Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Clayton's senior/graduation session

Well, I'm finally getting around to blogging the quasi-senior session I did with my brother back in June. He never had real senior portraits done, and my mom wanted some "nice" graduation pictures. So the night before his graduation party, he and I picked out a few outfits for him, and then we spent an hour in my parents' yard the next morning...three hours before we expected about 50 people to show up for a cookout. Perhaps not the best planning in the world, but I was leaving the next day, and it had been rainy and gloomy all week long. So this is what we ended up with.

First you should know that like most teenage guys, my brother detests having his picture taken. He hates how he looks, and his smiles end up feeling forced. I kept having to get him to scrunch up his face to relax it, or have him make funny faces (yes, at himself) that made him laugh and look natural afterward. When neither of those tactics worked, I resorted to making fun of him myself, in a loving sisterly manner of course.

This is his "yeah, I'm cool" smirk. I think this was in response to my mocking.

This was the front of his class t-shirt for the year. I appreciate the pun.

He rolled his eyes when I asked him to do this series. He thought it was lame. For me, however, I think of high school graduation as a great accomplishment, so I wanted the illusion of height. There's also a lot to balance, especially for this particular senior (more on that later). It felt like it fit, at least for him.

One of the things my brother has balanced throughout his high school years is active participation in the Boy Scouts of America. He received his Eagle Award just a week or so after these pictures were taken, and since my dad was the one to present it to him, we snuck it onto the uniform in the meantime.

Every good Boy Scout knows how to start a fire. Years ago my sister started a tradition of burning homework and essays at the end of every school year, in a pit in my parents' backyard. Clayton continued that tradition.

This is pretty awesome. Clayton was selected as one of 141 graduating seniors across the country to receive the honor of Presidential Scholar. He and my parents traveled to Washington D.C., where he received this medal. His name, the president's signature, the title of the honor, and a relief of the White House are on the back.

So this is kind-of a funny story. It is to me, at least. I wasn't going to suggest pictures by the flowers, because I figured he'd scoff and not like the idea anyway. To my surprise, Clayton said he liked these particular flowers and wanted a couple of shots by them. He had actually planted them himself, so that might have had something to do with it -- I'm not sure. This face came about while I was making fun of him about the flowers, and also teasing him about his lady-charming dimples. This is really one of my favorite photos of him to come out of this session, though he might disagree. It looks very natural to me, my brother as I know him.

"Take a picture of me staring off into my future." Pretty much that's what this is.

Oh yes, he was valedictorian. Did I also mention that he scored a perfect 36 on the ACT (on his first try), participated in the soccer, swim, and tennis teams for four years each, and is now attending the University of Southern California on a full-ride scholarship? Yeah, I'm pretty proud of my "little" brother.

1 comment:

Jillian said...

Wow! you got some great shots, and it sounds like you got a great brother, too!