You Have NO IDEA how much your life will change after this year! But it will. Here’s my personal experience.
In the fall of 1994, we took our oldest daughter Hollie to school at Western Washington in Bellingham, 6 hours away from home, to start her freshman year of college.
We spent the entire day unpacking and setting up her dorm room. All the necessities – computer, stereo, refrigerator. We helped her put all her things away and get everything arranged so that she’d start to feel at home quickly.
We explored the campus together, met her neighbors and her roommate, and generally spent the day getting her all set up and comfortable.
Now, intellectually, I knew we were leaving her there, and we were very excited about the transition to the next stage of her life; that of a college student a long way from home.
But emotionally, it hadn’t hit me yet that:
This little girl, who’d been an integral part of my life on a daily basis for 18 years…
This little girl, whom I’d first held in my arms in the hospital such a short time ago…
This little girl, whom we watched on stage for the first time at age 12 as the strawberry seller in Oliver…
This little girl, who we nurtured through her first puppy love and breakup…
This little girl, who dazzled us with her voice and stage presence in her first lead role in high school…
This little girl, who was always there with a hug for daddy, and then for dad…
This little girl – wasn’t going home with me.
Tears started to fill my eyes as she kissed me goodbye. It really hit me HARD. ( even now, 16 years later, as I write this, my eyes moistened up a bit remembering how it felt).
No more would she come bounding down the stairs at six thirty am so she could get to Southernaires on time.
No more would she be there when I came home from work, diligently doing her homework
No more, would she be hanging out in the back yard, around the pool with all her friends.
No, she was now on to her own life,
and for the next few years, she was only home in the summer. And that was the last time she was a part of our home life. After graduating from college, she moved to the midwest for graduate school, then on to the east coast to work as a musical theatre actress.
There she met her love, got married, and now she lives in Italy with her husband and our granddaughter. I’ve seen her three times since 2007. Since they’re an Air Force family, they’ll never live very close to us as long as I’m alive. Very hard on a dad who’s so close to his daughter.
When she graduated, I had no idea just how much my life, and her role in it, was going to change.
After she graduated, we had no more than 12 total months when she was back at home as an integral part of our home life. I didn’t realize that our time together from that point on was going to be so limited. When I graduated from college, I found a job, got married and raised my family within 1o minutes of my parents. Somehow, I just assumed this would be the case with my kids as well.
But fortunately, being the daughter of an aspiring photographer at the time, our house was filled with portraits of her, and that always helped fill the void.
Every morning as I came down the stairs, I was treated to the vision of a portrait of her in one of her theatrical costumes, and it always gave me a warm feeling, because that was such a big part of her life, and of ours.
As I walked through the living room, she was there, even though she wasn’t. Another of her portraits hangs on the wall inside the front door, and there are more in the basement family room. These always help me feel her presence, and remind me of the closeness we have, even though she’s 8000 and 9 time zones away.
That’s the power of the senior portraits we create for you. That’s why we call them “visual hugs”, because, just like a hug, we want them to leave you with a warm feeling every time you experience them.
I guess that’s why we’re so passionate about what we do, and about the importance of creating something wonderful for every family; Great portraits of the senior, and then, the summer before they head off, a great family portrait as well.
Because so many families will experience the same thing I experienced shortly past the end of the senior year, and these portraits will help the distance seem closer, and the time seem shorter.
If you’ve read the accompanying article, you know that senior portraits are for YOU, not for the senior. This is not the place to cut corners, to get by, to have your neighbor with a “nice camera” try to create something that simply won’t stand the test of time.
Regardless of where you go, have something WONDERFUL created. Even in this economy, there’s a way to make sure you get something that you’ll treasure. We offer short sessions, and even payment plans to spread the cost out.
But don’t forever regret a decision now that keeps you from getting great senior pictures.