Senior Stars: Maddie



Friends, I can't wait to introduce my friend, Maddie, to you! I've known Maddie for about 6 years. When I was in my last years of teaching art in a public school, Maddie was in seventh and eighth grade and was in my art club! She was super creative, sweet, polite, and a cool kid! I've gotten to know her mom as well over these years and this family is just kind, thoughtful, smart, and just all-around fantastic! 

Session Details Note:

You'll get to learn a bit about Maddie below, but you'll also see many more "looks" than are often pictured in my Senior Stars series. That is because Maddie booked Senior Session III. She split it into two sessions. In the morning, we did her yearbook photo and a few industrially-inspired and outdoor portraits as well as cheerleading portraits.

In the evening, her hair was beautifully curled and we did creek portraits, forest and field portraits, and a few near a building. This gave her a tremendous amount of variety. Her biggest problem might be choosing because we got so many amazing shots AND had an awesome time hanging out together! :)

Favorite Hobbies and Books:

Maddie is this year's President of National Art Honor Society as well as a member of the National Honor Society. She has enjoyed the friendship and special projects that go along with those groups.

Maddie also really likes to read. One of her favorite books is The Loose Ends List by Carrie Firestone. She said, "I love this book because it was filled with lots of humor but it was overall a serious and sad story. It was very relatable (and not just because the main character's name was Maddie ; ) ) and it made me feel a range of different emotions." Maddie also  loves classic books like The Great Gatsby, The Help, and To Kill A Mockingbird.

Cheerleading & Dance:

Maddie has been a cheerleader since she was in elementary school. Now, she is an AAHS cheerleading captain.  Maddie says, "It is my favorite activity because has given  me leadership experience and self confidence, and of course amazing friends."

Maddie has also danced at Pauline Baker Rodgers School of Dance since kindergarten doing ballet and jazz classes.

Maddie loves quotes! A few of her favorites are below.

"He said, "Above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don't believe in magic will never find it."

- Roald Dahl

"She was beautiful, but not like those girls in the magazines. She was beautiful, for the way she thought. She was beautiful, for the sparkle in her eyes when she talked about something she loved. She was beautiful, for her ability to make other people smile, even if she was sad. No, she wasn't beautiful for something as temporary as her looks. She was beautiful, deep down to her soul."

- F. Scott Fitzgerald

 "For the highs and lows and moments in between, mountains and valleys, and rivers and streams, For where you are now and where you will go, For "I've always known" and "I told you so," For "nothing is happening" and "all has gone wrong" it is here in this journey you will learn to be strong, you will get where you're going, landing where you belong."

- Morgan Harper Nichols

On what comes next:

I've known Maddie long enough to know that her skills in composition, color, design, and a desire to learn more have always been part of her. She is an artist at heart! During her session, we chatted about what she wants to do next.

She said, "I have wanted to study Interior Design and Architecture for years now. I remember the summer that I discovered HGTV I watched the channel for days on end. I love decorating and the aesthetic side of design, and I think designing functional and safe spaces for people to live in and enjoy is so awesome. I am looking at Mercyhurst University and La Roche College to get a Bachelor's degree in Interior Design and Architecture. I have yet to make my final decision!"

On Family:

Maddie said, "My family is the most important thing in the world to me. I could be having a hard time, but being with them instantly makes me feel better. They give me hope and encouragement and I wouldn't be who I am today without them."

I think this is an important message for us all to be reminded of. Sometimes we neglect to daily recognize the people who have built us up, the people we call family, the ones who raise us but also give us hope.

This is why I always try to grab a portrait of my senior kids and the parent that brings them to their session. (Its usually mom!) We moms are often not in the photos with our kids, because we are the ones taking the photos! So, I like to tell moms (or dads) to come ready to be in a photo too. They have brought these kids to this point and should get to be in a portrait with them at this tremendous time of growth. Below is Maddie with her awesome mom!

On the Future, On The World:

Maddie said, "I believe that quite simply our world needs love. There is so much hate and violence in this world, it's scary. There are so many issues today that we just need to come together as the human race to create peace and unity to today's world a better and safer place filled with love instead of fear."

I believe that quite simply our world needs love.

My outlook of the future is consistently brightened by listening to the perspective and especially thoughts about the world and the future from my Senior Stars. I am blessed by my career - to get to help families remember this time of tremendous growth, to document these steps in the lives of young people, and to shine a light on the hope they have for our future. Maddie is so right. This world simply needs more love. Friends, join Maddie in thinking about this daily and making a positive difference in this world!

Congratulations on being a senior - a step on a path of adulthood that I know you will be amazing at - that I know you will make a positive difference in this world, Maddie!

If you'd like to see a sample of my other posts, check out my previous post titled Senior Stars: Kaitlyn. Telling personal stories is an important component of my photographic work!

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