JDP senior Leila

JDP senior Leila is a Renaissance woman of many talents and interests who was an absolute delight to create for! Blog followers may recognize her from sister portraits and family portraits we created a few years ago for the Nagannas.

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Doesn’t this portrait below just exude a romantic moment caught in time on Leila’s family farm? Leila is a talented pianist who sees music when she’s outdoors on beautiful days. I imagine we’ve called to her and she turns as a stream of music notes dances before her, begging to pour through her fingers to the ivory keys.

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Leila’s heart cracks wide open to care for people, especially those who are less fortunate. She feels the pain of others deeply, but she also laughs heartily at every opportunity that begs for the music of laughter. We had so many heart warming outtakes like above in her gallery. It made me think every woman should have a portrait of herself spilling forth in laughter. It serves as a reminder for the heavy times in life that the Psalmist reminds us, “weeping may endure for a  night, but joy comes in the morning.”

When we vision cast for Leila’s portraits, I asked her if it was important to her to return to her family farm for portraits. She knew it would be important to her father who has poured a big part of his life into making this a retreat for his family and friends.

Especially important to include at her family farm, was this barn which is imminently to be torn down and rebuilt somewhere else. While Leila’s the only one who will have her senior portraits taken with them, fortunately, the whole family has been photographed with the barn as a backdrop a few years ago.

Anyone who has been to the Naganna camp outs at their farm, knows about the giant abandoned sofa pile that creates an epic bonfire. We decided we’d create our own homage to the good times had at these bonfires as a surprise for her dad! Leila’s babysitters were even there prepping for a bonfire later that evening and got to cheer on a very unique set of senior portraits!

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Creating portraits in the water always has an enchanting nature about it for me. I imagine story lines the entire time I am creating…complete with the art I’ve studied for years encroaching in to steal away the mundane view of a suburban pool and replace it with an enchanted lake and a fair maiden!

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Leila’s creativity spills out not just at her piano, but she is the editor of her yearbook this year as well. This creative outlet energizes her. The support she has received from her teacher leader, Mrs. Myers, has been instrumental in forming her love of this. It’s helped her grow in her own leadership abilities as well.

Leila takes her role as yearbook editor very seriously. She’s committed to making sure every student appears at least 2x in the yearbook and she has 5 spreadsheets to ensure that happens at her very large Westminster High. Leila has embraced the challenge of leading with authority, inspiring her team, making it a fun experience for all involved and cracking down only when necessary to accomplish the tasks at hand.

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Aside from leading the yearbook, she also photographs for spreads regularly. Her favorite is to cover wrestling because she gets to cheer on her little brother. The wrestlers love that she lays it all out there to get the perfect angles to highlight their athleticism.

Leila is absolutely enthralled with getting lost in a great story. She came by this love of story from her mother and never looked back. The two of them have their own little book club that is often closed with a Bollywood installment of something that makes them laugh, especially when their books have made them cry.

Leila hopes to study criminal justice and become at attorney. Her dream school is Vanderbilt and she finds out any day now if this dream will come true. They have a 7% acceptance rate so she’s anxiously awaiting her news! She has future plans to specialize in helping to manage philanthropic charities that her grandparents have started. Giving back is an important lesson that’s been instilled from her grandparents and parents and she has taken this to heart for herself as well.

As Leila reads, this fine art portrait to the right is part of a larger collection that proudly hangs in her library from a session we created a few years ago.

Leila and her mom’s love of reading inspired this library in their home. The Nagannas are dear friends of mine and the first time I saw this wall of books I began envisioning Leila’s senior portraits.

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Leila has read most of what’s on those shelves and books continue to pile up on her kindle. She’s traveled through time and back again into the future and everywhere in between via the written word.

Leila immediately got visions of Phantom of the Opera from her portrait below. What a marvelous way to end our marathon session! Plus we all got to hear Leila play so beautifully for us while I hunted for what told her story best as an accomplished pianist.

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Leila, you are an old soul married up so perfectly to a joyful countenance. I can’t wait to see the lives that will be impacted by you as you step into this big world just awaiting your impact! Keep laughing heartily as it’s music to our ears!

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