There are so many things to love and appreciate about this recent shoot with 13-year-old Ashton, I almost don't know where to start.
First of all, this age group is definitely under-photographed. So when Ashton's mom asked if I could document this time in her life, it was a resounding OF COURSE! I would love to get more tweens and teens in front of my camera and not just for senior pictures. Each stage of life has its own feel, its own joy, its own struggle and we are remiss if we don't document the journey of childhood as a whole.
Secondly, when I was asked if I could incorporate Ashton's back brace in her photo shoot, it was another resounding YES! Scoliosis is part of Ashton's journey. Highlighting it in a photograph communicates strength in the face of difficulty and a vulnerability that a lot of adults aren't even able to stomach. This girl is STRONG and BEAUTIFUL and BRAVE.
Of course, Ashton is naturally tall and gorgeous, but her spirit is even more beautiful. To know her is to love her.
Audrey Hepburn said it best- "Happy girls are the prettiest." And this is oh-so-true when it comes to this sweethearted teen.
Ashton, you are so very loved- by your friends, family, and the One who made you. Live that love out and you will always radiate this kind of beauty.
Now, go change the world with your joy and courage.