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Parents don’t let me photograph your seniors. We’ll probably break the law.

Kristen Kidd Photography loves helping high school graduates celebrate this seminal moment in their lives with unique and fun photo experiences.

Recent North Wales high school graduate, Sam loves photographing abandoned buildings. There he finds inspiration. Given time, in the dilapidation new life and possibilities rise up amidst the rubble.  He loves the idea of growth. Growth is also what makes him most excited about moving forward to college and fully entering adulthood.

As Sam graduates from North Penn High School and goes off into the world we wanted to create a series of photos that anchored him to his excitement about growth, new opportunities and his creative passion.

He can always find a lighthouse in the reminders of what matters most while he navigates uncharted waters in college and beyond. Sam and I discussed life now, life ahead and his session. It became obvious that the concept of his senior session should lean fully into this idea of emergence and possibility through his love for photography and deserted edifices.

Philadelphia Senior Photo Session with Kristen Kidd Photography
Having fun turning the traditional senior session on its head. Sam finds a random chair and takes a formal pose.

For Sam’s high school senior photo session, we obviously needed to search out some forsaken property and trespass. Luckily, Philadelphia has plenty of inspiration.

I told Sam to bring his camera. This was as much about him enjoying the adventure and photographing his haggard muses as it was about me photographing this seminal moment in his life in metaphor.   

We located an overgrown underpass in the Callowhill section of Philadelphia near an unfinished section of Railway Park. Here was a tiny forest come to life in the city.  The area was surrounded by chain link fence and nature took its course. We found the spot in the fence lining where previous tenants used metal cutters and rolled back a portion of the wall.  We pushed it back like a curtain and discovered a whole new world inside.

Senior photo session philadelphia Kristen Kidd Photography
Sam takes a moment to find his angle photographing an abandoned restaurant in Philadelphia

The vibrant mural depicted a beautiful orchard on the side of a ramshackle building and displayed like the city had a wish for days long before the buildings and asphalt.

We ended the experience with a small lap around the block where I noticed a restaurant I’d visited in years past that was now boarded up and abandoned. We decided to see if there was access to the outdoor eating area via the back parking lot. A gap in the fencing allowed us to slide through and revealed another world. Restaurant equipment lay fallen under trees with wild green growth weaving around metal.  The vibrant mural depicted a beautiful orchard on the side of a ramshackle building and displayed like the city had a wish for days long before the buildings and asphalt. It remained pristine. Sam took it all in, getting close up to the details and finding all the best angles.  

Philadelphia abandoned restaurant senior photo session
Sam picks his favorite tree in the orchard.

The session was the closest to Narnia I’ve ever been.

Albeit a twisted, industrial Narnia full of decisions and ideas long left behind. The scenery was tucked away and covered in tarp and plywood. Much like the miscellaneous draw we all have in the kitchen where we toss random things before the guests come over. A large scale attempt to keep that which we could not complete or find a home for out of sight and out of mind. Nonetheless, inspiring in its own right.

Kristen Kidd Photography Senior Session in Philadelphia
Sam explores the details.

This was all a practice in seeing the world through Sam’s eyes.

This was all a practice in seeing the world through Sam’s eyes. It’s one of my very favorite parts of every photo experience. The bridge between sitting across from someone and hearing them share what they love most and seeing it come to life in the session. The thing I love most is how I needn’t do a thing except listen, be present, open the wardrobe door wide and walk through. Like everything else in life, the magic is just simply there. We need only listen and walk forward.  The rest will reveal itself.  


Interested in booking your own adventurous session with Kristen Kidd Photography? Reach me by clicking the button. Or send an email to info@kristenkiddphotography.com