Almost Graduation Time
Jaylin is outstanding, and standing out in our yard, for a senior photo. We took a few senior photos of our own to supplement the traditional studio photos that were taken by others in the fall.
Nothing against the studio folks, but I figured I could take a few photos of our own for our purposes. As usually happens, that is one of those things that kept getting pushed down the road for another time. But then the time was growing short, and we needed a photo to use for Jaylin’s graduation announcements.
Jaylin was dressed up to go to the Senior Progressive Dinner, and it was a nice evening outside. So just before he left, I grabbed my camera and got him to stand in the front yard. The light from the setting sun was just perfect for some backlighting. And there was enough natural light still out that I did not have to use my flash, too. A few minutes of photo editing later on, and this photo is what we ended up with. It was perfect for what we needed.
This close-up photo looks like I just cropped the first photo, but this is actually a different photo. Jaylin just kept the same smile and pose for both.
This close-up portrait was actually the first version that I took. After I had taken this one, Jaylin asked if I could take a full-body photo as well. As you can see, the resulting photo was not quite full-body, because you can’t see Jaylin’s feet. But once I had taken that one, I ended up liking it better. So this head shot has not been used quite as much as the first photo. But I am still presenting it here because I like it, too.
And here is the final announcement that we sent out. We decided to create our own instead of using the “official” announcements bought through school. I saw a few things online that I liked, so I modeled this after some of those. I did not necessarily know what I was doing, but I think it turned out okay. Simple and to the point.
Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it. - Proverbs 22:6
About the Photos
For these photos, I used the handy 50mm lens. While Jaylin was getting ready to go, I went ahead and made sure that I had my camera set and ready to go, because he was already cutting it close on time. I don’t think I slowed him down too much.
For processing, I used Luminar AI as I have for all of the recent photos. I was able to control the mix of light on Jaylin and the backlighting to get it all balanced out pretty well. Just a little soft focus made the photos even more portrait-like.
And for the graduation announcement, after I had them printed and we were sending them out, Laura pointed out that the “Attending Sterling College” portion was off-center. Oops. Maybe you did not notice that.
The announcement was created in Procreate on my iPad, by the way. I started out in Photoshop, but I have spent much more time in Procreate lately and could do what I wanted much more quickly and easily than when I started on it in Photoshop. That just goes to show once again that the best tool is the one you are comfortable using.
Photo: A single Raw exposure processed in Luminar AI. Read more about photography tips, photo software, camera gear, and more at Steve’s Photography Tips.
Camera: Sony Alpha A7 II
Lens: Sony FE 50mm f/1.8
Date: March 26, 2021
Location: Home, Williston, Tennessee