I’m sitting back stage with my laptop open listening to a handful of orphans sing on stage. Not literal orphans, but the ones from the show Annie, and they’re singing “Maybe” which is a song I sang probably dozens of times on various stages when I was a kid. I love seeing kids express themselves artistically. I don’t think I would have made it through my adolescence without art and music and singing specifically, so I love that these kids have an outlet.
One of the kids singing on stage is my sweet Katie.
The funny thing about Katie is that I really didn’t know her all that well until this year. I’ve known her sister, Emily, for years because she danced with my son and babysat the boys and was on my first A Team. Katie, however… I haven’t really gotten to know her. I thought she was a shy girl who was super timid, but I think she was just working on finding her words.
Over the past few months I’ve watched this kid transform into a badass teen who speaks up when she needs to, stands on her own, and truly OWNS her stuff. You know – stuff. The stuff that’s hard to talk about, and the stuff that makes us who we are even if it’s not the most glamorous stuff.
When Katie started going through some hard stuff – she started a blog about anxiety and everything that comes along with it. I’ve loved following along on her journey and watching her flourish over the past several months… Inspiring others and growing along the way. This specifically resinates with me because I share many of these same struggles and have for many years.
When we started planning her Freshman session, I knew Katie and I were going to get along great with the camera. I knew we had a similar quirky/fun sense of style and that we would find some fun to get into, and we definitely did! I love that she trusted me throughout this session and just let me do my thing. She brought her own sense of style – complete with her signature space buns, which just happen to be one of my favorite things as well.
While I was looking for spots before we started, I stumbled upon a carnival, so that decision was made pretttyyyyy quickly. Done and done! For the rest of the session, we used an old store and played with the light and just had fun.
I loved this session so much, you guys. I loved that her sister Emily helped us out as the “reflector girl” and I loved that I really got to feel Katie’s energy and capture who she is right this moment. She’s one of my Ultimate High School kids, so I am looking forward to capture these next few years with her!
On an incredibly exciting note – One of the photographs from this session is going to be featured in next month’s Inspiring Teens Magazine!!! I have loved reading along with Katie’s blog and watching her inspire others with her honesty and vulnerability, so I took a minute and nominated her for Inspiring Teens, and they loved her just as much as I do! I’m so proud of this girl, y’all!
Keep inspiring others, keep owning your stuff, and keep using your voice, Katie. I can’t wait to see your story unfold.