college grad portrait session

UW Seattle College Grad Portraits by Victoria Lemos

WOW. I am so pleased with this session. If you don't already know, nature is my absolute favorite setting to shoot portraits in. I fall in love with greens and the bright florals of spring and summer here in Washington. The beautiful colors add the perfect touch of character in portraits of all kinds. 

UW Seattle campus is a favorite location of mine, so when Jennifer's mom reached out to me about taking Jennifer's college grad portraits there, I was so excited! The shoot went so well. Jennifer had the cutest outfit, and her red lip color was everything. I was having so much fun taking photos of her that I lost track of time and we ended up shooting longer than what we had scheduled! 

Here are a few of my favorite shots. Make sure to book your college grad portraits ASAP!

Congrats, Jennifer! 

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Creative Collab. - Diana (@dianafedorov), Snohomish WA by Victoria Lemos

One reason I love photography and social media so much is because it has led me to meet people I would never have met. Diana and I had been Instagram friends for awhile and had talked multiple times about getting together for a group shoot. We tried making it happen more than once, but it never worked out until a few weeks back when we finally were able to meet.

Last minute we were able to get two girls (via Instagram) to meet with us in Snohomish and pose in front of our cameras for creative purposes. We just wanted to have fun. Diana is from the Snohomish area, and I've always wanted to explore that part of town more, so it worked perfectly. We met at a park and had so much fun bouncing ideas off of each other and shooting freely. Diana even brought along a reflector, a tool I don't usually use during my shoots at all. Using it during this session though made me realize how I seriously need to consider utilizing it more often! The light was perfect. Our models, Asher and Brittani, were so laid back and easy to work with too.

Diana has quickly become a fellow creative who I support and consider a friend. We definitely want to shoot more together, hopefully, this summer. Here are a few of my favorite captures from our group shoot. Check out Diana's work on Instagram @dianafedorov. 

Northwest University College Grad Portraits by Victoria Lemos

Wow, I'm a bit sad typing this blog post because the person I shot photos of became such close friends with my sister and our family as a whole. I'm so thankful though that Alyssa chose me to capture this special milestone. It's definitely an accomplishment, and although she's on her way back home to California, she has a lot to look forward to (including graduate school)! 

For her graduate pictures, Alyssa wanted the Seattle city skyline incorporated somehow, so we chose the perfect boardwalk near Alki Beach, and the results are amazing! We shot during weekday morning hours, so the area was practically empty. I'm so happy with how they turned out. The red dress she styled herself in turned out to be the perfect pop of color too. 

Congrats Alyssa! You will be missed, but we are proud of your accomplishments! You go girl. 

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UW Seattle Campus Portraits by Victoria Lemos

Another portrait session with Jennifer & this time we shot on the UW campus. I love this location because every time I'm here, I find new areas to shoot in. So much variety! This time we walked through the campus & looked for beautiful architecture and greenery that would complement her outfit looks. 

Jennifer has become a very regular client of mine for the past few months & we are planning on working together more until the end of October. I'm so thankful for the connections I've made through my photography. Social media serves as a huge help; I don't know what I would do without Facebook, Instagram, and my website, but I also know that it's because of my unique talent that people want to work with me and will continue to do so. 

I've been photographing for around six years now, and it's taken me a very long time to get to where I am today. Comparison always has (and sometimes continues) to be something that I struggle with as a content creator because photography is common; even more so in Seattle & online. I always remind myself though that people appreciate my work for a reason. It's entirely created by me only, and no one else has taken a specific image or can take the image exactly as I do. 

I love what I do, and I'm even more in love that I'm able to connect with others & build relationships with people that I'd never been able to meet if it weren't for my photography. I thank God for this gift & I plan on learning more, growing more, and shooting way more until I no longer can. 

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UW Campus Portraits w/ Ava by Victoria Lemos

The past few weeks have been pretty busy & stressful (LSAT studying is no joke) but I really want to get a few blog posts up before this month ends soon. I had quite a few sessions & I want to share my favorite images from each! 

A few weeks ago I was thinking about finally shooting creatively again since it's been a few months. Usually, I'll just look for potential models on Instagram & reach out. I was in the process of thinking about styling ideas when I received a DM from Ava who asked if I'd be interested to shoot! I immediately knew I loved her look so after discussing styling ideas we agreed to meet at UW Seattle campus & take some portraits. At this same time, I had found a Brandy Melville account specifically made for the new Washington location. I had contacted the account manager and she linked me a few potential models I could work with for the brand. Once Ava and I met up, I realized she was wearing Brandy Melville (coincidentally) so I knew right away I wanted to send a few images to the account. Here are a few of my favorites! We ended up being featured & that to me, is pretty cool. Brandy Melville is known for only advertising using white models so I'm happy we were able to bring beautiful diversity into the mix. 

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Northwest University College Grad Portraits by Victoria Lemos

So I have a sister. I have two younger sisters actually. One of them graduated college the same time as me because she chose running start in high school, which carried her over to my graduating class. The cool thing about this is that we just celebrated with a conjoined grad party & I got to take her college grad portraits! 

It's funny; actually, my sister Nicole was my very first subject and model. I first began experimenting with photography in high school, and I remember us both getting creative during free time at home - we'd style her outfit for the shoot and take photos in the backyard. Back then I just wanted to practice for fun! I never thought I'd end up shooting portraits as a job. She modeled for me so many times that I got accustomed to knowing her "good angles" & was able to boss her around to the extreme to get the best shot. Because of this, I gained a set of skills that allowed me to venture onward, photographing other subjects, and eventually choosing to build portfolios that would display my portrait work for others to see.

We don't really shoot creatively like we used to (she won't let me boss her around anymore) but special occasions are the exception. For this shoot, we both knew white would be prettiest especially during late spring time. We drove to her campus in Kirkland and found gorgeous cherry blossom trees near the front parking lot. After about 10 minutes there, we drove 5 minutes away to Heritage Hall - one of my favorite locations because there is a lovely old white building used for weddings that is incredibly photogenic. 

Oh, and did I mention? Nicole will be pursuing a doctorate in psychology this coming fall, and I couldn't be more excited about it. A doctor in our family. Amazing. Congratulations Nicole!

I'm so happy Alyssa was able to join our shoot as well. She was there for moral support & extra laughs. Nicole & Alyssa actually met during their first week at NU and have remained best friends (even roommates) ever since!

I'm so happy Alyssa was able to join our shoot as well. She was there for moral support & extra laughs. Nicole & Alyssa actually met during their first week at NU and have remained best friends (even roommates) ever since!

UW Seattle Grad Portraits by Victoria Lemos

Okay, so middle schoolers these days are way cooler than I remember. Alissandro captured this transitional milestone from middle school to high school and at no better location than the UW Seattle campus. Can't wait to see him studying here someday in the future!

I always love shooting at the UW Seattle campus because it's so huge, spacious, and the architecture is gorgeous. Every time I shoot here I find new little areas to shoot my subject in front of. I spotted a nice wooden bench on my walk to find Alissandro and made note of it so that we could take some portraits there. This was my first time working with a middle school graduate and I'm so happy with the results! The greens and browns go so nicely with his gray suit and leather brown shoes. Alissandro was so easy to work with and really knew his angles.

Congrats Alissandro!

Seattle University College Grad Portraits by Victoria Lemos

Another college grad portrait session and I'm not complaining. This was a few days ago during 78-degree weather in Seattle! Summer has arrived early it seems, so I'm trying to take advantage of the sun with no time to waste. 

I've worked with Anna more than a few times already so I was excited to see her again and shoot her grad portraits. We walked through the campus and found the prettiest backdrops to shoot in front of. Her dress and shoes were also a plus; they worked so well with the colors around us! I'm really happy with how these images turned out all around. Congrats Anna!

Seattle Pacific University College Grad Portraits by Victoria Lemos

Yay for quick editing! Yesterday morning I had a college grad session at SPU with Aerielle and I just now sent them off. I already received feedback from her, and I'm so happy she loves them just as much as I do! 

Aerielle contacted me not even a week ago, and since I had availability Sunday morning, we were able to book her session with no time to waste. She's graduating from SPU in a few weeks, so we decided to shoot the portraits on campus. This was my first time on the campus, and it was beautiful! We mainly shot in a spacious courtyard filled with lots of green trees and cement steps. The weather in Seattle this week has been surprisingly sunny and even warm, so the lighting was perfect! 

Congrats, Aerielle! 

Coffee Shop College Grad Portraits by Victoria Lemos

My third college grad portrait session; I'm honestly loving these all so much! Believe it or not, there is definitely a difference between shooting high school portraits and shooting college grad portraits. The excitement and feeling of accomplishment is there for both but unlike the poised and more uniform shots I aim for during high school senior shoots, college grads seem to desire a greater level of creativity for their shoots... maybe because they are finally done with school, and so they go into their shoot with a more carefree attitude! 

For this session, I shot with a UW graduate named Chengsu who knew she wanted portraits taken in a coffee shop somewhere in Seattle. Seattle coffee shops are my favorite to look for and discover. The interiors are always so unique, ranging from hipster to modern, and they're just cool spaces to be in to meet up with friends or catch up on homework/editing. We originially meant to meet up at Elm Coffee Roasters in Pioneer Square but didn't realize it closed at 5 pm (it was a Sunday, duh!). We then decided on Slate Coffee Roasters in U-District, and it was perfect! I've been there once before and shot portraits for Gold Magazine so I knew of the perfect spots for best lighting. Plus, it wasn't even too packed that day! 

I'm excited to share these simple yet cute and unique portraits and I look forward to shooting with more creative college grads & high school seniors! Congrats Chengsu!