I had a stretch last week where my seniors had all attended the same elementary school as my daughter. It is so exciting to see any senior all grown up, but to see the ones that I have known since kindergarten? That is really special. And there's a bonus too because I now work at that elementary school so I get to share the fun with all the teachers there. And trust me, they get just as excited to see how grown up these kids are and how well they are doing. And when the senior is as sweet, kind, and oh so pretty, as Leanne, then our collective enthusiasm is off the charts!
Rebecca is one of my people, she is the daughter of one of my favorite couples. If you happen to know me or have visited my blog before, then I am sure that you have probably heard me refer to our group of friends on occasion, (or like a thousand times). By the way, I think the world needs an official name for friends that are more like family (and I am not the only one that thinks this either). Anyway, we didn't consciously seek each other out, we all have family that we are close with, we just sort of happened. And wow, I am happy, and so grateful, that we did! I can not even imagine what our lives would have looked like without these people in it. Maybe a little less colorful? Well, certainly less colorful in the the language department, that's for sure, ha! And in the senior portrait department too. After all, look at these colors, they are perfect, after all, what is more classic than black and white with a splash of red in the middle?
The day that we took Jordan's pictures may have been the most perfect day all summer. It was sunny and beautiful, hot, but not too hot, and featured little to no humidity (we all know that unlike diamonds, humidity isn't any girl's best friend.) The location that we chose was just perfect too, for a couple of different reasons. One, it offered a couple of options for backgrounds and two, Jordan spent a lot of time in this area when she was a kid. Actually when we went to the beach in the middle, we ended up parking at the house of a family friend, how perfect? It is only right that everything ended up perfect because let's face it, Jordan just about embodies perfection, don't you think?
Before I start, and in the interest of full disclosure, I need to tell you that Carly is my niece. What this means for you is that I may rave her about her even more than I usually do with my seniors. But now that I think about it, I don't think so, I am pretty sure that I would have raved about Carly even if she wasn't my niece, she is just that awesome. And as if she isn't awesome enough on her own, she also brought her adorable dogs to the photo shoot. How excellent is that??
Oh Jackie, I had so much fun with Jackie. I had never met her before but I think it took us about 2 minutes to totally click. She was great about everything, she posed like a pro, and she totally took it in stride when the wind whipped around that fabulous mane of hers.. I kept joking around that it was model wind and I might have actually been on to something. When Shannon was looking through the pictures, she said, "She really looks like a model in some of these pictures". I think so too, especially the one below in the printed tank top, that's one of my new faves (shh, don't tell,. like with my kids, I am not supposed to have favorites)
The reason that I ended up working with Nylan is because I was recommended by an awesome family that I took portraits for last year. I have always heard it said that there is no greater compliment than to be referred to someone and you know what? That is actually true!! The fact that someone likes my work enough, and trusts me enough, to want someone that they know and love to work with me is pretty amazingl!! So even before I met him, I was pretty excited to get a chance to work with Nylan. And let me tell you, he did not disappoint (hopefully I didn't either!).
Oh Nikki, I have known Nikki since she was in kindergarten and I honestly can't believe that she is going to be a senior! Seriously, where has the time gone?? At this point, I consider Nikki and her family to be family. Nikki (along with her sister) was part of the gang that went to Block Island last week. There's a reason that I said that it is my favorite place because my favorite people go there.
My mom grew up going to Block Island every summer to stay with a neighbor of hers. When my kids were little, we decided that we should revisit this tradition. With a couple of exceptions, we have gone every year since 2001. Last year, my mom moved down to South Carolina so she is no longer available to make our yearly excursion with us. I thought that a nice way to pay homage to this tradition would be to take some senior pictures of my daughter (she's my mom's mini-me) over there. And of course, it is always more fun with friends so we invited some of her best friends along as well!
I got a message last week that Noah wanted to switch his date because his brother was moving back to college (back to college, that is so crazy, it doesn't feel that long ago that I took his brother's senior pictures) and he wanted to be there to help him out. I told him that I had only a couple of afternoons free but that I was free every morning. He decided to shoot for a morning (pun intended) and that he would like to go to the same place as Jon did. The only problem was that beach settings are really tough in the morning, because everyone is arriving as opposed to the afternoon when everyone is leaving. I told him that I could do the morning but only if we got down there by 7:00 a.m. at the latest. Not only was Noah game for this, but he had no problem driving down there with me once we decided that it made more sense. He was also game to pose in a bunch of different settings and outfits!
I can't say it often enough, I think that all of my seniors are incredibly special. And I feel so honored to be invited to share in such a memorable time of their lives. But for various reasons, some seniors manage to burrow a little deeper into my heart. Davis is just one of those seniors. Her family goes to the same church as we do, my regular readers know how much I love the youth in our parish, they are such an awesome bunch of young men and women. And Davis is one of the best, our parish is so lucky to have her, she always has such a wonderful enthusiasm for life. She is always quick with a big smile, whether she is at Mass, the annual food drive or even, gasp, religious education classes. I think that she feels the same way about the church, she told me the other day that one of the events that she is most looking forward to during her senior year is the Baccalaureate Mass that the religious education director holds annually to honor the graduating seniors. I am certainly looking forward to seeing this smile at the Mass!!
We were actually supposed to take Alyssa's pictures on Wednesday but it ended up raining most of the day. We thought about trying to do it when it stopped but we figured that it would be pretty wet out. Plus although cloudy is very workable, and sometimes preferable, it wasn't even really cloudy, it was more like murky out there. But the change in plans didn't phase Alyssa, she just agreed to move her pics to Thursday, even though it was supposed to be really hot out. Honestly she was such a trooper, I am not exaggerating when I say that it was like Florida hot (a friend of mine posted a screenshot of her weather app, both the actual temp and the feels like temp were a degree hotter here than in Florida) But if I didn't say anything, then you wouldn't even be able to tell because Alyssa rocked this shoot! And she came prepared, she mentioned to a friend that she was still going to take pictures in the heat and her friend quite wisely advised her to bring a towel, a facecloth and a bottle of water. Brilliant of the friend which in turn, helped translate to a stunning Alyssa!!
I was really looking forward to taking Jon's pictures. Well I am always really looking forward to working with any senior, it is such a pleasure to spend time with kids that are on the cusp of one of the most meaningful years of their lives. I never take that for granted either, I consider the fact that someone has chosen me to document such a key time in their lives a huge honor and I try my best to live up to it. But Jon was a bit special because I have known his mom since we were in kindergarten (and you thought I knew Alyssa's mom for a long time). It is pretty special to be able to share these type of moments with the children of the people that you shared your own moments with!
What a pleasure it was to meet and work with Conor the other night. He was a joy to talk to, very measured and thoughtful in his responses. It shouldn't have been a big surprise to me that I enjoyed Conor's company, I took pictures for his brother, Brian a couple of years back and I found him to be a sweetheart as well. I met up with Conor and his mom last Friday night and it was one of those top 10 perfect summer evenings, made all the better for me because I got to work with Conor!
What a nice guy Zach was, so polite and respectful! After getting rained out on Tuesday, by the way, it was a legitimate rain out, so often, if I recommend to postpone, I will then question my decision but not this time, Tuesday morning was a washout! Not Wednesday though, besides a bit of morning fog, it was an absolutely perfect day for portraits. Lots of sun, not too much heat, just perfect!