I am surrounded by paper airplanes with two little boys in my house and I have always thought about using them as props in photos of my boys.  But using them with a senior girls is something unique and different!

Emmy Lou Virginia of Emmy Lou Virginia Photography in Vancouver British Columbia created a session called Paper Airplane Dreams for the senior below and I think it is a unique way to use an inexpensive prop to tell a story.

Emmy Lou said, “Rachel and I wanted to created a make-believe world where travel simply involved will-power; where merely wishing she were in Paris could take her to Paris; and where paper airplanes could actually fly.”

Take a trip with this senior and her senior portrait photographer by reading all about this session below.  And check out more of Emmy Lou’s work here.  Thanks for sharing Emmy Lou!

What was your inspiration for this photo shoot?

Rachel and I wanted to create a make-believe world where travel simply involved will-power; where merely wishing she were in Paris could take her to Paris; and where paper airplanes could actually fly.

Where did this photo shoot take place?

Stanley Park, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Did you collaborate with this senior to come up with the clothing and/or concept for this shoot?

Yes!  Rachel was very helpful in coming up with concepts and ideas.  She viewed nothing as impossible and was so much fun to work with.  She was a great person to bounce ideas off of, as well!  And when the time came to hang all of the paper airplanes on trees and bushes in the middle of the woods, she came up with ideas of how to hang them all!  The girl is unstoppable!

What camera, lens or other equipment was used for this shoot?

Canon EOS 60D and a Canon 50mm 1.4 lens.

What time of day were these taken?

6pm – 8pm


Can you share any post-processing techniques used when editing this session?

I use only Adobe Lightroom 4 to edit my photos; most of these photos required only a few colour balance and exposure adjustments, with some curves added.

What is your favorite thing about this session?

Probably the sunset photos, as Rachel threw paper airplanes into the sunset and sat on the beach holding piles of paper airplanes; it was one of those rare and beautiful moments a photographer can experience, when a photo turns out exactly as you and your client envisioned.  

What do you want this session to convey about this senior and about your senior photography style?

This session conveyed Rachel’s love of travel and adventure; she is stopped by nothing.  A feeling of “anything is possible” mingled with a vivid imagination to create this paper airplane world.  My senior photography style is about creating a story for each person – showing who they are.  I love to hear from them their dreams, aspirations, fairytales and whimsical ideas – and bring them to life in a story starring them!

What is one tip you can share with other photographers regarding photographing seniors?

Everyone loves to have fun.  If a photo session is boring, the senior is not going to enjoy it and is not going to look like they’re enjoying it in the photos, either!  Get rid of those fake smiles and that pretend enthusiasm – create a world they care about; a photo session they can laugh about and love forever!

Senior Inspiration – {Emmy Lou Virginia Photography}


heck, yes i do!

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