Category Archives: Recent News

Friday Night Lights: Divisional Playoffs

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On November 3rd, I arrived at Fenton High School excited for the grudge match of Fenton versus Flushing High School for the divisional playoffs.

Since Flushing High School is my alma mater--I graduated from there in 1984--this was a personal match for me. I have lived in Fenton for 20 years, and both of my children graduated from Fenton.  I know kids and parents on both sides of the game, so the emotional stakes were high. Add in the fact that this was the first divisional playoff appearance for Flushing, and you could feel the excitement in the air.

The game kept everyone on their toes. It started off in favor of the Flushing High School Raiders, who went up early, but the Fenton Tigers came back to tie the game in the second half. There were just 2 minutes left in the 4th quarter when Flushing sealed the game, scoring the game-winning touchdown. It was the first time Flushing beat Fenton since 1997, so it was a huge deal for the team.

Here is what the local news had to say about the victory:

In the postseason, the Raiders have grown into giant killers.

Flushing took down its second powerhouse program in two weeks, stunning Fenton 28-21 to capture the Division 2 district championship in what has swiftly become a memorable playoff run.

"This was a total team victory," Flushing coach Robert Oginsky said. "It was hard-fought, all four quarters."

I was able to capture the catch and the moment they reached over the goal line for the win--my two favorite images of the night. This is the reason I love sports photography: a single moment like that makes all the difference, and I’m able to capture that forever on film.

In addition to the game itself, I loved getting to see Fenton’s band at the halftime show. They played a medley of favorite pop songs that the crowd all loved. My son played in the marching band under Andy Perkins, the director, who is also a friend of mine, so it was great to see that the band is still just as amazing.

I also enjoyed getting to see some friends from high school that had come out for the game. A lot of them had kids on the football team. A few of my kids’ friends and other parents I knew from their high school years were there as well, adding a personal element to the photography I thoroughly enjoyed.

I love shooting high school sports. The kids pour their heart and soul into it--from the practices to the game. They play for the love of the game and for their school, and I am always thrilled to be able to capture those moments. It’s an incredibly rewarding experience to follow these kids’ careers through high school and beyond--both athletically and academically. They’ll remember these victories for a lifetime, and I’m so proud to play a small part in that.

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clarkston senior session john ransom

I met up with Avery on August 31st for a senior session in downtown Clarkston.

This was a special session for me, because I know Avery’s father, Thom. It meant a lot to me that my friend trusted me enough to ask me to photograph his daughter’s senior session. I take that trust very seriously.

Avery is a senior at Lakeland High School and is looking forward to graduation, though she still isn’t sure where she will go to college. She was a little shy when we started the session, but after I had shown her a couple photos from the back of my camera, she smiled and said, “Yes, I like those.”

Later in the session, after I showed Thom a photo from the camera, he said, “I’ve never seen my daughter more beautiful.”

clarkston senior session john ransom

I was stunned—and completely flattered—by the sincere compliment to my work. Of course, I only did part of the work: Avery is simply a beautiful model.

This session was also the first time I had met Avery’s mother, Carrie, and I was so impressed with how much Thom and Carrie pitched in to help Avery be comfortable and have the best session possible. Carrie was such a good sport to help me out by becoming my portable light stand, holding the light and reflector where and when I asked her too. She also helped Avery out with her hair and threw out some posing ideas as we worked. I love it when the parents get involved in sessions like that!

We were able to get some great images around the downtown area, including one by a mural at the back of a new Clarkston restaurant, but one of my favorites was at the very end of the day. It was a spur of the moment kind of decision when we decide to go for the sunset image, and I love the way it turned out.

Thom & Carrie, thank you for trusting me to take Avery’s senior photos. You have an amazing daughter and a beautiful family, and I honestly enjoyed spending the day with you.

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If you’re preparing for a photo session with your children, you may be feeling a bit apprehensive. Children aren’t always easy to deal with, which is why the below tips will definitely come in handy before your upcoming photo session.

  1. Don't make a huge deal out of it. If you're stressed out and cranky, your kids will usually pick up on it and act accordingly. Their behavior will usually be better if you are relaxed and having fun. You may have to make some compromises to keep the peace such as letting your energetic daughter's hair stay straight instead of curling it into because she won't sit still. Focus on the big picture and don't sweat the small stuff.
  2. Make it fun. Let the kids have a couple “fun pictures” where they get to pick their own pose or props. You get to keep the more serious photos while they get to keep their silly photos. This way everyone wins. If you are struggling to get your kids to sit still, turn the photo session into a game. Simon Says usually works like a charm.
  3. Be prepared. If you're going to be out for several hours, ensure that your children are well rested and have had their nap. Bringing some snacks and activities along is also a great idea. If you are having your own photos taken too then you might want to bring a babysitter or family member along to watch the kids. If you happen to be shooting in a remote location, you never know when you might need something like bug spray, tissues or a first aid kit so bring that along too.
  4. Be patient. Save your sanity by trying not to control the photo session too much. Sometimes the best photos come from kids just doing their own thing. Work with your photographer and your photos will look fantastic.
  5. Have a chat. Get your children talking to both you and the photographer about topics such as school or their favorite songs. This allows them to feel more comfortable around your photographer and will also give your photographer a chance to capture a few candid and cute expressions.

Gabrielle | Chesaning High School Senior Session

This past August, I met up with Gabrielle in the studio to capture her senior portraits. I love my work as a senior photographer because it gives me a chance to connect with amazing, driven young people like Gabrielle. Senior year really is the most exciting year of high school. Gabrielle is a senior at…
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