Oh to be a high school senior again… It’s so incredible to think that this coming spring I’ll be 10 years out of high school. UM WUT? It was just yesterday I was taking AP Psychology and skipping German class, right?
Honestly, though, seeing Matthew as a senior blows my mind. I knew this guy when he was just a little peanut, running around his mom’s classroom. Kari, his amazing, silly, nerdy, wonderful mom was my English teacher and debate coach when I was in high school. And every so often, she would bring her kids to school when we had weekend practices, and it made the days a little less grueling. (We debaters were a rather serious and ridiculous bunch.)
Matthew as an adult was a really exciting person to meet. First, he’s taller than me, he’s a total nerd and loves stuff like Legend of Zelda. He is just so grown up it blew my mind. I was so excited to have been asked to take his photos. That fact that we had the opportunity to hang out more than 10 years after we had last been together shows you that friendship and connections can stand the test of time.
Just a few notes on the shoot… I messaged back and forth with Kari, learning Matthew wanted the photos to be as natural as possible, with no forced posing, props or other things that would take away from his “Matthew-ness.” I was all for it. We decided on the wooded area of the Dells of the Eau Claire River County Park near Aniwa, WI, so I did a little hunting for inspiration on the Inter-webs to see how I wanted the shoot to feel.
Full disclosure: I’ve never photographed a senior guy, and I was hella nervous. But with a little confirmation of the style I was looking to accomplish from Kari and Matthew, we absolutely nailed it. Matthew was awesome, didn’t get frustrated with me when one of my SD cards failed, and walked around in freezing cold temps just as the sun came up!
Also, this kid can go from “Patagonia model serious” to laughing hysterically in a matter of seconds. It made for some EPIC photos.
Matthew, I’m so proud of you. I cannot wait to see what you will go on to accomplish.