Welcome to the Dear Daughter Studio® blog. It's been a long time coming. Soon you'll see a variety of things featured here but to begin, walk with me down the path of a tween photo shoot.
There's little in the world of photography more delightful to me than a photo shoot with an 11-year-old. Much to the surprise of my teacher-friends, middle school-ish age is what I would have chosen, had I gone the teacher route. This in-between world of spunk and wonder is captivating. In one moment—a giggling, skipping burst of energy and silliness, and in the next—a fount of surprising insight and maturity. This straddling of two worlds is an elusive and beautiful time of life. From a photographer perspective, they are old enough to engage you in an adult-ish way and follow direction, and are not yet too cool and aloof for unguarded fun. They are the epitome of authenticity, joy and curiosity: all a photographer goldmine.
As I think about Dear Daughter Studio and our mission to help girls feel loved and confident, perhaps this is the age group I feel our mission is particularly valuable. During a photo shoot, preteens visibly light up...dancing, playing...and soak up the experience of being asked to be seen. Those who are naturally extroverted have a stage unto themselves to sharpen their proverbial teeth on the experience of being center. A leader with an audience. Conversely, another personality to whom the experience doesn't come as naturally, is able to feel what it's like to overcome hesitation, to trust that they can sit with what's uncomfortable and be okay. Ultimately, they always come around and their reward is more than the photos themselves: it's the feeling of accomplishment that comes with having been bold and powerful.
This is the secret ingredient of Dear Daughter. We combine the experience of something external (photography) with something a little deeper. We challenge girls to show up. To show us who they are. To show themselves who they are. It's an experience that makes them feel amazing.
So hats off to you, in-betweeners. Onward with your bold and pure spirits. The world needs more of you. All of you. And only you.