Positive Parenting: Finding the Good in Teenagers
On occasion I’ll be paging through poems or quotes and come across something really meaningful. If you know me, you know photography is not a job for me. It never has been. But finding what I love to shoot? Now THAT was a job! It took years of shooting anything and everything from newborns and babies to families to seniors, taking every job I was offered, attempting to find my true passion. Pretty much everything but weddings…and I even tried that once. Where did my love fall? With teenagers. Hands down, no question about it. Many people think I’m crazy, other photographers wouldn’t even think of taking on a full schedule of teenagers. But for me, it is a time in their lives that I truly love! They are acting out, learning about themselves, and growing up. I love being a part of it, hearing about their passions, sports, school, friends, music, and even the drama. I love it all!!
And Then I Hear the Comments…
You know the ones.”Look out when your kids are teenagers!” “The teenage years are worse than terrible twos!” “I can’t wait to get my teenagers out of the house!” Did you ever stop to think that your kids hear this? Even if it isn’t from you, everyone seems to have this impression of teenagers. So in my search, I found this lovely poem written by Natalie Stafford. Let’s just say it puts it all in perspective.
If you have kids and teens but haven’t visited Hands Free Mama, take some time to check it out! You’ll see this poem as well as many other resources on parenting your teenager!
A Positive Outlook
We all know how much words mean, both positive and negative. When teens hear so much negative talk, of course they’re going to take it to heart! We all know the 3 second rule when we drop food. But what about this simple 5 second rule that stops words before they wound?
So I’m going to take the time to talk about some amazing teenagers, some just starting their teen years and some who were clients years ago and are now in their 20’s. I can honestly say that I have NEVER had a teen that I didn’t love. I’ve had some that were insecure, many insist that they aren’t photogenic, and pretty sure all of them were nervous. I love keeping in touch with the families to see how everyone is doing! If you’re one of my past seniors or their parents, please reach out and let me know how everyone is doing and feel free to brag! I’d love to catch an updated headshot if possible and give you another chance to brag about them! (You know you want to!)
From full college scholarships and successful sports careers to engagements, law school, successful careers, and so much more! Teenagers have so much to offer the world! I’m so proud of each and every one of my high school seniors and how they’ve started off their young adult lives! Below are just a few of the teens who I’ve kept in touch with and watched them as they begin their adult lives.
Senior Portrait Sessions: Updates
Let’s start with the Abernethy family. This has been a long relationship with mom, Amy, supporting me since early on in my photography career. Connor and Kaden were young teens for our first photo shoot, then a few years later we got some updated portraits of the brothers. In 2015, Amy hired me again for Kelci’s senior portraits! As a 2019 grad, Connor offered me a chance to create some awesome baseball pictures, and was patient as I learned more about lighting for his senior portraits, which were taken both indoors and outdoors. His dad, Glen, being a photographer himself, even hopped a fence to hold my light in the right place for me! Talk about dedication! Then this year, Kaden graduated as Class of 2022 from Hamilton High School, and showed off some great outfits for guys senior pictures, and after so many photo shoots with this guy, he was so easy going and rolled all my request. I’ve absolutely LOVED watching these kids grow up!
Tally is another one of those spunky teens that I get to easily keep in touch with because of social media. She’s now a film major at NAU and has worked on 6 short films ranging from drama, sci-fi, horror, and even documentary! She even has her own IMDb page and radio show at NAU! I get chills just hearing about all her success! And of course, if you’re looking for some super fun senior pictures in Phoenix, Tally was up for all my ideas—even painting her face!
Mavery has kept me sane since our daughter, Alex, graduated and moved to New Mexico for nursing school. She’s a bonus daughter that comes over even when Alex isn’t here—you know, eats our food, sleeps on our sofa, and comes to give me life updates. So when I’m missing my baby girl, I can always count on Mave to fill me in on everything important, help me with photo shoots, and I’m pretty sure you’ve seen her face on my social media many times. Just in case though, you can check out her senior photo shoot including beautiful outdoor dance pictures. Now she’s attending ASU and studying to be a vet!
Is It True?
As a photographer who specializes in senior portraits, I work primarily with teens ages 13-19. Do they have their moments? Of course they do! But give them a chance, OK? Just because they’re teenagers. Enjoy this time, the fun, the independence, and even the mistakes. Because it all leads to growth.
Don’t go through life, grow through life.– Eric Butterworth