Want to know what to expect during your USNA Midshipmen Photography session with me, Kelly Eskelsen? Keep reading after the pretty picture!

Before Your Midshipmen Photography Session 

Paperwork for your Midshipmen Photography Session

Immediately after you’ve booked a USNA Midshipmen Photography session, you will have received an email with a photography proposal from me. This proposal contains your contracts and an invoice! It’s so simple to just follow all the steps to sign your contracts and pay your invoice online! No extra papers or remembering to send payments! 

Which Uniform to your Midshipmen Photography Session?

Everyone always wants to know, which uniform is best for Midshipmen Portrait Photography; The dress blues, or the choker whites? I covered that in another post! Feel free to browse there and make your decision! 

Where to Meet Me for your Midshipmen Photography Session

Your proposal email will have an exact location of where to meet Kelly for your Midshipmen photography session. However, as a general rule, if your session is in the afternoon, we will meet in the little parking lot behind Mahan Hall. If it is in the morning, we will meet at the Triton light. 

Check Your Texts Before Your Midshipmen Photography Session! 

I usually text to confirm your Midshipmen photography session three days before and again within 24 hours of our appointed time. At this point, if any changes need to be made in scheduling or otherwise, we can work together to do so! 

I Come With a Team to Your Midshipmen Photography Session!

For most USNA Midshipmen photography sessions, I will have an assistant with me to carry equipment and operate lighting.  This is usually my daughter, Kayley. But I also bring my husband or my friend Debbie at different times! Whoever it is, these three tend to be a lot of fun. It starts to feel more like we are all out for a walk on the yard than it does a photo shoot! 

Swee the bottom of the is post for photos of the three best assistants in the whole world! 

During Your Midshipmen Photography Session 

A Lot of Walking and Talking

I know Midshipmen are used to walking everywhere, and it is a good thing! During most Midshipmen photography sessions we walk more than a mile. For example, we will start at the Triton Light and slowly make our way toward Stribling walk, stopping at various locations which I will mention below. However, sometimes light or crowding forces us to backtrack several times instead of taking a direct route. Honestly, this walking is a lot of fun and we will talk along the way. This is when I get a chance to know you and hear about your USNA journey. Whether you are a Plebe and just got there or a Firstie and saying goodbye. I want to hear about all you’ve done and plan to do in the world’s FINEST Navy. I may tell you about my Naval service as well. But you are definitely going to get your steps in! 

Up to Four Locations

In most Misdshipmen photography sessions, we will try to make it to three or four significant USNA locations and then hit sunrise or sunset on the water, by the sea wall. I choose these three or four locations based on the light and activity on the yard on any given day. USNA is a busy place and always has a lot of events going on. At times, this makes iconic places inaccessible. But don’t fret! No matter which locations we are able to visit, I will make sure to get beautiful images that represent your time and the USNA! Below is a list of some of the common places I like to choose from: 

  • Mahan
  • Chapel Dome
  • Chapel Stained Glass Windows
  • Stribling Walk
  • Monuments and Bandstand on Stribling
  • T-Court
  • Bancroft Hall 
  • Memorial Hall
  • Red Beach
  • Dahlgren Hall
  • Santee Basin
  • Triton Light
  • Walking Bridge
  • Various places along the seawall

You can read more about my favorite locations for Midshipmen photography in this post.

If there is a location you love, a place you’ve felt at home, somewhere you are connected to via sport or studying, a favorite passageway, or any other area you would like to be photographed in, please do not hesitate to tell me before your session! 

Pain-Free Posing

The idea of posing can sometimes feel stressful for people. During my Midshipmen photography sessions, I have you covered! There are plenty of times when you will not be posing at all, but just walking or moving as you normally would. Otherwise, I usually have you stand where I need you to stand while I mess with lighting. Then I will give really precise instructions and prompts. After that, the actual picture part goes very fast and we are off to do more walking.  I promise you will not have to stand there with a cheesy smile and not know what to do with your hands! My posing is pain free! 

Kelly’s Jokes

Here’s the thing; apparently I am only about 36% funny. But when I get to use my camera I get all giddy and happy and start making really bad jokes. But sometimes, just sometimes, they are bad enough that you have to giggle. And then it really works for the camera during my midshipmen photography sessions. So I just go with it and fight my embarrassment later. But it keeps working. So I’ll just keep it as part of the process, not that I could control it even if I tried, and you can expect it during your session. 

The Hecklers

Consider it a rite of passage, but there is a possibility that you will be heckled by your shipmates while you are all dressed up and walking around with me during your midshipmen photography session. I’m sure you are already aware of this and may have heckled a shipmate yourself. This is completely innocent banter and usually quite funny. A lot of Mids laugh or even playfully encourage their unexpected cheering section to keep the noise coming. That said; I completely understand this is not for everyone. So, if you just can’t stand the idea of someone hanging out a window, whistling at you, and telling you how beautiful you look, you may want to book a sunrise session so the hecklers are asleep. 

The Goodbyes

Before your midshipmen photography session ends, you will have gotten a couple of peeks at the playback on my camera so you can see the images. You will have also had a nice walk and listened to some awesomely bad “mom” jokes. But now it’s time to say goodbye! Don’t worry, you will be hearing from me soon! 

After Your Session 

Sneak Peek

Within 48 hours of your Midshipmen Photography session, you will receive a text or email with a sneak peek of your session. This is a selection of 1-3 images I thought you may like for timely posting or sharing with family and friends! 

Gallery Delivery

When the gallery from your Midshipmen photography session is complete you will receive an email containing a link to an online, password-protected gallery of your images! This email will have a link to a personalized app, as well as instructions for downloads, prints, etc.  

The End

For me, every Midshipmen photography session is special and saying goodbye to awesome clients is bittersweet! The good news is that I am on the yard often and will likely run into you again. Please say hi! It is also likely that I will see you at graduation as I usually photograph for the Alumni Association. Also, if you stick around for Plebe summer, you’ll definitely see me out there documenting training events. But in the off chance, I do not see you again, I wish you fair winds and following seas as you embark on the next chapter of your journey. 

Before You Go, Here Are Some Examples of Midshipman Photography by Kelly Eskelsen

As promised, here are my assistants

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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