As a Young Girl…

As a young girl I was lots of things; bigger than everyone (even the boys), strong, awkward, bullied, and had riiiidiculous hair. I remember dreaming about being photographed at the glamour shots places but would never dare even ask.

empowering girls - young women - athletic and beautiful

Well, if you’ve seen my work here on the website, it’s pretty obvious that I’ve primarily photographed women, or at least 16 years and older throughout my career. On occasion I’ve had the opportunity to photograph girls but it was fairly sporadic. Earlier in the year (late spring maybe?), I’d been working on some older thought patterns and made some pretty incredible realizations about my own personal development and realized that when I was photographed at 15/16 years old was the first time in my life that I actually FELT beautiful. I think it was because it wasn’t a surprise, in fact, it was EXPECTED that I was attractive/pretty/beautiful and I delivered! It really was a HUGE turning point in my young life. I’d always hoped I was but, in most cases by my peers was treated more like a pariah than anything. As most kids do, I took their opinions as truth instead of seeking evidence to the contrary. At any rate, long story short I decided that I want to focus more of my work on photographing younger girls and women for a bit. I want to be THAT photographer in someone else’s life. I wanted to show girls that it’s perfectly normal to be beautiful regardless of your hobbies or passions in life. Whether you’re an athlete, or an artist, or a homebody there IS a spark in you that I SEE, that is brought to the surface in a collaborative creative setting. These girls are at such an age where, when parents are present in the moment, and are shown that they can in fact trust my direction on set, they show up in a way you haven’t ever really seen before as a parent. Or maybe you have and you’d love to see that version of your son or daughter more often to help them grow their own self esteem and confidence as they grow older.

Katelynn is one of those girls. Katelynn is pictured above and she is a kILLER soccer star. OK, I don’t actually know that she is a “star” per se but I imagine that anyone else that could be THAT devoted to a sport must be quite skilled. Do you see what I see there? Do you see the FAITH in her eyes? This is a young woman that prides herself on her accomplishments on the field, and doesn’t really play to the softer princess femininities. This was in her FIRST outfit too. Her favorite dress. Y’all, this literally is my favorite portrait that I have EVER taken. Truly.

She and her mother came in for their reveal and ordering appointment and as we went through the imagery I would look over and Katelynn was staring at her images in absolute amazement. She kept saying “that is really ME!” in an almost whisper. “Yep! It sure is. You are stunning…” and she would look up at me with this look in her eyes that just said “I’ve never felt this before”. I recognized it, because I’ve made that face too. I made it the day in 1993 that I received my proofs from the photographer that photographed me and we poured over them, all 24 frames and I was in awe. I LOOKED like someone out of a magazine and there was ZERO doubt in my mind that I really was, that I really AM a beautiful woman. That is exactly the confidence I want to bring to these girls. I want to give them photographic proof that they ARE lovely. That they aren’t somehow disenfranchised of their own beauty simply because they don’t LOVE sparkles, and unicorns, and pink, and shopping, and all of the superfluous hoohah that girls are “supposed” to love. I want to SHOW them that without a shadow of a doubt, that they are capable, and seen, and heard, and loved because they are valuable enough to have a portrait hung on their walls. A portrait they can give to their own children and grandchildren when they’re telling the story of who they were. A portrait THEY can be proud of.

magazine worthy - contemporary - young girl - attitude - Asheville photography

Katelynn, thank you so much for coming into the studio. I LOVE the imagery we’ve created together and I hope you cherish these images as much as I do and that they’re with you for a lifetime. You have a BIG future ahead of you and I am so excited to watch you as you grow into adulthood! Keep me posted on your soccer amazingness and I’ll look forward to seeing you again soon!



empowering opportunities for kids in Asheville - confidence builder

Is your son or daughter in need to guidance in self esteem building? I would love to give them this experience as well. Mom, give us a call and let’s setup a time to have a quick chat about what you have in mind!

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