Camera Club: Emmy’s Senior Portraits

Each month, Heather Lahtinen with Weddings by Heather and the Flourish Academy organizes a camera club meetup for local photographers throughout the Pittsburgh area.

September means back-to-school for many, which is why it was so fitting that this month’s lesson focused on senior portraits. Pittsburgh-based Soozie Harrison, the brilliant mastermind behind Photography by Soozie, joined Heather on Heather’s always-beautiful homestead to welcome another large gathering of professional and amateur photographers looking to learn more about posing and photographing seniors. Also joining in the fun was senior Emmy, our model for the evening.

Related: Camera Club: Soozie’s Maternity Session in Hillman State Park

Pittsburgh senior portrait willow tree outdoor session

Pittsburgh senior portrait pond outdoor session

As I mentioned, Heather’s property is absolutely breathtaking and so versatile. Within the acreage, there are countless places to shoot. We started at Heather’s recently constructed pond where willow trees and large rocks line it before heading to an area called the pipeline, which includes a sprawling field where the light is just insane in the evening. I was thrilled to see the leaves were changing just enough to give off a warm, vibrant pop of color

Pittsburgh senior portrait outdoor field in fall

Pittsburgh senior portrait in a beautiful field at sunset

Pittsburgh senior portrait near Monaca Beaver County

Pittsburgh senior portrait relaxing in a field looking at the sky

Pittsburgh senior portrait relaxing in a field during the evening

Pittsburgh senior portrait relaxing in a field near Monaca Beaver County

This next one–wow! With Emmy’s striking baby blues, this is easily one of my favorite images of the evening! To get this particular shot, I had to hover my camera above Emmy who was laying on her back with a water bottle propped under her head. (Soozie recommends using something–whether that be a water bottle, towel, or even a spare lens–to prop your model’s head slightly making them look more natural and feel less awkward.) Soozie told Emmy to play with her hair and necklace to give her hands a natural, relaxed look. Because of the angle and height of my camera,  Soozie suggested using live view. I aimed my camera high above Emmy’s face to focus on her beautiful eyes and bam!

Pittsburgh senior portrait shot from above

Thank you again to Soozie for generously sharing her wealth of knowledge and to Heather for so graciously opening her homestead for camera club!

Related: Camera Club: Three Adorable Children & Location Scouting


If you’re interested in attending a camera club meeting, the details can be found on the Flourish Academy Camera Club group on Facebook. Click here to join and keep current on upcoming events.

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