Meet JDP senior Justin–this kid is one of a kind and blog followers should be prepared to be delighted! Justin brought energy, humor and a contagious joy that spilled out onto the portrait creation process in a way that made me smile wide all day long. Justin is a friend to my son Tad so I’ve watched him grow up over the years and always been impressed by what a great kid Justin is. Plus an added bonus is he has had a bit of modeling experience and is serious about his clothes. He loves a well fitted suit and has a great sense of style which is pretty rare in a teenage boy.
His mom Kristy had me create family portraits for them many years ago and has been dreaming about Justin’s senior portraits ever since! The anticipation and excitement have been building for Kristy as she’s followed the explosion of our JDP senior portraits over the years. Every senior we shared on the blog had her envisioning what we’d do for Justin. I am humbled and honored to know that we exceeded her expectations after all these years of dreaming! Click here to discuss the possibility of your own custom senior portraits!
Justin is pretty serious about his commitment to his athletics and fitness. Craziest thing happened during his session, happens once in a while…I said, “you are reminding me of someone!?!” Then we realized who it was–a young Rocky (Sylvester Stallone). Count down 7 more portraits and you’ll see it again–crazy! Yo Adrienne!!
Justin’s been playing football, lacrosse and wrestling since he was 5. He loves the aggressiveness of the sports and the culture of tradition. He’s surrounded by his friends and the whole athletic experience has helped to grow him into the young man he is today. When he was in 6th grade, his program leaders called it the ‘year of the goalie’. They scoured each team in the program for the most athletic kids and said, ‘we are turning these kids into goalies.’ Justin, like most goalies I’ve met, gets hyped up when he gets him in the goal, bringing a ferocious energy required for a team to compete at this level and do well. He lives for the incredible satisfaction that comes from stopping a one on one in the goal.
Fishing, with his favorite fishing hat, is also one of Justin’s favorite past times. It’s a special bond he shares with his dad who lives in TX. Justin has gotten to know his dad over the last 2-3 years, hoping to make up for the lost time they missed when his dad was recovering from a tragic car accident over the last 10 years.
When we are faced with the prospect of losing someone we love in life, it tends to change a person and make them hold more tightly to those they love. Justin has been in the gut wrenching place of almost having lost his dad and his mom in separate car accidents. His dad was in a tragic car accident in 2005 that left him unresponsive. He has spent the next 10 years of his life in constant surgeries to battle back to health and healing. Today he helps to lead the rehabilitation and prayer ministry at his church. In an awful twist of fate, Justin was in the car with his sister Jameson when Kristy was run off the road and into light poles on the freeway in 2011. Shockingly Justin and Jameson were not harmed, but Kristy suffered a serious head injury that caused her to be in the Brain Trauma program at Sinai for a year. I can’t help but believe staring mortality in the face like this hasn’t marked and shaped Justin into the incredible kid he is today.
Justin’s seen the miracle of his dad’s recover and it’s made a deep impression on him. He’s spent the last two summers with his dad in Texas. His faith in the Lord is strong and he cherishes his church family at Glyndon United Methodist. Justin is an all or nothing kid of kid and appreciates that they stress a buy in from their members. Show up, be a part, contribute, serve, be in community and be known. The members realize they can’t have a successful program unless people commit to making whatever they lay their hands to a priority, instead of excuses.
Justin’s also very close with his family, especially his mom-mom. He knows his nephews look up to him and he sees that as an honor to help guide them. One of his nephews thinks he’s the little Rocky and certainly must see Justin as the next best thing to the real deal! I told Justin if there’s ever a Rocky re-make, he’s a shoe in!
Justin’s love of lax and football runs deep in his veins. He’s hopeful to be able to play D2 or D3 in college. He’s coming off of hip surgery and has been so eager to be back in the games. The leadership he offers is exceptional to everything he is a part of. While we were creating portraits in studio, my twins came through with some friends and Justin called out to one of them, ‘hey where were you in the weight room for football today?’ He calls out the best in people and helps give them a vision for what is possible with commitment.
As we were leaving the fields at Winters Mill, the sprinklers came on! “Go for it Justin,” I yelled! He was more than happy to oblige, racing through the water sprays with the enthusiasm of a little boy…and this is perhaps one of my favorite things about creating for JDP senior guys…being a mom of 3 boys, I know when they drop their guard and you see the little boy again. That is precious to every mom!
We always have music playing while creating and we encourage the seniors to choose their favorite. Justin’s music interests are as varied as the day is long. He was quick to suggest an 80s mix–my team’s wheelhouse, so we were more than happy to oblige! Then to our surprise, we were all serenaded by Justin with Daryl Hall and John Oates’s “Man Eater”! Classic 80’s tune that had us all cracking up! Then he got his groove onto some island jams from their recent vacay!
Justin, the Lord has deposited an anointing on you that is sure to move mountains and bring glory to His name. May you always seek His face and remain in His service all the days of your life! Your stamp on this life is large and growing bigger by the minute! Click here to inquire about your own custom senior portraits.