Senior Portraits at Sugar Loaf Mountain | Shelby

On November 5th, Shelby, who is a high school senior wanted me to photograph her doing something she loved. We decided to do her senior portraits at Sugar Loaf Mountain which is in the state of Maryland. The drive there was gorgeous. The leaves had already changed so the landscape was remarkably vibrant.

Once we started to approach the mountain area we were met with this extremely skinny and curvy road. It was definitely a back woods road that we ended up on since I most likely took a wrong turn at some point. Even though this road was difficult to navigate both of us were in awe with how the trees looked in this area. They were at the peak of their lives it seemed with how colorful they were and how many animals still inhabited the branches that were hidden by layers of colorful leaves that just added onto the beauty that we were witnessing. Which is perfect for senior portraits!

Once we reached the base of the mountain there was a road leading towards the manor that hosts wedding as well as a small town. This road started with a entrance that included 26 trees with one on each side of the road every five feet or so. We decided to stop the car and try to capture some portraits between these captivating trees. Sadly, we couldn't due to the high volume of traffic through this specific road. We continued further down the road which unveiled this interesting shack that was abandoned. Kyle and I got out and went into this shack to make sure that it was safe and to see if anything in it was interesting and would fit with our vision for the session. It did not, in-fact I am almost 90% sure that it was haunted.

If you couldn't tell we didn't do anything in that little shack, instead we ran out as fast as possible. We found a nice area later on that in on the bottom of one of the hills that we had to drive on. After we pulled over and got all of my equipment ready and Shelby had put her pointe shoes on we were able to start on her senior portraits. Shelby discovered a fence that ran the length of the road that we had parked on and was excited to start at that area.

We had Shelby start doing some poses and moves that she had learned from pointe. I'm still surprised at pointe dancers and how they aren't showing pain when they dance. I would totally fall on my face if I ever tried so I have to give her credit on her dance skills and her not-falling-over skills! I think having senior portraits of something that you love is important because it's unique. It's not the same photo that everyone has or has seen; it is unique to you. No one can do what you do like you!

After visiting a few more areas and exploring for new areas for the future, we decided to go to the top of the mountain. I will admit, carrying up a camera with no strap up a mountain was not easy, nor smart. It was dreadfully difficult to not slide down the rocks that we were scaling. The top of the mountain was stunning! The golden rays had just started to sneak through the branches of trees and turned the environment a nice warm tone.

The entire session was great. Shelby now has senior portraits that she will remember for generations and will also have a story every single time she looks at the images.


Michael Freeman

Michael Freeman Studios, 7709 Fairgreen Road, Dundalk, MD, 21222