Senior Portraits in a Subway Station? Why not! Is it illegal to shoot photos in a subway? Absolutely not, so we thought we could depict Ellie’s love for travel by using the trains of a subway station for her senior pictures. We put a lot of thought into this shoot from beginning to end. The subway stop was our first of many outfits and many locations for her graduation photos in the Big Apple.
As we go through these posts, you’ll notice right off the bat that Ellie is way cooler than I am. I’ve been photographing high school seniors for 20 years. While I have all the tools and techniques down, she taught me a lot about what makes compelling images with current seniors. Let’s dive in and take a look at a few.
How Senior Pictures are a Different Style than Weddings
Do my senior pictures look different than my luxury wedding photography? A thousand percent. These portraits in a subway station lend themselves to being very moody. One thing I love about the above image is that we timed it perfectly to capture really cool motion of the incoming subway train in the background, while Ellie was peacefully still in the foreground. The only motion on her comes from the wind blowing her dress and hair, which I think is awesome. Photographers, I shot a low ISO so I could also set my shutter speed low enough to capture the train moving. But not too slow as to blur it altogether. We want to be able to tell that it’s a train in the background.
In the shot below, I wanted no train so I could see the columns in the background. One thing you’ll notice in this shot that I love so much is that all the lines (vertical and horizontal) are straight. That puts the focus on Ellie.
Here’s another moody shot. I love this because it has the symbolism of dark versus light. In a lot of Ellie’s senior pictures we play with this dark concept. (just wait until you see her Slytherin photographs) Notice she is standing on the dark side. This is our fun little nod to all the playfully dark associations lately (remember Ellie’s dark side post?)
This portrait in a subway is a lot like the “straight lines” photo above, but this is what it looks like when I light the subject. I used a bounce flash to give a soft (not harsh) light that comes in from the side. Then, I slowed my shutter speed down just enough to create a slight glow.
And just to show that not all portraits in a subway station have to be dark, here is a shot where I totally change the vibe with just my camera settings. Kids, it’s important to know your camera settings to create the vibes you want! Read your camera manual! (*gets off soapbox) Can you guess which NYC subway station we were at?
Finally, here’s one more like the first shot but with different coloring and feel to it. She is also facing front, changing the subconscious narrative from waiting to leaving.
Subscribe for more Ellie posts!
Stay tuned for a lot more Ellie posts coming up! They won’t be consecutive days, so the best thing is just to subscribe to this blog so it pops up in your email. Who likes bookmarking and going to a ton of different websites everyday anyway? Work smarter, not harder… subscribe below.
Check this link if you want to see some of Ellie’s senior pictures at Museum of Ice Cream in NYC.
Talk to you soon,
P.S. And just because…