I always say, “My favorite age group to photograph is 3 year olds.” They can tell you what they want, they can joke with you and they’re always ‘straight up.’ Case & point: my last name is McQueeney. When Pixar’s animated movie, “Cars” hit the theaters, a young boy, Clayton was a client of mine. His Mom prepped him so kindly to walk in the studio and say, “Hi Miss McQueeney!” He looked at me… looked again… “Is your real name ‘Stickers?’ You should just go by ‘Stickers’. It’s way easier to say!” lol! HOW can you NOT love that??? So for years, 3 year olds have been my heart throbs.
I blogged at the beginning of the High School Senior season about a young man I thought was really exceptional and then the season exploded as it always does… Seniors with sports uniforms, trendy outfits, and interesting hobbies flood into my world every evening. This year however, there’s something crazy in the air or I’m simply in love with a new age group. I’ve met kids already accepted in college, kids in programs that allow them to experience their career choice for more than half the year, kids with ‘out of school’ interests like ice hockey and scuba diving and the list goes on and on. If I could generalize; this may very well be a generation with everything at their fingertips BUT the coolest thing about them is they take advantage of all of it!
What’s the second best thing about them??? In the midst of all that they have in their reach, they really aren’t that much different than the generations before them. Last week I had the pleasure of meeting a young woman, with such a witty sense of humor, she kept me on my toes the entire session.
She bravely came alone , so to start conversation, I asked her to run down her outfits with me and give me a sense of her style. She made this typical but unusually polite “dig” on her Father… “Well I have this shirt with this great scarf, that my Father, all of a sudden thinks is too warm for this time of year! When did he become a “FASHIONISTA?!!” Ha! I didn’t even know what say – I just filled the air with laughter.
As we moved along to our location, I asked…”what are you into? what are your hobbies?” In this time of mad-crazed video graphics and high tech everything, she replied, “I really love to read and write.” I continue to fiddle with my photography gizmos and gadgets and she blurts out.. “Do you know ‘so and so’ author? He’s very controversial but he’s my favorite!” I stopped everything I was doing… if there was one moment in my entire life that I wished I read more and could have related to her interest… it would have been THAT moment. A 17 year old with a favorite author… LOVE it!
Now she piqued my interest and as we chased the light through the evening, I kept trying to think of different things to ask her while listening VERY closely & contemplating f-stops and apertures because she would hold me to the answers with her humor. Hmmmm… very much like 3 year olds! She was currently earning money as a waitress, started cosmetology school- but it definitely wasn’t her style, and for as many times as she changed her hair color- today’s color was closest to her original roots. (Incidentally, it’s amazing when the light catches it!)
As we wrapped up the shoot, I asked for a password for her session and began chatting about the fee and purchasing details. OUT of no where, she threw a smirky smile my way and quickly interrupted…”are you going to hack my Facebook account!?!?!!?” DANG! She got me again! No words came out of my mouth- just laughter. At this point in the game, I was robustly belly laughing.
But that wasn’t the last time she was going to get me before we parted ways. I asked if she had any more questions or ‘anythings’ for me (hoping she would say her Dad sent a check with him)… pause, “Nope.” I awkwardly asked…”How about a check from your Dad?” This gets real good… “Oh no, I have cash for that!” and she began to count it. Why I thought I could help this established, pip of a Senior is beyond me.. but I did! Counting, counting, counting.. “can I help you?” “Nope! There’s extra. I’m a waitress…. I believe Tip Karma! It’s good energy!” and away she zoomed, leaving me standing there to pick my jaw up off the asphalt. Couldn’t you hear that from someone in the 70’s???
Regardless the timeframe, these are savvy Seniors and I love their personalities!