Nick’s Outdoor Session
Nick is a freshman Wildlife Management major. He’s also an avid rock climber, a competition archer, and an all-around nature lover who is definitely at home in the outdoors. He can start a fire and setup a tent and, I think, knows something about hatchet throwing. Without a doubt the sort of guy you want along on your next camping trip. He’s also my brother, which is probably the only reason that he agreed to don his coonskin cap, grab his bow, and trek out into the woods for a portrait shoot.
Like most guys, Nick isn’t wild about having his picture taken. We’ve worked together a few times before, for his senior portraits and some sports/band shots. It’s one of the perks of having a photographer in the family; the photos experience was more fun for him, and mom got off cheap! But even so, there was always mom in the background. She’s the client because she’s (in theory at least) the one paying for the session, and therefore calling the shots.
This time was different. I wanted the photos for a personal project, but also for the sheer coolness factor of what I had in mind. Which was great, because it meant that there was no one to answer to; so long as Nick and I were both having fun, the shoot was a success, and he was free to just be himself. No traditional poses, no collar shirts – just him in the woods with his gear, looking badass.
So that’s exactly what we did. And it was a LOT of fun! We drove up to Lefferts Pond and hiked about twenty feet into the woods, with Nick on one side of a frozen creek and me and the lights on the other. And I made photos while Nick stalked imaginary game through the woods and shot arrows into the ice in, you know, my general direction. (NOT something I’d agree to with most models!) The we switched sides and let Nick climb up onto a rock, while I shot from below.
Totally badass stuff, and nobody was there telling him to smile, or look at the camera. I let him do his thing because he’s the wilderness guy, he knows how he should look. And the photos came out great because of it. I’ve got some awesome portfolio shots, Nick has some very cool portraits for Facebook, and mom has prints on order to frame and hang at home. Can’t beat that!