November 15, 2023
While photographing actor headshots for Billings West High School’s production of Mamma Mia last school year, I met a few incredible seniors: Abby J is one of them! I was ecstatic that Abby and I got the chance to work together again when we had this magical senior session.
We started the day at DanWalt Gardens. This venue is gorgeous for weddings and senior portraits! I can even imagine a garden party happening here amongst the flowers in bloom. Abby’s style is very earthy, verging on boho, so I love that we had this outdoor location that she seemed so at home in.
During our session, my friend and owner of DanWalt Gardens, Clint Lunde, even put together a special surprise for Abby! Usually, when the gardens host a wedding Clint opens a door above the lattice arch and releases bubbles that the couple walks under after the ceremony. How cute, right? Once he told me he was going to do that for Abby too, I was so giddy with excitement! The surprise made for an adorable candid of Abby looking up at all the surprise bubbles.
To finish off our time at the gardens, Abby had an outfit change, and truly, her sense of style is unmatched. She stuck with a cream colored top, but brought in a pop of color with some green pants. She truly expresses herself through her wardrobe. I love when I can highlight a client’s character through fashion that brings out their confidence.
Music plays an important role in Abby’s life, so finding a way to highlight that was even more important. Which is why our second location was Cameron Records. This place is such a hidden gem on Billings’ Central Ave. They have a wide selection of vinyl, cassettes, and CDs, and even host live music from time to time!
Posing inside a store can sometimes be tricky, so Abby really had to trust me on the first pose. Behind the scenes, she was crouching and felt like she was at such an odd angle leaning on the cassettes, but once she saw the picture, it turned out to be one of her favorites. To me, it’s giving Olivia Rodrigo’s Guts vibes lol.
For the second shot, we wanted to bring in some color while highlighting Abby. So, we laid out some albums on the floor, including a few of her favorites, which created this unique shot below. It gives a glimpse into something Abby holds dear to her heart, which makes the image even more special.
And our last stop for this session was just outside the Moss Mansion. If you’ve lived in Billings for a while, you may know the Moss is a staple location for photos and events! Every year they host a haunted house for Halloween and they’ve even hosted themed live-action Clue games. But even just going there for a tour you can get lost in the beauty of the grounds outside the mansion!
For senior sessions, I often encourage seniors to allow their mom to choose an outfit they can get photos in. Even if it’s just one outfit, this is a way I can incorporate families more into the session. Plus, it gives the seniors something they might not normally wear but will love the photos once they see them. Abby was no exception to this; she said these photos at the Moss are some of her favorites.
Even though the blue dress is a bolder color than Abby’s other outfits, we kept natural colors in the photos, as well as flowers and greenery!
It was a pleasure to work with Abby! We had such a wonderful session.
© 2022 ASHLEY WILLIAMS PHOTOGRAPHY