Beth Shedd | Photography


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Senior portraits….a beautiful moment in time.✨

Senior Portrait

My daughters are well past high school now, and how I miss the rhythm of it. Pickups, drop offs, college visits, deadlines and everything in between.  Those years were so alive and full of connection.  So now, when I am asked to photograph a high school senior, it’s like grabbing just a tiny bit of that electricity and energy again…. and I love it.

My favorite time of day for portrait photography is during the late afternoon when the sun is deliciously kind to skin tones and foliage. It’s called the ” Golden Hour” and for good reason, as it bathes the environment with warm tones and a beautiful natural glow.

My favorite location is anywhere outdoors that provides open shade and late afternoon  reflections. I have learned to ‘hunt for the light’ and I know that finding it is a key to  great portrait.

I have also found that the key to a great portrait is a relaxed senior, and that as much as good light matters, feeling relaxed and at ease matters more than anything.

Senior Portrait

So, it’s a handy thing that I love connecting with people, and in this case, high school seniors who have so much ahead of them and so many stories within them. I love learning about their lives and what fills their worlds. From football quarterbacks to swimmers and photographers, I love them all and treasure the opportunity to hear from and capture the “real” them. Their future dreams, weekend plans and honest stories are fascinating, important and real.

The resulting portraits bring a smile to my face and one to the student and their parents as they remember that late afternoon photo session during their high school senior year.  My job is to make that memory count, and I love every moment of doing it.

To schedule a portrait session for your senior or to see more of my senior portrait work, please visit my website at http://www.photoptimist.com.

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Event Photography….Jenny’s Graduation Party!

Jenny’s Grad Party ’17

Event photography is a blast. You never quite know what to expect, and the energy is fabulous. Although I started my photography business doing only portrait sessions, after photographing my first event, I was hooked!

A bit of a back story on why this may be so….I spent nine years in capital equipment sales and those nine years were filled with a lot of “firsts.” First sales call, first sales meeting, first lost sale, first won sale, first equipment failure in front of a chief decision maker…you get the picture. A LOT of firsts. The night before every sales call was filled with a mix of preparation and anxiety, and each day was filled with knowing new people and new environments, and I loved the energy it filled me with. Connection became my calling and fed my heart and soul as I sold hematology equipment throughout New England. I saw myself as a problem solver and I prided myself on making people’s lives easier because of my equipment.  What to some might have looked like ‘just a sales job’, was something entirely different to me, because I loved connecting with my customers. Finding out what they loved and what mattered most to them was my joy and lead to many wonderful friendships and sales. Sales was not my focus, connection was.

Flash forward to my photography business and what has driven my energy….yes, I love the technology and the light, but what truly drives me is the people. Connecting with people because of my photography has been such a joy. And through an event, you come to meet so many people doing what they love to do while they are connecting with those they love doing it with. It’s like speed dating 20-100 people at a time, and it’s a perfect match for my personality.  The added bonus is solving the event-giver’s ‘problem’ of how to capture the memories and yet still enjoy the party…click!  I completely love my portrait business and getting to know the families, teens and adults who I have the privilege of photographing, and I am happy to say, that I also love my event photography and being a part of the memories, joy and connection that is the wonderful by-product of  group gatherings.

So, there you have it, I’ve once again found a career for myself that thrives on firsts, and I’ll be the first to say…I absolutely love it! 💕

Jenny’s Graduation Party

These photos are all from a recent event I photographed for the Spear family at Woodland Golf Club. I so enjoyed capturing their ebullient and beautiful daughter, Jenny, at her high school graduation party. Her gorgeous and fun-loving friends surrounded her in celebrating this important milestone, and their willingness to ham it up for the camera was a pleasure. It was a non-stop 3 hour event full of gathering and re-arranging the guests in multiple poses and settings, and we all had a great time doing it.

“We contracted Beth to take informal and formal pictures at our daughter’s graduation party.  The girls loved having their pictures taken and Beth made them feel so comfortable and captured unposed moments that ended up being all of our favorites.  Beth was able to gather groups together without being intrusive or taking too much time.  I would highly recommend Beth for any occasion!”   

Linda Spear, Wellesley, MA

Jenny’s Grad Party ’17

Jenny’s Grad Party ’17

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Photo Session – A Girl and Her Dog

This photo session was beautiful and bittersweet. I was asked to capture the close relationship between one of my senior portrait customers and her precious dog who was battling an aggressive cancer.  We met at their home after school one sunny spring afternoon, and what followed were some of the funniest, sweetest and most poignant moments between Bruce and his girl, Kate.

The funny moments came thanks to the 3 workers from National Grid who were jack-hammering right outside the window where we were shooting. Poor Bruce – the ever dutiful family watchdog – didn’t know whether to bark, whine or run for cover. Thankfully, he hung in there and settled into some beautiful poses with Kate, and what unfolded were the sweet and poignant moments that they had hoped for. RIP dear Bruce…you will be missed.

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High School Senior Parents…take note!✏️

If you are a parent of a High School Senior, I can only imagine the number of items on your fall “to-do” list! My head spins as I remember the lists I made in 2013 and 2016 when my daughters were seniors at Wellesley High School! I’m writing today’s blog to help you check off a few of those items (and maybe make your life a little less stressful in the process).

For 2 years I’ve had the pleasure of photographing Wellesley High School (and other nearby towns) seniors for their yearbook portraits. What fun I’ve had getting to know them as we chat together during their 30-45 minute session. I learn all kinds of wonderful things about them…their hobbies, pets, siblings, college dreams, best friends and even what side of their face they like best. What results from these casual and open conversations is a natural, happy and authentic portrait of your senior, one that can sometimes be difficult to get during those standard ‘big-box’ school photo sessions. My favorite portrait location is outdoors (my back yard, Wellesley Town Hall, Wellesley College, or your yard) with lovely late afternoon/early evening light. I also love soft window lighting and am adding an indoor studio to my options this fall. Continue reading


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Portrait Photography

“We really LOVE working with Beth.  She is so relaxed and immediately puts everyone at ease, which makes for great photos! We are so appreciative.”

Kate Hall, Wellesley, May 2017

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Senior Yearbook Portraits

jenny-spear-yearbook-photo-final

“Beth immediately made my daughter feel comfortable … resulting in many beautiful photos. The turnaround time was quick, and with Beth’s help we were able to quickly sort through all of the photos choosing the one that best reflected her personality.”

L. Spear, Wellesley, MA.

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Senior Portrait Session

“Beth has a gift of capturing the true essence of her subjects. Her gentle and very efficient style put my daughter at ease and very quickly we had so many beautiful options from which to choose. Her choice of background was brilliant and her eye for light just right. We would highly recommend Beth for this work that is so personal and important as it captures our lives.”

S. Williamson, Wellesley, MA ~ December 2015

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