My youngest daughter, who is now in third grade, attended Spring Meadow's Academy Preschool when she was little and we absolutely loved it there. We have many fond memories of the school and the people there, so I was very excited when they contacted me and asked if I was interested in photographing their Pre-K Cap & Gown Photos.
But I did honestly hesitate at first, because the formal, posed photos typical of school portraits really are not my thing. I don't care for staged backdrops and lots of props, and I prefer natural light to studio lights. But I absolutely ADORE photographing 5 years olds. They are SOOOO much fun. So I asked them if they were open to something a little bit different and would consider outdoor photos. I am so glad they agreed to give it a try.
I scoped out the school and had a little model friend come with me to test out the options, and I gave them two different choices for background locations - one just by the simple brick wall of the school, and one near a little weeded area next to the school. The brick area was the easiest as it was shaded and had nice consistent lighting. The weeded spot was a little more difficult as I didn't have the advantage of shooting at magic hour like I do for my family session clients. But I found a spot where I was happy enough with the sun, though it did get more difficult (and harsh) as the day went on.
The school decided they liked both options, so I was able to spend enough time with each student to give the parent's a variety of images to choose from for their purchase. It also gave me time to get to know each of these amazing little humans for a few minutes. My goodness they were so awesome. I met future police officers, teachers, super heroes, princesses and even an aspiring tooth fairy. One sweet girl clearly wanted nothing to do with me or with pictures, until I learned about her passion for dog grooming, and then she brightened right up. One girl told me she was going to be a big sister soon and that her mom had TWO babies in her belly. Pretty much none of them knew what school they were going to next year, but they will figure it out soon enough ("Kindergarten" or "My brother/sister's school" were common answers when I asked.)
Some of the kids were shy, others were complete goof balls. But each one was amazing and beautiful and unique, and best of all real, which is what I love most about little kids. ❤️
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