This weekend Alyssa and I were on the campus of Sacramento State University for a graduation photo session. We met up early on a Friday morning in front of the main Sac State sign and then proceeded to shoot around this particular area of the campus. I love this part of Sac State because there are many picturesque locations to take photos at. I’ve shot here many times before and have never run out of great scenery!
Our shoot time today was at 7am. Yes, that’s early! But shooting at seven meant that we would have idea lighting conditions as well as cool weather. Shooting at any other time besides when the sun is rising or setting is not ideal because of the harsh lighting that the sun provides when it is directly overhead. Not that good pictures can’t be shot, but the places chosen to shoot at will be limited. Thankfully, at this early morning time we were able to shoot virtually anywhere and get amazing natural lighting.
It’s always a goal of mine to find a way to get my clients unique angles in their photographs. The picture above was taken using an extremely wide angle lens. Without this lens in my kit, I would have never gotten this photo. An ultra wide lens (this was taken at 12mm on a full frame body) allows for a lot of the background to be included in the frame. You have to be very careful using an ultra wide lens such as this to shoot a portrait because of the distortion it can cause, but when it’s done right you can get a photo that is quite unique.
Of course I can’t be shooting from specialized angles all the time - though I love it! It’s my job to make sure my clients have a variety of angles to enjoy from my final product delivery. Getting traditional looking photos is always an integral part of a session because these are the photos that you’ll want to frame and give to your parents. I never shy away from traditional looks because they are important - very important, in fact!
My style of shooting a portrait session is a bit unpredictable. Because of ever changing lighting conditions, I am always on the lookout for the perfect place to shoot at a particular time. It’s less planned out, but I think the ability to locate places to shoot on the spot is an important skill to have. If it’s the perfect time to shoot, you just have to stop and shoot!
As for just about all of my recent professional shoots I used Sony camera bodies to get the images. The Sony cameras are work horses that simply get the job done quickly and efficiently. I don’t find much glamor in them, but their rock solid ability to get what I want in focus is exactly what a professional shoot calls for.
A huge thanks goes out to Alyssa for hiring me for her graduation photo session. She was a blast to work with and a trooper for having such an early call time. I wish her the best as she continues on her post college journey in life!