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Why I’m passionate about photographing teens

I remember, the tears welled up in my eyes as I sat on the edge of my sobbing daughter’s bed. It was 9:30 at night so I knew her being overly tired had something to do with the emotional collapse I was witnessing, but after multiple nights in a row, I knew her struggles with friends and school were wearing her thin. Feeling so helpless, I poured my love into her, and talked through her teenage problems with her until she was calm. Between drama with her middle school friends, academic pressure, rejection, and even temptation, the cards are stacked against kids at this transitional stage in life.

Feeling helpless is the worst and Lord knows I was doing my very best, as a single mom, to be both her mom and dad, saying everything I could say to encourage her and build up her self-esteem. I found myself developing a tone of ‘sounding like an industry expert’ when comforting my downtrodden daughters, so they didn’t suspect ‘you’re just saying that because you’re my mom’.

As I wiped her last tear, I walked into my eldest daughter’s room for goodnight hugs, and heard the familiar sounds of quiet sobs. Again, I felt tears sting my own eyes. Why does this age have to be so challenging for kids? Were my kids the only ones struggling like this?! I sat down on the edge of my eldest daughter’s bed and rubbed her back gently. After some quiet talking, she sighed deeply and looked more peaceful. I bent down and kissed the top of her tousled hair, saying a silent prayer as I inhaled. “Please Lord, walk with my precious daughters. You know what they need best, you know their struggles. Please equip me with the words and tools to help them through this difficult stage in their lives.”

My kids were blessed with good health, they weren’t battling a childhood disease or anything horrific like that. But like most teens, they battled insane levels of self-doubt, poor body image, waning confidence, and intense social pressure.

These two girls, MY FAMILY, are my life. There isn’t anything I wouldn’t have done for them to help them feel comfortable in their own skin, to feel more confident, to bolster their self-esteem. To give them a leg up. To make them feel special and unique. And to do all that without them seeing right through my ‘mom-lens’.

I started my business 11 years ago, and over the course of those years I went from photographing everything including car parts to pets to weddings, until I realized where my passion truly lies.

Today I specialize in photographing tweens & teens because of everything I’ve witnessed with my own daughters. It’s my mission to get as many girls in front of my camera as possible, so I can give them a leg up, so I can make them feel special and unique, so I can help bolster their confidence and self-esteem.

Does this sound like something your own daughter needs? If so, I welcome you to call, text, or email me, and let’s map out the perfect photoshoot for her.

My photoshoots are fun and creative and energizing! Every girl I photograph walks in super-nervous and finishes our shoot wishing it would never end!

If you would move mountains for your daughter…

…like I would for mine, this is an experience that will add to, and aid, her journey of self-love and confidence-building.

I look forward to meeting you both!

xo
Jenn
Cell/text 239-207-0003
jenn@jenniferbatesphoto.com

As parents, WE know how beautifully unique and special are kids are, but sometimes it takes an outside influence to reveal to them what we see everyday. I am that influence.

At the time of this blog post, my ‘babies’ are 22 & 24 now, but here’s an old photo from when they were 14 & 16.
family-photographer

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