UPDATE: This post was made as Shinn Shots Photography and does not represent the style or goals of Blue Space Photography. Because I believe in knowing where you’ve come from, I’ve left this here as a reminder of the journey that led me to where I am today. I now only shoot storytelling sessions, so be sure to check out my current work in more recent posts! – Lauren
Julie (Grace’s mom) contacted me after she was the winning bid for a free session in the Creekside UMC Women’s Ministry auction. She told me that her daughter, Grace, had just gotten her braces off and she thought that now might be a good time to get some pictures made. I’m so thankful Julie won the auction, because I had so much fun with this session!
Julie told me that Grace was 13, as tall as me (5′ 10″) and played basketball. Honestly, I was a little nervous as I prepared for this session. I typically work with younger kids because frankly, I’m silly and weird, and that seems to work for the little ones…but not so much for the bigger kids. Turns out, I had nothing to worry about. Grace is silly and weird too…in a completely awesome way!
Grace is incredible. I spent two and half hours at our session because we just couldn’t stop talking to each other! She is definitely a kindred spirit. She’s open and honest about herself, even when it’s a little embarrassing. She demonstrates a “this is me – take it or leave it” confidence that is so rare in a 13 year old. And I feel like I’m aging myself when I say this, but she’s incredibly mature for her age. There’s almost 20 years between us, and yet we talked about school, friends, siblings, and everything from the struggles of having super long legs to the entitled generation.
I think my favorite part of the session was taking pictures in her room. A person’s bedroom reveals so much about him or her, and Grace’s touched my heart. She had plenty of pictures of her friends, but the pictures that hung closest to the head of her bed were of one of Grace and her brother and one of Julie with Grace as a baby. Clearly family is a big part of her life.
I also got to snap a few shots of Grace’s younger brother, Mason. He is incredible, too. At the age of 10, he demonstrates the same confidence and openness as Grace. He was happy to put on a button up shirt and to sit for pictures. There were no complaints when I asked him to leave the football game and go out in the heat to entertain his sister for some genuine “Grace” smiles…twice. Not an ounce of attitude in this kid. He also works at his school’s library (unpaid). When I asked why – “because it’s fun.” I told him I was jealous – he’s already doing the job that I want to do when I grow up!
Clearly Julie and Craig are doing something…actually a lot of things…right. Their kids are intelligent, confident, comfortable, respectful, helpful, open, and amazing kids. Thank you, Julie, for giving me the chance to get to know them. I am better for it.