Well, it is that time of year again. Our current high school seniors are graduating and moving on to the next chapters in their lives. What that next chapter looks like for each of them is as different as their Instagram grids. It is a time of excitement, nostalgia, thanksgiving, anticipation, and possibly, some trepidation.
There is no doubt that this group of Generation Z has their work cut out for them. We are creating a multitude of issues and problems that their creative and inventive minds will be forced to tackle. Many cynics have doubts about their ability to navigate our world, let alone, lead it. With stigmas revolving around laziness, emoji communication, Tide Pod consumption, and You-Tuber idolatry, the critics have some viable ammunition. "What is our world coming to?" "Well, in my day...." "God help us!"
My experience has led me to an entirely different interpretation of this group of young people who are making this prodigious transition. My role as a portrait photographer working with high school seniors places me in a very intimate position where I have the unique opportunity to get to know these people well in a short period of time. As I aspire to create authentic portraits of my seniors, I am asking questions and making observations that lead me to all of the conditions necessary for an accurate representation of the true self and all of the beauty that comes with it. My observations render a very optimistic prediction about the impact that this group of graduates will have on our world. (I'm sorry if I am sounding a little "science-y." I can't turn that off.)
It is typical for graduation cards and graduation speeches to contain advice and nuggets of wisdom that we, of older generations, feel compelled to impart on the graduates. We have been there, done that, and want to help them to follow a smoother path, if they will just listen. Well, I would like to turn that around. I have been listening. I have been listening, and watching, and learning. My Laura Esposito Photography Seniors have taught me so much over this past year of working with them. My gift is to share their wisdom and the lasting impressions they have left on me. (Sniff, sniff.... I get emotional just thinking about it.)
So, let me start with my very first 2018 Senior, Alexis. Talk about starting the Senior season with a win! Alexis taught me that we shouldn't take ourselves too seriously. Laughter that comes easily and is pure in nature is something to be enjoyed.
I continued my high with Sydney's Portrait Session. Sydney taught me the importance of taking time to reflect.
Lexi taught me that we need to live a life that is worth loving.
Kat showed me the importance of making a statement and embracing the real you.
Kelsey taught me that striving for and achieving success should never tarnish a heart of gold.
Victoria showed me a great example of staying focused on your dreams and making them come true. Victoria | Class of 2018
Valerie taught me that the "natural you" is the most beautiful and authentic version of you.
Nathan showed me the importance of living in the moment and embracing the here and now.
Matt taught me that you find your true identity in your passions.
Nick showed me that you should not settle for anything less than who you want to be and what you want to become.
Zack taught me the importance of appreciating the sources of joy in your life.
Nathan showed me that there is power and presence in subtlety.
Jacob taught me how to find fun in unexpected places, and if it isn't there, then you create the fun yourself.
Kurt showed me the importance of embracing tradition and making it your own.
Tyler taught me the value of being passionate in whatever you do.
Hayden showed me that the path to success doesn't have to be serious business.
Valentina taught me that you really do have the power to make your future bright.
Bri showed me the value in being able to find your place and then making it your own.
Hunter reminded me not to sweat the small stuff. Why do we forget this one so often?
Allyson showed me the power in a smile. It is such a simple gift that needs to be shared.
Rachael taught me to never underestimate others. People are much stronger than they might appear.
Jordan showed me that you won't be able to make your mark until you get in the game.
Emilee taught me the importance of embracing your talents and making them work for you and for others.
Jared reminded me that to find success, you don't make excuses, you make an effort.
Noah taught me that your path is your own, and you need to follow the one that inspires you.
Victoria has been teaching me life lessons for 18 years. Among the many are some gems such as:
-Work hard and never give up.
-Always look your best.
-Think before you act.
-Anything worth doing is worth doing well.
-Nothing is impossible if you are willing to work hard.
-Always consider how your words or actions will affect others.
-Put others feeling before your own.
-You can always find a way to give back.
Is it any wonder that my view of the future is so bright? Can you see why I get so excited about working with my Seniors?
My message to the Class of 2018 is one of pure gratitude. I want them to know that they have all made an impact on me, and that I am a better person for having worked with them. I truly wish them all the best and hope that I can continue to serve as their photographer in the future. I will enjoy watching them fulfill my grandiose expectations.
To the Class of 2019... I can't wait to meet you! You have such an exciting year ahead, and I would love to be part of it. Portrait dates fill up quickly in the summer and fall, so contact me soon to claim some dates on my calendar. It is your turn to create some amazing portraits to treasure. What will you be teaching me?
You make the memories; I will help you cherish them.
Love and Smiles,