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Tampa bay area editorial photography| Gracie

Playing the guitar in front of a foot bridge in natural country setting

It was a perfect day and a perfect subject for some headshots in natural light.

Every morning we go for a walk around the abandoned golf course behind our house. It may sound like a Scooby-Doo locale, but it’s actually quite beautiful, and we’re constantly saying things like “wouldn’t that be a great place for a photo shoot?” Well we were very excited when Gracie and her family asked us to take some head shots for a dance school Ms. Photogenic contest - and let us choose the location! We’ve never scouted a site so thoroughly before, but I can’t say there were no surprises…

Girl in red dress and leather boots standing in the grass
Girl with a guitar in outdoor headshot
Girl in red dress with guitar across her back

The first surprise was how good young Gracie was at modeling. She was more cooperative and patient than some of our adult clients, and she was a natural in front of the camera. She didn’t mind lying down in the grass or sitting on the railing of a bridge, and the unusually hot weather (please tell me 85 degrees in December is unusual down here) didn’t deter her in the slightest.

Headshot of girl in pink dress and headband lying down in grass and flowers
Young beauty in a natural setting

The next surprise was how easy it was to set up and take down our new changing tent that we bought to bring on photo shoots. Sometimes our clients want to change outfits but having to haul all of our stuff off to the nearest public restroom - if there one - takes valuable time that could be spent taking pictures. We’d used it once before and Jake had a pretty tough time folding it back up, but since he watched a Youtube video tutorial he hasn’t had any more problems… at least not with the tent.

Resting on some old wooden steps on a grassy hillside
Pretty girl with headband sits outside on some wooden steps

The third surprise was a snake. We saw a big snake. You’ll forgive us for not getting any headshots of the snake.

Joan Allen did a great job with Gracie’s makeup, but of course that wasn’t surprising at all because Joan is awesome.

Head shots of a pretty young girl with a headband
Young girl leaning against a tree in Florida

Since Gracie brought a guitar with her as a prop we asked her who her favorite singer was, and she told us it was Taylor Swift. Maybe being reminded how much she looks like the star gave her the confidence we saw in her throughout the session. Feeling confident and comfortable in front of the camera the most important thing for great portraits or headshots, so we always try to find a way to break the ice and help our clients open up.

One of the best parts about working close to home is not having a long drive when it’s all done and you’re ready to put your feet up. It was nice that we could just walk inside and start backing up the images. We didn’t want to waste any time because we knew we’d had a great shoot and we never really feel safe until the files are backed up twice. Good luck to Gracie on her competition, not that she needs it.

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