Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Not Quite Senior Senior Pictures

Last summer, my oldest daughter had a friend and fellow dancer, who is graduating this year, recommend her as a Student Ambassador for JS Studios  Class of 2014I, of course, had NO idea what that meant, and sadly enough neither did my daughter fully understand it.  But she was selected for her school and even without knowing exactly (we had an idea) what the details were, we thought it would be a great experience for her.  My daughter.  Who LOVES taking pictures of herself like she loves breathing.  I have two computers full of pictures to prove it.

Her mini session, which we learned later was just for promotional material, was scheduled for the same day she had a dance invitational but Jen, the photographer, graciously scheduled her first thing in the morning.  We got to the studio, which wasn't really a photographer's studio.  It was Onsite Muse Hair and Makeup Studio.  I'll be honest and say the location of the studio gave me pause, but after the session was over, I COMPLETELY understand why they are where they are.

So, we got to the studio and Jen and Heidi set up a  little breakfast buffet of cookies and hot apple cider while my daughter was in hair and makeup.  Yes.  They, well, more specifically Amber did her hair and makeup.  I know that my daughter was a little leery of this as she is used to doing things her way (go figure) and I suggested that she tell Amber how she likes her hair and makeup and let her do what she's trained to do.  Amber listened attentively to her suggestions, made a few of her own and went to work.  The end result was simply stunning.  Gorgeous, natural beauty shining through.  My daughter LOVED the final result.

It took about 45 minutes (have you SEEN how much hair my daughter has???) to do her hair and makeup and get her into one of two outfits she wore for the session.   During this time, I chatted with Jen and Heidi and got an idea of what this was all about.  They have about 10 students representing schools from about the metro area who act as ambassadors for their studio.  They give them promotional material in the hopes that others will see what type of work they do and come to their studio for their senior pictures.  And by "come to their studio" what I mean is they will go wherever the student wants in the metro area for their pictures. Initially we thought this WAS her senior picture session and she was worried because she still has her braces, she's pale from it being winter, she'd have to be more covered up than if it was warmer...oh she had many reasons why this was not a good time for her senior pictures (the least of which was she's not yet a senior...having made it less than half way through her junior year).  I think having it explained better (yes, she should have asked better questions from the start) helped her to relax and enjoy the experience.

If there was a down side to the day, it was the weather.  It was cold.  But Jen kept her moving from various textured backgrounds to keep her from getting too cold.  There were brick and corrugated aluminum, peeling paint and concrete walls and doors...FUN backgrounds that were a perfect backdrop to her pictures.  And I got to drink hot cider so it was no skin off my  nose.   Jen has a great eye for angles and light and body configuration and was able to point out how certain poses would give an ill effect and she would correct them.

She changed clothes once and went back out.  Luckily she had chosen to wear the dress first because the temperature dropped from the upper 40s to the upper 30s while we were there.

The final pictures were part of an experiment Jen hadn't tried before...the blowing of the glitter and small glass balls...I SO love how they turned out.

As we gathered up her clothes, Jen gave her a goodie bag filled with fun treats.  Seriously?  She treated my daughter to 2 hours of awesomeness and THEN gave her more?

OH...yeah.  You might note the lack of braces.  Yes.  Jen edited them out.  I had originally suggested it thinking these were going to be her senior pictures and Jen said that it's a lot of work just for promotional material, so I hadn't thought she would.  But OMG...her smile is like a million watt bulb.  Stunning.  

The difficult part was waiting to see the final product.  Then gradually, Jen started posting pictures from various Ambassador sessions on facebook.  The second my daughter's hit the page I think I squealed like a little girl.  During a movie we were watching.  Scaring everyone.

BTW...one of the last pics, of her leaning against a corner..that was done up against a boxing ring window and yes, that was a live cat in the background.  Talk about different textures!

Thank-you Jen, Heidi and Amber.  What a wonderful experience you gave us.  And for those who are looking for someplace to go for your senior's pictures, I can't recommend JS Studios highly enough.  True professionals who actually listen and relate to the kids.

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