Where do you go when there's seemingly no one to turn to? You see everyone else around you and they're; facing challenges, growing, being amazing at life and you're over there in the corner like "which way is up?". I get it, I do.

The world can be a lonely place. 

We're never just lonely out of nowhere, either. You don't just wake up one morning and suddenly realize that you're the worst. It's usually a culmination of things; circumstances, events, relationships, even chemical imbalances contribute. In my case, it was all of the above:

  • It was bullying
  • it was age
  • it was all of it. People I admired or looked up to, or even called "friend" showing their true colors and my inability as a child to be able to process the intricacies of behavioral reasoning (I use the term child loosely here).

I've recently been watching the show "Thirteen Reasons Why" on Netflix and some older wounds have been coming up for me. Some things I thought I'd put to bed (if you will). Yup, even as an adult, one day you will have to face all the things you don't want to look at. Sorry bout that. It's a thing.

In my own life, there was one girl in particular that I allowed to do quite a bit of damage over the course of many years - kindergarten  through my first year in high school. Yeah, she still comes up. I think an interesting point here by the way, is in my choice of language too. "I allowed". One of the things I've come to realize over time is that I cannot control anyone else's behavior. I can only choose my behavior and that includes how I respond to circumstances and situations. The same things goes for you too.

Whether you're being bullied; psychologically, emotionally, or physically you have the power to choose how and if it affects you. Does it suck in the moment? You'd better believe it does. There is no discounting that. I don't care who you are. Or maybe your life just feels out of control. Family is breaking, you've moved, your best friend moved away, someone passed away, there are a million reasons why. Not just thirteen.

There is support and frankly, it may not even be the support you want, but it is out there. There are guidance counselors, teachers, parents, aunts and uncles. Every single one of these people have your best interests at heart. They are there FOR you. Even if you're worried about repercussions from sharing with any of these people, there are steps you can take in a conversation with them, that will support you as well. I wish I had.

It really sucks when your hands are tied like that. You keep on in this vicious cycle that maybe someone, anyone might witness what is happening day in and day out and do ANYTHING to help you. But, that doesn't happen because you're invisible. You keep your head down. "Don't notice me. I'm not here."

What if I gave you the opportunity to be heard? To be seen? What if I gave you the opportunity to step into your own light and be the best version of yourself, free from the influence of the outside world? What if I could help you find your confidence simply by showing you how powerful you really are? What COULD that mean for you?

  • If you're the teen that plays down how seriously others are affecting you for the sake of getting through; the year, the semester, the week, or even the day - this is for you.
  • If you're the teen who looks in the mirror and only sees the flaws and imperfections that others have declared about you - this is for you.
  • If you're the teen that feels invisible - this is for you.

So, what is THIS that I keep referring to? It is a personally designed photo shoot. One that we collaborate on. One where we talk about what it is that you're going through, to whatever extent you're comfortable discussing it. You can share everything, or just that this photo shoot is desirable to you. I won't push. My purpose is to see you, really SEE you. My purpose is to bring that person out of you and in front of my lens. My purpose is to show them back to you, to communicate that "Yes, they're really there" and you have every right to BE.

The power of the camera might be frightening and exciting for you, both simultaneously. It was for me. It was also the first moment in my life where I felt like I was in control. That I could communicate power, beauty, a story all within my own person and what anyone else thought of me didn't matter. The decision to step in front of a photographer's camera meant that I was able to create something of value. It meant creating art. It meant that I was a part of something bigger than myself and that I would have it for a lifetime. It also meant that I was being seen. That in and of itself changed everything in my world. Everything.

Reach out. I will help you to see the "you" you've always hoped that someone would see in you. Your potential. Your spirit. Your beauty. Your grace. You. I can and will help you to step into the version of yourself that you know is there and have always wanted to see reflected back from your own mirror. The person you've always wanted to BE.

You're also welcome to pass this information along to your parent or guardian. Or if it is Mom and/or Dad reading this, I welcome discussions about collaborating with you to design a photo shoot with you both. I can be reached directly here, by phone at 828-275-9932, or via email Cat@Studio-828.com

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