Illini Central

Carlee | Illini Central High School senior

Carlee did two concept shoots with me before her own "official" senior session (plus a family session a couple years ago), so she is no stranger to my camera!  She modeled for me in her prom dress, in my "make small town life beautiful" shoot, and my county fair carnival-themed shoot with her friend Lexi.

This girl LOVES her volleyball, and so we knew we'd be starting in the gym with some off-camera flash, because let's face it -- gym lighting is horrible. I played around a bit with adding some yellow lighting to play off the school's gold and black colors (go Cougars!). Did I mention that Illini Central High School is also my alma mater?  I won't tell you how many years ago I graduated, but it will be a nice round number this coming year. 😳 I also added some flames to a couple of the volleyballs for some fun!

We then headed out to some private property of some mutual friends to use their land for some field photos, some photos down by the creek, and some chickens. haha!!  For the tail end of the session, we headed to Carlee's own front porch to snap a couple photos with her sweet (but hyper!) pup Ivy.

I'm sad that I may be done photographing Carlee for a while, but am looking forward to following along as she gets into the swing of her senior year and starts prepping for college! Best of luck, Carlee!!

Senior Concept Shoot | Make Small Town Life Beautiful

Part 2 of my concept shoot with Carlee was two-fold "Make Mason City look beautiful" with a bit of "ugly places, pretty faces" inspiration.  I think there is a definite charm of an old small town with old dilapidated buildings like this abandoned warehouse, along with beautifully restored buildings.  A couple of key people in the town have made an effort to keep some original structures as they were originally built and restored their facades to preserve a piece of the town's history.

I may be in the minority here, but I see beauty in this old, ugly white building.  I've driven by it for years (decades, really), and recently started wanting to shoot there. Carlee and her mom Brenda new exactly the place I was talking about when I first mentioned it.  We also chatted about her actual senior session we're planning for the fall, and she first said she thought she wanted all nature/park type photos, but I think I may have her convinced to add in a bit of grunge too! ;)  We'll also be doing some volleyball photos in the Illini Central gym, so I cannot WAIT for that!

And without further ado, I give you Mason City in all her glory, along with a member of the Class of 2019 Miss Carlee!  (OMG -- I just realized that means I graduated 19 years ago -- ack!)

Clayton | Illini Central Mason City Class of 2018 senior

Clayton attends school at my alma mater, Illini Central High School in Mason City.  He also happens to live across the street from my dad!  Clayton's parents Mike and Trish and I started talking a few months back about his senior photos, and we were able to nail down a date and time.  Clayton is a country boy at heart, and he wanted to include his trucks, his gun, and the puppy Chevy that he shares with his girlfriend Savannah.  Clayton isn't a big talker or smiler (ha!), but I think he did a great job listening to my posing instructions and even smiling.  He didn't complain one bit!  I also love the varying shades of blue of his two outfits, because it really helps bring out his eyes.  Thanks for a great session, Clayton & family!