Ruby is a high school senior at Shorewood High School, a suburb of Milwaukee.
Despite attending Shorewood High School on the north side of Milwaukee, Ruby and her mother lived near me on the south side of Milwaukee in Bay View and that was where we took her senior pictures.
It was so much fun shooting pictures with Haley, because her and her mother chose Saint Francis de Sales Seminary in Saint Francis as the location for the photo shoot.
The seminary was a collection of buildings forming a campus and the buildings themselves had architecture that resembled the beautiful and impressive old Catholic church-style buildings creating a grande and awe-inspiring feel to several of the photos.
We started taking photos right in front of the main hall of the seminary and Ruby brought her violin along as a prop for the shoot. The building wasn’t exactly a concert hall, but because it was so huge with vast arches and white pillars skying into the sky, it definitely gave the photographs a classical feel.
From there we kept on walking and the lovely thing about shooting at the seminary was that it wasn’t far to walk from taking photos with a classical building backdrop to taking photos that felt right in the middle of the woods, giving them an outdoorsy feel.
This helped because historically a woods area and Catholic cemetery connected this seminary with Saint Thomas Moore High School.
That was where we eventually ended up near the end of the photo shoot, but before that we just wandered around the seminary grounds.
A fun outdoors spot that I noticed right away was a group of trees with hanging vines, bright green hanging vines.
There I had Ruby stand in the midst of the vines, holding them to one side or other other and then to both sides so her face would be framed by the vines and it was taking us back to a fairytale type atmosphere where she had to brush the vines away from her surroundings.
Afterwards I showed a friend of mine the pictures and she excited exclaimed, ‘oh wow, she looks like a princess.’
From there, Ruby made a wardrobe change, putting on some outdoorsy rustic flannels which were some of her favorite clothes and we continued to get deeper and deeper out into the woods. Sitting on some concrete arches and then walking out into a wooded path and sitting on logs and tree trunks.
A particular shot with the sun dotting through the trees behind her turned out to be Ruby’s favorite shot of the whole shoot. When you put the sun behind the subject you always get a very even and lovely lighting on the subjects face and a more dramatic background. Ruby herself sat on the other side of the log and propped her elbows on the log facing me.
It was a very simple portrait, but was Ruby’s favorite.
After that Ruby again changed clothes and put on a white simple gown and small sandals and at times bare feet.
It was a fun switch in the photos going from really outdoorsy and casual to much more girly and simplistic beauty.
With the dress on we found a small wooden staircase and took quite a few photographs there. I stood above her on the staircase and shot down, which allowed me to get great leading lines in the railings and plants along the railings.
We finished the day by grabbing the violin again and taking similar shots as the beginning but with a different set of clothes. It’s always better to get too many shots than too few and then at the end you can allow the clients to choose which ones they prefer!
Thank you Ruby!