Jessie's Senior Portraits | Middle Tennessee Family Photographer
A few weeks ago, one of my best forever friends, Mandy, called and asked me if she could hire me to shoot senior portraits of her niece, Jesse, as a gift. My initial reaction was to call her a liar because there is no way that baby is a senior in high school. My second reaction was an excited yes because I had been been looking for an opportunity to try my luck with teens.
I do not throw around the "forever" in best forever friends lightly. I believe we make lots of best friends throughout life but only a handful go on to earn the "forever". Mandy and I have been friends for almost 20 years now, so I'd say she's earned it. Mandy and I met in college, and during that time, her brother Andrew and his wife had their first baby girl. Mandy was the ideal doting young aunt. She talked about baby Jessie ALL THE TIME and just adored her. As we all graduated and started our own lives, I was not around Jessie much. She was an adorable little flower girl in Mandy's wedding and I was a Bridesmaid. She was the sweet eight year old who came to Mandy's baby shower that I threw at my house. I think that's the last time I may have saw her. So even though I've followed along throughout her life via stories told by her proud aunt, that is still the image I had in my head of her. Which is why my reaction was to call Mandy a liar. Here we are...that's little Jessie standing in front of a much, much younger me. (Photo not by me, obviously).
So even though I was excited to give senior photography a try, I was a little nervous too. All of my photography up until this point has been of families with young children. That's both a combination of where I am in life (and who my friends are) and the demographic of Spring Hill (a huge number of young families). You see, I don't even really know any teenagers. However, in a few short years, I'll know lots of them. I'm pretty sure this town has been taken over by nine year olds. So I guess it's time to start preparing for the class of 2024.
On a photographers forum I'm a member of, someone recently commented that she thinks those of us who purposely market ourselves to shoot toddlers are insane. That's probably a little true. It's true that toddlers don't sit still, don't listen and often throw tantrums. However, they are also full of life, always true to themselves, and are extremely rewarding. But last night I learned that Seniors have some advantages too. Do you know, I didn't have to chase Jesse at all? Also, she stood exactly where I told her to, and looked when I asked her to look. She didn't beg for extra suckers. She came with lots of her own ideas, and was excited about the photos. Also, she was SO MUCH FUN. So perhaps this is something I would like to add to my line up. But don't worry...I still love the toddlers too.
But here is the thing...the real thing that I need to feel good about the work I'm doing is that it makes someone FEEL something. (That's what draws me to birth photography.) Last night as I began to take a first look at the pictures on my card, I may have excitedly messaged a few to proud aunt Mandy (there are some perks to being my BFF, including more than your fair share of preview pictures). Her response to my preview photos was this: "I am seriously sitting here with tears in my eyes. Remember when she was born?" That's the third time in two weeks that someone has said that something I've shot has brought tears to their eyes. Though one of them probably doesn't count because that was the mom to a newborn and they always cry. Still...that means so much to me. That means I'm doing exactly what I'm supposed to be doing.
So here is gorgeous, fun, smart ,17 year old Jessie. I hope that I've adequately captured her here.
You WILL definitely be my "go to" for Senior pics!!!! Love your beautiful photos.
As said proud aunt & BFF, I can tell you I coukd not possibly be more in love with these photos!! I am so grateful to you, Crystal, for doing such a fantastic job. Thank you so much!!
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