Fall is a beautiful time in New England with pretty spectacular foliage, which coincides with high school seniors having their photographs taken for their yearbook.

Sam chose Goddard Park as the location for his shoot. Goddard park offers a beautiful natural environment with vast fields and forest areas that host a variety of trees from all over the world, including 62 deciduous and 19 evergreen species. In the fall, it is a pretty colorful place.

We met in Mid-October when the foliage was past its sell-by date, but there were still pockets of color. I arrived early for the shoot, as I usually do, to scout the area for locations. I know Goddard Park very well, but it the fall, it changes from week-to-week. It was clear that depth-of-field was going to be my friend today as I would have to turn sparsely clad trees and bushes into a blanket of color. My goal was to create a ‘Monet’ like background.

There was only one lens that could do what was required today; Canon’s ‘L’ Series EF 85mm f/1.2, it truly is a beautiful portrait lens, and I paired it with a Canon EOS 1DX body.

I was excited by the proposition of an overcast day to work with, but that called for fill-flash. I used a Canon 580 EXII with a Gary Fong diffuser, and to make sure that there were no battery issues in the strobe, I used a Godox external battery pack, which comfortably clips on to my belt.

All set, Sam, his mother Cheryl, and I ‘went walk-around’ to the chosen spots. Together we shot a nice portraits at all of the places I had scouted with the image below being the standout image and the photograph that will be used in the yearbook.

In this location, I opened the lens up to f/1.8, which created a beautiful background canvas out of something that was visually unappealing. I needed very little fill and set the strobe to 1/16th power.

(Other settings: ISO100 and the speed was 1/320th)

high school senior, boy, in front of a yellow bush