I'm a city girl. Born and raised Houston, Texas, but lovingly attached to my small town home just outside of Springfield, Missouri for the last 19 years. To say that I come alive when the skyline of a city appears as I'm "professionally" moving through 4 lanes of highway traffic is an understatement. I miss the feeling of a city immensely, I love the hustle and bustle, horns blaring, and all the things a city can offer. After a family vacation to Chicago last summer I knew I had to take a group of seniors back to shoot.
With the exception of Singapore, Chicago is the cleanest city I have ever visited. I have a heart for NYC that can't be denied, but Chicago is just so beautiful! There is modern architecture mixed with historical charm running along side gorgeous Lake Michigan. The city streets are well manicured with pride, and although you are in the midst of skyscrapers there is a still a hint of that mid-west charm. I chose Labor Day weekend for our Senior Adventure with a day and a half to shoot and while we covered a lot of ground ( 12 miles in one day to be exact), it just wasn't enough time to take it all in.... so this year armed with a little more experience than last year, I'm ready to go back and take on this adventure again!
I was crazy excited about this shoot and couldn't wait to do something different in a new place. I needed a change in scenery and I couldn't wait to feel inspired and create with the seniors that were signed up to go. What I didn't quite expect was the emotion that came attached with it. When you're in a car for 8 hours each way you get to know each other.... lol. The laughs and the fun we had are forever in my heart. I sat back and watched the relationships between parent and child. I saw that they were having the time of their lives and while I had planned this adventure with the goal of amazing images in mind I didn't know it was going to be so much more.
Senior Year can be hard on a parent. There are a lot of "lasts" this year. In our minds we know that it's just a change and that there are many bright and wonderful "firsts" on the horizon, but letting go can be hard on the heart. Senior Year is full of activities and expenses. Senior pictures being one of those expenses ,if you choose. Some people ask why do we need these pictures and my answer is this...
You don't "need" these pictures anymore than you need an Iphone, an Xbox, or the latest technological gadget to come out this year. You don't need these pictures anymore than you need the new MK purse, the Rock Revivals, or the highlights in your hair. You want these pictures and you want them for reasons that sometimes, you don't even realize....that will become more apparent as the years pass. Unlike the Iphone, the purse, and the highlights in your hair these images will last a lifetime. Not just because of the quality paper and product that I use to print and preserve them on, but in your heart and in your memories. These precious moments will be treasured. You won't one day put these up on a Facebook for sale site, or send them to Goodwill. That's the value with any portrait.
My senior parents have told me "You can't put a price on that weekend in Chicago... Priceless." Another wrote me a heart felt e -mail and thanked me . She talked about the confidence her daughter felt standing in the middle of busy Michigan Avenue. I mean... she literally stopped traffic she was so stunning. Everyone was watching and wondering ... who was the "model" in the busy intersection. They shared these moments with their senior... it's honestly hard to put into words.
Now is your opportunity. Take it... You can't get this time back. Whether you want to take it up a notch and have a vacation with your senior session or stick a little closer to home... It's your turn 2018!!!