Since your Culver Academies Senior is now back home with you due to the COVID-19 virus, it means many seniors who were waiting for the beauty of Spring in Culver won't be able to take their Senior Portraits. Normally, I begin Spring Senior Portrait sessions once the weather breaks here in Culver and creating beautiful announcements to share details about where a student is headed for the future to send out to friends and families.
So, how can you do that at home, Mom and Dad? I don't want the class of 2020 to not have this milestone captured to remember forever! Here are a few tips to get you started. If you want posing help, I have a detailed guide I'd be happy to send your way...just send me an email to [email protected]
1) Gather your Culver Uniforms and accessories - Dress A, Varsity Sweater, Saber, Ring, white gloves, an instrument or sports gear, Culver Spirit Gear: All of these pieces help to share your Culver story. Since uniforms didn't come home...grab some Civvies or Recs until you have them again.
Make sure everything is freshly pressed, make sure the name tag is straight if it's appropriate to wear, no fuzz on your uniform - navy blue shows everything and the Varsity sweaters often have pilling. For the girls, make sure you pull up your socks to the same height, blazer is buttoned and collar is straight. Put together an outfit in civvies too which adds variety to your pictures. It's all about the little details! Everything will look much more polished if you take all of that into account while prepping for your portraits...I promise!
2) Posing Ideas and Location: For the guys...use your hat and saber in your portraits to add variety for your Dress A portraits. You can add a lot of variety by doing hat on serious and smile, hat off...serious and smile. Sit, stand, be relaxed, be serious. Focus on details of the uniforms. The Culver Military Academy has so many and each student's is individually theirs by graduation. Change to your varsity sweater and grab your sports gear. For the girls, use your uniform and switch it up to civvies too. Grab a chair...use it as a prop too or a big rock, lean against a railing...there are so many ways to change it up.
It's beginning to be Spring everywhere and trees and flowers are starting to bloom. If you are able to take a walk in a nearby park, go there. Find some beautiful blooms and have them be your background. Use a set of stairs, sit in the middle and have them be the whole background that fills the frame. If there is a pond or a bridge, incorporate that.
3) Time of Day and Camera: Don't use the middle of the day to do your pictures when the sun is brightest. You really want even lighting. Look for shade and have your Senior stand on the edge of the shade so that the light just starts to brighten them. Cloudy days are great and give you a lot of flexibility to go anywhere! Or choose later in the evening to have more even light (early mornings are great too...but my prior experience says to plan for the evening...after they have time to wake up and really get ready).
If you have an iPhone, play with it and use the "Portrait" mode to do your pictures, just be careful, as the lens used for this needs adequate light and no motion to truly capture a great image. Your kiddo probably can give you great tips too on how to use your phone. If you have a DSLR camera...set it on Aperture Priority mode if you're not familiar with Manual mode and play with what you like best. The lower the aperture, the more blur you will get in your background images. I'd recommend f/3.5 to f/4 as a starting point.
If you need help editing or creating an announcement to showcase your Senior, let me know and I'd love to create something custom for you and your family. Please feel free to reach out!
When this is all over and your child can come back to Culver...lets set up a time to really give them a gift they will treasure forever with portraits all over campus to create a gorgeous album they can take with them in life and wall art you will enjoy at home. I am sure Culver has become a big piece of them during the time they have spent here growing into the Senior that makes you so proud. Until then, feel free to send me any portraits you take and would like professionally edited and I can help you even in this time when we can't be together in Culver. I'd love to share portraits from Culver Seniors around the world to celebrate the future! The Culver Academies Class of 2020 has a story to tell and it's only just beginning!!!
Becky Furry, owner of Always Happy Life Photography is based in Culver, Indiana (about an hour from South Bend, Mishawaka, Granger areas). She specializes in capturing fine art family portraiture. Becky is a member of the Professional Photographers of America and also is a certified Pediatric Nurse Practitioner. The Always Happy Life Photography studio has a background of beautiful old barns, sprawling green fields and is close to Lake Maxinkuckee and the gorgeous Culver Academies. Contact Becky at 574-598-0022 or [email protected] for a personal consultation for your portrait needs. Do you like Facebook? Follow Always Happy Life Photography on Facebook or is Instagram your thing? Find me at www.instagram.com/BeckyFurry