Over the past year, I had the honor of spending crisp mornings and warm afternoons with a group of remarkable, young men and women who will soon be embarking on a journey to leave their mark on the world.

Because I know that the work I’m doing will be cherished and looked back on for years to come, every senior portrait session is extremely special to me. This year, there was one senior portrait in particular that stood our from the class of 2018.

My oldest child, Lydia, graduated from Chapel Hill with the class of 2018 a month ago. Already, I’ve share every emotion with the parents I work with as I create their child’s senior portrait experiences–excitement, anticipation, pride, joy, and a little bit of anxiousness as I started to imagine this next journey Lydia would embark on. As a parent, your deepest wish is for your child to find fulfillment and happiness and joy, which are all things I’ve found myself wishing extra hard for this season.

To my daughter, Lydia, I love you. I’m so proud of the woman you’ve become and the person God is shaping you into. Your great big heart and smile are what sets you apart, and your optimism for life and others calms my heart whenever I start to get anxious about the future. You are going to go so far in life, not because of anything your father or I have done, but because of you are and whose you are. The lives of those you will impact in Charleston and beyond are going to be infinitely better because of knowing you.

To the seniors who chose Oh Goodness Fine Portraits to capture who you are at this moment in your life, thank you. I’m so proud of each and every one of you. I have no doubt that you will take on this next journey with all of your heart. The new experiences you will have and the new people you will meet over these next few years, will be some of the greatest and memorable of your lives. Don’t forget to stop and soak it in, to pour your energy not only into your studies, but also into the people and friendships you will make. Remember to embrace new ideas and opinions and ways of life, because you will likely encounter many of these along the way. From my time with each of you, I’m already filled with excitement and anticipation for all of the great things you will do as you head out into this great, big world.

To the mothers and fathers who are, at this very moment, filled with all the feelings one person can possibly hold, treasure these next few weeks. Take time to truly enjoy the moments of helping your son or daughter prepare for this next, exciting chapter. If you find yourself in the midst of anxiousness for all that is yet to come or sad for all that has passed, I hope you’ll take comfort in knowing that your senior is already more prepared for this next chapter than you may be able to see. The love and time and attention and grace you’ve poured into them has helped prepare them for all that lies ahead on this journey.
Congratulations to the class of 2018! Your future is so bright & I wish you all of the joy and happiness as you make your way in the world!