I had the absolute freaking HONOR of documenting my dear friend, Samm, for some updated headshots of her! Samm and I met at summer camp, and lucked out being co-counselors for our bunks the entire summer, so we grew very close. She worked in the performing arts department, specializing in dance, and I was working on the ropes course (I was studying Outdoor Education at my university at the time), yet I always still had my camera with me everywhere and reallyyyy wanted to be a part of the art department as well. Long story short, we were both artistic in different ways, and always dreamed of the day we could combine our passions together.
In the summer of 2021, that dream of ours came true!
Samm reached out to me and asked if I could take some updated headshot photos for her to use on her website, social media, and portfolio. It had been years since her last headshots had been taken, and she felt as though they didn't accurately represent who she was anymore. I asked her how she wanted to feel during this round of headshots, and how she wanted people to feel when they saw her photos. She wanted professional/dance photos, photos that felt like her, and also wanted some pride/queer dance photos as well. A word that kept coming up for her was strong.
Samm wanted to incorporate her love for nature and for the town we were in, so we decided to meet up a local field for her photos. On the day of her session, the clouds created an overcast, resulting in the most gorgeous, creamy lighting. Overcast is honestly a blessing in disguise for photos! It helped make the colors appear richer in the photos, and provided us with a moody environment, which I felt would pair perfectly for her desire to look and feel strong in these photos.
I started off by taking the photos that felt more personable to her, which included a few headshots, some sitting poses, and just having fun honestly. We were chatting and catching up as well, which helped that portion of the session feel relaxed and comfortable.
Samm then changed her outfit, commencing the dance professional portion of her session. The clouds had become even darker at this point, and looked like a storm was about to roll in. I invited Samm to take the lead at this point, going through a short dance routine for me so that I could capture her in the moment through her movement. I preferred this over her staying in one pose stationery while I took her photo, as adding movement helps photographs appear more natural. I also feel like her passion shined through more easily whilst going through a flow.
That being said, Samm did want to show off some of her impressive skills, so we added variety into the photos she received by including a handful of stationery poses of her showcasing her skills.
We then transitioned into using Samm's Pride flag as a prop for some of the photos, which came out so well, and were really fun to incorporate into her session. It was really important to Samm that her dance students could look up to her, and to demonstrate representation for LGBTQ+ people, especially within the dance world. These images are powerful, fun, and full of personality. I freaking love how these came out.
We ended Samm's portrait session with headstands, silly poses, and photos that focused on her tattoos, another element of herself that she wanted to convey through her headshots + professional photos. It was such a fun session overall, and SUCH a treat working with an incredibly talented, kind, and badass dancer (and friend!!) like Samm.
While I do specialize in documenting elopements and intimate weddings, I LOVE expanding my horizons, along with my creativity, and taking on some portrait sessions each year! I fricken ADORE working with other people to support their business with creative headshots, especially women in the business world! Interested in working together? Head here to get in touch and tell me about your vision!
Thanks for reading, and speak soon!
The Francis Frames
Check out Samm's dance artist + education website here!
You can also check her out on Instagram!