Franklinton High School Demons Senior Portrait Photography Downtown Covington, Louisiana.
Telling a young person to sit still and smile often has the opposite effect.
"I'd rather not," Lainey told me over and over when I asked her to try different poses as we strolled downtown Franklinton.
It was Lainey's tween portrait session - not mine - so I followed her around and let her lead the way by allowing her to be herself.
I snapped the shutter when I could and offered suggestions when I dared, but I mainly fell in line with whatever looks she liked.
Was every shot a winner? Absolutely not.
But by allowing Lainey to be herself I was able to negotiate some looks that I knew she would love.
"Hey, Lainey, You want to listen to some music while we shoot?"
"I'd rather not."
"Hey, Lainey. You want me to Cha Cha Slide in the street?"
"I'd rather you didn't."
Then she turned the tables on me.
"Hey Mr. Chris. You want to play chase in the street?"
"Heck Yeah! Tag - you're it."
Let them be brave enough to be themselves.
Some would have us believe there is not much love left in the world today.
Those people have obviously not met Noel. Sweeter than the iced tea she sips, Noel has learned the power of love.
Her grandfather passed last year, and she misses him terribly, but rather than bottle up her love for him, she shares it with others.
Noel put the needs of others before her own and started a jelly business to help raise money for amyloidosis research and prevention in memory of her grandfather.
She calls her business Spread The Love.
We can help Noel spread the love by following her business on Instagram at spread_the_love_by_noel.
Before asking ourselves what is wrong with these kids today, perhaps we should take a moment to get to know them.
We just might find a model of love that we all should share.