Photographing High School Senior Portraits in Paris has been a long time dream of mine that manifest this past June. I traveled with The Twelfth Year for their Parisian Road tour and met some incredible photographers and some amazing teens along the way. We spent three days visiting several dream photoshoot locations photographing a small intimate group of high school seniors from all over the world. One of the graduating seniors that I met and adored was McKenzie!

From our time together her easy going and fun loving nature was very much evident. Her outfits truly matched her personality, vibrant, relaxed, and fun! On our first day together we started at Jardin du Luxembourg. When walking along the grounds inside of the gardens, we were almost immediately met with a security guard to was seeking our “permit” to photograph in the gardens. Since we did not have one, we were escorted to the gates and forced to photograph outside of them. This to me didn’t pose a problem because what was outside of the gates was just as beautiful as what was inside of them.

Every location in Paris is straight out of a scene in a movie, even the gates outside of the fabulous gardens. I loved how easy it was to roll with McKenzie, and we spent the first bit of our time together outside of the gates laughing about our experience and snapping these gorgeous shots. Its not everyday you get to say you were kicked out of the Luxembourg Gardens.

How’s this for turning those seemingly restrictive gates into gold? 😉

We then strolled down the street to areas that were less populated and found some sweet spots to take these gems. Part of what I love about traveling and photographing people i’ve never met in new places is having to rely on my intuition and present moment awareness to navigate the shoot. There is nothing more than I love that to create from a place of joy.

Sometimes your best laid “plans” go awry and you have to find a way to alchemize them into gold. These portraits of McKenzie are evidence of this. Much spontaneous play was had here in the most simple of locations, someone’s front steps! When I’m out photographing in places I’ve never been my eye is constantly scanning for color coordination, and contrasting textures. The black gates behind McKenzie’s brightly shining personality were gorgeous.

As you can see from the center image, McKenzie also has a fire within her spirit. For her, that takes the form of unwavering ambition! She’s a go getter, and has many talents and skills sets that she’s here to use in the world. She is currently attending Logan University to complete her Chiropractic training.

Her true passion came alive the next day when we met at the Louvre at 6am as the sun was rising. I found out that she herself is an artist and so her time at the Louvre was exceptionally special to her. Check out her own AMAZING drawings that she shared with me! Um. WOWZAS!!!

I certainly was blown away by her talent and I can understand why she shed a few tears while sinking into the experience of being photographed in the presence of such incredible art and history. I watched the sun rise behind her and it could not have been more glorious. It’s one of those moments when you know you’re in the right place at the right time.

The next morning was our final time together and it ended on a high note, The Eiffel Tower of course! McKenzie brought her A game to the super early sunrise and arrived in a stunning floral gown ready to step into pro model form.

Of course navigating away from the plethora of other photographers all fighting for the iconic spots posed as a challenge, but it was nothing a little wide open aperture and creative angles wouldn’t fix!

No trip to the Eiffel tower would be complete without a little dress twirling at the top of the Trocadero. Though the sun had now risen and was giving some harsh shadows, we decided to give it a go. With much laughter, and plenty of incredible Parisian cuisine in our bellies from our three day stay together, we completed our time with some iconic twirling. It was a beautiful ending to a beautiful experience.

One of my greatest joys in life is being able to provide photographing experiences like this to teens who are looking for something extraordinary to express who they are. If you have an graduating high school senior, lets chat and come up with a game plan to celebrate their arrival into the adult world with a destination senior portrait session!

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