I had to look up some creative interjections to describe this session and this is what I found that can explain my feelings: Wow, Yowza, Holy Smokes, Cowabunga dude!, and OMG. Yeah – this was a pretty cool session. Meet 2023 Legend Senior Miles, a Legend Titan Band student. With his mom, we picked Castlewood Canyon for his senior portraits. What makes his session so rich in colors – we photographed his session just before a big storm hit. I prefer to photograph under cloudy skies. It makes for a lot less squinting into the camera and can provide some beautiful dark skies as a background. We did have to deal with some crazy winds, but we beat the storm just in time and I can’t say enough about how great his session came out at Castlewood Canyon. But if you remember – I mentioned him in another session – 2023 David B. who is also a band student.

Mile’s mom mentioned wanting a few images of Miles playing the piano. I missed seeing the band perform at halftime this past year, but Miles told me he played the keyboard with the program and I can only imagine what the performance must have sounded like having a piano (of a small kind) on the field. Knowing already that David wanted photos with his vibraphone on stage, I suggested that I get both of these guys together while performing and some individual images of them on the stage. I said that this was wicked putting this together, but you really don’t know the background to how we got these images. David’s mom was able to get access to the school from the band director as a weekend morning worked for all of us. But the piano – a grand piano non the less – was in the classroom down the hall that Miles, David, and I had to wheel down to the theater stage with David’s mom directing us. I’m telling you – it felt like a high school prank for the good.

To get students into the mindset of playing for the camera, they really have to play. You can’t fake playing. You can try – but you can see that it’s fake from the get go. I can’t tell you how many private concerts I have had over the years with band, orchestra and choir students, asking them to play (or sing) their favorite song so I can capture them in the moment of playing their band instrument. I suggested they play something from the current show and for the next 20 minutes, I walked around getting photos of just Miles and David and getting them together. It was amazing. I can tell you everything that went wrong – none of us knew how to work the stage lights so at times, David’s mom would hold her cell phone flashlight so we could spotlight Miles or David. So yes – Yowza, Hole Smokes, and OMG – this was such an amazing session.

And true to my own girl scout training and raising a boy in boy scouts – we returned the piano back to the classroom.

Ready? Mile’s 2023 Senior Portrait –