Olivia & Sandy // SEU 2017

Very rarely do I do two sessions in one day. Even more rarely do I see the same people for both sessions. Sunday morning’s session was with Olivia. I met Olivia in a psychology class during my last semester at St. Edward’s University. After Olivia booked her session with me, she told her best friend Sandy about me, and then Sandy booked her session with me. Sandy booked the Sunday evening session with me. This worked beautifully because I did not know that the two girls knew each other, let alone are best friends. I also allow for my grads to bring a friend along to their session, so the other would be present at her shoot. Basically, I had a Round 1 and Round 2 with both them.


I drove up to St. Edward’s to meet Olivia for her grad session. I walked up to Sorin Oak at, around, five minutes until our session time to find her and her boyfriend Hunter already there! Very rarely do I find a client at our meeting spot before me, so I was impressed. Sandy arrived a little later. Poor Olivia had to deal with the frigid chilled morning. This was definitely unusual for us since we were dealing with 80 degree weather for the past few days. She handled it like a champ, though! Olivia was on the Topperettes during her four years at St. Edward’s, so we made sure to honor that part of her life by including her poms in the photos. Unfortunately, she couldn’t wear her uniform because they belong to the school and are lent out to the girls on the team each year. Her coach made a special deal with Olivia to use the poms. We didn’t take photos inside the gym where she danced most of the time because the light in there is less than pleasant, but instead we took photos outside the gym, so she was still near one of her most lived in places on campus. Hunter and Sandy were awesome cheerleaders for Olivia: helping her with her clothes and keeping her occupied to get those somewhat-candid moments.

While we were taking photos in front of the red doors, the wind started to pick up a little and actually flew up Olivia’s gown! She was wearing a romper, so it’s not like there was indecent exposure, but it was so funny for her to mimic Marilyn Monroe’s famous photo of her dress flying up.

After ending Olivia’s session, I went off to church leaving reminders for Sandy about her session that evening.


After ending my shift at my weekend job, I met Sandy and Olivia by Sorin Oak once again. It was warmer than it was in the morning which made things better for Sandy who definitely was not having the morning’s chilled air. As I started working with Sandy, I really began to notice how different the two friends are. Not to say either girl is better than the other, but they have different personalities that work so well with one another. I watched and realized how these two have an amazing friendship. Sandy and Olivia were supposed to be roommates their freshman year, so they started to talk with one another during the summer before their first semester. The two ended up not living together because Sandy was asked to live in a Living Learning Community, a special type of living situation that focus on a specific type of theme and the students share a common interest. Even though their living situation changed, the two still talked to one another regularly and became best friends. While Olivia was a psychology major on the Topperettes dance team, Sandy was a Communications major with a concentration in PR and Advertising on the Cheer team. Here you have two best friends, one as a dancer and the other as a cheerleader - seems poetic, right? Sandy and Olivia both graduated a YEAR EARLY. That’s really impressive. 

Sandy came prepared for her session. She did her Pinterest research and had ideas of where she wanted photos taken. It was important to her to go to different parts of campus. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to get her poms and uniform because it was a similar situation to Olivia’s. It was a bit more difficult as well because Sandy left the cheer team beginning of her last semester to focus on wrapping up classes and to prepare for the next part of her life. She did show her Topper pride by bringing a St. Edward’s flag that I LOVED playing with. We also got very lucky with the light for those images. There’s definitely something different about early morning light to golden hour at sunset. I also got to finally do my coffee photos idea because Sandy loves coffee. We went into Jo’s, the coffee shop on campus, and had her photos taken in the shop holding a Jo’s cup.

As an ode to their friendship, Sandy and Olivia took many photos together, and Sandy had some creative ideas that work with both of them. We did a few cap tossing photos, but the real magic was with the pink champagne Sandy brought. Together, they popped the bottle in front of Main building and poured it into champagne flutes etched with the university logo. The girls would receive these flutes a few weeks later during Hilltop Send Off, but they had to use mine for that moment. We took photos with the glasses and even got creative with putting their class rings in the champagne! Olivia wasn’t 21 at the time, so I told her she couldn’t drink the champagne to get her ring. Sandy, on the other hand, was. I got a few shots of Sandy acting like she was chugging the champagne and Olivia cheering her on. I feel like these photos were a testament to their friendship. They started St. Edward’s together, and they ended it with champagne.