David Suh Photography

3 Key Reasons Why Lauren's Grad Shoot was like no other 

David Suh



The photoshoots I had with my clients in the last couple months have been absolutely amazing and Lauren’s shoot has to be among my personal and my team’s favorite. There were flowers, tulles, fake Ikea plants, longboard, Vans, and one heck of a good time which made for some really epic grad photos.

And with any failure or success I have, I always like to analyze what contributed to, in this case, a successful shoot. After some thought I broke it down to these 3 key factors that greatly assisted me in creating these results.


1. I Build a Relationship With my Clients and Get to Know Them 

The first time I met Lauren was when I photographed her last year for my portfolio. That’s when she didn’t have the fro. A year after, I remembered she was graduating this year and she wanted to shoot again when she had a fro so I told her she has to pick me to be her grad photographer. And what do you know – that same quarter, we coincidentally end up being in two of the same classes.

We did a group project together, we talked about our professors and the class, we were in a lab with lab coats dying kombucha so we learned a lot about each other. This contributed a lot to the shoot because I got to know her fashion style, personality, and her background story a lot more. Which brings me to our second point…


A shot of Lauren from our first shoot from last year!!
A shot of Lauren from our first shoot from last year!!

2. I'm Open to Changes and Impromptu’s 

Lauren is a really chill and down to earth person. A few times we tried to plan Lauren’s grad shoot in class (yeap, I used class time for our consultation) and never really progressed anywhere in terms of determining how we exactly wanted the shoot to look like.

So in the end, Lauren said she has a number of cool outfits she wants to shoot and that was the extent of our planning.

On the day of the shoot while Lauren was getting her hair and make-up done, Maggie and I were looking through the outfits she brought and thought it could go really well with flowers. We brought it up to Lauren and Dana, the make-up artist, and we got a resounding yes so we styled white flowers into her hair style.

While shooting the next outfit, Maggie pointed out that it had a really tropical and jungle feel to it so she brought over a fake ikea Swiss cheese plant leaves and Lauren was enthusiastically down for it. Yeah we had a lot of fun with that one.

Our last hour was planned for a shoot on campus and that’s when I remembered Lauren longboards and thought it would be super cool if we could get her longboarding in our classic tulle skirt. As soon as I said that, it clicked for EVERYONE. Lauren had ideas firing off and Maggie was suggesting Lauren wears her classic Vans so it became this whole thing of yes we have this very flowy princess like dress but we have Lauren and her down to earth and fun personality coming out through her hobby of longboarding.


3. I Invest in a good team

Last but not least, I cannot have done this without my team. Everyone on the team plays a very significant role but it’s never tied down to one job. None of this would have come to fruition without the team. Make up artist was there to execute the hair style, Maggie was constantly giving styling ideas and making sure Lauren was feeling gorgeous, Lauren was chiming in and building the session as we went, and my assistant David was there giving me an extra hand with moving and placing the light.


In the end, it was having been able to build a relationship with Lauren that let me know about her style and down-to-earth personality which allowed my team to make creative decisions throughout the shoot.

What are your thoughts about these reasons? And how do you like the centered and clean format of the blog? 


  1. Venetia on August 29, 2017 at 5:12 pm

    Breathtakingbeautiful.u go Lauren.when I met Lauren she was a tomboy like little girl.didnt like to wear.dresses.look at her now.im stunned.Lauren is beautiful.very good work Mr Photographer

    • David Suh on August 29, 2017 at 5:20 pm

      Hahaha that’s awesome to hear 🙂 In a sense she’s challenging the stereotypes and gender roles with the image of her in the tulle skirt and longboarding! Thanks Venetia!

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