Beauty Revived High School Senior - Tampa FL
Beauty Revived High School Senior - Tampa FL
I've been asked many times how I started as a photographer and why I specialize in photographing High School Seniors. Photos fascinate me and have a special way of bringing us back to a particular time in our lives. High school days are probably the most memorable times in our lives and a huge milestone which transitions us into adulthood. It's also a time when we try to figure out who we are and what we want to be in this world. Some young adults know right away what they want to do after high school and others have no idea and go with the flow. That's where I step in. Not only do I photograph and in essence record this monumental time in a person's life but in building relationships with my clients I have the opportunity to encourage them towards achieving their dreams.
Photo Credit Jaimi Weatherspoon - Essentia Special Moments Photography
When Michelle Gifford, founder of Beauty Revived sought out 50 photographers from across the county to donate a photo session to a deserving high school senior I knew that I had to be a part of it. It's a movement happening all around where photographers take the time to discover what really goes on in the lives of teens and blesses them with a free photoshoot. I took it a step further and asked a make-up artist and fashion stylist to join me.
Some of the stories we read were heart wrenching and some stories were amazingly encouraging. At the end of this process I learned that teenagers are not what the world portrays them to be. They are strong, they are fighters, they are caring, they are loving and they have a heart of giving. In this blog post you will read about my encounter with Elizabeth Dolan and the kind of beauty she posses. She's an amazing young lady with a giving spirit and I hope her story encourages you to achieve your dreams and to open your heart in order to meet a need in your community.
All 50 photographers had their work featured in a magazine and an online blog. Here is an excerpt of Elizabeth's (Lizzie) story.
"I was overwhelmed with excitement when I was selected to participate in the Beauty Revived project for the Tampa FL area. The focus of this project is to highlight the inner beauty of a deserving young lady. It highlights a person who exemplifies selflessness, compassion, and a deep desire to help others. This person could have a gorgeous smile but would also genuinely have a beautiful heart. The task to locate such a high school senior with these qualities quickly became daunting. The challenge was never about finding a person with these qualities. There were so many amazing entries. The difficulty was selecting one person from a group of remarkable young ladies. Each one had a story of struggle, perseverance, drive, and hopefulness. I was humbled by their personal experiences and my heart struggled to choose. After much deliberation, I was honored to select Lizzie.
Elizabeth “Lizzie” is an extraordinary young lady. Her story is full of generosity, compassion, service, and an unprecedented love for helping others. Her efforts stretch from missionary work, to counseling children with cancer as well as being a tireless fundraiser for families facing financial hardships while battling cancer.
Lizzie grew up in Safety Harbor, FL and credits her parents with instilling a love for serving others. Her parent’s volunteer efforts at their church encouraged her to follow suit. She was exposed to the realities of suffering and poverty during trips to orphanages abroad. Her visit to a Honduran orphanage when she was only in the second grade made a lasting impact on her. It was then that she realized she would dedicate herself to helping others in need. She persistently praises her parent’s for instilling humbleness and generosity in her actions.
To say Lizzie lives an active lifestyle is a big understatement. At the Academy of Holy Names, not only is she a mission trip leader, she participates in all school plays, is the Vice-Chair of a school club, participates in 3 other clubs, and she also happens to be the captain of her cross country and track team. Add in the fact that she’s an outstanding student and she also leads a non-profit called Cross Out Cancer and you wonder where she gets such incredible energy to accomplish all of her amazing endeavors. Lizzie has achieved so much in her young life and her tireless dedication is a wonderful example for others. But even with all of her achievements, it’s her warm and caring heart that really shines.
Lizzie stated that she’s most happy when she’s directly supporting children with pediatric cancer. That’s a powerful statement that really paints a picture of who she truly is. During her volunteer work, she dedicates her time to helping sick children and their siblings feel “normal” during the most difficult times in their young lives. She calls these experiences transformative in ways that are simply beyond words. She’s a person of action. When her compassion is coupled with her drive, watch out. She started a 5K run that would generate donations for families. This endeavor led to launching a non-profit organization called Cross Out Cancer. She enlisted the support of her friends and family and before long she had 400 participants during the first 5K run. She raised $47,000. The next year she raised $66,000. All funds go to Johns Hopkins All Children's Hospital into a restricted fund set up specifically for cancer families in financial need. The funds help with repairs, treatments not covered by insurance, and sadly, funerals.
Summarizing Lizzie is simply impossible. When asked about what Beauty Revived meant to her, her words were too graceful to abbreviate. This is Lizzie and this is why she’s so beautiful:
“It makes me sad to compare what society thinks is beautiful to the true beauty that I wish people saw in themselves. I think Beauty Revived means changing that perspective, showing people that the beauty we should seek, that priceless aesthetic that truly makes people turn their heads, is the beauty in fulfilling God's plan, the beauty at the center of the fires in people's eyes when they are doing what they are passionate about, that beauty that rises when people break free from worrying about the pressures of society and instead offer their truest forms without fear. Think about it, the most amazing people we love and admire are not those who are stunning, drop-dead gorgeous. They are the ones who are so themselves that they are like beacons of light; you can't help but look at them. I wish people saw the value in their personalities and in being authentic, because at the end of the day, we too will grow old and lose our outer appearance. Beauty as we define it is fleeting. But that inner light, that spark of passion and originality, now that lasts forever.”
2 Corinthians 9:7
Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give,
not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.
Do to others as you would have them do to you.
"A life of significance is about
those who need your gifts,
Thank you Lizzie for having a heart of a giver and a servant. You are making a difference in the lives of children fighting cancer and their family at John Hopkins Children's Hospital!
A special thank you to S. Leigh Tootle - Hair and Make-Up artist for giving of your time and talent for this session.
Click Here to read more stories of amazing Beauty Revived Seniors from across the country.
Janet Ramos Photography
Serves High School Seniors and Families
Capture memories in Tampa, FL