My oldest daughter drove herself to school today for the very first time, and I can see that it marks both a new beginning and the beginning of an end. The beginning of her race for independence, and the beginning of the end of her journey through childhood.
I've been fortunate to get to guide her along the way, to show her that she is loved, and to feel her love in return (sometimes disguised as anger, but love none-the-less). Also, to show her how to rise above what this world says she should be, and to instead see herself as worthy of love and truly, uniquely beautiful.
Next summer, I will photograph her Senior Pictures - the Class of 2018. Being a photographer, I've photographed her in my studio every year of her life - sometimes every week in the early years! But these last few years have been my favorite. I've watched her grow along the way, from baby face, to braces, to barely a kid anymore. She's constantly changing as she figures out who she is, and what she loves.
It is the reality of this season in my personal life that has brought me to today's announcement for my business life with Angelworks Photography. In the ten plus years that I've been in business in Portage, I've had the wonderful pleasure of seeing maternity and newborn clients return with their child for one year photos, and five year photos, and family photos after that. But the later years of tremendous change - age 10 to 16 are largely unphotographed - right up until Senior year.
Do I think that parents don't love their children at age 10, and 13, and 16? Of course not, but until now, there hasn't been a formal recognition of the desperate need for girls and boys at this age to see themselves as worth loving and beautiful, despite what the world tells them they should or shouldn't be.
Can you imagine what a confidence booster it is for a young girl to see beautiful portraits of herself displayed proudly in her own home and in grandparent's homes, and at parent's workplaces, when movies and TV, and maybe her own classmates are telling her that she isn't what she should be, and will never measure up unless she conforms.
That is the driving force behind my new project I am titling WLB - 'Worth Loving and Beautiful'. My vision is to help our double-digits, and officially teens, and sweet sixteens rise above what the world says they should be, by giving center stage to their unique God given worth and beauty.
My WLB Sessions are designed to be all about them - who they are and what they love at this exact moment in time, because frankly, they will never be the same again. Their interests and style will change, and they will continue to refine their beliefs, their skills, and their view of their own self-worth.
I've been able to capture these moments in time of my own children, and for my close friends who also see the tremendous value in this project. And I would love to share the project with your family!
Beginning today (Tuesday, March 22nd, 2016) I will be accepting applications for the very first WLB Model team! I am looking for a variety of kids, age 10 to 16, with a variety of interests, a variety of activities, and a variety of looks to present this project to the world (or at least to the greater tri-state area=) You may reach me at 269.823.3746, or by email at email@example.com, or Facebook message Charity at Angelworks for more information.
Shine Bright. Have Fun. Make Memories!
Written with love,