There is a lot that I gain from photographing grad sessions for incredible youth like Deirdre. Grad sessions offer a certain amount of freedom – there is always permission and time to play behind the camera. They also offer a personal satisfaction beyond the creative. Firstly, the sessions are pure celebration – those months after grad are akin to when you place a bookmark in between the pages of a good read, put the book down and just take time for a satisfying deep breath. Secondly, let’s be real, we photograph children, constantly these days, however when they become teens it typically stops. A grad session is often a long overdue portrait, and sometimes the last one before (eeek) a wedding. Thirdly, I get to hang out with really amazing people. Sometimes the grad is someone new to me – and the conversations uncover someone so interesting to me. Other times it is someone like Deirdra, who,through community overlap, I have watched grow up. As well as it being a chance to really look at them, I have the chance to learn more of who they are, as we weave conversation throughout photo taking – it is always inspiring.
I was so honored and excited to photograph Deirdre. I have watched her quiet but strong presence in the dance and theatre community she shares with my daughter. I saw her kindness, talent and brains – she has a wise way, beyond her years. On this lovely evening I was also privy to her killer sense of humor.
Deirdra, thank you so much for sharing yourself with me and for letting your talent and kindness radiate and for being the type of person other kids can look up to.