Renee Back



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Family and Graduate Portraits | Bowling Green

I had known Amanda only online until this year. She often followed along with our photography page. But this year, she reached out because her middle daughter was graduating and she wanted to schedule graduate portraits. They also hadn’t had family portraits since the youngest was little, so it was time! I was so excited when we started planning this session. It seemed everything was getting in the way of the session. Summer plans, scary storms and work schedules, among other things. It seemed like things were never going to come together, but we were determined to make it happen!

family of five smiling at each other

I was impressed by the way they all came coordinated in various shades of blue! They looked great together without being all matchy-matchy! And each family member definitely had their own style. I love when people can express their individuality!

family of five dressed in blue and white all cuddled together and smiling at the camera

Amanda told me she had been a photographer for years. And now Aaliyah was getting into photography. Even the youngest just got a camera recently. So the pressure was on to get nice images and memories for this family. But with their sweet personalities and their ability to make each other laugh easily, we definitely had an easy job!

a father photo bombing his daughter in a photo of just her

Speaking of laughter, this moment really cracked me up. The youngest was trying to get an adorable photo of just her. Dad couldn’t help but photo bomb. The middle one is my favorite. That look on his face! All the while, she pays no attention. That’s just dad. Hilarious. Every girl needs a fun dad!

family of five sitting on steps and standing together smiling at the camera

Ok, back to our regularly scheduled programing, haha. The steps were such a beautiful area to let them just sit and relax for a more natural family portrait. They were such sports as I moved everyone all around in different poses. And what was really nice was there was no bickering, no complaining. Just sweet people enjoying their time together. Additionally, we even got to do a couple silly face photos to loosen up a few fake smiles that crept in. Sorry, won’t be adding those on here. The family will get to enjoy them tho. Hope those bring a few extra giggles.

three girl surrounding mom and dad on the steps during their family session

That one is my favorite family one. It was definitely a hard pose to get in, especially for the youngest. I’m super proud of all of them! I may or may not have been standing on my tip toes struggling to see the screen on the camera held high above my head. But it was worth it for these amazing smiles!

portraits of just mom and dad sitting on the steps

Now it was time for a few photos of just parents and just kids. Look how mom and dad look at each other! If you want to get an actual genuine smile, just get two people who are in love to look at each other. Besides, he can make her laugh like no one else. When you can be married over twenty years and still make your wife giggle like when you first met, you definitely have something!

three sisters standing by each other and two oldest kissing the youngest

How sweet is that?! Each of these girls had their own distinct personality. And from the oldest to the youngest, they are less and less shy. Had to catch this kiss fast because for some reason we don’t want others to know how much we actually love our siblings. And these girls really do. You can tell how much they love each other. But it’s embarrassing to show it to the public, so we just did one quick smooch. Ok, maybe two…

three sisters posing and walking together
individual portraits of three sisters under the bridge at wku

Then we took a few individual photos of all three girls under the bridge at the WKU campus. The oldest graduated during the pandemic, so I wanted to get a few extra of her. And the youngest had so much fun shaking it out to get the real smiles. And one thing she said made me stifle a laugh. She said “I’m almost nine!” (hold on, that’s not the funny part) I said “So what does that mean…you’re almost nine?” She answered it so literally, “It means I’m eight now and very soon I will be nine.” Ok, touché haha. Then followed the answer I was looking for “in a couple weeks.” I love how kids have so much personality and you literally have no clue what’s going to come out of their mouths. It’s always so innocent but often hysterical.

senior girl by bridge at wku

Now it was time for just Aaliyah, or just Leah, for her graduate portraits. I was grateful that tho it was July, we were in between two heat waves and the temperature with the breeze was actually bearable. I felt bad that she was wearing a sweater so we did a few here and then took off the sweater as we got to the Colonnade at the WKU campus.

senior girl leaning on the columns in the colonnade at wku in her graduate portraits
graduate portraits holding her cap

We mostly did her graduate portraits with her glasses on. But we took a few with them off and as I could see her eyes better, she was even more stunning! We took a few with the cap and gown because whether you go to public school or you home school, graduating high school is a big deal! A lot of hard work went into it for many years!

graduate portraits with cap and gown

Does she look amazing or what?!!! That hair was totally on point! I fell in love the moment I saw it! We had a time with the tassel. Not sure why they turn as quickly as a two year old you tell to sit still haha. But we managed to get the 2023 in a few photos. Looking at this gorgeous girl, would you be able to tell that her fave classes were automotive and carpentry? That made me like her even more. No point trying to fit into a mold. We can each do what we’re good at and what makes us happy!

reading a book inside the commons at the helms library

Next we headed to the Commons at Helm Library. It had floor to ceiling windows, so the light was better than most indoor places. And Leah loves to read. So we posed for several reading photos and stood at the windows for others. We only had fifteen minutes before they locked up so we tried to find books quickly that matched her outfit. She looked right at home in the library. Reading is such a peaceful activity and, for many, calms us down.

reading a book and looking out the window during her graduate portraits
senior portraits looking out window and leaning on back of a chair

Once we were done in the library, we headed back downtown Bowling Green. I wanted to show her shirt off more against a city background. What a cool choice of clothing she brought!

high school graduate portraits in downtown bowling green ky
senior girl walking downtown bowling green

She said she was going to look awkward in her photos and she didn’t know how to pose. But would you agree with me that she totally nailed her session? She owned it! I was so proud of Leah and how confident she looked by the end of her graduate portraits!

senior girl leaning against a white brick wall and closeup of her salmon colored tennis shoes

She had changed into more comfortable shoes and she just looked so much more relaxed! And even though her shirt was a different shade of green, I knew she would look perfect by the green doors of Meltdown Ice Cream.

senior girl in green tee shirt crossing her arms by a green door
girl in green tee shirt with thumbs in pockets looking off to the right

As we wind down this session, we took just a few more on a nearby rooftop. I can’t say enough incredible things about Aaliyah. We very much enjoyed our time with her and she was willing to let us try a lot of different things. Our conversation flowed very smoothly and she was excited to get to attend a school soon for volunteer full time ministers. Her parents have so much to be proud of and so does she.

senior portraits leaning against a wall
headshot and full body of high school senior girl in green t-shirt

I want to say a special thank you to this entire family! They were willing to drive all the way from Springfield to Bowling Green to get these photos taken. I’m grateful they were so easy to work with and we both enjoyed every minute of it! We hope you love these photos as much as we do!

Love, Kevin and Reneé


  1. Tina says:

    My beautiful family! Great job with the pics. Love them 🙂

  2. Sally Back says:

    This family is beautiful inside and out. You did a fantastic job of capturing that and their amazing love for one another!

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