Courtney’s Senior Photos were made on a warm day in sunny, Southern California. She and two of her friends, Molly and Monique, wanted their photos done together, by a railroad trestle, while the sun was setting.

The Girls had come up with a wonderful idea, and a cost saving one as well, because they bargained us down to getting three shoots for the price of two. They figured they could make a fun evening of the shoot, save some money and get out of town photographers, so their pictures would be different from everybody else’s at their school.

Courtney smiling.

Courtney is planning on a career in modeling and has already done a few gigs in L.A. and as you can see, she’s got the look down. When she smiles, it’s the smile you see on the cover of those magazines you see in the checkout line at your local supermarket.

She is a fun person with a winning personality and she has the look. We won’t be a bit surprised if we see her on the cover of magazines in the not too distant future, showing off everything from leather to lace, modeling everything from bikinis to wedding dresses in locations from the rushing Sacramento River to the Streets of San Francisco to the stunning beaches in Southern California to the shores of cool blue Lake Tahoe. The camera loves her. She is a photographer’s dream.

Courtney in black and white.

We believe there is more to senior photography, wedding and engagement photography for that matter too, than just framing your subject in the view finder and pushing the shutter. For sure, a photographer has to understand his or her gear and know how to frame a subject, but what he or she does with the photo in Lightroom and Photoshop after the shot’s been taken is equally important.

In the above photo we used one of the many film settings available for Photoshop to create a sort of a timeless look you might find in a photograph taken in the early fifties. Kind of like the look you might see if you were going through your grandparent’s photos.

Courtney on a golf course.

We stopped off at a golf course on the way to the trestle and the tracks, because we wanted a few photos with lots of green. It’s always nice when all of the photos in a shoot are not the same. That’s why we always try to get in two or three different locations in a senior or portrait session.

Courtney, from her senior photos session in California.

In the photo above, we are up on the trestle, looking down on the valley below. Well, maybe it wasn’t a valley, we were in a place called Victorville, which is sort of a desert town. But the landscape looked like a valley to me. We’re not from there, so maybe it was. It could have been.

I like the country flavor of this photo, with that red barn in the background. It’s almost like this picture could have been taken in Iowa or Kansas or any farming town in America’s midwest.

Courtney under a bridge.

Now we’re below the trestle and Courtney is holding onto one of the wooden beams that supports the bridge. I don’t know how much a freight train weighs, but they’re heavy, I know that, so those trestles have to be strong and this one looks like it was built a long time ago, before computers and maybe even before handheld calculators, so a train trestle engineer had to really know his stuff, because if he messed up, the bridge would come falling down and that would be bad.

The sun is behind her as Courtney looks at the camera.

Now we’re up on the bridge, waiting for a train. Okay, we’re not really waiting for a train, but if one would have come by, it would have made for a great photograph. We coulda got Courtney staring into the camera as the train bared down on her. Then we coulda got her jumping away at the last minute. How cool would that have been.

Of course there is the possibility that the train driving engineer might’ve called the cops on his cellphone. And if he did that, we coulda been arrested and that wouldn’t’ve been cool at all.

Courtney with her San Francisco wedding on her mind.

In this photo, like the half dozen or so below, the setting sun is behind Courtney and you can see, as you follow the sun going down, that the sky is getting more orange with each photo, till it’s completely down, leaving a pink sky.

Also, you can see, that Courtney is wearing that look professional models wear oh so well. She’s going far, Courtney is. Very far.

Courtney, for her senior photo session.

The sun is directly behind her now and she wasn’t quite ready for this shot, but it came out okay, so we decided to use it. I love her expression here. Almost likes she’s been surprised.

Courtney, looking like a model, smiling.

And again, Courtney has the look, the one that Tara Banks calls the smize, where you smile with your eyes, but not your mouth. And the sky is sunset orange, which is what we were waiting for.

Courtney looking at the camera as the sun goes down.

It was a little breezy this day and that made for some pretty dramatic shots, like this one, where Courtney’s hair is blowing in the wind, while those train tracks fade off into the distance.

I’d love to photograph her in a hurricane, well not one like Katrina. A little hurricane, or better yet, a tropical storm. A little one, just enough to get everything blowing good, but not strong enough to blow her away, or me.

Courtney with her hands on her knees.

The sun has gone down and the sky has gone pink and Courtney is bathed in the golden hour glow. Here she’s got the train tracks fading away behind her into a highway, making a nice S curve which appears to come from somewhere off into the distance, leading your eyes right up to her. That was the plan anyway.

Courtney on the train tracks, smiling.

Here is a close up shot and again she’s wearing that unmistakable look.

Courtney, looking like a future bride.

In this photograph, Courtney is standing right in the middle of the tracks and those, combined with the pink sky conspire to make this a very pleasing photo.

And looking at it, I can imagine that freight train, way back in the distance, coming down the tracks from Los Angeles, headed clear across the country, maybe Miami bound. Or maybe it’s an AmTrack train, carrying a new bride and her groom on their honeymoon to Disney World.

Courtney dreaming about her fiancé in San Francisco.

Here’s a closeup of Courtney with that beautiful pink sky behind her and in this photo it’s obvious she’s comfortable in front of a camera.

Courtney dreaming of getting married in San Francisco.

And lastly, here is another shot of Courtney on that golf course and one more time she’s giving the camera the look models from San Francisco to Paris are famous for.

It’s true that Vesta and I are wedding photographers, so most of our work is in that area. We’re very used to shooting a blushing bride and her dashing groom. Wedding cakes and white dresses, garters and bouquets, that’s us. But we do senior photos as well, usually referrals from someone we met at a wedding.

That being said, we’ll be more than happy to shoot your senior photos. We’ll be over the Moon about it happy. So if you’re a senior and want your photos done, please give us a call at 775 393-9529.

Ken Douglas Wedding and Portrait Photography, 1250 Ralston Street, Reno, NV 89503 
Phone: 775 393-9529