There is no better, all-around location, other than Sanderosa Gardens to capture stunning senior or family portraits in Fayetteville, NC. A private residence that is rented out for weddings and photo shoots all to ourselves. Glorious!
Jillian was magical all day posing in her effortless dance movements as I secretly cringed behind the camera knowing the last time I could put myself into those positions was as a newborn baby just out of the womb.
We took advantage of the man-made rock stream to mimic the mountain springs flowing out of the Apps. And Koi pond! Breathtaking and double breathtaking with Jillian posing in front. Don’t forget a few close up images and using all the variety this amazing location offers. We all were super happy with our senior portrait session and we know Jillian was as well.
Thank you again Haddad family for allowing us to capture your beautiful daughter for her senior portraits.
333 miles travelled. 8 photography sessions. 4 rockstar ambassadors. 12 friends & family. 2 sessions each. 2 cameras. 4 photography lights. 1 excited photographer.
A weekend of sun, sand, cameras & continuous shooting started back in March when our Senior Portrait Rockstar Ambassadors signed up and were informed that a beach shoot with fashion inspiration was in the making as a bonus for representing us for senior portraits. Our anticipation of sun & smiles ended June 14th and 15th when 20 friends, family, makeup artists & of course a lot of gear made the short 2.5 hr trip to Wilmington & Fort Fisher, NC.
We knew we had to overpower the harsh sun because the weather forecast called for no clouds and 80 with a light breeze. The Prius was fully packed and ready to roll early Friday morning.
I arrived about 1pm and scouted out the Fort Fisher Historic Beach & Sound area for our first 2 of 8 sessions. The area was very similar to our previous shoots in this area and stoked was an understatement. I knew amazing portraits were in the mix for the whole weekend.
Our first 2 sessions were with Brooke & Olivia. The girls were in agreement with coupling their sessions together to get the most variety in the best light. It worked beautifully. We photographed each girl for about 10 minutes and switched. The energy turned into a laughing session mixed with oh’s and ahhh’s from everyone. Shooting with an entourage always gets the gawkers thinking if we are taking images for a magazine and that fueled some conversations as well.
We started shooting at the tree line & bush we scouted out. They were right next to each other and gave a great place to break the “shutter ice”, aka start shooting.
We ventured across the street to the walkway overlooking our swamp like background to catch the sun fading into the horizon. We loved the sun so much we stopped on the sidewalk to glimpse it’s rays through the trees as well
These images completely captured the mom’s hearts and they had to hold back tears seeing their babies become beauties right in front of their eyes. We headed into our cars next and drove a short mile to the end of the road when the sun was already below the horizon. We knew we had limited time but that didn’t stop us from getting more breathtaking images.It was 9pm after I packed up. The tired feeling I knew was to creep up from the long weekend didn’t set in yet but I knew tomorrow was the long day so I got a quick bite to eat and hit the hay for the morning’s shoots at 6am with Brooke again (she is a trooper) and Mekayla. The sun was perfectly set in the sky over our private beach (well that early it was private) as we began shooting. The images turned out magical even if we all were a bit groggy.
We ventured over to the nearby rocks and used the simple but breathtaking rock-scape to maximize the rising sun and the fun portrait location.
Brooke was pretty tired & had to head back to Fayetteville so we said bye to her and her family as we continued with Mekayla’s portraits on the same walkway as Friday night. We didn’t have the gorgeous sunset but we had the brilliant colors to use.
Not being a morning person I had the coffee kick dying fast after 3 hrs of shooting. With my circadian rhythm hitting my body hard I decided to head back to my rented couch for the weekend and take a nap for a few hours. In the meantime Jessie & Olivia were getting dolled up & awaiting our urban and artistic downtown midday shoot. I still needed a “go-go juice” to keep me at 100% and stopped at Port City Java in Downtown Wilmington to grab a cold 7 refreshing iced coffee before they arrived.
After a quick wardrobe change we were too lonely from all our gawkers comments and needed a fix. We scouted out a great stone & brick corner near the Cotton Exchange and captured the gorgeous girls with shoppers literally walking around our photo shoot.
We were a little over time at this point so Jessie & family left for dinner, hair & outfit change for our final shoot at the pier. Olivia wanted to get her favorite bookstore in her images before she departed so we spent a few minutes among countless authors, dust and millions of pages to capture her personality in full effect.
After saying goodbye to Olivia I grabbed a brief dinner of tuna salad on my now multipurpose couch and dinner table before heading back to the Kure Beach area for our final 2 portrait sessions with Jessie & Mekayla. The sun was of course setting in the west and since we are on the east coast we used the pier to block the sun for off camera flash images and used the fading sun above the beach town for a few as well.
And even at the end of these long days of sand, sun, fleas & of course smiles there was never a dull moment. I was even photographed by our instant professionals who took posing to a whole new level. Think they have a career in this business? Let’s see if the trend of peacock hands and “hush” work for the male models of 2014?
I can’t thank everyone enough for their handwork, crazy hours of shooting and patience during this weekend. It was truly magical and I loved every moment of a job I love with all my heart.
Cheater! Lust! Revenge! Pain! Tears! Broken promises!
All these words barely break the tip of the iceberg as I fathom the rage induced thoughts brewing deep within my loins. How could she cheat on me? How could she so easily leave without saving goodbye? Was I good enough to her? Did I treat her well? What did I do wrong? Was it me or was it her?
Before you go thinking my amazing girl friend cheated on me she did not. However, the girl that is literally with me 24/7 certainly is cheating on my right now. Her name is Irene and she is my iPhone.
When you blood pressure raises to 200 and sweat starts coming out of glands you only deemed for crossfit workouts that suck the greatest suck out you you know an intense affair is current and real. Her is the story of how I am currently cheated on by a girl so near and dear to my hip:
The day started like any other day except a lot earlier than normal. Irene and I were planning a magical long weekend in NJ and we found the cheapest flight via #southwestairlines at the red eye hour to maximize our travel budget to be able to enjoy the sights and sounds of the ocean and cities on the coast. We planned on taking long walks on the beach, browsing the city streets & farmers markets while capturing magical photographic moments on our slow and relaxing walks. #Instagram was to be our eyes to the world to experience it with us.
Because she is amazingly good to me Irene wake me up like she does every morning but this time at 4:40am. I am truly blessed to have a girl who religiously wakes me up and sings music to me every morning. I listened to her sweet trills & notes for a few seconds, turned over and then asked her to check the weather in NJ for the weekend. The forecast was high 80′s and rainy all weekend with scattered thunderstorms. A damp reality to our planned weekend but being a creative couple we changed our plans of walking the streets in the storms to enjoying our time away from home and cuddling up on the sofa watching youtube videos and laughing our way to bliss and tranquility the best we could.
After a brief time apart to shower, eat a delectable banana, and gather last minute needed items we reconvened & head outside to wait for the unforeseen deceitful individual that I never saw coming and now regret even knowing. Honda Civic!
Honda Civic may be advanced for it’s time in fuel economy & ride comfort but looks are definitely deceiving and deceived was I. I should have known that a toddler born in 2010 would have learned the ways of this world from Jersey shore and seen right through my morning grogginess.
The ride to the airport was great. Irene & I were so excited to see our friend Boeing 737 both in the airways of our great country and at the Nashville terminal. Times like these we cherish! New sights! New people! New friends! And even new relationships! But I never knew a new relationship was so close.
As soon as Irene caught a glimpse of Honda Civic she was instantly connected. The sine waves or currents were too strong to resist the electricity of the moment. I never imagined I would be cheated on after the literal hundreds on hours we have spent together. The elephant in the room was that electric connection.
As I conversated with my driver I didn’t realize Irene & Honda Civic were forever connected and now the connection was at full power. And I guess the elephant in the room turned into pure denial because as I said goodbye to Honda Civic and my driver I was completely deceived by Irene in thinking that she would be coming with me on our planned long weekend but boy was I wrong. She completely pulled one over my head and stayed with her new love. And the worst part was that this wasn’t realized until it was too late to confront Honda Civic, Irene or even my driver. The affair was inevitable.
Sometimes we need a little inspiration of our own as creatives and the best place is other creative’s sites. Check out our recent inspiration for our family portraits.
Father and son see eye to eye in this photo by Heidi Harting Photography
Dave Brosha Photography introduces some flair with this retro barbershop family portrait
Kathy Wolfe Photography’s photo documents this family’s crazy legs
Brooke Logue Photography catches this family during playtime
Esther Louise Photography takes us on a trip in a Radio Flyer wagon
This family had a little fun with some paint and Ryan Ray Photography caught the aftermath. We stole this idea already and loved every minute of it.
Kevin N. Murphy lets this family frame themselves in this vintage style photo
Hot & humid was the weather forecast and we were ready for the elements to fight our ideas & gorgeous shoot however, our planning prevailed and we won!
Olivia is one of our Senior Portrait rockstars from Pine Forest High School in Fayetteville, NC. As a rockstar ambassador she receives a slew of perks, extra shoots, and more for spreading the word about our work. She graced our lenses a few months back in April for her rockstar mini session. Check out her amazing eyes & hair that we were so blessed to capture.
Our day started in the office rather than on-location with hair & makeup at 4pm. The amazing Megan Gomez showed us what a true professional makeup & hair artist can do with a blank canvas. The saying “You learn something new everyday” came into full effect as Megan was describing all the different type of curls that can be applied to hair. We are collaborating with a select few hair & makeup stylists to make your senior portrait experience truly unique & special. Check out our Sessions for more details.
After Megan worked her amazing fingers to give Olivia a truly magical look (she looked stunning) we were off to the country at a private location to shoot. The entire day we were nervous about the 95 degree weather & 60% humidity. We knew it would make the curls fall out quickly & we decided to tighten them more than normal to account for the extreme weather.
On-location we put our Prep & Plan discussion into full swing. We wanted to add a little flare for the field & country theme and thought back to pre-washer & dryer times. Our brainstorming lead to mom’s and daughters hanging clothes on the line and maybe we could hang sheets on our backdrop stand to act like a clothes line. It worked beautifully. Mom found cheap sheet for $5 a piece and we feel the images turned out exactly as we planned. We were hoping for a little more color in the sky but we can’t control nature and worked the sun & elements as best we could. The bright white sheets were a great compliment to her solid colored shirt & we positioned our camera just right to make the sun peek through the sheets & her hair.
Unfortunately, mother nature started to fight Megan’s amazing hair style. Curls were starting to fall out and fast along side sweat pouring off our faces, backs and other places we would rather not mention. This is where planning and a little improvisation are great assets. The nearby F150 with running A/C and a small fan saved our shoot from going south fast. Yes her curls fell out and we didn’t have time or the energy in 95 degree heat to redo them so we improvised and used the fan to give her a little wind blown effect on the hair & of course to cool the face. It worked great. Our next location was in the nearby wheat field & we captured some great images despite the slightly fading morale in seeing the beautiful curls falling out.
Minus a few thousand sand grains in our shoes & socks along with a few bug bites on the walking sticks we had a successful time in the wheat fields. But the heat was getting to us and we needed to take a break. Perfect time for Olivia to change outfits in the A/C and decide how to get out of the sun. We planned on using a nearby dilapidated barn and it was in the shade. Perfect! We were all for it. We moved the lights & I was getting excited to not sweat myself and have Olivia feel more comfortable in the shade.
I could have stayed at the small but diverse barn all day shooting on its 4 unique sides with rusted walls, old farm equipment and lighting I could control a lot better. I knew these images were going to be magical and sure enough they were. Her country summer dress, now red flowing hair and amazing smile & eyes made for some magic I call “Portrait Butta.”
At his point we were shaded from the intense heat from the sun and our sweat glands were happy with our choice of location. The fan was working great on her hair and we decided to use the east side of the barn after a short break again. There was a really cool rusted truck hood and a perfect tree to frame her.
It was about 8 o’clock now and the heat was getting to all of us. We were dehydrated and Olivia said she could shoot for about 5 more minutes. What a trooper! We moved to a small storage house on the property about 50 yards from the barn and captured a few more great images before we called it a night & a great shoot despite the conditions. We had one more outfit to change into for variety but we knew the extra time would have been too much so we decided to stick with her dress she already had on.
When a session is planned to take 4 hours it’s a good boost of spirit & literal energy to have breakfast unexpectedly provided before hand & lunch afterward by the client. And even better when it is the favorite: Indian Cuisine. Yum!
Our extended session with the large and vibrant Singh clan actually started before the session. We had the privilege to make Pratiskha’s senior portraits about a month ago. We visited Sanderosa Gardens & Downtown Fayetteville to capture her vibrant personality and passionate athleticism. Check out our blog post for her gorgeous images. During our prep & plan consultation Prabha, mom, told me I was in for a whirlwind of shoots spanning the whole summer, capturing her extended family at multiple times & locations while simultaneously being honorarily adopted into the family. Since I have been to India for part of college I said “I’m already half way there & she was sold.”
One of our portrait discussion was to adorn the play room, which is colored like a crayola box, with the 11 cousins in a fun canvas row on the wall. The play room can’t have boring images and she was sold on goofy faces & silly maneurisms. Since Pratiksha was graduating on Friday May 31 from the amazing Fayetteville Academy in Fayetteville, NC and the whole extended family would be in from all over the country to congratulate her it was decided we HAD TO capture everyone in their true form.
We started at 9 with set up in the 3rd floor bonus room and breakfast (which was an amazing surprise for the tastebuds, stomach & lacking ADP molecules). Regretfully, no images of breakfast were taken because 20 cousins, parents, grandparents & great grandparents were to interesting, delightfully calming & fun to fellowship. But trust me when I tell you it was a treat.
The playroom has 4 major colors: red, hunter green, sky-blue & purple. Pre-shoot set up was pretty simple. Purchase 4 colored backdrops to match the rooms palette. This was to be an easy task however it turned out to be a 5 hour adventure. When ever possible I try to purchase needed equipment from Raleigh’s Peace Camera to support the local small businesses. It happened to be very convenient that a private lesson client wanted to use my expertise (I laughed) at Peace Camera to help pick out a new lens and accessories. I ordered the backdrops from them a week ahead and made arrangements to pick up the set when we arrived.. We had a great time learning, exploring and spending too much money on used but great equipment before we left. About 20 minutes on our way home I had an epiphany of sorts & screamed mid-sentence “We forgot the backdrops!” They were so generous with their time, turned around, and I salvaged another full round trip to Raleigh. Thank you $3.50 gas God!
Back to the family shoot: We knew we had time to photograph everything because the family was only in town for graduation & that didn’t start until 6. However convenient, I knew the little one only had a limited attention span and we had to be quick with our shots. My major flaw of the day was with her. Read on and find out why.
Color coordination was key with the 4 colored backdrops for lack of clashing in the images & in the play room. We planned well and made sure the family had the appropriate complimentary colors to fit beautifully with the backdrops & “crayola room.” I love it when a client listens perfectly to instructions. I planned on having 1-2 others in the bonus room when shooting so everyone didn’t get bored watching me take photos all morning and boy was I wrong on my assessment. All 11 cousins organically crammed into the tiny room and it was the best thing that could have happened. They fed off each others energy and it was the best part of the day.
We started with the blue background for no particular reason (my error begins) and the energy started building in the room. The boys were a little reluctant to smile & be a little spontaneous but they opened up real quick.
After a quick change of background we transferred to the red and the energy started building even more. Everyone was egging each other on & pulling out personalities left and right.
We again made a quick change of background color to green to match the outfits. It was glorious! The girls looked amazing and fun. Everyone was now in perfect harmony helping “the talent” be amazing. (my error builds)
WERE DONE! Not quite. As I was breaking down the equipment the energy was still fun and lively in the room after jumping on the bed. The cousins couldn’t resist and I captured a few fun BTS moments with the family. (error nearly visible)
Now this is when the day became most rewarding. A few weeks back we were supposed to capture great grandma of 103 years old in her element for matriarch images. She wasn’t feeling well and we had to postpone. Her health was poor this day after recently suffering a stroke and we knew this could be the last time all 11 cousins may be in her presence. We knew we HAD to capture her amazing great grandkid with her in any capacity. They aren’t competition & 1,000 facebook likes worthy but that is not what family portraits are always about. Often the simplest and basic images create those timeless memories we cherish.
The only true surprise of the morning, besides breakfast & lunch, was our final images. We had not expected to take these last shots of the cousins on the stairs. And as you can see our bad timing & error of the day was making the little one wait way too long for her images. She became a cute but uncooperative 4 yr old, as they are always prone to do after sitting for 3 hours.
All in all, we had an absolute blast with the Singh clan, eating their amazing food, enjoying their contagious company and making a lot of new friends in the process. Plus learning from our mistake. And the best part is we have more shoots scheduled to continue the joy. Thank you for honoring us with your business Prabha & Singh family. And thank you for all the new friendships!
The Seay family rocks my socks
We were picked! We just found out we are North Carolina’s 1st Seniors Ignite Studio. We are sooooooooooooooooooo happy, excited, elated (fill in your favorite adjective)!
What is Seniors Ignite? It is a National Modeling Program for Senior Portrait Studios to give clients a chance to be a part of something much bigger than just getting incredible images by their local studio. Being chosen as a Seniors Ignite Studio allows us to offer you a senior portrait session with a modeling perspective for you images to be entered into the National Senior Portrait Portrait & Model Contest. YOU, yes YOU, a high school student, could be a NATIONAL Seniors Ignite Model simply by getting your senior portraits taken by us!
How do you become a Seniors Ignite model? Call us to schedule your Seniors Ignite Session. Simple, but hurry! Entry fees & requirements must be received by Oct 31, 2013 so our last Seniors Ignite Session will be scheduled for Oct 20, 2013.
Are they looking for male entries as well? Absolutely. Check out the top guy of last year & his video Ladies be nice and don’t fight over him!
How is the Seniors Ignite session different than other senior portrait sessions we offer? Seniors Ignite sessions receive extra work & care by us to set you apart from the rest of the model applicants. We will treat you like a rockstar because you are one! It includes hair & make-up by Fayetteville’s best, a behind-the-scenes video to show your personality to the judges, extra shots to capture your unique personality for the judges, and a short interview for the judges to set you apart from the other models around the nation. These additional features & requirements bump up the price a little for you ($295 vs $95) but its totally worth it. Keep reading because your few extra dollars could get you & a parent a FREE Las Vegas weekend.
✓ 2 Unretouched Headshots: One Image Straight-On, Smiling, Unretouched & One Image Straight-On NOT, Smiling,Unretouched
✓ Sending in 5 Additional 5×7 Images for judges
✓ Model Application
✓ Comp Card
✓ Model Release & Waiver
✓ Studio Recommendation
What happens if I am a finalist? National Seniors Ignite Model Winners will receive the experience of modeling at the national Seniors Ignite Event at the Westin Lake Las Vegas Resort & Spa in February 23-26, 2014. Models will be photographed on location by several of the leading senior portrait photographers in the nation, as well as by their winning photographer. If you win you receive PAID AIRFARE & HOTEL FOR YOU & ONE PARENT. Yup, PAID! The winner receives a free trip but we wanted to add a FREE parent airfare & hotel to enjoy the experience together.
But I don’t want to model for a living & I have never modeled before. Can I still enter? Of course! Not all participating models are interested in a modeling career. Some Seniors Ignite Models want fame, some want a place to showcase their talents and to get recognition, and others just want an experience of a lifetime. ALL seniors have a chance to win a spot as a Seniors Ignite National Model.
What are the judges looking for?
1) Photogenic - the winning models must be able to be easily photographed by a wide range of photographers. This doesn’t mean the most attractive but one who can listen to direction & likes getting their picture taken.
2) Personality - The winning models must have a positive and engaging personality. They are looking for models with a wide range of looks to be photographed (meaning they photograph well with more than one look). This comes through in their personality.
3) Recommendation - each model receives a written recommendation from us outlining the reason(s) why they would make a good model for the Seniors Ignite Event.
4) Variety - They are looking for a variety of looks in the winners – height, size, hair color, eye color, etc. will all be considered in the final selection of models. They are not necessarily looking for seniors who are planning a career in modeling (though some may/will), but rather those who are looking for the experience of a lifetime.
5) Video (OPTIONAL but we are doing this for everyone) – a video of you model walking, talking, and engaging with the camera is a very helpful way to show them more about you This will help you show off your personality and variety of looks as well! We will coach you along with this if you are nervous. A few tweaks make you an instant model.
What else? You would also be featured in videos, images, lookbooks, and marketing campaigns. We would love for you to check out the Seniors Ignite site and read more.
Click the logo.
Want to see the breath-taking 100% FREE event location for finalist models February 23-26 2014 at The Westin Lake Las Vegas click the event page.
In addition, models and photographers will be showcased on www.facebook.com/SeniorsIgniteModels
Below are a few image submission card examples from the class of 2013 model entries.
The Seay Family had too much fun with us last year capturing their eldest
Aarron in his element for his senior portraits. They couldn’t resist our amazing good looks & celebrity status (we wish) when choosing us for their daughter’s portraits. Joking aside, we had a blast in Southern Pines capturing the beauty and personality of Kristyn. Multiple locations and outfits make for a great variety and interesting times. See her images below and read on for our unexpected photography exploits.
Our photo day exploits included…..
Skipping school: Watching the local middle school skippers play ball on the local blacktop. They were talented players but who wouldn’t be when you skip school and play all day. We didn’t capture an image of them because we didn’t know if they had 9mm in their shorts!
Deathly rails: Getting a few images on the tracks were a moment near heaven for our friend and helper Serena
After a planned Blue Ridge Parkway shoot with the amazing fall foliage cancelled last minute due to a family emergency we had the pleasure to capture Emily in her hometown of Fayetteville, NC. The weather held off and we got some great images.
Check out her smile. It captured us and we are sure it will capture you.
Beauty again! Our senior portrait work led us to another beauty standing in front of our camera entrusting us with images that will mark the major high school graduation milestone seen for years to come.
Thank you Singh Family for letting us make portraits with your beautiful daughter Pratiksha. Her personality is amazing and we loved spending the early morning with you at our gorgeous hidden location. We look forward to capturing your extended family in the near future.
A bright future awaits this amazing graduate from Village Christian Academy in Fayetteville, NC. His athleticism, gentleman characteristics, handsome looks, or intellectual prowess is a combination Washington & Lee University are drowling over as he starts in the fall of 2013. We had such a great time shooting this amazing up and coming leader. Thanks Jesse, Mom and Jeremy for letting us spend the day with you taking your senior portraits and a few fun ones on the side.
Scroll down for images:!!
I have put these images off far too long due to opening up the newest senior portrait studio in NC. We are so excited to offer the most amazing senior portrait experience you will find. We are not your parent’s photography studio….AMEN!
My Rockstar’s are absolutely amazing. Simply put: they make a lot of money off of me because they spread the word about everything we do to friends, family, peers and anyone in between.
Rockstars are Ryan David’s eyes and ears to everyone who even mentions “portraits or pictures.” They have been trained to strick obedience with a threat of sharks with laser beams ready to attack them if they don’t talk to anyone interested in senior portraits. They will pounce like water lions.
Rockstars are like….. white on rice…..black on night…..red to a neck….. dirt to a stach….. po to a dunk….. ying to a yang and ….. por to a trait when it comes to senior portraits.
If you know these amazing, shark-trained ladies make sure you ask them about the sharks and we can make your portrait experience one you will never forget.
** Due to unforeseen circumstances, we are still looking for a few more Rockstars at the following schools: Terry Sanford, Gray’s Creek, Overhills, Pinecrest & Massey Hill. If you like making money, want to earn a Macbook pro for college and become a true rockstar them log onto the senior portraits page on the right side of this blog and fill out the Rockstar Questionnaire.