So, I had this idea to do a fun, stylized shoot at Ferne Clyffe, a beautiful location in southern Illinois I enjoy hiking. I wanted it to be something that showed off the possibilities of a senior shoot in a location fairly close to home with a dramatic style. I envisioned a flowing red dress, dramatic rock cliffs, tall forest, water, amazing light, and lots of movement. I had mentioned the location to Cailin, one of my Luxe Senior Models, and her mom during their consultation, and being avid hikers themselves, they LOVED the idea but her senior session was still a year away. So I said “Let’s go anyway!” I bought the red dress, they made a fun family weekend out of it, and we had an amazing shoot!

We showed up early to get setup and film some of my footage to open the video. We needed some establishing footage of the location, and a few shots to place over the short voiceover. Then, when Cailin arrived, we started the good stuff! We hit a number of different locations within the short trail back to the waterfall (which unfortunately wasn’t active at the time), including fallen logs, caves, rocks, some beautiful wooded paths, and a variety of foliage. Kami was the primary cinematographer (as she is on most senior shoots), I handle the photography, Sara was all things assistant, and Cailin’s parents were even put to work holding reflectors, throwing fabric, holding lights, etc. It was all hands on deck!

We finally made it back to the falls which were just a shallow pool of water at this point. Our light was getting low by this point, so we had to move fast. Cailin kicked off her shoes and braved the water for some of our favorite shots of the day! We knew we wanted to get the dress wet (which she was super excited about) but we wanted to keep it dry long enough to get her positioned across the pool on the waterfall side (which you can hike and it’s amazing). By this point everyone is soaked from sloshing around in water, so we waded out to help her across some stepping stones and into position. With lights setup, we filmed and photographed away for some truly original content.

Once the day was over, all that was left was a little post production magic! Check out some of the final results below!