My Biggest Regret as a High School Senior

Since I am a senior photographer I thought it was about time to share a bit of my story and let you in on why you seniors are especially important to me!

Let's go back to my senior year.
So my church has a youth choir and every May we would preform for our church with singing gospel songs, dancing, and acting a full script that was relevant to life's hurdles and experiences.
Come June all 100+ of us high schoolers and youth leaders would jump on a couple of busses and take the show on the road for a full week. 
My senior year we went to Tampa to preform our show "Commit" to different churches, venues and even Busch Gardens Tampa! 

I'd never dated anyone before. I was fully content being independent for as long as it took. I watched too many people go through heart break and the thought of dating just because I liked someone was not going to cut it for me. I asked God in middle school to give me the patients for who he already had planned for me. And I was never actually all that interested in anyone that way either during that time, until that week on tour. (Though I was lonely a lot of the time I thank God for giving me all those years to myself.)
Every Summer our church runs an internship and there happened to be this guy in the program that I'd seen before but completely dismissed(ever since a friend showed me a framed photo of him modeling undies as a gag gift they were planning to give someone for Christmas). "Ew" I said. I walked away because I was not interested in him at. all.

So fast forward to a couple of days into the tour. As an introvert I politely excused myself from the loud, crazy and dramatic happenings of 100 high schoolers together with no parent authority except for the rad youth leaders(who keep you in control but are completely fine with you eating as much candy as you want and acting a little crazier than you would if your parents were lording over you the whole week. Plus they reward you with Disney Princess temporary tattoos when you say your memory verses throughout the week. Shout out to Sharon!). Anyways I decided to split my time with my loud friends and time by myself. My friend Brenna was in the same boat and we spent a good deal of time leaning on each other that week. So the intern guy really only knew Brenna out of all the youth before being an intern so he started tagging along with us in our moments of quiet friendshipness. 
I remember everyone playing basketball, volleyball and frisbee all in the same indoor gym at the exact same time. Brenna and I grabbed some hula hoops and went to the corner to play by ourselves like it was preschool or something. Next thing I know intern boy has joined us and the three of us hula hooped for a solid hour and I don't even kid you, it was that long. Everything about him was so freakishly like me it was kinda uncomfortable. So I guessed that's when I first noticed a boy before.
Rewind a bit, I had a dream a couple of years before. There was the sound of rushing water, a tall figure and a splash in my face. I specifically remember knowing as I woke up from that dream, that whoever that figure was, was going to be my best friend. So fast forward back to the last full day of the tour, our last performance was at Busch Gardens, and we were by the rapids ride with our park group of the day(he found a way to be my riding buddy the entire day and it was super cute), we had all just gotten cups of water to hydrate and when all I had left was ice he walked up and just smacked the bottom of my cup and it threw icy water all over my face. I knew right then that I would marry the tall and lanky/intern/undies model.

I say all of this because ever since that last day of our Summer tour, even though Thomas and I didn't start dating until the start of the next school year again, my single days were completely over. My student days were over. I decided to take a gap year which turned into running my own business. My senior year was my last year of being a kid. Everything was about to completely change and all of the adult responsibilities were about to fall into my lap.
I have a pretty great story to tell my children one day. But know what I don't have? Pictures.  I didn't get my Senior Pictures done and I completely regret it. In fact I was behind the camera so much that year, taking my friends senior photos, and documenting my summer trips, that I was rarely in front of the camera at all. I actually didn't even think much about it which is kinda crazy since I was doing just that for all of my friends and even my twin brother.
Know what I do have? Photos of my parents. Here are some from when they went to prom together about 102 years ago! ;)

I love these photos because I have a clear glimpse into the youth of my parents. I look back on my senior year and remember falling in love with my best friend. But I don't get to show my kids these same photos. And it makes me cringe even now. It's common that photographers are not in front of the camera often and that's something Thomas and I plan to do a lot more of. But my senior year was the biggest year of my life. So much adventure, excitement, love, and bittersweet goodbyes. I learned so much about myself that year too. And I can't show you. There's just something about seeing a photo that brings it all back. The good and the bad, I believe, are both too important at that stage of life to skip having a moment to yourself, of yourself, to be documented.
So I urge you, I ask you, please get your senior photos done. Guys you too! This year is way too important to let slip by. Find a photographer that you connect with and who you trust to capture who you are as a senior because you absolutely cannot let it slip by. You're so special and having your photos done let's you show the world that you are not just a face in the crowd. You have a unique story to tell. And one of the biggest benefits to having your photos taken is that you will start to see people differently. You'll look at a crowd and start picking out people and think about their lives as individuals and be able to connect with all of their joys and sorrows as well by noticing them as a person and not a number in the mix.
Photography is so much more than taking pictures and earning money. I know it's so much more to me and I hope that you'll find it's so much more to you too. So I'll say it again: Find a photographer you can relate to and get your photos done!! You're too rad not to!