Lens on a Leatherneck


It's interesting but out of all the graduation shoots I have done in my 4 years as a professional photographer this was the first one for a graduate of my alma mater. Mariah Wilkins is a 2017 Western Illinois University graduate with a Bachelors in Forensic Chemistry. She reached out to me in early April to book her grad portraits however due to a family matter she had to reschedule. She was sad about it but I told her no worries! Things in life happens beyond our control!

So we finally got a chance to do the shoot in mid-May after the actual graduation ceremony and the wind was strong that day! The entire 90 minute session we were fighting with the wind to get the perfect shots and I truly believe we did indeed get the perfect shots.

I've always been in love with the dramatic effect wind gives portraits particularly on women when they are wearing a dress or in this case a gown. The second I snapped this pic I knew it was the perfect one.

When you shoot outdoors (which is where 95% of my shoots are) you must learn to use the elements of weather as a ally not a enemy. It is easy to let things frustrate you. In the beginning the wind kept messing up Mariah's hair and her best friend had to step in to fix it multiple times. I refused to let the wind get the best of my team & I and ruin Mariah's shoot so I used the wind as an advantage. For the remainder of the shoot we kept her graduation hat on so her hair won't get messed up and then I paid attention to which direction the wind was blowing and used that to create the above shot.

All in all this was another successful portrait session & Mariah loved the photos! Which is ultimately what I care about no matter what! Go Leathernecks! #WIU for life!


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