December 21, 2018
Grace Phillips is a beautiful and talented dancer who I've had the pleasure of shooting with several times over the past couple of years. This image is my favorite from a shoot we did at Pismo Beach in October. I love the lighting in this beach cave and the way it accentuates Grace's beautiful lines against the dramatic, rocky background. And I love her hair! For me, this image (and Grace) exemplifies the balance of strength, athleticism, and artistry that is ballet.
With 2018 coming to a close, I've been reflecting on the year and feeling so grateful for the opportunity to work with so many wonderful clients and to photograph so many amazing people. So, I thought it would be fun to put together an assortment of some of my favorite images from the year. Here they are in no particular order. I hope you enjoy!
First up: one of my favorites from Nayh's senior portrait session in July. Nyah was so easy to shoot with and I LOVE her unique personal style that combines edgy and feminine in perfect proportions. Such a great natural smile too!
Next up is an image from my first-ever maternity session! Jaynie and Andy are a wonderful couple that I met a few years back when I did a couples session with them. I was so happy to hear that they were expecting a baby boy and was excited to give maternity portraits a try. As with their previous session, I had very little work to do with posing them, as these two have such an easy and deep connection with one another. Congratulations on your little one Jaynie and Andy!
During my off-peak months, I plan creative shoots for my own enjoyment and to try new gear, locations, and techniques. So in April, I planned a prom-inspired shoot and recruited gorgeous Makenzie as my model. Ruby Villalobos of Heritage Salon created a stunning loose up-do and beautiful makeup for the shoot. I chose the Leaning Pine Arboretum on the Cal Poly campus as the location. That red gown was just awesome and Makenzie was a fantastic model.
A huge THANK YOU to all my clients and models for making 2018 a fun, fantastic year. I feel like the luckiest person to have worked with each of you!
Dance photography is one of my favorite genres, so this portrait of beautiful Kassandra seems the perfect image to conclude my list of favorites from 2018. I've had the pleasure of shooting with Kassandra several times, and although I have many dramatic and dynamic images showing off her ballet technique and athleticism, I really love the quiet moment captured in this image. Kassandra is so easy and fun to work with, it has been such a pleasure shooting with her. She is an amazingly talented dancer.
Photography is all about the light, and I love how the golden late-day light gives Samantha a beautiful glow in this image from her senior portrait session last August. We found a small patch of wildflowers (or maybe they were weeds!) that we incorporated into the foreground of this shot that tied in so well with the warm tones.
This next image is from a ballet-inspired shoot at Avila Beach in April with Elena, who is a younger dancer and member of Coastal Chamber Youth Ballet. This was one of those sessions where everything came together so beautifully from the light and weather to the costume and especially, Elena's beautiful ballet poses, leaps and lines. Elena had incredible energy and was able to hit her poses and leaps multiple times, allowing us to get a lot of fantastic images.
I don't shoot a large number of guys. In fact, my senior portrait clients tend to be about 75% female/25% male. But I really do enjoy senior guy sessions. David was so, so easy to shoot with and he had a great range of expressions from the "serious look" shown here to great natural smiles. He has a strong masculine vibe that comes across so well in his portraits. Another client that made my work easy!
I can't have a list of favorite images without including a portrait of my daughter! We decided to do a quick end-of-summer session in Pismo Beach before she headed back to college in September, and this was my favorite shot. I'm a huge fan of backlighting and the way it makes hair glow so beautifully. I also love an "eyes closed" shot as it creates a dreamy, serene feel. My girl has always been one of my favorite subjects to photograph, and this is definitely one of my all-time faves of her. Now, if I could just get my son to cooperate.....
Daisy is another client for my "style hall of fame." She came to her senior portrait session prepared with two great and very different outfits along with awesome accessories. Her soft pink beret is so, so chic and really draws attention to her gorgeous eyes. Daisy's mom and two sisters came along on our shoot as her "glam squad" and they were so fun, helpful, and encouraging throughout our time together.
Family portrait sessions can be so much fun.....especially with a fun family like the Bergs! Where else but the Central Coast of California can you wear summer clothes in December? Despite the stress of finals week and the holidays right around the corner, everyone was in great spirits and in fact, there were times it was hard to get everyone to STOP laughing! This is a family that clearly enjoys one another and it was a pleasure to shoot with them.
My next image is just 100% fun. Look at that smile on Izzy's face! This session was truly one of the most relaxed and enjoyable I've ever had. Izzy is one of the most delightful humans you could ever hope to meet and I so enjoyed our session and our conversation between shots. Oh, and if she looks familiar, it's because her sister Nyah is shown in the first image above!
Tracy Waitkus Photography 805.264.2771
Avila Beach, California
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