Let me start my look back at working with Maggie by saying that she was one of the most pleasant surprises of the entire year. I’d been around Maggie for a few years as she cheered at the different sports we shoot, and while we’d spoken briefly during some of these events, we’d never really spent any time together. As a result of this, I didn’t really know what to expect when working with her. Working with Maggie turned out to be one of highlights of my entire year. It seemed that each time I put the camera up to take her photo, there was always a “wow” moment. Truthfully, I found myself thinking, “OK, she’s perfect, don’t screw this up with the camera…” The quiet and shy girl I’d seen turned out to be one of the most beautiful, polite and respectful people that I’ve ever worked with.
Her beauty is obvious, anyone can see that, however as I got to know her, there were somethings I learned about her that weren’t so obvious. There is a determined resolve and fight inside her that exists in contrast to the beauty and softness. Being a childhood cancer survivor probably has something to do with this but the same qualities are also evident in her mother, Michelle, so it’s probably a combination of both. The “drive” inside her assures me that she will be successful in life no matter what obstacles she faces.
Photographing her at first seemed very easy. Beautiful girl, hard to mess up, right?. Seemed that way at first to me but I quickly began to realize that at times I could see a glimpses of something that was even more beautiful. There was a sort of “light” that shown at times and I wanted to make sure that I could catch it in the photos. The photo below is one of this moments from the very first session. There’s just something special about Maggie and you can see it in this photo. I’ve had a hard time describing that light and where it is most evident. At times I would think it came through in the eyes, however after working with her all year, I think now, it’s more than the eyes. The light seems to almost come from the soul. As a photographer, it just doesn’t get much better than this.
As a side note, the first few times we worked together, it seemed that I was always getting wet. The first couple of shoots were around water and it seemed the best angle was always from the “wet side” of the scene. However every shot turned out to be more than worth getting wet and I enjoyed every minute of it. This shot is one of my absolute favorites from the entire year. Val and I are suckers for reflections, especially when they are as beautiful as this. Water was a little cold though….
One of the other qualities I discovered in Maggie was her appreciation for respect, honor and traditions as well as a kindness toward both those who deserve it and those who need it. What I mean by that is, she has a deep respect for those who have served honorably in places such as the military, public offices and her teachers and coaches. She was always very respectful every time I was around her. But the other thing we saw was the need to reach out to others who might be hurting. In several situations we saw throughout the year she gave them that same respect and comfort. I think it’s this trait that’s driving her to pursue a career in somehow helping other children who are fighting cancer as she did. In one of the last shoots we did, she decided that she wanted to shoot in a dress that was her grandmothers, or it may have been her great-grandmothers. She also wanted to have a flag in order to pay tribute to the military members of her family and the families who supported them, represented somewhat by the dress. We shot this on a white background so that there were no distractions in the photos, only the beautiful Maggie and her tribute. Here are a couple from that shoot. They were all great but there were a couple that are my favorites.
The photo above is another of those moments when Maggie seems to have that inner glow about her and I love this photo. In the other photo she struck a pose that reminds me of some of the vintage shots from that same era. This one is probably my favorite.
The photo below is one from the Canola fields in the fall. This may be there very first frame we shot. It was again, one of those “wow” moments for me and I think we could have ended the shoot then. We shot till the sun had set and were blessed with an incredible sunset. Apparently, she’s beautiful in every setting…
It wouldn’t be right to show photos of Maggie without showing one of the photos in uniform since it’s where we got to know her and how we’re used to seeing her. A cheerleader in every sense of the word, not just for the school and teams, but for others in life as well. We’ll miss her but we have no doubt that she’ll be successful, we just hope we still get to see her now and then….