I have had the extreme honor of getting to know this young woman through being called as one of her youth leaders in our church here in Phoenix over the past six months. From the beginning, her personality was one that I connected with. She is strong, independent, a lot of sass and sarcasm which is my love language and she has one of the most real and genuine hearts I have known. When she asked me to shoot her high school senior portraits, I gave her a big hug and without question told her we would have a blast. Of course knowing that she wasn’t thrilled to do them and her parents telling her it was a must, I had my work cut out for me making sure she had the time of her life in front of the camera so that she could truly enjoy the experience.
She wanted simple and she didn’t want a lot of fuss – a girl after my own heart. She told me she didn’t care about anything else, but simply wanted to shoot in the middle of the desert. Done. When we got together the day of the shoot, I was so glad to see that she brought her best friend with her. Such a wonderful way to make these portraits even more special and document this huge accomplishment they are both going through. As I watched Jaycee from behind the camera, she kept telling me, “I’m not good at this stuff” and I just smiled and assured her she was doing great. By the end of the shoot I was in awe at how she was able to let go and be herself. Because honestly, this stunning young woman is oozing so much talent, potential and personality and I want her to remember that. I wanted her to see through these portraits how wonderfully unique and perfect she is. And I want her to take that with her as she moves forward and plans a life for herself.
Jaycee, congratulations. Here is to everything waiting for you in the very near future. Be selfish. It all goes so quickly and you deserve to experience so much of what life has to offer. Keep your heart open to experiences and people and carry your faith with you through it all. Big hugs, my dear.