Well…this post is extra special. Last week, I got to photograph my beautiful little sister’s senior portraits as she prepares to graduate high school. Even as I’m typing those words, I cant believe them!!! If you’ve been following me on Instagram, you know that Abby had brain surgery last May and has been through a whole lot in her health journey the last few years. But, in the midst of trials that no one should have to face…she was able to complete her classes with a high enough GPA to graduate EARLY (!!!) and apply to colleges I never could have DREAMED of. To say that I’m a proud big sister would be an understatement.
I have been photographing Abby for almost her entire life (she was one of my models back when I first started my business), so we knew we had to do something special for her senior pictures. We had brainstormed quite a bit over the last few months about where we should do them and what they should look like…and then we finally decided: Abby had always wanted to visit the desert. She had never visited anywhere outside of the East Coast, and last week also happened to be her 17th birthday! So, we thought it was the PERFECT excuse for our very first girls trip together (just us!!!) to make her epic destination shoot a reality!
We planned this entire shoot in less than 2 weeks (yep, seriously) and Abby has SUCH amazing style. She is an artist herself, and she wanted more high-fashion and editorial-style images than I typically do for my seniors. And I was ALL about it! We flew to Arizona together and spent our entire first day photographing around our hotel property, driving through Scottsdale and then ending in the desert at sunset. In case you were wondering…Arizona is HOT in July. Like…120 degrees hot. BUT, it meant that we had the locations ALL to ourselves…even if we almost had heat strokes while shooting. Ha!!!
Aside from creating beautiful images that I am SO proud of, this trip was special to me for so many reasons. It was the first time Abby and I have had the chance to travel together without the rest of the family, her first time leaving the East Coast and it was a celebration of her LIFE as much as it was her senior portraits. Her journey the last few years is not mine to share…but if you think you know how strong she is…you have no idea. She is truly the most inspiring woman I’ve ever known, and the things she has accomplished at her age, despite everything life has thrown at her, is just something I can’t even comprehend most days.
Abby, you could have had anyone take your senior portraits (Truly! We told you a billion times it didn’t have to be me!), but I am so honored that I got to capture these for you. You are beautiful, inspiring, kind, bold, hilarious, hard-working and relentlessly strong. I’m so lucky to be your sister.
If you are a photographer that wants to see this entire shoot from start to finish…CLICK HERE to be added to the wait list because we FILMED the entire thing on location in Arizona (!!!)
And, if you want to see a full vlog of this trip from start to finish (including us getting kicked off the hotel property mid-shoot…LOL), be sure to subscribe to my YouTube channel – it’ll be going live there soon!
We kicked things off shooting on property at our hotel! I LOVED this blue dress, and we had big plans to photograph the entire next outfit by the pool…but RIGHT after this photo was taken, we were stopped by a security guard who told us we couldn’t shoot there anymore. So we had to come up with a last-second game plan!
After a bit of deliberation, we jumped in the car and decided to drive to the desert (which we planned to do later on) and stop along the way at anywhere that looked promising. We pulled off on the side of the highway for this whole next set of photos…and I’m OBSESSED!
You guys know how I feel about flowers!! And pink!!! This is one of my favorites from the whole shoot!
Then off to the desert we went!! Also absolutely loved this dress!
The fact that she still looked like this after being in 115+ degree heat for HOURS…
This orange number was for SURE the show-stopper!!! It was her favorite outfit (by far) and it looked SO good with the desert color palette!
We were all SO tired and hot by this point (we may or may not have run out of water 30 mins into shooting…did I mention how hot it was?) But we NEEDED this last grand finale outfit!!!
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