I have this dream of seeing her wrapped in the arms of a man she’s absolutely crazy about. The kind of man that accepts her completely and understands her many quirks. The one she will let her guard down for and won’t be ashamed of the many things she says I embarrass her about. Days where she will be so caught up making plans with her special someone she will have to pencil me in her schedule. And she will no longer speak in “I” terms but rather “we” will become the norm. I don’t know how long it will be till she discovers this part of her life but I know that it’s coming soon. The child I once played with in her parent’s empty garage has blossomed right before my eyes. It’s both sad and wonderful to see children grow. Whatever happened to the little girl that loved making weird fart noises in bed while we pretended to go to sleep at the farm? Or one of my personal favorite memories, the first girl that ran up to me the day I was baptized, crying because she was so happy for me ( she was only 7 or 8 but every one of my success automatically became one of hers ). As far as I can clearly remember, Jael has always been my kid. I have carried that weight of being the older sibling and setting the example because sure enough they always said she would look up to me and follow in my footsteps. And she has, so much so she can trick you into thinking I am the one who answered my phone when you call. There is so much of me that I see in her that to be honest scares me half to death. If only she would stick to following along all the good stuff and ignore the things I know I shoulda never done. Something about her let’s me know that even if troubles do come her way, she will be just okay. She takes that one after me too. My little Jael isn’t so little anymore.
I wanted to do something for her since it had been a while since she was in front of my lens. I trust her to be my eyes for most of the pictures I’m ever in and it’s something I am always grateful for. I wouldn’t have the pictures I treasure so much of the early days with the boys and I if it wouldn’t of been for her (and Sam). We put our noggins together and came up with this idea of having her model a vintage dress that was passed along to her by her aunt. If you know Jael at all you would know she was second guessing this whole shoot because although she was all for doing this, she was worried she wouldn’t be the right muse for me. But on the contrary to what she felt, I was so inspired that morning we spend taking those pictures. Jael and that golden light all came together in the most perfect way. I was so proud of seeing how beautiful she looked frame after frame. I kept telling her, beautiful, gorgeous, I love it, I love this, and when I wasn’t it was just because the bugs were eating us alive. I have always instilled in Jael to be humble. To focus less on the celebrations of beauty and to strive to make the person she is inside to be the most radiant of all. This is a tough one I believe to teach, because it’s give and take balance between making sure your child has self-confidence and not going over board to where they end up being conceited. But with Jael, I know I did a great job keeping things as real as can be. But today, and on special days, I will celebrate. Celebrate how beautiful my pooch (which is what we call each other) is and how amazing she looks in all of these photographs. Celebrate her youth and laughter. Celebrate being twenty years old… because gosh was that a marvelous age! And anything else she may want to just break-out a five minute dance party for.
I love you pooch, thank you for allowing me to style you as a bride. I absolutely love this session and all the memories we created doing it. We will be talking about this one for a while! Cue in Sebastian’s music… Strings, winds, words.
* Special thanks to my freakishly handsome annoyingly smart brother for being my right hand in these. We all endured a massive torture to get these and I love you both very much for sticking it out with me.