Grinnell Senior: Hannah

I’ve been really blessed to photograph some amazing high school senior girls this year.  All of them seem so wonderful, sweet, and kind!  Either that, or I’m just easily fooled 🙂  But I sincerely doubt it.  Further proof that today’s senior is amazing?  Hannah went through not one photo session, but two.  And she did this with the utmost grace and understanding.  Why?  Well, let me tell you a story of every photographer’s worst nightmare…

We had her first session back at the beginning of August, on a picture perfect late summer day.  My amazing stylist, Megan, came over to Hannah’s house for her hair & make-up, and we were off to shoot at some favorite locations around town.  I absolutely LOVED the outfits Hannah brought, and she was a natural in front of the camera.  Everything was perfect!  The only slight mishap was when I mistakenly backed my car into a tree near the end of her session.  At least nobody got hurt!

The next day, I went to post a sneak peek from her session on Facebook as I normally do, and I was greeted with a frightening reality – my computer would not recognize the compact flash memory card with all of the photos from her session on it.  Cue panic!  I tried a different card reader, attempted hooking up my camera directly to my computer with a USB cable, made sure it wasn’t the cords by trying a different compact flash card (that wasn’t it…) and I even thought maybe some fierce air blowing might do the trick.  I was pretty desperate!  The crazy thing was that I knew there were photos on that card.  We had seen them on the back of my camera the night before!  And yet, both my computer and my Nikon D700 refused to acknowledge that this particular card had anything on it.  It was like everything vanished into thin air.  I was completely distraught.

After asking a few other photographer friends what their advice was, I checked with the PPA (Professional Photographer’s of America) to see if there were any additional options available.  I’m SO glad I’m part of this organization, because they are truly there to serve photographer’s and their clients.  Luckily, there is an amazing company called Drive Savers that offers discounts to PPA members.  They do crazy things like rescue data from hard drives damaged in the Fukushima reactor and tsunami disaster in Japan, or recover files from computers that were crushed in the 9/11 attacks.  I was pretty sure they could help me with my measly still-in-one-piece compact flash card.  It was going to cost me and arm and a leg if it worked, but I didn’t care.  Hannah’s session was completely worth it, and they were counting on me for amazing senior photos, and I was going to do everything in my power to deliver on that!  So, I sent my card off to California, and patiently waited.

Several days later, I finally got the call.  My hopes were high and I thought that surely things would be okay.  However…dun dun duuuuuun.  The card was damaged beyond their ability to recover anything.  Every photo from Hannah’s gorgeous senior session was gone.  Just like that.  Their suspicion?  I had a card reader with bent pins that messed up the card.  Thankfully, I had already thrown out my old one when this all had happened and replaced it just to be extra careful, but I just couldn’t believe that something so basic could cause so much trouble!  It was also completely devastating to hear that I would never see those photos, and neither would Hannah and her family.  I was completely bummed, sad, and heartbroken.

I immediately called up Hannah’s mom and explained the situation, and I could tell that she was also sad, but was gracious and understanding.  At this point, there was truly nothing more I could do other than offer to reshoot her session for free.  We talked about dates, and we were able to get something scheduled for just a few days later.

Thankfully, we were blessed with an equally, if not more, gorgeous day for Hannah’s second senior photo shoot!  We revisited locations, and even added a few new ones, and because she had done it once before, she was a complete pro at posing.  She looked fabulous, didn’t complain for one second, and had an equally enjoyable experience as the first.  I have to give her a HUGE thanks for being so pleasant to work with.  I know that no photographer ever wants to lose files or have to go back to a client with bad news, and I’m grateful that she was positive the entire time.  It made the second shoot just as much fun as the first!

So, Hannah – thank you!  Thank you for being amazing.  And your parents too.  Oh my goodness, they are the best!

I hope you love your senior photos, and I hope you have a fabulous senior year 🙂


This outfit is my absolute FAVORITE from any senior session this year.  I love the vintage blazer with the modern skinny jeans!  Hannah totally pulled it off perfectly!

Many thanks to Hannah’s friend, Mitch, for letting us shoot a few photos out at their gorgeous property!

Nothing like a good laugh (and that adorable nose wrinkle!) to make everyone else smile 🙂

Enjoy your senior year, Hannah!



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