I have been looking forward to the year that my oldest niece, Gwen, would graduate from high school. To imagine the woman she would become was something to look forward to. She was quite the lonely child, being the only niece on both sides of her parents. I remember Gwen as a child as quiet, sensitive, and often sad. She had no playmates and often had to entertain herself throughout her early years. We were all too young then to grow a family of our own, and it would take years until our next niece, Mahlaya, would be introduced.
Now, a woman of 17 years, her feathers are vibrant, her opinions and thoughts more pronounced, and the stars in her eyes show signs of excitement and fear of what is yet to come. I am sure the fear comes from breaking away from family. She holds her family close and with good reason. Gwen has been surrounded by eight aunts and two uncles on one side and four uncles and one aunt on the other throughout her life. In addition to that, she has two younger siblings that know her as their big sister.
I still recall the day I spoke to her about her taking senior photos in my early photography years. It was like it was just yesterday. I knew then I would take them and I am so glad that I did.
With this shoot, I already knew I wanted to do something extra special for her. We worked together with wardrobe and details and made it all happen. As I said before — I am so glad she entrusted me as her photographer, art director and aunt! haha
Wishing you a bright and long future ahead, Gwen. ❤