A Fun On-Location Senior Portrait Session with Emily

My niece Emily is sweet, fun, cheeky, and giggly. As I live in Geelong, and she doesn't, I don't see her very often. So when we were both going to the Blue Mountains last June, I invited Em to be my model in a Portfolio Building Session. As we were getting ready, Em grabbed her pink gum boots from the car. Oh my! I knew we were in for a fun day. Thank you Em.

At the time of this session Emily was half way through year twelve. Perfect! I'd been keen to photograph a High School Senior. I've long been admiring the work of Amanda Holloway, Holli True, Stephanie Pana, and Lauren Blair. I wanted to try the 'Senior' genre for myself. With this session I was extra spoilt. Victoria offered to assist me. She was the best (and only) 'reflector holder' I've had to date. I love her long red hair and insisted she also jump in front of the lens.  I'll share her gorgeous photos soon. Hope you enjoy Em's photos and gif.


Outfit wise Emily kept things simple and classic with a floral patterned dress. As the sun disappeared behind the mountains, Emily changed into a second (warmer) outfit of pants, long sleeve top, and a knitted textured vest, and felt hat. That turned out to be ideal, as I asked Emily to sit on a road and splash about in a stream. How could I not, she bought pink gumboots with her.

If you're ever looking for outfit inspiration, check out my Pinterest Board for Girls. I've also got one for kids, tweens, guys, families & couples. There's even one for an urban photo shoot for those who prefer a city vibe. Before you lose the next three hours of your life on Pinterest, read on and comment first.


It was really cold by this stage of the session. Still Emily agreed to jump and splash in the water stream. It was the perfect place to highlight those pink polka dot gum boots. It was well worth the effort, I'm loving these images!  How amazing would these look as wall art or in a coffee table album!

Contemporary -Outdoor-Scenic-Portrait-Stream

While there are some camera aware ('look at the camera and smile') photos, there aren't many. I prefer natural looking portraits and aim to capture the moments in-between the awkward posing. That way my subjects' personality shines through. Take that outdoors to a scenic location, and the end result is awesome portraits! 

A little gif fun


If the gif is a little slow, wait for it to run through at least once. It tends to speed up after that. I love watching the long piece of grass on the right hand side. Even though this is a series of still images (not video) it appears to sway in the wind. As this blog post is rather photo heavy, visit my Instagram account to see the other gif. Yes I spoilt Emily by creating two gifs.

Black and white

Black and White images aren't normally my thing. I'm drawn to bright and bold colours. There must be change in the wind, because I'm loving these. I can only assume Victoria was pulling faces in the background to make Emily laugh so much. You can see the genuine laughter. Forced smiles are all about the mouth. Real smiles show in the eyes.  Put your hand on the screen to cover the lower part of the face. See the eyes are smiling. Did you do it? Can you see it?


Did I mention how much I loved the pink polka dot flower gum boots?  Well I did. A lot. You rocked this session Emily. Well done and thank you.

Jeanie Irving6 Comments