There’s a lot of pressure on kids today that’s not been faced by any other generation in history. I hear it from teenagers all the time. It can make the prospect of portrait time feel like a weight that is crushing in. Will they measure up? How will they be perceived? Will they look as good as everyone else? Will they feel awkward? The questions crowd in and anxiety rises. I’ve learned from so many teens this is far more common than not. However, I have also seen it fade away from just about every teen who steps before my lens in a matter of just a few minutes as we collaborate to mark this time together in ways that will make them shine and see what others see in them.
Social media is a double edged sword in 1000 respects and it breaks my heart to see how much pressure it places on kids today. Ashlee was pretty sure she didn’t want to have senior portraits created, like so many other kids her age. However, it was something that mom and dad wanted to mark this special time in her life, so she agreed. Then once we began, the concerns melted away and Ashlee embraced the time with joy that was sweet to behold. My absolute desire for every JDP senior session is that that senior gets a sense of the work of art they are. I want to show them a timeless beauty that could be in a museum gallery display. Speaking of, I will be featuring some of my JDP seniors in a fine art show to celebrate the studio’s 10 year anniversary next year! Stay tuned for details!
I assured Ashlee that nothing would be shared or posted in any form from her gallery; her portrait collection would be her family’s private treasure. We create for legacy and to mark special moments, social media sharing has nothing to do with that. However once she saw what we created her concerns melted away and she was happy to be featured on our blog. Ashlee transitioned between a timeless work of art to 1970s girl like a boss! Her sweet little Flower joined her and was happy to pose in her ’70s set up, even a purse! I swear it looks like Ashlee could step right onto the set of The 70’s Show if it ever gets a reboot!
Ashlee was game to experiment with a long exposure technique to keep running with a new decade theme…90’s!
Ashlee was a natural and I was feeling a Twiggy vibe from her (a fashion model icon of the late ’60s!)
Ashlee has an artist soul. She’s the kind of kid who creates in the wee hours of the night, when distractions and demands are cloaked and swallowed up by the darkness. She draws and paints and might even give herself a hair cut at 1:00 in the morning. There’s something about creatives that beckons them to the wee hours of the night. For me, it has also always been the quiet uninterrupted time to pour myself into creating something that did not exist prior to that moment.
Ashlee’s struggling to fit in her creative time though lately since she started a job at Texas Roadhouse which needs her most days of the week. Balancing school, work and social time is no joke and Ashlee’s navigating those tricky waters to be able to give everyone the best of what she knows she can offer.
Ashlee your quiet thoughtful soul is a treasure to those blessed to do life with you. Never stop creating. Never stop questioning. Never stop embracing that chill 70’s vibe. And most importantly, when the wee hours of the night call you into it’s creative enchantment, answer the call and delight in the work of your hands dear one! The creative process offers a peek into the heart of God in a way that nothing else does. May you discover more and more about Him as you do!