Every senior portrait session is like a story, with a beginning, middle, and end. And so was Tyler’s portrait session. Only, his story had a special wrinkle. Every part of the story was about the same thing: the Oklahoma wind! Oh my, on the day of his session, the wind blew and blew. Ten. Twenty. Thirty miles an hour. And when the wind gets going that fast, all of a photographer’s standard tricks for shielding your subject from the wind are challenged to the max. Place your subject on the downwind side of a large object (like a building)? The wind swirls around the corners and swoops right where you’re standing. Hold up a diffusion screen to block the wind? Don’t even think about it—the wind will pull it right out of your hands. Place your subject on the downwind side of two large objects (like two buildings at right angles)? The wind finds a way to skip over the top and swoop down on you. So what’s a photographer to do? Stay nimble. Keep laughing. And, most of all, notice that even the most steady of winds is not steady at all. It pauses. It blows. It pauses. It blows. It’s like the wind is breathing. As you get in touch with the rhythm of the wind, you can almost tell when it’s going to blow, and just when it’s about to pause. So when do you take the picture? Well, during the pause, of course!
Tyler was more than a good sport while the wind blew during his senior portrait session. He was having a good time, and so was I. Sure, he had to straighten his hair more than a few times. And we had to wait for the pause in the wind. But the outcome more than speaks for itself. The day may have been blustery. But Tyler, Senior Class of 2011 at Claremore High School, looks confident and composed. And why shouldn’t he? In Oklahoma, wind is so nearly an everyday thing that we might as well take it in stride.
Oak Tree Photography