Small Swims Big Time

I like learning what my senior portrait clients are doing at school and in their lives afterwards.  It’s what makes my work as a photographer even more fun. Take Andy Small for instance.

Andy had just come from a day’s work lifeguarding at Bayside Pool in Bellingham when he met me last summer for his senior portrait session.  We had talked earlier about what he might like to do during his session and, particularly, where he wanted to go.

Given that he was  on Sehome High School’s swim team and also working as a lifeguard, it seemed only natural that a waterside location might appeal to him. And it did.  He also liked the idea of finding a place that was quintessential ‘Bellingham.’  I suggested a spot down in Marine Park in Fairhaven and he liked it.

Andy showed up after a lifeguarding job with a bright yellow shirt and a big confident smile to match. We 'warmed up' on the shore before moving down to the water for his senior portrait session.
Andy showed up after a lifeguarding job with a bright yellow shirt and a big confident smile to match. We ‘warmed up’ on the shore before moving down to the water for his senior portrait session.

We did what I call a few ‘warm up’ shots on the shore to start with before moving closer to the water.  The evening couldn’t have been more ideal. He ended up with many great images which we put into a beautiful, customized ‘memory book’  for him.  One  was chosen for a wall-size canvas print for his family’s home which his mother, Elaine, says changes its look with the light in the home.

As we worked,Andy and I  became better acquainted.  I learned that he was looking forward to his last swim season in the winter with the Sehome team.  Being a swimmer myself, we had a lot  to talk about.

This last Saturday, Andy’s high school swimming career came to a close as the Sehome Mariner’s competed in Federal Way for the state Class 2A title. Sehome’s team has long dominated the sport in its class.  For the past four years, it brought home the first place trophy.  But this year  the title was taken from them, but just by a mere 30 points, to Seattle’s Archbishop Murphy’s squad.

I love this image of Andy and so does his mother who says: "This portrait is absolutely beautiful and depending on how far you turn the dial for the spotlight (that shines on it), it can range from something that looks like a sunset, to a scintillating sunrise to full daytime."
I love this image of Andy and so does his mother who says: “This portrait is absolutely beautiful and depending on how far you turn the dial for the spotlight (that shines on it), it can range from something that looks like a sunset, to a scintillating sunrise to full daytime.”

Andy, however, secured a first place spot of his own with his Sehome teammates Patrick Gregory, Isaiah Grambo and Isaac Day in the 200 medley relay.  He also clocked in faster on the final day of the meet in the 100 backstroke to take fourth place at 56.77 seconds.   There’s a great shot of his launch in the race \on the Bellingham Herald’s website.  (I’d share it with you here but, for copyright reasons, I can’t.)  And he, along with teammates Grambo, Larson, and Curran Wilbour came in fourth in the 400 meter freestyle relay.  Altogether the Sehome swimmers garnered 237 total points, just 30 short of Archbishop Murphy and well ahead of most of the other teams.

So while the team didn’t bring home the title this year, they didn’t fall far.  And for Andy, it was a good finish to a senior year.  At the team’s banquet this week, he received the coveted Coaches Award. Congratulations, Andy!

Here’s the link to the Herald’s article and photos:  http://www.bellinghamherald.com/2013/02/17/2883420/sehome-swims-to-second-place-at.html#storylink=cpy

HEADS UP:  If you a current or past senior portrait client of mine,  let me know what you’re doing.  Not only would I love to hear but I’d like to share it with everyone on my blog!

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