Monochrome Monday #75

Good evening! It’s been a while since my last Monochrome Monday, but things worked out in my favor to present one to you today. So let’s hop to it:

The Next Step

This past weekend was a special one at the congregation I attend here at home. In honor of commencement season and the successful completion of another school year, we host what’s called the “Believe to Achieve” program which honors our high school graduates and all of our youth who have been promoted to the next grade. As a recipient not only of the yearly recognition for the kids still in grade school as well as the big honor of being a high school graduate, I can say without a doubt that it is the cheesiest event we have at church while also being a much-needed tradition that has lasted nearly 15 years. This year, we celebrated my young friend Timesha. In a way, this graduation was a special one to me, not just because mother dearest works at the same school Timesha now calls her alma mater but also because Timesha is one of those girls with a lot of promise despite how quiet and uncertain about herself that she may seem.

I was suckered into taking photos for this event and after it was over, my aunt asked me to get a picture of her with Timesha, someone she has taught since she was a wee little thing, and my sister Courtney, one of Timesha’s best friends and another of my aunt’s students. The photo above (which Timesha’s brother weaseled his way into because he has to do everything his sister does even though he won’t admit how much he’s going to miss her once she heads off to college this fall) is the result. My one and only reaction is that this is one of the most precious photos I have ever taken. And truthfully, if Micah wasn’t awkwardly photo bombing this, I would say it looked a lot like the perfect photo on a college brochure. I think I love this because of just how genuine the love in this photo is. To have someone caring and supportive as your mentor and to be the mentor of someone who accomplishes a feat like graduating from high school is something special (or at least I assume so. Ask mother dearest how she felt watching me graduate twice now). Timesha has been through a lot and here she is, a high school graduate on her way to her next big adventure. And though Courtney still has two years of school left before she, too, graduates, she’s still staying focused and doing her best.

Education is so important to me, and capturing the fruitful results of that education fills me with a sense of joy and pride that I can’t even explain. This photo reminds me of my own graduation(s) and the feelings of uncertainty and risk I was taking by entering the next leg of my journey. But as long as there are people there to support me, I know I can do anything. I think the same applies to Timesha. She’s been working for this moment for 18 years and here she is, ready to take a leap of faith into college and young adulthood. And then who knows where life will take her? But right here, right now in this photo, she is safe, loved, and celebrating thirteen years of hard work. I couldn’t be more excited to be the photographer of this photo for that very reason alone.

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