Olivia | Senior Session | Arlington Heights Senior Photographer

I use to be terrified of Senior sessions. Truly, truly terrified. I went to Deerfield High School, and as an artist who didn’t quite fit in with anyone, those were probably the worst 3.5 years of my life, aside from the time I got to spend in the dark room and in photo class, obvi. I even spent my lunch period working on photography related things to avoid trying to find someone to sit with. Pathetic, I know, but don’t worry, I turned out alright.

That said, teenage girls scare the living crap out of me. However, over the past year I’ve been lucky enough to be chosen over and over again by this group of Arlington Heights / Prospect Heights girls to take their senior photos. They all know each other from the dance team, and have completely changed my outlook on senior sessions. These girls have been nothing but sweet and easy to work with. When I was a senior in high school I barely even wanted to take my yearbook photo, let alone do an entire photo session fully equipped with outfit changes and all. It’s pretty much a fact by now that this is the most photographed generation to date, so they’re pretty comfortable in front of a camera, which makes my job that much easier and more enjoyable. There’s nothing better than photographing someone who wants to be photographed. 

I reluctantly asked Olivia and her kind Mom if they’d be at all interested in moving her photo location to Oak Rest Farms Sunflower Field in Burlington, WI, an hour away from our original location. A fellow local photographer had shared this location just days before Olivia’s session and I wasn’t going to be able to sleep at night until I got someone to do their photos here. Asking a client, especially a new client, to drive an hour away to an unknown field that I’d never been to is scary. I always assume people are going to think I’m out of my mind when I suggest things like this. Olivia and her mom were both so quick to say yes! Her mom is originally from Wisconsin, so it was meant to be and made it a little more special! 

Olivia was sweet as can be as soon as she hopped out of the car. The fact that she brought her dog was even better...you know me...a sucker for dogs. Rosie has a heart wrenching story herself. She was thrown out of a car in a garbage bag with other puppies on the side of a highway. (If I remember the story correctly). These kinds of stories break my heart. I don’t understand how anyone can mistreat any animal or human like this. The good thing is that she has a loving family now, and they estimate her to be about 9 years old. I mean just look at her smile! I’m not sure I’ve ever photographed such a smiley dog before! 

We all got eaten alive by mosquitos that night, I can’t tell you how many little guys I edited off her arms from these photos, but I’m sure Olivia will agree that it was well worth it!  I’ve always dreamt about photographing in a sunflower field but have never even seen one in real life before.

The owners of this farm are absolutely incredibly kind and hard working. They are donating much of their proceeds to the city of Burlington, and many other great causes. Their season is over this weekend but will be back next year. If you go to visit it, please support the farmers and donate or purchase sunflowers ! 🌻