About a month ago, I offered a limited number of free sessions to area incoming high school seniors. I've neglected that portion of my business, and it's one of those things I LOVE to do. More than two decades since I graduated and just a few months before I return to school for yet another graduate degree, I love to hear about their plans, ideals, interests, and values. It's uplifting to see these kids, young adults really, and to see how socially and personally aware they are. For most, there is still a sense of naivete as well as an idea that the world can change. It's hope the rest of us, those who have been jaded by the pressures of daily life, the missed goals, and dreams, and the setbacks we've encountered.
Meeting Mykhala and her mom, Beth, provided exactly that opportunity. Mykhala is a member of the Bellefonte High School Class of 2019, and her mom owns Indigo Wren's Nest Wellness Center. As we all know, it can be awkward standing in front of a camera. Both mother and daughter were outgoing, friendly, and exuded a warmth not many people can muster in that situation. I tend to be a pretty goofy and nerdy guy, with an active streak of "dad humor" and a complete and utter lack of pride that helps me get people chuckling. With all three of us, there were plenty of laughs to go around. Mykhala immediately stole the show, and her animated facial expressions, natural ease, and willingness to give new things a try made her a pretty perfect model.
It's not easy being the star of the show, and more difficult yet sustaining that energy for nearly two hours. Mykhala managed that and more while showing an emotional range that's tough to beat. Her expressions were genuine and made me feel like every image was authentic. What's better than that? Twenty years from now, when she stumbles across a print or sees one of her photos on Facebook, I hope she'll say, "OMG! THAT WAS SO ME!"
That's what I try for in every session. We spend much of our lives trying to be someone else, attempting to fit our personalities into the mold we think other people need us to fill and it can be exhausting. I know that feeling, and it's why we spend so much time during my sessions working toward those candid and sincere moments.
Let me capture your truth.