Sandi Michelle Photography

Vibrant and joyful senior photos

A Cap & Gown and College T-shirt Photo Shoot at the Beach

      Each year, our cap & gown and college t-shirt photo shoot at the beach is always so special. After all, my model team and I have spent a whole year together! I’m always a little confused at how time flew by so quickly. We all blinked and then, it’s was here… our FINAL photoshoot for the year.

     It is both sad and exciting for me. Selfishly, I’m sad it’s over because I have fallen in love with my senior model team, as I always do each year. I know that this is it for us… BUT, I’m also excited for them because they have made plans for their future and where they will  be attending college. I try not to ask any questions about their college plans prior to our shoot, because it’s so much fun to see them when they arrive wearing their college t-shirts. There is so much excitement and anticipation for their future as we talk about all things college when they arrive. It’s so bittersweet, with an emphasis on SWEET!!! I’m always so proud of my team. This cap & gown and college t-shirt photo shoot at the beach has become such a fun tradition, I can’t ever imagine not doing this particular shoot!

College T-shirt Photos

     To start off our shoot, as I already mentioned, everyone arrived in their college t-shirts.  The chatter and giddiness of this moment was just absolutely adorable. Then we got to work, because we had so much to accomplish, as you’ll soon find out.

     We met up at Madeira Beach (my personal favorite beach in our Tampa Bay area). We quickly started individual photos of each girl in their college t-shirt on the rocks and then by the water. The beach is typically rather crowded on Sunday afternoons, but we made the best of it… some beach goers enjoyed cheering the girls on too, which of course, made the girls feel confident that they were doing amazing, which they were!!!

Celebrating with the Pirate Ship

     After everyone got their individual photos taken at John’s Pass Marina, we got in the water as a team, and played around and took photos. It was perfect timing when a pirate ship came sailing by as we were taking photos. We enjoyed taking photos with the ship in the background. They were celebrating on the boat, we were celebrating on shore… it was a sweet moment and I loved seeing all of the girl’s beautiful smiles.

     Next up, they changed into their dresses. It was a funny process, as the team much preferred my portable changing room in the bushes, over the beach bathrooms. The girls were all so chatty with each other and didn’t want to be apart, so… the bushes it was. They were getting ready for the next part of our session… Graduation photos!!!

Grand Finale – Cap and Gown Photos

     We started off with a few big group shots, then the individual cap and gown photos, and finally for the grand finale, we moved to our final destination on the shoreline, with the beautiful sunset in back of them. The sunset was so beautiful, the wind was whipping, we embraced it all, and the girls were so excited.

     They team loved running in and out of the water together, and we never quite coordinated them jumping up in the air all at the same time. Good grief… we tried… A LOT!!! But, we were just excited to be there, and we started running in and out of the water. Their excited continued to elevate as we got closer and closer to the end of the shoot. Once we finished our group shots, they all started squealing and jumping up and down, in celebration of their upcoming graduation. It was hard to believe how quickly our time had come to an end.

Grand Finale Photos… (Round Two)

     But wait… after all of that celebration someone asked for some individual photos in the water and, apparently, we actually weren’t done yet! Haha!! The light was still so gorgeous, and the post sunset water was beautiful, so EVERYONE got even more individual photos!! These were actually my favorites from the day because the light was absolute perfection and the girls were completely relaxed, excited… and not ready for it all to end.

     Well, eventually it did!! We went until there was literally no light left. One of the sweetest things about this year’s team is how much they loved working together and having fun, all at the same time. I will never forget this awesome class of 2024 SMP Model Team. They have been one of the biggest blessings in my business this year, and I will always remember each and everyone of them, and the things that made each one of them so unique! What an honor to work with them.

     Congratulations to the Class of 2024! I know there are parties and celebrations that are happening right now, and there are still a few more graduations to attend. I’m so proud of my 2024 model team this year and will be cheering them on as they head into the next season of their lives.

Class of 2025

My senior calendar is now open and you can contact me HERE to reserve your preferred FALL senior session date. I have already started booking Fall dates, so don’t hesitate. I want you to get the date that works best for you!!

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photography by Sandi michelle photography