Driving The Back Roads: Crafting the Relish Senior Session

I watched the weather all week and Friday was looking spotty but I decided to keep my appointment with Bella unless it was literally pouring. I know that might not be the right choice for everyone, but Bella was one of my high school senior models and we were going out to play and experiment. Sometimes a little rain can make magic. 

A beautiful shot of senior model Bella in Jackson, CA

We met up after school on a Friday afternoon. After chatting a little about logistics and taking some opening shots in the spot where we met, we hopped in my car, bound for the Amador backroads via downtown Sutter Creek. Our plan was to drive slow and stop wherever we felt the pull to shoot. I saw a side street that attracted me so I parked on Main. But after a few shots and a little wandering, The Antique Gardener caught my eye and I put two and two together.

I was elated when we were graciously welcomed to shoot in the back garden. The Antique Gardener is one of my favorite spots in Amador County. There is something about that space that reaches me at a great depth. I would move in if they’d let me.

The Antique Gardener in Sutter Creek, CA was an amazing location to explore.

We relaxed and took our time shooting in that beautiful garden. After a few more stops throughout town, a little good natured heckling from “The Locals” (I’m looking at you, John Campbell) and a fun surprise bump into John Michael Poulson of Lexie Jean Photography (one of the area’s leading real estate photographers), we loaded back up and cruised on toward Amador City the back-back way (because since the highway got bypassed, the old highway is the new “back” way).

All along the back roads we stopped here and there to shoot in the beautiful spots we saw, and we wrapped it up by setting up studio lighting in a wide piece of road to catch an amazing stormy sunset. 

Stopping wherever we wanted was fun and relaxing.
The sunset was so worth the few drops of rain we felt!

Through the whole session we got just a few drops of rain, but the sky was gorgeous and it couldn’t have been a more perfect day. I’m so glad we went, and I’m so glad we worked this way. It’s usual to set a time limit on a session, or plan to shoot in a certain location because that’s convenient. But there could be no comparison to the rich story of Bella we created by tripping around together and following our hearts for the whole afternoon. I hope I can always work this way with my seniors.


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