Behind the Scenes Senior Portrait - Tara Dawson | Emily McGonigle Photography

It's gross and rainy outside, so what better time to write a blog post, am I right?

We're going to rewind time about a week and a half, back to Tara Dawson's very sunny, very warm, senior portrait session! Tara, who is one of my 2015 Senior Models, is a super sweet Cheerleader from Franklin High School. She has an adorably bubbly personality, so she was super fun to work with!

When Tara got to the studio, Ashley Stevens got started on her hair and makeup. Shelly, Tara's mother, showed me all of the clothing options we had to work with. There were *a lot* of awesome options, so Shelly and I worked to narrow down the choices, while Ashley gave Tara her makeover.

We took a look at the spots we were planning to photograph at and tried to match outfits that would work well with each spot. Tara started off in a super cute crop top and shorts to play in the water at the location, and then had several awesome dresses that she changed into for each new spot after that.

Something cool Tara is doing this year is competing in the Miss Tennessee Teen USA pageant! She currently holds the title as Miss Music City Teen USA! We made sure to grab a headshot for her new competition submission during our session together.

 
 

As I mentioned earlier in the post, it was warm and humid the day we did Tara's photo shoot. BUT... the amazing Ashley Stevens worked her magic and Tara's hair and makeup stayed awesome all day.

After Tara's makeover, we gathered all our things and headed to our shoot location. The first area we stopped at had a stream that Tara and I both jumped into for some photos. Of course, as usual, Matthew got his model on so I could take a few test shots before throwing Tara into the water.

After the water we moved to a location with some greenery and some reddish pink flowers as a nice back drop, which you will see below. Following that area, we photographed under some cool archways, and then finished off in a field of tall grass. Ashely made sure to check and touch up Tara's makeup and hair throughout the shoot, to make sure she stayed looking fabulous for her session.

Throughout the day Ashley was kind enough to broadcast parts of Tara's shoot using the app Periscope. It was particularly hilarious in the field, because Ashley was weary of the tall grass, and Matthew didn't help at all by jokingly telling her there would be snakes.

 
Ashely attempting to Periscope while trying to avoid the mythical snakes. | Photo: Matthew Simmons 

Ashely attempting to Periscope while trying to avoid the mythical snakes. | Photo: Matthew Simmons 

 

She was a trooper though. Soon we convinced her there were no snakes and that the grass was safe, haha.

Ashley Periscoping while holding my reflector | Photo: Matthew Simmons

Ashley Periscoping while holding my reflector | Photo: Matthew Simmons

Still Periscoping... | Photo: Matthew Simmons

Still Periscoping... | Photo: Matthew Simmons

Photo: Matthew Simmons

Photo: Matthew Simmons

Matthew caught me by surprise - I didn't realize he was photographing me, photograph Tara! | Photo: Matthew Simmons

Matthew caught me by surprise - I didn't realize he was photographing me, photograph Tara! | Photo: Matthew Simmons

But did I mention it was humid that day? Haha! My hair didn't stand a chance... But enough about US... Back to Tara!

We finished out the night by heading back to the studio and getting some fun photos of Tara in her cheerleading uniform. It was certainly a long day, but totally worth it. Tara was such a joy to work with, and I think we got some really awesome shots from her session! I can't wait to share them all, but in the meantime, here is a sneak peek!

 
 

How gorgeous is this girl?! Be sure to leave her some love in the comments :)

Thank you to Ashely Steven's who did a fabulous job on Tara's hair and makeup, and who is also a killer Periscope broadcaster. ;)

And thank you to Matthew Simmons for being a masterful reflector holder, light test model, session DJ, BTS photographer and comedic relief.

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Emily McGonigle Photography is a Nashville Portrait Photographer, and can be contacted for booking inquiries here.