Posts Tagged ‘senior pictures’

Tampa’s Bumper Shot Photographer

The high school senior picture season is just getting underway, and there will soon be a mad rush to get an appointment with your school’s contracted yearbook photographer. I feel for those poor guys – they have to shuffle no less than 10k students past their camera in a few short months. They beef up their staff for the summer, then thin it back out by fall. Wow.

Fortunately for independent professional photographers like Newsome’s, we have the luxury of scheduling as much time as necessary to provide high school seniors with what they really want – a chance to be photographed like the star they are!

Thus, was born, the Bumper Shot!

At Newsome’s Studio, we provide the traditional, classic, head & shoulders in a tux or drape (but always on a classic black background, never BLUE!), then we do a few casual images in outfits our seniors bring, and then… we launch into the BUMPER SHOT!

In the television industry, a Bumper Shot (also known as an ID Bumper), is the image that “bumps” up against the return of a show from commercial break. It often lasts all of three seconds, but features the show’s logo and guest host or musical guest for that particular show. You’ll see it five to six times during every episode of Saturday Night Live.

This is where our seniors get the opportunity to break with tradition, and really ham it up for the camera. Props are encouraged, anything from a jar of peanut butter to a lampshade have been brought in and utilized. It helps to be animated, comedic, and playful, which our seniors today seem to have no problem with.

So, if you’re a high school senior, feel free to tap your “inner guest host persona,” bring us a banana, a Mother Goose book, or a tool from the garage, and let’s have a bit of fun creating your own personal Bumper Shot!

This is 2017. Let’s have some fun with your senior pictures.

I have a deep admiration for the work done by Mary Ellen Matthews, the talented artist behind the lens for the SNL bumper shots each week. A bumper shot is the image you see of that week’s guest host or musical guest, that appear for all of three seconds as the show returns from commercial.

Mary Ellen Matthews has been creating those images since 1999, and her body of work to date, is an incredible gallery of musical, theater, and political icons of the last twenty years. Celebrity subjects aside, the images are fun, creative, zany, off-the-wall, dramatic, and utilize a slightly softer color palette than Peter Max used when stormed the art world in the 60’s.

The beauty in her assignment, is that she is working with professionals. She has an incredible team surrounding her, a world class wardrobe and prop department, and the most animated human beings on the planet – all with a terrific sense of humor and are game for anything. Some are among the most beautiful beings on the planet, some are as cosmetically challenged as the rest of us, but ALL are willing have some fun and mug it up for Mary Ellen’s lens.

This got me thinking… who among MY world as a professional photographer/studio owner would/could/might fit into that category? Who are my most animated clients? Who would mug it up for the camera? Who would enjoy the challenge of taking a common household object and turning it into an improv routine, just long enough for me to light, compose, and capture an image that could very well be THEIR bumper shot in life?

High School Seniors, that’s who.

So my challenge is on. My on-going project for the next few weeks is to photograph a handful of students and feebly and humbly attempt to create a bumper shot or two for each of them. With all due respect to the genius of Mary Ellen Matthews and her creative team, I know good and well that I can never fully re-create the incredible look that has gained her recognition on SNL, but my knock-off bumper shots are still a lot of fun for my seniors and worth the attempt.

All my professional life, I’ve been taught to refer to them as “senior portraits.” Google informed me that today’s kids never use that search term, they use “senior pictures,” a far less stuffy and informal term. Well, fine. Whatever you want to call them, just remember… these are NOT your parent’s high school senior photos.

Today’s senior had a bit of fun with the camera, as did I.

Thank you, Conner! It was truly a pleasure! Expect your SNL bumper shot series to be all the bait you need for Lorne Michaels to be calling soon.

senior-pictures-photographer-tampa-02

Third child I’ve done senior pictures for in this family. Couldn’t take a bad photo of her, even her BLINKS were post-worthy, but I narrowed it down to two of my favorites. Plant High School has always brought me some of the best subjects and this one was of my favorites. Enjoy!

Senior Portrait, Tampa

Senior Portrait, Tampa

B&W Senior Close Up

B&W Senior Close Up

Had a second senior picture session with Mallory, this time on location. Netted several incredible images (how could I not?), and am posting a few of them here. We are not the school’s official yearbook photographer, but that won’t stop seniors from seeking us out when they want something the yearbook photographer may not able to provide. Enjoy!

The tractor just happened to be there, but the three crosses in the background were the motivation for selecting this site.

The tractor just happened to be there, but the three crosses in the background were the motivation for selecting this site.

An open field of wildflowers (I really have no idea what kind they are), are always a bonus to use as a background (not to mention a hair ornament!).

An open field of wildflowers (I really have no idea what kind they are), are always a bonus to use as a background (not to mention a hair ornament!).

We do our share of senior pictures for Tampa’s high school seniors, but only a few times a year do we get the honor of doing college senior portraits. Today, we photographed Janelle, a soon-to-be FSU grad and Mellophone player in the FSU Marching Band. Thank you, Janelle! See you real soon!

The Traditional Cap & Gown Portrait.

The Traditional Cap & Gown Portrait.

Romero-4971rt

A casual, backlit shot in her FSU Marching Band uniform.