As a high school senior photographer, I see and hear first hand the struggles that teenagers have while they are naviagting their way through the waters of high school. The presence of social media plays a big part in how teenagers feel about themselves, as well as peer-pressure to “look a certain way”.
When I started planning my Valentine’s Day Senior Model Shoot, I knew I wanted to do something that could really help other teenagers. I asked my models if they would feel comfortable sharing three strengths they have as well as three vulnerabilities they have about themselves. The resounding answer was YES! I loved the response they had to my idea. I feel that society really puts a lot of pressure on teens to act a certain way, or look a certain way. Everyone feels pressure, and teens are no different.
I really want to thank my senior models for being so candid with their answers. It really shows how they really feel. During our shoot, I asked my models to write down one strength about another model, and share it with them. I recorded some video as they shared their messages and I get goosebumps watching their reactions. After my models shared their strengths and vulnerabilities, we decided to rip up the vulnerabilities. Because really, why hang on to them, right?! After the shoot, my models decided to keep their paper hearts that contained the uplifting words from the other models. I hope they keep that heart and look back at it over time, and feel uplifted. We all mentioned how uplifting it is to receive a kind message from someone. I mean think about it, when was the last time you complimented your husband, friend, mom, coworker, or even a stranger? Kind words matter. Kind words heal. Kind words UPLIFT. If you are reading this, I encourage you to say something kind once a day. You never know how those words will change someone’s day.
I want to share some kind words directly to my senior models: You are all good enough. You are all beautiful. You are all kind and generous. You all matter.
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