She’s hardworking, passionate, and ‘way too sassy’, by her own admission. She’s a shining graduate-to-be from Nevada Union High School, and she’s been putting her passion to work for years. Jala’s keeping her options open for when she graduates: she’ll either end up going to California State University to study business, or to culinary school, or spend some valuable time traveling around the globe. One thing’s for certain, and it’s that she’ll be heading straight to Costa Rica once she graduates. In the meantime, she uses her skills as a gymnast, coaching at Gold Country Gymnastics. She loves working with kids, and puts her heart and soul into her work. Just in the small amount of time that I spent around Jala in her session, I felt inspired by her confidence and drive, and those traits really showed through in her portraits.
From the get-go, Jala wanted her shoot to be in one of my favorite locations ever, the magical and gorgeous orchard I mentioned recently. She said that she’s ‘obsessed with flowers’, so it was the perfect idea to showcase Jala among the budding and fragrant trees. We both had so much fun there, and she seemed totally at ease with both being in front of a camera, and with herself. One of the things Jala really wanted from the shoot was a picture with her lovely mother. It’s my favorite thing to see a mother and daughter who have such a strong bond, and you can see that in the picture I included below. Jala’s friends mentioned some traits that really stand out in her: extremely compassionate and caring, bubbling over with passion, and resilient. I can only imagine those traits came straight from her wonderful mom. What a blessing it is to capture their bond!
I asked Jala if she had any advice that she would give to her classmates, now that her time at high school is coming to a close. She said, “Make more friends, don’t get a job so young, and don’t grow up too fast”. It’s so important to get out from the burden of expectation, whether it’s going to the most prestigious college, or landing the career that’ll make you the most money, or finding the right spouse as fast as you can. None of those things are wrong at all, but if you don’t have a heart to do them, you shouldn’t feel the need to spend your time on them. Focus on doing what you need to do, and what you want to do. Anything extra can end up being just too much. Jala said it well, “don’t grow up too fast”.
I’ve had such a fun time in her session and a great time meeting both her and her mother, and I wish Jala all the happiness and success in the world. Here’s to your future!