North Carolina State University Graduate Portraits
May 13, 2019 | By: Kirk Pullen Photography
Last weekend I traveled to Raleigh, North Carolina to NC State University for a graduate portrait session. I have photographed Rocio for many years and she is even featured in the example photos on my website. She scouted out several locations on campus where she wanted her graduate portraits taken.
The first area we visited was the student union building, where there is a giant NC State logo on the marble floors. I had to interrupt a few female students who were in the way. The students were studying on the second floor near a railing, so I needed to move them in order to get the right angle. They were happy to move out of the way for a few minutes, so I could get the best shot.
We then traveled to a beautiful place called Wolf Plaza. It had three metal wolf sculptures. This was a super location for portraits because you rarely see giant metal wolf sculptures to pose with and photograph. I had Rocio interact with the wolves in various poses and found some creative angles to shoot from. The leaves were green when we took the photos, but I added fall coloring of the leaves to make it more interesting and to add alternate looks for her gallery.
Next was a graffiti tunnel that runs underneath a set of train tracks. The tunnel changes constantly because they allow anyone to paint graffiti in the tunnel. This was a very busy area as there were videographers, students and even some people trying out their parkour skills. The tunnel is very colorful and I found some great areas I thought would compliment her cap and gown.
Later, I found a really unique tree branch which I thought would make a great scene. I had Rocio sit on it for a few photos. Close by was a nice brick wall with many steps behind it leading to a building with large pillars. You could tell this location was used by many photographers as we waited 5 minutes for another photographer to finish with her client.
We finished up Rocio's photo session by walking to the NC State Memorial Bell Tower. At this point, the sky was overcast and it was starting to get dark. We took a few photos and were heading back to wrap up the session when we noticed a street nearby. I was cracking up as I discovered it was called Pullen Road! I asked Rocio to stop and point at the street sign for me.
I have a funny story about the Pullen name and Raleigh, North Carolina. Once upon a time my grandfather was traveling through Raleigh on a business trip and every hotel was booked because of sporting events that weekend. He tried contacting four or five hotels, but had no luck finding a room. Finally, one hotel told him they had no rooms, but then asked him, "Give us your credit card number and if a room becomes available, we will call you." He told them that his name was James Pullen. When they heard the name Pullen they told him, "Oh, sir we do have a room that just opened up for you!" He had no idea that the Pullen name had so much sway and would get him rooms that weren't otherwise available.