I really can not believe this year’s group of seniors is about to graduate. I can’t believe that this girl has been by my side with a reflector, an extra brain for reminders, a timer, and a bucket full of laughs for a whole year. It doesn’t seem possible!
Kyleigh’s A-Team application made me cry real tears. It was vulnerable and raw, and her words spoke to me.
“I want people to see that different can be beautiful! I am not the model, skinny, preppy girl you see on TV or in magazines. I am just me! I am awkward, shy at times, and just my own person. I am nerdy, relaxed, and a little bit of crazy all at the same time. I love books and cosplay and to be creative. I want people to see that even someone with crazy anxiety and social weirdness can be a role model to anyone.”
YES. All the yesses. I relate so hard to this and saw so much of me in this one paragraph. Growing up I wasn’t ever a skinny, model of a girl that looked like she walked off the page of a magazine. I was always overweight, and I sort of marched to the beat of my own drum. In college, I went through what my brother likes to refer to as “the purple hair years” which incidentally happened again in my early thirties (ok maybe not the entire college thing, just the purple hair part). I’m a real fan of expressing yourself creatively, whether that’s through your clothing choices or your hair color or whatever… Just be you. If YOU looks like a model out of a magazine with blonde hair, ROCK IT. If YOU wanna rock purple locks and comic book / band t-shirts, ROCK IT. Do you. Don’t let anyone else tell you what YOU should look like… We’re all here just trying to figure out what our best version of our self looks like anyways, right?
When Kyleigh first came into the studio to chat about what it means to be a senior model rep, she was goofy, but also a little reserved and shy. A year later, and I see so much more confidence in her. I’ve seen her grow into herself and make decisions for herself, and carry herself higher. Even her most recent photo session which she ABSOLUTELY KILLED — It was night and day compared to the first time we did portraits.
She killed both sessions – do not get me wrong. This girl is a for real natural in front of the camera, and requires very little direction. The biggest difference I saw was in her gallery reveal / ordering appointment this time. She loved her photos in a new way. She loves herself in a new way. It’s a really beautiful thing to witness and I hope I had just a little to do with it, you know…? A little extra confidence is a really beautiful thing to gift someone with.
I’m going to miss having her by my side next year, but I’m so very excited to watch her go on her next adventure!
Thanks for tagging along with me this year, friend — and thanks for picking ME to document your senior year. It’s been a fun one!