USNA Midshipman Marine in Uniform photoshoot at Bancroft Hall doors smiling with arms crossed.

There’s something incredibly magical about the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, that makes every photography session there extraordinary. But this time, it was not just any session; it was a celebratory shoot with a recently graduated Marine Corps officer, and oh, how splendid it was!

While most firsties choose to do their portrait sessions before Commissioning, Marines often don’t receive their uniforms until shortly before the ceremony! So, this Marine decided to just wait until after the ceremony to have his photos done. This unusual but delightful choice meant that everyone was relaxed, basking in the success of the moment. The stress of Commissioning week at the Naval Academy was behind him! The weather and light were our allies, casting perfect shadows and illuminations that made each photo divine! Honestly, this might just be one of my all-time favorite session results…And yes, I know I say that a lot.

Dahlgren Hall served as our first picturesque backdrop. The grandeur and history of the hall lent a noble air to our photos, making them some of my favorites from the session. Each shot captured more than just a moment; they encapsulated a legacy of honor and duty that resonates with every Midshipman who walks its halls. Because we were so relaxed, we tried a lot of posing I don’t regularly do. I also had time to really hone in on the detail photos of his cover and class ring. It was so nice to be creative instead of rushed!

Next, we ventured to the iconic doorway of Bancroft Hall. There’s a venerable tradition here that you may not know: only those who’ve graduated may pass through it’s front doors. Standing in that doorway, our graduate was the embodiment of achievement and pride. The significance of this moment, framed by the storied entry, was not lost on us, and the photos from this spot are nothing short of breathtaking if I do say so myself! And yes, I just rooted my own horn. TOOT TOOT!

No photoshoot at the Naval Academy Academy would be complete without photos in front of the iconic Chapel Dome. It’s a tradition for me, and each time, the result is uniquely beautiful. This session was no exception. The chapel dome, standing proud against the sky, provided a stunning backdrop that highlighted our graduate’s accomplishment and the serene joy of the day.

As a photographer, my hope is always that the families treasure these moments captured in time. But to take it a bit further; I hope these images don’t just adorn walls but become heirlooms, telling the story of a remarkable journey to future generations. May they inspire pride, courage, and a sense of accomplishment in those who see them, just as they did for us during this unforgettable photography session.

To this incredible individual who has embarked on a life of service and the family supporting him, thank you for allowing me to capture these moments. Here’s to a future as bright and promising as the day of your graduation, may these photos serve as a beacon of your achievements, and may they be cherished forever.

Kelly is a USNA Midshipman photography specialist in Annapolis, Maryland. She is also a Navy veteran, wife, and mom of 4. She talks way too much and loves to do anything outside! Find more out more about her on her website! Kelly Eskelsen Photography

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