Aarti is another of my daughter, Kristen's friends that I just love. I actually was really lucky with Aarti because not only did I get to take her pictures, I also got to pick her up and drive with her to our location. That meant that I got to spend some quality time with her. Aarti is a terrific young lady, very polite and thoughtful, and a real sweetheart. Plus, as I'm sure we all agree, truly a natural beauty.
Thanksgiving is the perfect time for traditions which is why I am continuing a tradition that I started back in 2013. I like to take a moment on this day to say thank you to the seniors and their families that placed their trust in me to capture this special time in their lives. I am sure that for many of them, this fall has been an absolute blur of activities, accomplishments and responsibilities. Test scores, class rank, college tours, interviews, applications, and, in some lucky cases, acceptances rightfully take center stage but along with those, there are also many bittersweet emotions that accompany senior year. Thanksgiving is the perfect time to pause and take a moment to reflect on what has already happened and what is still to come. As we all know, there are so many lasts during senior year: last first day of high school, last game as a high school athlete, last competition or halftime show with the high school marching band. But Thanksgiving, with all its rivalries and celebrations of classmates and seniors, probably represents one of the biggest and the one that may hit closest to home, mostly because it actually deals with home. Because with Thanksgiving comes possibly the biggest realization: this will most likely be the last year that they are living at home at Thanksgiving time. Next year, they will probably be coming home for Thanksgiving instead of being home for Thanksgiving. And that goes for school as well, I think that for some of them this is the week that they really start to realize, or maybe acknowledge, that next year they won't be a student any longer but instead an alumni.
I am truly honored and thankful that I got to be a part of your journey. And I hope that you take the time to enjoy the journey, it is easy to get caught up in the whirlwind and responsibilities but it's equally important to enjoy these moments. Don't forget your families either, try to be extra nice to them this week (and this year). In many ways, this is just as bittersweet for them as it is for you. With all that said, I would like to wish all the members of the Class of 2017, and their families, a Thanksgiving week that is filled with family, football games (varsity, powder puff, professional, even a friendly game of touch football), pep rallies, spirit walls, anything and everything that you wish for.
Below, in no particular order, are my wonderful 2017 seniors. I have been so lucky to have worked with each and every one of you. You were all so different yet all so awesome and inspiring in your own way. Honestly, I could not have asked for a better group of young adults to have worked with. I wish you all the best and I thank you so much for allowing me to be a part of the journey.
This is a fun post to write, Akilah is one of my daughter, Kristen's best friends so I come home to find her in my kitchen quite often, like at least once a week often. It never fails to brighten my day when I do find her in my kitchen because she always has a big smile and a very polite, "Hello, how are you?" waiting for me.
What an absolute sweetheart Jennifer was. I had never met her before our shoot, she is from a different town and her mom works with the mom of another one of my seniors. It was such a pleasure to get to meet her and her mom on a beautiful fall afternoon. One of the things that I love about this job is all of the wonderful people that I get to meet and work with and Jennifer and her mom certainly were no exception to that, they were fabulous!! And so pretty, just look at her, so natural and that smile? Love it!!
I haven't seen Matthew in a long time, like a really, really long time, but I have known him for a long time. I met Matthew, and his family, when my oldest was in preschool with his older sister. I know I say it all the time, but man, I can't believe how fast the years have gone by.
With the election this fall, I have heard an awful lot about the future of this country and how it is in jeopardy. As I look back on my Class of 2017, I can't help but feel differently. I worked with so many tremendous kids, kids that want to be doctors, lawyers, teachers, engineers, kids who simply want to change the world for the better. They have such wonderful aspirations and dreams! And who knows one of them may even be President one day themselves! When I look at all of these faces, faces that I have come to love for themselves and for what they represent, I have faith that this is still the best country in the world. As long as we continue to raise young people like this, I think that we will be just fine!!
What a sweetheart Tony is!! i had so much fun hanging out with him, and his grandmother. One of the best things about Tony, besides the fact that he told me that his aunt was one of the first classes that I ever subbed for, was what a good sport he was. We started out at one of my favorite locations but what we didn't realize is that there was a wedding coming in. We were still able to move around freely but we unltimately decided to move locations so that we didn't have to work around it. Not only did Tony not mind this, he was really great about it. Such a nice guy!!
What a sweetheart Nia was to work with. I have never had the pleasure of meeting Nia before our shoot but it didn't take us long to settle in and get to work. Part of that was because Nia was just such a natural beauty, and pretty natural at the posing stuff too. As a matter of fact, the picture that Nia chose for her yearbook was one of the first ones that we took!!
Oh my, this is going to be a fun shoot to blog (almost as fun as it was to shoot). This would be fun on its own but it is even better because I have known Hannah's mother for years. As a matter of fact, I met her when we both were younger than Hannah is now. I worked with her in Papa Gino's while we were in high school. This year was a mini Papa Gino reunion for me, I also worked there with the mother of my first shoot this year, Alyssa. The funny thing is that Hannah's mother didn't contact me because of that connection, she contacted me because she was recommended by Caroline L's mother. Wow, it's a small world sometimes, isn't it??
If I had a ranking system for seniors, and their families, that were good sports, Jarrod and his family would have to rank at the top of the list. The morning that we were scheduled to meet was very gloomy and drizzly. I offered to reschedule but Jarrod's sister was home for college strictly to get some pictures done so we decided to give it a try. After a while, it got a little more like rain than drizzle so we decided to call it a day and shoot the rest some other day. You would never know that it wasn't a perfect day from Jarrod, he looked great in all of the pictures. As a matter of fact, he ended up choosing a picture from the original shoot for his yearbook picture.
I have to confess, I was a little bit nervous about taking Alex's pictures. His mom, Kelli, is an artist, and a ridiculously talented one at that. I don't think of myself as an artist but I do consider myself a creative. Working with fellow creatives is a mixture of a lot great and a little bit daunting. Creatives are generally very supportive because they understand the importance and the process of having a vision and bringing it to life but they can also be a tad more critical because, well, they understand the importance and process of being a vision to life. I worried for nothing, Kelli was outstanding to work with, as was Alex. I think most of it was that she was just soaking up being the mom of such an amazing, and handsome, senior!!
I have never met Zach before our shoot which really is my loss because he was such a sweetheart. He was polite and very respectful. Even though he admitted that he wasn't a big fan of getting his pictures taken, he was really great about posing and even picked out a few spots for us.