It is "summa time" and boy is it HOT in our great state of Texas! It turns out that the senior session being shared today is the "Grand Finale" for my Class of 2018 model team! I still have other 2018 seniors to blog (only a few left)....but this grand finale is a little extra special for a variety of reasons....No. 1 being TODAY IS HER 18TH BIRTHDAY!!! WOOHOO!!!! Yes, this little sparkle of awesomeness is turning 18 today and with graduation just behind her it is the PERFECT chance for me to finally brag about this amazing young woman!
We have been planning her New York senior destination session since September of last year...it is hard to believe that so much time has passed. Why, New York? Well, lemme tell ya.....this tiny dancer spends much of her life dancing her way through the different stages of NYC. Attending intensives, classes and competitions seem to always land in New York. I mean, why not? NYC does have EVERYTHING and completely suits Hannah's style, sense of confidence and overall vibe.
The initial plan was that March would be perfect because it will be spring. My research even indicated beautiful cherry blossoms in Central Park and beautiful sunny spring like weather. After all, NY does fall into the category of having 4 seasons. Little did we know that a snow storm would hit the day of my arrival. There are a few things I can speak on with confidence...NYC does NOT shut down and in particular Forever 21 (Time Square)-they are open until 2 am and saved US BIG TIME! Honestly, that was our saving grace! We allowed ourselves time to buy things to accommodate the fact that packing consisted of SPRING and not winter! I had a vision going into this shoot and it turned out that everything fell into place perfectly. Without spending too much time on details, we found ourselves at the right place at the right time. Walking in SoHo I had envisioned Hannah in a coat that had a little bit of a dress like feature to it...low and behold one would be hanging from the awning outside a resale shop. It fit her perfectly! Thank God I looked up! We new we wanted some 90's glam to go with Time Square...well, Forever 21 seemed to hit it out of the park with all of their "MTV" looks. Finally, from back in September I knew it would just look perfect to have Hannah in a feminine tuxedo. Little did we know they would have the perfect one in H & M. Each part of the session unfolded in a matter of 24 hours! We were bustin' a move through the city and making it happen!
With the hustling of finding the perfect outfit we still managed some fun! I mean, you cannot go to NYC and not have a few spare moments of sightseeing. Ours would be attending Kelly and Ryan Live! It was a blast to be on the set and watch how the production went down! It would have been perfect if Hannah had been 18 to show her dance skills for the daily trivia!
We also attended the New York City Dance Alliance Foundation event. Hannah had auditioned the day prior and the event would be announcing scholarships at night. I found it so ironic that Hannah kind of "downplayed" her success at the audition and was remaining incredible neutral about her achievement. Her mom was even remaining very low key. Deep down I just had a feeling....and before the night would end she would be the recipient of a $12K scholarship from the foundation to attending the college of her choice! What an incredible achievement and honor!
Going back a bit regarding the destination session itself. I would never want to give the impression that a destination session is a "breeze" and just a mini vacation for the photographer; especially being so far away. Even with Hannah having been to NYC so often we had no clue what the weather would be like, the traffic and lighting. There is so much involved in making a session like this work. One of those things is having a senior and their parent being flexible. We did allow a "backup" day which is important and the biggest time saver for NYC was having a driver that I have used in the past. Shappel is incredible and made the trip perfect. He was able to get us priority parking spots so that Hannah could change for each portion of the shoot and made sure that she had complete privacy. He made her feel super special and helped us coordinate locations based on time of day, hair being down, then up, then down...and so on..ha! ha!
Hannah's signature look really involves her red lipstick...so keeping that looking fresh was key! She also loves wearing her hair down or in a pony tail. Those were wonderful looks for what we were doing and the hair and makeup artists we had in NYC (name to be provided later) really did an incredible job!
Now, a little about Hannah! I have to brag on my girl...I mean I have literally been keeping up with this young lady since her junior year. She just simply stands out. I never could put my finger on it...but she has a true sense of self and confidence that never comes across arrogant but always polite and always happy. Her dancing ability is truly her expression of herself and it is evident in each move. I am loading some video from instagram below so that you can also see what I have been privy to over the past couple of years.
Hannah graduated from Houston School for Performing and Visual Arts and has known for quite a while her career would be as a dancer. We have all waited for so long to find out who was the lucky winner of this amazing performer's heart for more learning and more growth....and the winner is....Boston Conservatory!!! I am sooooo excited for her......you will see only a few dance photos in the blog because honestly IT WAS FREEZING AND YOU WILL SEE SNOW TOWARDS THE END OF THE SESSION (BEGINNING AT HER DANCE SHOTS ON THE BROOKLYN BRIDGE)....although they are awesome, I want more of this girl doing what she loves most!
Hannah didn't get to this point in her dance career without help from many people, she has danced at Stephanie's Dance Studio, Becky's Academy of Dance, TopFlight Dance Studio and METdance. She has been mentored by sooooooo many people and has enjoyed her continuous learning process. I will say that the ones I have heard her mention recently have been Melissa Jackson ("MJ"...amazing apartment btw) and Jonnesha Hawkins Minter. Hannah was accepted into 10 college dance programs, 3 of them being Boston Conservatory (where she is attending), PACE University and Point Park University. I don't know how the girl manages to not want to pass out and sleep for a month! However, I can say....Lord have mercy....all of her hard work has truly paid off.
A few things to not about our session. We had such a wonderful busy day. Our locations (in case you are unfamiliar with NYC) were full of fun and a few surprise spots. We were using The Plaza hotel to walk through to get to another location when BAM..an awesome spot made itself known as a great spot for some editorial style shooting. Of course, we all know and love Time Square....we had a blast shooting in the middle of SNOW...it made for some incredibly fun crazy lit images that took me out of my comfort zone a bit...I LOVED IT! We enjoyed Central Park, The Brooklyn Bridge, Grand Central Station...many busy streets and of course, just our time capturing such special memories for an amazing human.
So without further ado....let me share with you the NEW YORK session that you guys have all been asking about! Hannah-I ADORE YOU SWEET GIRL-keep dancing-stay focused-never ever doubt yourself and keep that smile on....you know how to wear it well! xo -Mrs. Nikki