One of the best things about being a teen portrait photographer is getting to seeing the changes and growth of your kids across many years.
It’s something special to work with teens across the years, getting to know them and hear first hand how they have matured, physically, emotionally, and spiritually.
It’s also an amazing honor to help you record the different stages during the teen years. Here are just some of my favorite photoshoots of the beautiful and handsome young people I’ve worked with in the past 14 years and some of their backstory. This post features American teens from my time living in the US and the images I’ve taken on my trips back.
I vividly remember this tween photoshoot with Sonja. She was about 12. We met on the grounds of the Legion of Honor, a European art museum overlooking the iconic Golden Gate Bridge. Usually this place is teeming with people, but we visited on a cool summer evening after the museum closed and had the entire grounds to ourselves. Sonja was really into books and brought along some of her favorite titles.
Several years later, but what seems like just a couple years, Sonja and I met again to celebrate the end of her high school career. She wanted to do her photoshoot to celebrate the city that she was raised and to honor where she came from as she was preparing to moving to Ireland to attend Trinity College to study business. She is still a lover of books.
I first met Eve when she was about 8 years old. The first tween photoshoot occurred in her home in beautiful Marine County when she was about 12, in her bedroom and around her house. It was simple arrangement meant to reflect how her home was the center of her young life as she was home educated.
Fast forward six years and Eve and I met on one of my return trips to the US. A lot had changed for Eve since those tween years, the least of which was she moved south to Silicon Valley, transitioned to public high school, and was preparing to start college (university) in state at Cal Poly. She took me around her high school campus and we celebrated all the positive changes that had occurred in her life and her upcoming move to college.
Boys are not often ones to get into a photoshoot and but Carter’s always been willing and more than cooperative to his parents wishes. The first time I worked with Carter we visited a local park near his home in San Francisco when he was 13. At the time, he was really into dart guns, his scooter and playing the trumpet, so I incorporated these into his images to reflect the things he was into at the time.
Uniquely, Carter’s high school graduation photoshoot happened half a world away from home in the US. It happened here in Melbourne, where he was visiting for a couple weeks. In contrast to the park and natural environment, we did a more urban and edgy photoshoot in the city. Amazingly, we were able to find a street scooter.
I may be a bit biased on this one because this is my own son. Every year around their birthday I take them on a short photoshoot to commemorate who they are that year. As my boys typically didn’t like doing photoshoots, I got them to promise to give me the number of minutes of their age. So this year Jon was turning 11, so this are some of the images that got from 11 minutes of his attention. He continues to be the funny kid in our family, bringing the laughs and nonsense. These were taken in Golden Gate Park outside one of the museums in the park.
After moving to Australia in 2019, I continued the tradition of doing a photoshoot around their birthdays. By this time, Jon was heavily passionate about basketball, so we did his 15th birthday at the basketball court. By this time, maybe from years of training, he was excited about this shoot! We took over 2 hours shooting and playing around. He’s a more mature version of the kid above, but still brings the flavor to our family.
It’s never too late to arrange a photoshoot for your tweens or teens. Even if you’ve missed out on a few years, I encourage you to start today! Whether they are 12, 14, 16, or almost at the end of the teen years, it’s only too late… when it’s too late. If you have a tween or teen in your family, give me a call and I would love to do for you what I’ve done for the teens and families above.
Come back to read the “Then and Now” (Australian Edition) on the next blog post.