to success in photography. I met Susana back in 2010 while studying at The University of Texas at Austin. My roommate, Miguel Cobos, introduced me to her after an event they attended. As a photographer I noticed her natural beauty right away. She had it all; freckles, colored eyes. height, dimples and a million dollar smile but what was most appealing was her beautiful personality. Susana was genuinely a very nice girl and that’s why I think we’ve been friends ever since. The pictures above is a peak of genuine friendship that developed over time. Susana claimed that I promised to photograph her one , which I probably did, and that day finally came on May 10, 2014.
Friendships my fellow photographers are what it takes to create good portraiture.
- A friendship builds trust with your subject allowing you to be more creative.
- A friendship allows your subject to feel comfortable which helps the session flow well.
- A friendship allows the client to value your services thus having no hesitation to pay for them.
The trust that Susana had in me allowed for creativity to flow and put her in a state of ease that allowed me to produce some milestone images for her. It’s not everyday someone graduates from a nationally recognized business school like McCombs plus UT-Austin’s Liberal Arts Program. These photos represent a special time in her life. Susana is an extremely smart and driven woman with a bright future ahead of her. I am very proud to call myself her friend. I present to you my favorite images from her portrait session. Hook’em Horns!
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