renee bowen


Samantha | 2019 Senior Portraits | Renee Bowen Model Influencer



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Shooting with Samantha down in the Arts District for her senior portrait session was absolutely amazing (I know I say this a lot, y’all, but I have some pretty incredible clients).  Honestly, shooting in Downtown Los Angeles is one of my most favorite things to do anyway, but add a gorgeous girl to the mix and I’m pretty much in heaven!  Samantha is THE sweetest, but also adventurous – which means we were able to get lots and lots of images in lots and lots of different spots (but ALL within a 3 block radius! LOVE shooting in the Arts District!!!)


Samantha is a cheerleader for her high school – Saugus High – and has a natural, comfy vibe.  Her wardrobe mixed so well with our environment ….. and instead of changing a ton of times, we went with three solid outfits that she felt great in – which enabled us to shoot a little more (which I’m always a fan of).  The cool thing about shooting downtown is that the art changes every so often; every time I’m down there, I see something different.  Some things stay the same, but they photograph differently depending on the time of day, lighting, etc. so even though some spots I like are the same and I’ve shot there many times before, they will still look different with a new subject 🙂 

I absolutely adore this red wall we found and right next to it, this HUGE mural.  Samantha seriously is SO easy to shoot with!


I’m always looking for that yummy backlighting – and downtown LA offers a cool twist on it; because of the buildings, the light in the later part of the day bounces off the buildings and back onto us (so I don’t have to use my reflector as much).  I’m a big fan of finding natural reflection anywhere I go, but I especially love it in a “city”.  I guess I am just an urban dweller at heart lol … growing up in rural Louisiana, I would constantly dream of making it to either NYC or LA, and honestly, when I moved here in 1995, I had every intention of moving to NYC after I had soaked up enough of LA ….  guess I’m not done soaking it up! 


This killer pink wall is HUGE and was in the parking lot where we parked 🙂  Honestly, everywhere you look in this part of downtown LA offers an opportunity for awesomeness. 



So we passed by Salt & Straw and HAD to grab some ice cream …. if you guys haven’t been there, you simply MUST!  There’s one on Abbot Kinney we also go to and I didn’t even know there was a location here in DTLA!!  


This last outfit with the jacket is probably my fave … it’s also handy when my client wears jeans when shooting in DTLA because I can sit them on the ground lol!  (yes, the very dirty, very smelly ground).  Sam was a trooper!


Again with this light … these shots are basically straight out of my camera, by the way; very little color/editing was done.  Shooting right into the setting sun is honestly one of my most favorite things to do always, but Sam had a vision she wanted and luckily I knew how to achieve it 😉 

I’ve got a lot of behind the scenes on my instagram story highlightbts” AND also on the one called “learn” if you’re a photographer and want to check out HOW I use movement in my shooting style, so we get life and energy in the images.  Sitting still and posing is NOT something I do often – and if I do, it’s just a starting point.  I always tell my clients that I’ll get them set up into a pose, but I also direct them in the “unposing” of it … that’s where the good stuff is. 


When I’m downtown, I always have to stop by some of the Colette Miller angel wings … there’s a few locations of these around LA and this is one of my favorites – they recently painted this one again and made it pinker – which I LOVE.


Again, these last few shots are all on like a one block radius!  When I have so much to work with, I can shoot way more … get lots more images; when we have to travel back and forth and we’re chasing light, it can get stressful (and that’s the last thing I want my client to feel – stress!)  I want my sessions to be fun and easy; I want my clients to feel confident and beautiful.  And I want their parents to enjoy this as well – to savor these moments with their daughters 🙂  (Samantha’s Mom is WAY too much fun, y’all .. Staci, you need to come on more of my shoots lol)

Jami did such an incredible job with Samantha’s hair and makeup (as always, right?)  She is THE expert on keeping my high school clients looking like themselves – not covering up their natural beauty with a ton of makeup.  Most of my clients don’t even WEAR makeup on a daily basis ….. so the last thing we want to do is make them feel like someone else.  NEVER.  Jami and I created an entire makeup guide and video that I send my clients to prep for their session (they get an entire booklet and email from me … I’m nothing if not over-communicative lol).  You can check out more info on that HERE. 

The video and guide show a progression from very natural to a more “bumped up” version – and then a third option of “glam” for my adventurous clients (girls who love makeup and want to add a little more at the end of their session).  

Did you know that Jami is also available for weddings?  Yeah, and she’s FAST … your girl can get 9 bridesmaids, the bride and mother of the bride done faster than most makeup artists can do 3 people … it’s insane.  AND her makeup LASTS allllll day and night – my brides always look amazing when she is in charge of their makeup!!   

Hit her up if you know someone getting married! 

Update on my calendar: I only have a handful of spots for SENIOR SESSIONS left for Fall … but I’m opening up my January – April calendar now as well (and SPRING is a wonderful time to get them done – and there is still plenty of time for announcements, etc.)  

Use the form below if you want more info and I will send you the 2019 Senior Portrait Magazine!  I’ve got some awesome model team shoots coming up too … so watch the blog and my insta for those! 

xo, Renee

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