One of Malibu’s hidden gems is El Matador State Beach. Knowing that Kaylan is a beach goer, I couldn’t pass on the opportunity to take advantage of El Matador’s very fun waves! Its rock formations are simply beautiful and I was very happy to have been able to use their rugged texture as a backdrop for some of her portraits. Photographing her walking along the shoreline holding her graduation cap, decorated with one of her favorite quotes, gives this session a very personal touch. In addition, some of the more playful images with the waves splashing about her, have a candidness about them; however, there was a strategy that went into them. (For example, I really make it a point to check the stability of an area before I ask my subjects to pose) After watching me demonstrate the stability of the wet rock beforehand, Kaylan was less apprehensive and more at ease while standing there herself. We absolutely had a blast, even when at times we got seriously busy dodging some of the bigger waves of that evening. Moreover, these portraits showcase Kaylan’s playful side and we most definitely enjoyed capturing it, so much so that the early evening session quickly turned into sunset! It was the perfect beach location to have captured these fun, loving portraits of Kaylan in her Cap and Gown.
However, the fun did not stop there! We continued the second part of her high school portrait session on the day of Kaylan’s prom! When I arrived at Kaylan’s home she was ready, dressed in her beautiful black-laced dress — one of three outfits that I had helped her pre-select from her closet. Sonia, Kaylan’s mother, had been longing to have her daughter pose behind their family’s piano. It was very satisfying for me to have been able to fulfill this wish for her. Without delay we moved the session into Kaylan’s bedroom, her sanctuary, and it proved to be the right environment to feature more of her love towards the ocean while also showing off a rather sweet and tender side to her. Next, to keep on schedule I packed my gear and we all headed to Kaylan’s aunt’s home just a few blocks away. Once there, we easily executed the much awaited prom portraits. Since I had done a prior scout of the home’s backyard, I knew in which areas I would have her pose. I had Kaylan do what I like to call the “Juliet Pose”, in which I have my subject looking down at my camera from a balcony. In addition, I like to work around scenery that will complement the color scheme of their wardrobe. Thus, I felt that using the green of the palm trees were very agreeable with Kaylan’s coral-tone prom dress. More often than not, I also look for any opportunity to get creative with reflections. All things considered it made for a very gratifying experience, from the pre-planning, to the portrait session, to the ordering of the canvases and portrait prints. Ultimately, high-school senior year is a momentous milestone and one to celebrate big! It was a sheer pleasure to have photographed Kaylan and share with all, her nice personality and gorgeous smile.