Candi | Senior

Small towns often hold hidden treasures.

That's why I'm thrilled Candi and I decided on having her senior session in her hometown of Burkesville. 

In Burkesville, we had the chance to get the best of both worlds: town and nature. Typically, I only shoot in nature. After this session, though, I want to incorporate town + city portraits in sessions whenever I can.

It was an exciting process; I had to force my creativity to flow in a different way than usual. Nature provides the organic aesthetic: a certain softness that you can always depend on for enchanting and cozy portraits. But in a city/architectural environment, of course, the setting is completely different. Geometric, harsher lines and shapes create a sense of pattern and organization. That being said, it gave me the chance to present Candi in a bolder, more powerful way than I would be when we transitioned into nature. 

Downtown Burkesville provided us with rustic--and oddly charming--buildings and architecture. We also found an unexpected flower mural, some artsy old windows, and even a staircase that led to...well, nowhere. Of course, that means we got some really cool shots. If you don't believe me, take a look for yourself. 

I'm so happy the Staircase to Nowhere exists. If anyone tries to take it down, just please, DON'T! It's one of those pointless but perfect things that needs to just keep on keepin' on, you know?

I loved this building, so we had to stop here as well. It's obvious that this building is abandoned: you can see the cracked paint, the miscellaneous junk lying on the ground in front of the entrance, and so on. I can imagine it was possibly once a thriving business a couple of decades ago, but now, the space is empty, the walls housing only memories that are unknown to an outsider like me. I guess that's part of what drew me to the building. Making a stop here made me feel like we were paying our respects to its history. 

This cool dude wanted a picture with Candi, so, we couldn't say no. I told them both to look rather stoic and melancholy. Did they not pull it off?! I mean, come on!

For the last of our shots downtown, I decided to incorporate my prism. The building we shot beside was in direct sunlight, so it was the perfect time to create some cool reflections and hopefully cast a few rainbows. Some pretty rad artwork was also present, so I wanted to showcase that as well. Candi looked fierce, the shadows were intense, and all in all, I couldn't have been happier with our time downtown. 

For the nature portion of our session, we headed up to the Alpine Motel.

And when I say up, I seriously mean UP. It's located at the highest point in town, where you can overlook all of Burkesville. The elevation literally and figuratively takes your breath away. 

See what I'm saying?! Candi is also breathtaking, so I think these images turned out gorgeous. 

Yet another staircase made it into our session, and as I'm writing this, I'm realizing the it's sort of ironic. You know, I think it makes sense though: Candi has an outstanding personality, and placing her on top of both staircases helped to admire and showcase just that. In a way, they symbolized pedestals. 

These are some of my personal favorites from the session. The blue, the sense of movement, her's refreshing, happy, and graceful. I think she thought she was going to look silly in these shots when I told her to do this, but as you can see, the last thing she looks is silly. 

We had to take a moment and get some "classic" senior portraits, too. (That's just what I call shots like these. Other people might be like, "Huh? Aren't these all supposed to be senior portraits?" And it's like, "Yeeeaaaaah, obviously. But the others are more directed than posed.") My point is--this spot almost looked like it had been set up for us, complete with props and a nice backdrop. (Obviously it wasn't and we merely just stumbled upon it, but, you know what I mean.) 

I know these two images aren't the best technically, but, I enjoy the vibe and emotion of them. In these shots, I wanted to create the carefree vibe once more, as well as present Candi in a larger-than-life type of way like I did with the staircases.

I loooooooove her smile in these!

Our very last stop was the Cumberland Bridge. Twas' a little scary, I won't lie, but it was definitely worth it! Take a look for yourself. 

I had such an enjoyable afternoon with Candi--our session went by in a flash, and I was sad for it it end. She's a bubbly, beautiful, bright young lady, and I hope her senior year is everything she has hoped for and more. I remember being in her shoes, and I'm so excited for her. As high school comes to a close, she's going to realize that the whole world is at her fingertips! 

As always, I hope you all enjoyed this blog post. I'll be back very soon, as I'm actually trying to get caught up on blog posts. Until then: don't worry, be happy, stay grateful, create some art, and just...go for it! Whatever "it" is. 
See you next time.



Skyler Smith