I am beyond thrilled to finally write this blog post about this Empowered Girls Project photo session experience with Claire! (we originally captured these images in Fall 2019). I have known Claire her entire life (true story: they lived next door to me when I was in high school) and now she just finished her Freshman year at Carmel High School. She is an incredible and inspiring young girl who plays soccer, runs track and excels in academics. She also is adventurous and loves to hike, rock climb and hang out with her friends and teammates. Not only that, but she has the kindest heart and is going to do big things in this world.
The first part of an Empowered Girls Project session is we sit down and just have a very casual conversation where I ask some questions to get to know her better and to help her discover how strong and beautiful she is as a human being. (And yes, I bring snacks! Always snacks)😉
The second part of the experience is the actual photo session. We plan ahead ideas and stories to tell to fully capture who Claire is. We chose to do a fun/casual outfit outdoors, some hiking photos and soccer images.
Lastly, a few weeks later I come back to their home and show them the final edited images in a slideshow and help them pick their favorites. They chose to purchase the digital package for now instead of printing wall art (I love the cute boxes I create for clients to keep their crystal flash drive with images for safe keeping!)
I LOVE LOVE LOVE how this session turned out and have sprinkled in the interview questions throughout this blog post so that you can get to know Claire 🙃
What do you want to be when you grow up?
I don’t know exactly what I want to do yet but I want to do something with science.
What else are you really good at?
Soccer. I really like running, I think that’s fun. I want to run track in the spring but I don’t know if that’s going to happen because doing that and soccer and school is a lot. I also think rock climbing is really fun. I don’t do it all the time but when I have the chance we will go to Hoosier Heights which is indoor rock climbing. We just went true rock climbing in West Virginia. It was a really awesome sunset rock climbing event. I like science. And I also am taking this class called “Block” which is combined language arts and social studies and I really like that because it goes together. So we read books about the time period we’re learning about so it’s easier to understand everything you need to know.
Tell me about how do you make other people happy? Like your friends and family?
I do a lot of random stuff, just whatever comes into my head. I like making people laugh. For my friend, Ashton for her birthday, she turned 15 and I made her a box that had 15 “Open when…” letters and a collage on the top of the box. I like doing stuff like that because I just think it’s nice to receive that kind of stuff and it makes people happy.
What do other people tell you you’re good at? (friends, parents teachers, teammates)
My teachers say I’m a hard worker. My friends always tell me that I’m funny and good at making them feel good about themselves. My teammates say that I’m good at kind of keeping everybody close, like not everyone splitting off into groups.
So what do you like about school? Other than the subject of science?
I like lunch. School lunch is not very good, so I pack my lunch. LOL.
What are some things that frustrate you about school?
I don’t like the learning environment. Like I don’t like being at a desk all day. And just having to learn from lectures because I don’t like sitting. I like being active and moving around. I’m taking one class called Bio-Med, which is a part of Project Lead The Way, which that’s more self-lead, so I like that. They tell you, “This is what you need to get done for today” and if you don’t finish it then you do it for homework. That’s how the whole class is and you’re expected to learn everything you need to know for the tests based on what you’ve researched, so there’s no lessons or anything.
What makes you nervous or anxious?
I’m not a big fan of public speaking. I’m getting better at it but it still makes me really nervous. I’m fine and raise my hand and talk a lot in class, but getting up in front of everyone is totally different. I’m a perfectionist so it’s hard because I want to know exactly what I want to say. Memorizing a 5-minute speech is not easy and one mess up throws me off.
Do you feel like society these days or the media pressures you to be a certain way?
I feel like there’s this ideal person that girls are supposed to look like this, act like this and be like this and no one is really like that. If you look like the ideal body, you’re lacking in other categories. Like maybe you’re not nice or not very smart or something like that. I don’t feel pressured myself, but you see it a lot in school. I don’t really care. I just avoid people that are mean altogether.
Have you ever been bullied?
No. I don’t think my friends have either — either they don’t talk about it or it hasn’t happened. If it has, they haven’t talked about it. I have a good group of friends because we don’t let it get to us and we’re there for each other too. It wouldn’t go any further than someone saying something once because we would say, “Don’t do that.”
Who are some strong women in your life that you look up to? Whether people you know or celebrities etc. and what do you look up to them for?
I look up to my mom because she is strong and not afraid to share her opinion when it needs to be shared. I look up to my aunt because she’s gone through a lot, battled cancer twice, and she’s doing well. She’s doing what she loves now and is really happy with it. I look up to my favorite soccer player, Mia Hamm, because she was one of the first people to really show that girls should be able to play soccer too and they can play soccer and it’s just as entertaining to watch women’s soccer as men’s soccer.
If you were given $5,000 to give the most amount of happiness to the most amount of people what would you do with that $5,000?
Hmm that’s hard. I’d probably say the Sierra Club. Me and my dad are involved with some of the stuff they do and it’s just a lot of the environmental side of things. I think it’s important that we preserve and protect the earth because we only have one earth. It’s not like we can find something else that’s suitable for us to live on. The earth was made for us. You think about it and we’ve gotten to a point where a couple of years from now, the damage we’ve already done can’t be reversed. We can stop and it will stay the same, but it will never go back to the way it was.
To see Claire’s full session, click the video to watch below:
Thank you, Claire, for allowing me to capture your strength, personality and empowered beauty. It has been a joy to watch you grow up in the confident and kind young lady you have become and I KNOW you are going to do very big things in this world!