High School Seniors… I love this Generation!

Senior Portraits at The Camera’s Eye, Apalachin NY
© Lisa McQueeney 2012

I always say, “My favorite age group to photograph is 3 year olds.”  They can tell you what they want, they can joke with you and they’re always ‘straight up.’  Case & point:  my last name is McQueeney.  When Pixar’s animated movie, “Cars” hit the theaters, a young boy, Clayton was a client of mine.  His Mom prepped him so kindly to walk in the studio and say, “Hi Miss McQueeney!”  He looked at me… looked again… “Is your real name ‘Stickers?’  You should just go by ‘Stickers’.  It’s way easier to say!”  lol!  HOW can you NOT love that???  So for years, 3 year olds have been my heart throbs.

Senior Portraits at The Camera’s Eye, Apalachin NY
© Lisa McQueeney 2012

I blogged at the beginning of the High School Senior season about a young man I thought was really exceptional and then the season exploded as it always does… Seniors with sports uniforms, trendy outfits, and interesting hobbies flood into my world every evening.  This year however, there’s something crazy in the air or I’m simply in love with a new age group.  I’ve met kids already accepted in college, kids in programs that allow them to experience their career choice for more than half the year, kids with ‘out of school’ interests like ice hockey and scuba diving and the list goes on and on.  If I could generalize; this may very well be a generation with everything at their fingertips BUT the coolest thing about them is they take advantage of all of it!

Senior Portraits at The Camera’s Eye, Apalachin NY
© Lisa McQueeney 2012

Senior Portraits at The Camera’s Eye, Apalachin NY
© Lisa McQueeney 2012

What’s the second best thing about them???   In the midst of all that they have in their reach, they really aren’t that much different than the generations before them.  Last week I had the pleasure of meeting a young woman, with such a witty sense of humor, she kept me on my toes the entire session.

Senior Portraits at The Camera’s Eye, Apalachin NY
© Lisa McQueeney 2012

She bravely came alone , so to start conversation, I asked her to run down her outfits with me and give me a sense of her style.  She made this typical but unusually polite “dig” on her Father… “Well I have this shirt with this great scarf, that my Father, all of a sudden thinks is too warm for this time of year!  When did he become a “FASHIONISTA?!!”  Ha!  I didn’t even know what say – I just filled the air with laughter.

Senior Portraits at The Camera’s Eye, Apalachin NY
© Lisa McQueeney 2012

As we moved along to our location, I asked…”what are you into?  what are your hobbies?”  In this time of mad-crazed video graphics and high tech everything, she replied, “I really love to read and write.”  I continue to fiddle with my photography gizmos and gadgets and she blurts out.. “Do you know ‘so and so’ author?  He’s very controversial but he’s my favorite!”  I stopped everything I was doing… if there was one moment in my entire life that I wished I read more and could have related to her interest… it would have been THAT moment.  A 17 year old with a favorite author… LOVE it!

Senior Portraits at The Camera’s Eye, Apalachin NY
© Lisa McQueeney 2012

Senior Portraits at The Camera’s Eye, Apalachin NY
© Lisa McQueeney 2012

Now she piqued my interest and as we chased the light through the evening, I kept trying to think of different things to ask her while listening VERY closely & contemplating f-stops and apertures because she would hold me to the answers with her humor.  Hmmmm… very much like 3 year olds!  She was currently earning money as a waitress, started cosmetology school- but it definitely wasn’t her style, and for as many times as she changed her hair color- today’s color was closest to her original roots.   (Incidentally, it’s amazing when the light catches it!)

Senior Portraits at The Camera’s Eye, Apalachin NY
© Lisa McQueeney 2012

As we wrapped up the shoot, I asked for a password for her session and began chatting about the fee and purchasing details.   OUT of no where, she threw a smirky smile my way and quickly interrupted…”are you going to hack my Facebook account!?!?!!?”  DANG!  She got me again!  No words came out of my mouth- just laughter.  At this point in the game, I was robustly belly laughing.

Senior Portraits at The Camera’s Eye, Apalachin NY
© Lisa McQueeney 2012

But that wasn’t the last time she was going to get me before we parted ways.   I asked if she had any more questions or ‘anythings’ for me (hoping she would say her Dad sent a check with him)… pause,  “Nope.”  I awkwardly asked…”How about a check from your Dad?”   This gets real good… “Oh no, I have cash for that!” and she began to count it.  Why I thought I could help this established, pip of a Senior is beyond me.. but I did!  Counting, counting, counting.. “can I help you?”  “Nope!  There’s extra.  I’m a waitress…. I believe Tip Karma!  It’s good energy!”  and away she zoomed, leaving me standing there to pick my jaw up off the asphalt.  Couldn’t you hear that from someone in the 70’s???

Regardless the timeframe, these are savvy Seniors and I love their personalities!

Rockin’ Seniors

All high school seniors are someone special to me at  The Camera’s Eye Studio… I spend approximately 2 hours with all of them, learn their likes and dislikes, their interests and hobbies, and definitely share some good life stories.

Senior Portraits at The Camera’s Eye Studio, Apalachin NY

Every now and then though, you’ll come by one that stays in your memory and this one happens to be THAT one.   PLUS, he kicked off my Senior Season so I have such a warm fuzzy going into this 2013 Graduation Class.

Senior Portraits at The Camera’s Eye Studio, Apalachin NY

The Session started off with his parents telling me all about his hobbies and places he liked to go in our town.  As I was getting the formal shot out of the way so we could move into the fun stuff, he saw an image of a baseball player on my wall and asked if we could create that image for lacrosse.  I was thrilled!  Of course… but I know very little of lacrosse and so asked him to educate me on the sport.  No attitude, no eye-rolling, no hesitation… he just started telling me what I needed to know.  Bang.. we kick that shot out too!

Senior Portraits at The Camera’s Eye Studio, Apalachin NY

The next several hours – and I honestly could have kept shooting for much longer because it wasn’t even like work – he took me to his favorite fishing spot, through a huge field in his shiny, red jeep  (in which he gave me a front seat ride), to meet his dog, and to a Hose Company, Croton Hose Co.  A fire department??  Hmmmm… why ask why, but because he was so friendly, you know I did!  He’s a Volunteer Fireman!

Senior Portraits at The Camera’s Eye Studio, Apalachin NY

I meet a lot of interesting people in my career as a professional photographer, but this kid I will remember for a very long time.  What a cool cat!

Senior portraits at The Camera’s Eye Studio Apalachin, NY

Senior Portraits at The Camera’s Eye Studio, Apalachin NY

The Benefits to Burning the Midnight Oil

It’s common to hear artists say they “burn the midnight oil” or “come alive” once the clock hits 12:00 a.m. but I rarely hear anyone say, “That’s awesome or That’s so healthy for you!”  Like many of my colleagues, at The Camera’s Eye Studio I work late into the wee hours of the night and I usually hear, “You’re crazy!  Why do you do that?  Whoa, Lisa… you need to sleep!”

Well everyone, I have your answer…. I’m not only a Night Owl, last night I became a Super Hero.  ; )  It was about 3:00 a.m. and I was up working on Senior Graduation Announcements.  I heard this loud bang as if a construction site popped up outside my office window.  Then quiet.  I continued working… It happened again.  I went for the flashlight and shown it towards the road outside the window… Nothing.  Odd, but stranger things happen in the country.  

Ten minutes pass and I heard it again but louder this time…. I looked a the cat, she looked at me alarmingly, “Beats me Shutter, but I’m glad you’re ears are perked up too”  : )  I thought, if that’s a burgular… they’re stealing the barn doors because that is LOUD!  Just then we heard this huge crackling noise and BANG!  Now that noise I recognized!  I opened the front door at 3:30 a.m. to see an enormous tree cracked in half and covering the road with limbs and branches all the way to the very edge of the mailbox by the driveway entrance!

One 911 call to our local Fire Department and about an hour and a half later… local work traffic zoomed up and down the hill without a clue!  The only trace of evidence is a totem pole (the other half of the tree) tucked into the hillside along the road.

So for all my friends and clients who say..”what are you doing up sooooo late???”  I’m playing Super Hero!