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  • Writer's pictureAngela Gross

Senior Portraits in Two Pittsburgh and 1 Virginia Locations

As I started my business back in 2010, I had no idea what it was like to be the parent of a senior. At that time, my oldest was only in 1st grade, so I was blissfully unaware of the myriad of emotions that go hand in hand with having a child about to finish high school. The years passed and I thought I was understanding more and more about it.

The excitement, the fear, the joy, the nerves.

Well, the class of 2021 brought me quite a few incredible seniors. But only one senior has clearly earned my title of favorite of the year! My beautiful daughter, Samantha, is a senior this year at Pine-Richland High School. We had joked over the years about what her session would look like. Would I take her somewhere entirely new? Would we be taking pictures every time we were together? Last summer we finally pinpointed our approach. It would be a multi-session, multi-location, multi-look senior portrait experience. I loved it!

We started her session in Virginia, outside of Harrisonburg. We vacation in the area annually, so the mountains and beauty of Virginia is very special to our family. These first few were taken on and near the property of one of our favorite wineries, Stone Mountain. It has incredible views of the mountains once you nervously and successfully ascend the mountain!

Then we focused on taking images in the park where she has spent time in since she was 1! At Massannutten Resort in Harrisonburg, VA, there are several nature paths and hikes that we annually spend time on. I often shoot my kids at this particular park for their birthday photos, so this park definitely made the list to shoot at while on vacation!

The second portion of Sammy's Senior Portrait Experience happened in Pittsburgh at Shadyside's Mellon Park. This incredible park has such a variety of greenery, trees, rocks, wrought iron & fountain work. I knew I wanted to take some of Samantha's session at this location that has always been a favorite of mine to photograph seniors.

For this session, Samantha opted for a different look with straightened hair and wearing contacts. It's such a great idea to be able to have different looks throughout your session and having separate dates entirely gave Sammy the ability to do a very different look.

This session was really fun because we brought along one of Sammy's best friends to help out with the session. I realized that I normally rely heavily on my seniors' parent to help hold reflectors and adjust outfits so it was perfect! We were so grateful for her help! Having an extra set of hands at a session is so important to make sure all of the details are exactly how you'd like them to be!

Senior session part three happened at the home of my mentor, Heather Lahtinen of the Flourish Academy. Heather's gorgeous homestead has been groomed over the years to be an incredible location for portraits. She graciously let us come and shoot Sammy's third session there!

For this session, as we entered more into fall, Samantha opted for a darker color scheme, straight hair and glasses; a combo of the two previous looks! We once again had a delightful time traipsing around and trying out different outfits and poses.

The thing that hit me through all of these was that combination of emotions. Immense pride in the person she is becoming. Sadness that we won't have the time for quite as many adventures together once she goes off to college. Joy that this is part of the process that we've been awaiting and anticipating for so long. But being *her mom* I also know the vast range of emotions she's been having. Again, excitement for this next step towards finishing high school and shifting to college. Disappointment in how this senior year that was so greatly anticipated has become a very different experience amidst Covid. Overall so much joy!

I think now that I've experienced my own child's senior portraits, I can more fully understand both the emotional experience of the parents and the child and can even better serve my senior clients. While I'm eager to see her off to college, I'm not wishing the time to go too quickly!

Class of 2022, you're next! I'm looking forward to chatting with you about your senior portrait experience. Do you want different looks like Sammy was able to achieve? Let's do a multi day portrait experience for you! I feel more confident than ever in giving you an incredible experience for this exciting time in your life!

Message me today to start dreaming about what you'd like your session to look like!

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