As kids grow into teenagers parents tend to forego the whole annual family photoshoot thing. It doesn't seem as critical to document these years because the children don't seem to be changing as much. There aren't as many milestones. And there are plenty of soccer games and weekend activities to keep everyone very, very busy.
But there was one thing that Sasha's Mom said to me, when she saw her family's photographs, that really stuck.
"I think Sasha really needs to see how beautiful she is."
And I completely agree.
Not only is she incredibly beautiful (not to mention smart and caring and all those other things that make us beautiful on the inside), but she's also a typical teenage girl.. where she doubts herself and doesn't quite see what her Mom and I obviously did. Having images that show her true beauty is incredibly important, and these photographs go a step beyond being just pretty pictures. They become a way for us to know ourselves and to be proud of who we are.
And that notion that teens don't change is totally wrong too. They have new interests every year. Benjy is learning to play guitar and enjoys riding on his longboard. He's a bit more laid back now and more serious than he was last year. Sasha really loves photography and asked that we document her passion in these images. Interests change, or they become lifelong passions, and in both cases it's important to have photographs that remind us of that.
And there's one more thing that I really loved about this photoshoot. Mom's portrait. As women get older, they acquire this amazing glow. They have this inner conviction and confidence that comes from raising kids into self-sufficient human beings.. from having the experience of taking care of a family, no matter what.. and from always being there for the people who need them. Moms also tend to put themselves last. (I know this because I am one.) So to be able to give a Mom a beautiful portrait of herself, is simply the best thing in this world.