Rachel and I met up last summer to discuss her Senior Pictures. We knew each other a little from church, but I didn’t feel like I knew her really well personally and I was looking forward to our coffee talk! We sat at St Thomas Roasters, coffees in hand, and I asked her what she was into and whether she had a vision for her senior photos.
She told me she loves to read, draw, listen to music and hang with her friends. She’s 3rd oldest of 7 kids so she doesn’t get much quiet time! Rachel has a heart to serve and has been on quite a few mission trips; Honduras, Kentucky, North Carolina and New York, and hopes to do many more in her lifetime. She’s been accepted at Messiah College to pursue her BS in Nursing and hopes she can use those skills on the mission field some day.
Rachel told me it was hard for her to decide on a location, because she loves nature but also really loves the city. So I suggested we split her session into two shorter ones so we could capture both. Together we decided on mid-town, Harrisburg followed by a field of flowers. We were excited about the idea of the contrasting environments for her!
When I asked Rachel if she had any concerns about being photographed, she said that she felt unsure about posing and would need help there. I told her not to worry about that because I would give her plenty of direction and it would be fun.
When the date for Rachel’s Midtown photo session rolled around, I met up with her, her Mom, Kristen and one of her younger sisters, Sarah. We looked over her clothing options and decided where to start. I brought along my new portable dressing room which worked out really well. Rachel and Leah instructed me on the art of the boomerang video to capture that fun… woohoo! Teach this grandma some new tricks ladies! 😂
We made our way through alley-ways finding spots with lots of urban character. As it turns out, Rachel (who didn’t know how to pose) did really awesome with all these little head tilts and micro-adjustments without even being prompted. I literally laughed out loud and said, “I thought you didn’t know how to pose!” Friends. She’s a natural! Don’t let her fool you. Seriously, I think it’s just this young lady’s natural beauty and joy coming through. She can’t help it. It’s who she is.
We ran around along state street for a while, then hopped in the car in search of a mural. She said this one reminded her of her little brother. I know I love the purple with her mustard-colored shirt.
A month or two passed and I was keeping an eye out for something pretty for Rachel’s flower field session. Late in the summer I took a different way home from work and drove by a field full of yellow and purple wildflowers. I thought of Rachel immediately, so I texted her that night and we arranged to meet the following week.
This time she brought her Dad and a girlfriend, Emily – see how I used those new boomerang skills?! We put on our bug spray and boots and waded into the weeds together. It didn’t take long to capture the nature-loving Rachel looking beautiful in her grassy field. Dad captured a few BTS shots for us before wrapping up our time together.
It’s now spring of 2020 as I get ready to post this. Rachel has finished her Senior year online. I spoke with her the other day and we talked about how the pandemic has stolen away so many of the things she she and her friends have looked forward to doing together.
Senior trips and events have been cancelled, prom is delayed and may be missed altogether. Graduation isn’t the event they expected it to be. It’s a big disappointment for her and her friends. I know she’s been handling it really well, and making the best of this time; keeping busy, enjoying the outdoors and some time with friends where she can.
This girl has a great attitude and an outlook that I admire. I just want to say congratulations Rachel, you’ve made it to a big milestone in your life and you’re going to do great things. I just know it. I can’t wait to see where God leads you!