Combining a Senior Shoot with Family Photos

family of 6 poses for a photo

The Vandenbergs

I had so much fun photographing the Vandenberg family! Their senior Kayla wanted a session with me, but it had also been a while since they had family photos . . . so we combined the two! Kayla is a volunteer at Prophetstown State Park, so we designed their session around that special location. It did not disappoint!

Kayla and I spent some time together first, wandering around the farmstead. We found cool barn exteriors, a windmill in the background, worn fences, and cool window frames. Kayla sat on the farmhouse porch, posed near the hydrangeas, and wandered through the garden. We had a beautiful June night, and it provided the opportunity for a variety of shots. 

While Kayla changed into her next outfit, I invited her three sisters to join me in the garden, and they grinned and posed for individual shots. They looked so cute among the vegetables and the stalks, the light glowing around them! Kayla joined us and we got photos of the four girls together and then took several family photos along the fence, next to the barn, and on the farm wagon. I know photographers talk about light all the time, but they really did have the most beautiful light that evening! Shades of pink, peach, and baby blue stretched across the sky providing the perfect backdrop. And the perfect shades for the outfits they chose!

We ended the night with all six of them holding hands across the side of the barn. By then the girls had learned my usual cues, and like pros arranged their feet and hands in different combinations of asymmetry. Perfect! 

As we closed, the girls pet the horses and we gathered around the Vandenberg’s van. We shared our experiences with national parks, travels, and dreams of where to go next. It’s these nights that keep me going: gorgeous light, lots of fun images, sweet kids, and a really kind family. 

Today as I write, I have their beautiful framed family portrait and prints next to me. I can’t wait to deliver all their goodies to them! It means a lot to me that I’m able to capture these moments and be a tiny part of their family history. 

If you’d like to design an adventure with me, just send me a message or give me a call. I’d be happy to create special family moments for you!

Jen Ritchie

I'm a nature photographer who loves capturing beautiful landscapes and wildlife from our yearly trips out West and parks here closer to home.

Leave a Comment