Layla | Mahomet-Seymour Bulldogs Senior

I texted my friends an hour after this session: “Life-giving senior session tonight!” Gosh, I really do love photographing seniors, and Layla and her mom puts lots of thought and planning into her session and it showed! I loved her outfits and all the locations that we planned together.

When I was in college, the Boneyard Creek was a nasty place that you avoided at all costs unless you really wanted to go get a tetanus shot afterward. Broken glass, smelly, who knows what floating in it… LOL — but several years back a lot of work and money was put into it to make it clean and beautiful again. I have always been intimidated to go down to it for the above reason, and because I just didn’t know how to get in even though I’d seen other photographer friends’ images from there. I am so happy to say that we tackled it and it was SO WORTH IT.

Layla and her mom wanted to do an homage to the veterans in their family, so we started out at the war memorial by the Champaign County Courthouse in Urbana, and then did the first 1/3 of the session in the super cool downtown Urbana area.

Part 2/3 was the Boneyard Creek stretch that goes through the Bardeen Engineering Quad on campus. The weather was perfect, and the water level was low, just up to Layla’s ankles. THE LIGHT WAS AMAZING. If you’ve been on a session with me, there’s a good chance I uttered the words, “I love the light coming through the trees!” And the stars aligned for this set (especially the biggest star!)

The final part was at the Hazen Bridge north of Mahomet where the sun was just beginning to dip under the horizon. This bridge is in the National Register for Historic Places. It’s a pretty cool spot!

Thanks, Layla, for an amazing session!! Obviously I’m partial to redheads, but you totally killed it! Best of luck with your senior year at Mahomet-Seymour High School!

Grace | High School Senior Lobbyist at Illinois State Capitol

Grace truly lives up to her name and has already made a huge impact on the world around her as a senior in high school.

For months, she worked hard to get a bill passed through the Illinois state legislature. You see, Grace’s dad was a firefighter and was badly injured (almost fatally) on the job. Every year thereafter, her dad was forced to relive the trauma through a mandatory screening by a doctor. Grace found this as an unnecessary added agony to an already traumatic experience. She said that it sets the individual back in their road to recovery both physically and emotionally. So she had had enough.

She wrote a bill (and re-wrote a bill once the first one needed major tweaks), and after months of driving from Gibson City to Springfield 2-3 times per week, her bill finally passed in the House of Representatives. It was a major win for Grace, her dad, and their family. But she didn’t stop there! Grace is currently working on getting another bill passed.

She’s also finishing up her high school coursework (she’s homeschooled), and plans to get her EMT certification this summer before continuing on with her Parkland classes in Champaign. Eventually she wants to go into the medical field or law (and maybe both!). I am excited to watch her journey into adulthood and see all the great things that she is sure to accomplish! Congrats, Grace!!

Connor | Judah Christian HS basketball session

Lately some of my high school senior clients have opted to add on a mini session to their regular session. There can be many reasons for this, one of the biggest ones being the changing of the seasons. Some people want to show more than one season in their photos to show off different outfits or sports, which was the case for Connor.

You may remember his full senior session from back last fall, but at that time he didn’t yet have his basketball uniform. So once basketball season wrapped up and he had a bit more time, his mom scheduled a mini session to showcase his true passion (besides shoes!) — basketball. I was able to have some fun with my lighting equipment and thanks to MagMod, we created some cool stuff! Check it out!