Umstead Park Senior Portrait Session Jacksonville NC
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Umstead Park Senior Portrait Session Jacksonville NC

Umstead Park Senior Portrait Session

Shooting the Late Summer Morning Hours

Without a doubt, the late summer days leading into the fall of the year is a fantastic time for outdoor photography.

The greens have a softer glow to them, not quite the deep, dark shade they have mid-July.

The sun hangs a touch lower in the sky, allowing for shooting during later morning and earlier afternoon hours. This also allows the background shadows to become softer, allowing some light to trickle in, creating separation between subject and background.

This image was created around 10:00 on a early September morning. The sun had risen and was well into the sky by the time we hit this spot.

I had Kara work a couple different areas of the location and tried some different posing.

With the sun behind her, I needed to provide a little extra light on her face to keep it from falling completely into shadow. So, I used a flash to her left to add that little extra light.

The choice of a purple dress as a second outfit worked perfectly against the lightly colored stone wall, which matched her skin tones. The purple provided the right amount of color and pop to draw attention straight to my senior.

What Makes Umstead Park a Great Photography Location

Umstead is situated between Durham and Raleigh, squarely between I-540 and I-440 and accessible from I-40 and I-70.

In addition to being a popular location for trail running and hiking, the park offers opportunities for fishing and camping, as well as horseback riding.

During the spring and summer, the forest canopy offers gorgeous greens in the leaves and bright browns in the tree trunks to provide gorgeous backgrounds.

During the fall, the green changes to radiant oranges and reds, as the cooler temperatures signal the coming transition.

But some of the best features are overlooked. There are split-rail fences throughout the park often with stone clad buildings close by. There's a shallow stream that requires a short hike to access with large rocks dotting the waterway and small pebble beaches found downstream.

While the trails can be well suited for individuals or small groups, different parts of the park offer large more open spaces. And these larger spaces can be spectacular, especially in the fall.

Wider and longer paths allow the use of longer lenses and longer lenses create compression, a "drawing" in of the background. This compression is what helps create separation, drawing sole attention of the image to a subject (or subjects), while blurring out the fine details of the background elements.

When the background is dissipated, the colors remain. And these colors bring the life and beauty into the picture.

And with just under 6000 acres, you'll feel that the park is all your's. Even on it's busiest day, you can find yourself feeling lost, depending on the section you are in.

If you're looking for a great location for family or senior pictures, Umstead State Park should be high on your list, especially during the mid-fall timeframe.

I would love to chat with you about your plans and see what areas best fit your needs. contact me about scheduling your session during one of the prime times in the park.

Location: Umstead State Park, 8801 Glenwood Ave, Raleigh NC.

1/100; f/2.8; ISO 200; 110.0 mm.

203 Cedar Key Way, Newport NC - (252) 341-0974 - Call Today