One of the things I love most about Senior Storytelling Sessions is the ability to create a session that is so purely and uniquely them.
Something that no one else has.
Something that feels right to them.
Something that shows the world who they are and what they love.
And for this session, it was so simple. He loves basketball. He loves shoes. He loves history.
And we made all of that happen.
He came all the way from Texas (his parents happen to be my lifelong best friends), right here to Virginia Beach, to make this session happen.
We played basketball for hours and I watched him shoot endless baskets. It's pretty awesome to see someone get totally invested into their passion and just let loose right in front of you. He just zoned out and did his thing and I did mine- it was a great partnership!
We also hit up several historical landmarks during our time together- two birds with one stone, if you will. Learning new things and crushing Senior portraits. We also stopped along the way and ate great food, which is always a win in my book...and also a teenage boy's book!
His basketball team has won the NCHBC National Championship in 2020. He's been in many theatrical productions including Robin Hood, Gilligan's Island, and Kilroy Was Here. And to top it all off, he's a second-degree black belt.
Michael Jordan once said, "I've failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed." Go out there, make mistakes, and keep going. Don't worry about what other people say, just go out there and keep trying until you get it right.
Congratulations Judd! Class of 2023!
Leave him some words of wisdom in the comments below!
A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to photograph Emily for her Senior portraits. I couldn't have asked for a more beautiful, fun subject and the absolute best weather. It seemed a bit symbolic- with the last 2 years being the way they have been, it seemed like this was a message saying (for lack of better words) "it's going to be okay, brighter days are ahead." As it seems our world is slowly getting back to normal, it's so refreshing to be out at a charming farm celebrating the Class of 2022.
If you've been with me for a while, you know I will quietly get into my own feelings. And this session was full of them. From an unexpected flood of memories seeing an old piano, to watching Emily smile and absolutely come alive during her session, and then... I glanced back over my shoulder and saw 2 very proud parents snapping pictures on their phones and beaming with love. I can't imagine what they are feeling, seeing their baby getting ready to graduate and head off into the world- she's taking senior portraits after all! I can tell you, as I am sure everyone who has ever met Emily can say, ya'll have done a great job raising her- she is pure joy!
If I had one word of advice for the Class of 2022, and classes thereafter as well, it would be to never let go of your passions. Find what sets your soul on fire and do that. It might not be your career, but don't ever let go of those things that bring you joy in your life. Find time for them, make that a priority.
I have something truly exciting to share with ya'll!
I have been asked about Senior sessions a lot this year and I have decided to do something new and meaningful- I've decided to offer a limited number of Senior Storytelling Sessions. These sessions are going to blend traditional senior portraits with my documentary style to create something really beautiful and one-of-a-kind. Something that perfectly fits each individual.
From the bottom of my soul, I am so excited for these.
These teenagers have been really put through it these past 2 years, it's been a wild ride. A lot of their high school experiences have been taken away from them by this awful pandemic. I want to do something outside of the box for them, something untraditional, I want to do these my way.
I'm not asking for them to smile. I'm not asking for them to be a certain way or feel a certain way. This year was heavy. It continues to be heavy.
I'm letting them show me what they want to show me. We're hanging out with zero expectations and I'm letting them lead the way... I'm just capturing moments and making art as we go- only the littlest bit of guidance from me here and there.
I want these to be like a heart to heart, but on camera.
I want these to be absolutely infused with their personality and their interests. If they are shy and introverted, I'm not asking them to jump up and down and model for me, let's just be quiet together. If they are an artist, let's work with that. If they are a skater, then we're going to the skate park. If they love to surf, we're headed to the beach then. Whatever they are into, who ever they are, that's what we want to remember. That's what we want to celebrate.
To the Class of 2022- I see you.
For more information about booking your Senior Storytelling Session, use the Contact tab above or you can just click here.
I'm so excited to tell their stories and create something meaningful for them... and for you mama. It's like you blinked and here we are, am I right?
Jess is a photographer serving families located in the Hampton Roads area of Virginia. She specializes in documentary and storytelling photography.