NO OTHER NOW

I am currently reading a book called Dandelion Wine. I think I have mentioned my quest to read (or reread) some classic literature over the next few years on the blog before. I actually didn't even know Dandelion Wine was a classic until I found my husbands' copy in the bookshelf with intermittent pencil markings denoting "themes" and "situational paradox." Yeah, I'm glad to be reading it outside of a 7th grade classroom. But, nonethless, I would say that the book's place on the 7th grade summer reading list qualifies it as a classic. I'm glad I picked it up a few weeks ago (it can actually be read in about 2 hours I think but I have a two page maximum after 9 pm) because everything about it is reminiscent of summer. The wonder of summer and of being young. The book consistently references time...and the now. A thing I love. When I read this quote a couple days ago...it made me so happy (and thanks to the previous readers' shared appreciation, it was easy to locate again).

"No matter how hard you try to be what you once were, you can only be what you are here and now. Time hypnotizes. When you're nine, you think you've always been nine years old and will always be. When you're thirty, it seems you've always been balanced there on that bright rim of middle life. And then when you turn seventy, you are always and forever seventy. You're in the present, you're trapped in a young now or an old now, but there is no other now to be seen."

This is Rachel. She graduated from high school a week ago. She lives in the now. I have known her for almost five years and I feel pretty darn lucky to have watched her become this. She is incredible. Smart. Full of life. Joyful. And best of all -- she fully embraces who she is in the here and now. I love that about her.

There is no other now...

IT'S LOVELY TO LIVE ON A RAFT

"It's lovely to live on a raft. We had the sky up there all speckled with stars, and we used to lay on our backs and look at them, and discuss about whether they was made or only just happened." Mark Twain

I have been re-reading some classic literature intermittently over the past few years. Some of it hasn't been pretty. But I am resting happily half way through The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn right now. I really want to read every last thing that left Mark Twain's brain and made it to a piece of paper eventually...I love getting lost in a world where it is acceptable to live on a raft, sleep in a wigwam, and only bathe when you want to. Adventures were made for me. It's one of the reasons I like teenagers so much. They are standing on the precipice of the rest of their lives and adventure is at their fingertips waiting to be discovered. It is this incredible time in life when you're allowed to dream and figure out what the world is all about. I loved seeing that quality in Ashlee and Jamie when I shot their senior pictures a couple weeks ago. They are both full of conviction and livliness and I can't wait to see what they do with their lives.   

TESS - CHARLOTTE SENIOR PHOTOGRAPHER

I've been so excited to post these!! Tess is incredible. I always marvel at the wonderful people God puts in my life...Tess is a senior at Weddington High School but this fall she is off to UNC Chapel Hill. She is brilliant, unbelievably hard working, beautiful, and peaceful. She is interested in so many fun things and always wants to try new stuff. She thinks about the world differently than most teenagers and I wish everyone could know how great she is! Sorry that you can't...but you can at least see how beautiful she is.

It is so nice photographing people when you know their personalities...when we were making plans for Tess' shoot I pictured her frolicking in fields & walking in a stream. She agreed to let her flower child out and here is the result:

Tess! You are so beautiful! I'm so happy that I know you...

grea - charlotte senior photographer

Grea (pronounced Gray...coolest name ever) is a senior at Fort Mill High School. She is a cheerleader, a great conversationalist, and a soon-to-be-nurse (that's what she plans on studying in college). I had tons of fun getting to romp around a farm with her and her mom for a few hours while I photographed Grea. The first time I was introduced to this photographer's heaven was when I photographed the Hardwick Family on their friends' beautiful property. Well, Grea's mom is Kendall Hardwick's sister so I found myself at that lovely farm yet again!! Woohoo! People always tell me that my sister and I have uncanny similarity in our voices and mannerisms. I can never really hear or see it but I have a feeling it's a lot like Marion and Kendall - I couldn't believe it...so the same!

Grea and her mom are great friends so they wanted to do some shots together! The rest of the shots were just Grea looking gorgeous...it was hard to choose favorites! And a few of her in her cheerleading uniform. Thank you guys for a fun afternoon! Enjoy!!

shelbi, amber, & danelle - charlotte senior photographer

Meet Shelbi...

and Amber....

and Danelle...

Meet Shelbi, Amber, and Danelle:

If you were thinking they looked pretty fun, you were right! We packed into the Fit last week with duffle bags of outfit changes and started our tour of Weddington! Amber, Shelbi, and Danelle wanted to do their senior sessions together so we could capture them individually but also get some shots displaying the wonder of their friendship with each other! The three girls are so different but enough the same that the three of them together is quite right! They were all so good at having their pictures taken...incredibly natural, confident and creative! I was asking tons of question about their lives (as usual, I'm such a question asker) and I couldn't help but think afterwards that I'm not sure I was even close to that mature my senior year of high school! They are all so driven and excited about the future and I know they will be wonderful at college and just life in general (but even if they are not - I'm sure all three could have a career in modeling any day)! Ok, enough out of me! Check it out!

britney - senior

Meet Britney! I'm not sure if she could be any more wonderful...

I've known Britney for almost four years now - she's in the youth group at the church I used to work at. It has been incredible getting to watch Britney grow up. That makes me sound like an old lady, but really, 13 to 17 is crazy change-o time. From braces and Disney channel to having a job and applying to colleges (actually I still watch Disney channel...who am I kidding?). Britney brings joy to anyone who is lucky enough to be in her presence. She was created to laugh and be happy and she doesn't let the stress and woes of this world impose on that! That's a quality we could all use a little more of. 

Brit is a senior at Sun Valley High School where she is a cheerleader and she's on student government. Her only prop at the session was her Bible. I'm tellin' ya, she's pretty incredible. She sat and read her favorite verse from Psalms and we snapped a few frames of it! Her amazing mom joined us for the session and it was so refreshing to watch them enjoying each other. Sarah could not be a more inspirational, encouraging woman and mother. Enjoy the pictures!

allison - senior

Allison and her mom are so wonderful! I wish everyone had the opportunity to witness their relationship...they enjoyed each other so much and it was so encouraging to see a mother and daughter having so much fun with each other [and letting me be a part of it]! Allison graduated a few weeks ago and has recently begun summer school at Ole Miss [and she's proud of it, you'll see her sporting some gear below]. Allison's hobby is admittedly people. She loves people...meeting them, chatting with them, hanging out with them. She is talented at it too...she was so easy to talk to and I know were she got it -- her wonderful mother Marlene! Marlene is also a talented jewelry maker and owns her own business

Thank you guys so much for such a fun time and for being up for anything!

Allison, I hope you're loving college as I am typing this! Enjoy your senior/freshman pictures!  

stephanie - senior

I feel so blessed that I get to know Stephanie. She is such a wonderful example of selflessness and acceptance. She comes from a family of four siblings...which could be how she got to be so easy going. She can adapt in any situation...and make anyone feel comfortable. She is truly a wonder...and she's only 18! I admire her heart so much.

Steph and one of her sisters and I ventured out for her session last week. We were going for a natural look so we decided to explore a bit of South Charlotte and we found some killer spots...old barns, tall grass, perfect setting sunlight. Stephanie is one of the happiest people I know but she and her sister interacting was even happier than normal. I loved being a witness to it...so much laughter and fun. Steph, I think you're beautiful...I'm not sure these images can do your beauty [inside and outside] any justice! I hope you enjoy the pictures!