Senior Inspiration – {L J Holloway Photography}

March 08, 2012

How does this mother of 9 find time to also be a wonderful photographer?  She limits her sessions to 4 or 5 a month and makes sure those sessions are of the thing she loves to photograph most…SENIORS!

Lisa Holloway, of LJ Holloway Photography, is a photographer in Arizona and she says that photography is the best creative outlet for her.  From the photos below, I can see that she is definitely creative and an amazing photographer!  Check out this session below and be sure to check out Lisa’s other work on her blog.  Thanks for sharing Lisa!

What was your inspiration for this photo shoot?
I take inspiration both from the person I am shooting (their personality, likes and dislikes, etc) and from the land and locations we use.  Arizona is warm, sunny, and golden, and that has really played into my editing and shooting style.  I love golden back-lit images and working with the abundance of natural light we are blessed with in this state.  Being a native Washington-ian, I also love looking for locations that fool you into thinking you’re in another part of the country.  If you were to see the town I live in, the first thing that would strike you is all of the brown.  I look for magical little pockets that whisk you away to another place.

Where did this shoot take place?
I did Juleigh’s pictures in several locations in Kingman, Arizona.  The more urban looking pictures were taken in downtown Kingman, and the grassy/fall color pictures, railroad pics, and the pics by the old stone building were all taken within walking distance of each other very close to my home actually. 🙂

What time of day?
We started shooting at about 2pm and finished up at the railroad tracks just before sundown (about 5pm).

What camera, lens or equipment was used for this photo shoot?
I used my Canon 5D Mark II and 4 different lenses (the 50mm, 16-35L, 85mm
1.2L, and 70-200mm 2.8L II) for this shoot.  I also used my 52″ white, round reflector in some of Juleigh’s pictures.

Did you collaborate with this senior before the session to determine concept, location and/or wardrobe?

I always tell my seniors to bring EVERYTHING they feel great in…bring their whole wardrobe and lots of accessories!  I help them pick and choose things for each location.  Juleigh got to open her Christmas gifts (clothes) early for her pictures. 🙂  I always ask them if they prefer a more urban/downtown look to their pictures, or a more natural (fields, grass, trees, etc) look…usually they like both so that’s what we do!

What camera, lens or equipment was used for this photo shoot?
I used my Canon 5D Mark II and 3 different lenses (the 50mm, 85mm 1.2L, and 70-200mm 2.8L II) for this shoot.  I also used my 52″ white, round reflector in some of Juleigh’s pictures.

Can you share your post-processing techniques used when editing this
I LOVE warm editing.  I will get my white balance and color where I want it in Lightroom, and then the fun really begins in Photoshop.  I love adding contrast and bringing out hidden color in Photoshop.  I LOVE playing with selective color, levels, and even a solid color fill layer in Photoshop to enhance my already warm white balance.  A curves layer set to soft light is always great for adding an additional pop of contrast and color…it definitely needs to be masked off of skin though.

What is your favorite thing about these photos?
I LOVE Juleigh’s beautiful smile!  She was such a happy go lucky girl, and totally cool with me dragging her into some unusual places.

What do you want this session to convey about this senior and your
photography style?
With each senior I shoot, I strive to bring out not only their natural beauty, but a little of what makes them special and what makes them THEM.  Even when certain locations are re-used (we live in a small town), they are used in a different way so that each senior gets a session that is truly unique to them.  I want every senior to walk away from their session having had a great time, feeling confident, beautiful, and excited to see their pictures!  I’m always super excited too, and will load those pictures up in LR as soon as I get home so I can pick a few favorites and edit them for my senior.  I’m a meticulous editor and edit each photo individually…I hope that shows in my work!

What is one tip you can share with other senior portrait photographers?
Be relaxed, confident, and have FUN!  If you are having fun, so will they…and it will show in their pictures. 🙂  I also love to give quick sneak peeks on my LCD screen whenever I get an awesome shot…it REALLY gets them excited to see the pictures big on their computer screen, and it boosts their confidence which will also play out in your photos!  Bringing along a little posing guide and/or demonstrating poses yourself is also really helpful (and often times, rather funny…you should have seen me trying to demonstrate poses when I was 8 months pregnant)!

Tell me about you…where are you from?  how long in the business?
how  did you get into photography? etc.

I grew up in Washington state and am an ex-Navy nuclear specialist.  I moved to Arizona when my oldest son was just shy of a year old and have been here ever since.  I’ve always been artistic so photography has been an amazing creative outlet for me.  My start in the photography business is a familiar story I’m sure.  When my 5th baby came along, I had joined a photography group on a parenting message board.  It was then and there that I got bit by the photography bug and wanted to take amazing pictures of my children.  I’m a nit-picky perfectionist which can be a downfall, but I think it has helped me in my photography journey.  I’m always striving to improve and learn new things…good is never good enough.  When my lens wish list started getting more and more expensive, I decided that I’d better start making some money doing this if I ever wanted to acquire any of these toys, and that is how my business was born.  Thankfully, it’s been a wonderful experience and I’m loving every second of this journey!  I’m now the mother of 9 (my youngest little boy was just born in October) and do photography on a limited basis.  I take no more than 4 or 5 sessions a month so as not to become overwhelmed with my work load.  I’m kind of a jack of all trades photographer…I shoot maternity, newborns, babies, children, families, AND high school seniors.  Seniors are SO fun to work with and it’s wonderful to have a willing model that actually WANTS to have their picture taken.  I’ve been in business since 2008 and can’t wait to see where this journey takes me!