I’ve procrastinated writing this blog post about Katie because there is so much I want to say. How do I sum up how I feel about this beautiful girl? How do I express how much it means that I had the honor of taking her senior photos? I suppose the only way to is to try to keep it simple 🙂
I met Katie when I was a senior in high school. She was the cutest, curly-haired, little girl. Just nine years old and in love with learning. A high school group paired me with her to provide tutoring after school. Katie was homeschooled and her mom thought it would be fun for her to get to do her school work with an older student occasionally. My memories of tutoring Katie are some of my favorite from high school. I would go straight to her house after school and we would promptly make ourselves a snack (three course meal) and then get to work. Sometimes we would practice math facts while running around outside, sometimes we would do science experiments like baking soda volcanoes on the sidewalk or other exploding activities at the kitchen table (sorry, Melissa!). Sometimes we would pick out new books at the library. Sometimes we would spend the afternoon practicing our cartwheels. We were buddies and always had so much (messy) fun together.
That semester, I had a fantastic photography teacher that really encouraged me. I took a photo of Katie smelling a pink flower and played with editing affects at school the next day. My teacher insisted I enter it in a local contest and I ended up winning the student category. I was blown away. That award gave me so much confidence in my work and really sparked my love of photography. That photo is what lead me to asking for my first “real” camera for high school graduation and badgering a photographer the summer after graduation to let me begin interning for him that fall.
The day I launched my photography business, Katie messaged me saying that I had to be the one to take her senior photos this fall. SENIOR?! WHAT?! How did the time pass so quickly?!
She and her sweet mom arrived at her senior session with a bag of fun props. They showed them to me one by one and as they pulled the last item from the bag, Melissa said, “my only request is that we get a photo of Katie holding this.” It was that picture. I had framed and given it to her at our last tutoring session as a thank you for all the great memories she had given me. Apparently, it has hung in their home ever since. I teared up.
Katie, you are a smart, beautiful young woman. I hope you know how special you are to me. I am so proud to know you. Congratulations on your graduation!