This high school senior broke 9 of the 11 swimming records in his high school. He has two state medals and swam in nationals this year. All of those accomplishments and he is still one of the most grounded and kind teens I’ve photographed.
When I initially met with Sam, he shared, “You’ve photographed a lot of my friends and they all look great. I appreciate how your photos are unique and creative, personalized to fit each person.”
His mom, Kara, shared, “The whole experience of working with you was fantastic! It was very natural and you were able to capture him just being him. Your shots are gorgeous!”
While I love to capture action and movement like the opening image, I also enjoy capturing more traditional portraits as well. Here Sam wears his medals from states.
I love using different camera techniques and used a slow shutter speed to capture Sam diving…
“From birth, man carries the weight of gravity on his shoulders. He is bolted to earth. But man has only to sink beneath the surface and he is free.”
Sam explained, “I started swimming in 7th grade. I spend a lot of time in the pool—probably like 12 hours a week or so, plus I lift and do other things to stay in shape for it. Freestyle is my favorite, so I also like the IM (individual medley—all of them all at once: fly then back then breast then free).”
Sam shared, “I can be more of an introvert, but I know who I am and what I want. It’s more of how I view myself than how others perceive me that is important. I just try to be the best me that I can be. Especially in the pool, I really want to be the best that I can be than try to win, sometimes I’m happier getting 3rd because I’ve been my own time, than not beating my own time in first.”
I love the way water plays with the physical form, the shape of water…
Kara, Sam’s mom shared, “Sam has a big heart. I could always see it at home with his little sister, but in the pool it shows, too. All of the little swimmers follow him around like ducklings. It’s very sweet.”
She continued, “When there are all those kids on deck at the pool and they all look alike, I can always pick Sam out because of the goggles on his shoulder.” This one’s for you, Kara…
She concluded, “If Sam wants something he goes out and makes it happen. You can see it with him picking up swimming, the guitar, really whatever he wants to do.” If you want to see the first part of Sam’s senior portraits with his Kayak, dogs and guitar, it is here.
I like playing with light and perspective… for me this captures Sam’s strength and ability to stand out and do his own thang ;).
Following the photography session when they saw all of these photos, Sam said, “It was a lot of fun, they turned out really well. I had a great experience.” Kara said, “It was fantastic! It was interesting to watch him working with you, he really loosened up and you were able to capture him being him. Yes, definitely worth it.”