I want to take a time out today from my fashion posts, preparation posts, and all the other posts I do to help senior prepare for their senior pictures. Everything I post about is intended to help you look and feel your best for your senior session. But, while I want you to look great and have pictures that capture your personality and style and make your friends swoon, there is something more that I want to share. Maybe it comes from being a mom, maybe it comes from the heart of God; where it comes from doesn't matter. What matters is that I communicate it to you.
1. You are beautiful. Period. (Ok guys...you are handsome...but I am going to use the word beautiful for simplicity....just change the word in your mind) It doesn't matter whether you wear a size 0 or a size 18. It doesn't matter if you have acne. It doesn't matter if you have blonde hair or black hair. It doesn't matter if you are tall or short, athletic or not. None of it matters. Each one of you are beautiful. You were made by a Creator who has a plan and a purpose. You were made to be exactly as you are for a reason. I know it is hard to see that in ourselves sometimes. And believe me, I know that high school is tough. But you have to know that everyone around you struggles with the same things. I can tell you right now that the girl you see surrounded by friends with the "perfect" skin and "perfect" body is just as insecure about herself. She may not show it, but it is there. I see it when she comes for her pictures. And if you are that girl that everyone thinks is "perfect" but you don't feel it about yourself...well let me just tell you that you are truly beautiful.
It may sound like a cliché that "beauty comes from within" but it is true. What drives me as a senior photographer is finding that beauty inside of you, pulling it out of you, and displaying it in your senior pictures. I see it, and I want you to see it too!
2. You are strong. You may not think you are strong. You may feel overwhelmed by the pressures and demands of high school - academic, athletic, and social - but you are strong. Sometimes we need to take time to asses what is important to us, ground ourselves, and focus on those things. Your strength is in your character. No one can take your character away. No one can choose your character for you. Stay grounded in your character and find your strength.
3. You are loved. I know that sometimes as a teenager (and sometimes as adults) it is easy to feel isolated and unloved. It is easy to see parents as the enemy and often friends become enemies at times. It can be such a lonely time when you are in high school. But here is the thing to remember: you are loved. Your parents may not be able to communicate with you in a way that you can understand; and you may feel like your parents don't understand what you are trying to say to them. However, that is normal and it will change as you both grow older. Friends will come and go but family is forever.
More than anything you are loved by God. How do I know this? I know because I pray over you and seek God on your behalf, and He puts a love in me for each one of you that come to me for your pictures. As I work with you and get to know you, I truly find a place of love and care in my heart for each of you. I love when you invite me to your graduation parties and when you come back to see me when you are home for college breaks. And if you feel that you are truly alone, come see me and lets talk. You are never alone.
4. You have a purpose. You may not find it for awhile, but you do have one. Usually we find our purpose when we aren't really looking for it. Please don't ever think that you aren't making a difference in the world. You ARE making a difference and you will continue to do so. Your purpose may diverge to the right or left as you grow older. Your purpose may look different 10 years from now, but you do have one. Remember....you were made by a Creator to be exactly who you are - nothing about you was an accident. Nothing. No matter what anyone tells you - NOTHING about you is an accident.
I want to leave you with this thought -
"For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb." Psalm 139:13
So lets plan the fun and fashion of your senior session, but please never forget:
You are beautiful
You are strong
You are loved
You have a purpose