Child Portraits | Anastasia

When I started this Tween Portrait Photography Project, I thought about my own pre-teen years. I mused over how much those years affected my world view for a long time. Experience tells me that, while the world is changing, people's core needs are the same: the need to feel loved, accepted, and valued by the people that they care about the most. Compassion tells me that everyone needs something, like this project, to let them know that they are. I chose this project because I remembered the awkwardness and insecurity of being a tween (was it even called that when I was that age??). I wonder, had I participated in a project like this, if my world view would have been different...

"Anastasia has changed my life by, unwittingly, forcing me to face my fears and encouraging me to overcome them - to trust all is well and as it should be."

I met Anastasia when my son was in her mother’s Kindergarten class. She was so little back then! That year, I took a photo of her at the Harvest Festival. She looked so angelic with her mass of blonde curls, holding a rabbit.

She is now a pre-teen. How did this happen? No longer a small child, yet not yet a teenager. 

The beauty in her is becoming apparent, as shown by the words that her family and friends shared about her with me.

The Sensitive Warrior

She loves reading (Warriors is her favorite series), taking care of her cats, her family, friends, her stuffed bunny (Bun Bun), being right (!), and music. Her family and friends describe her as thoughtful, kind, joyful, imaginative, loving, beautiful, and awesome.

Her Papa (Grandfather) passed away last year. It's wonderful to see him live on in his granddaughter:

"Like her Papa, she has a gift for music and can play songs using only her ears and intuition."

Her empathy comforts her grandmother:

"When we heard a song at a concert about losing a loved one, Anastasia leaned her head on my shoulder and held my hand."

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A Confident and True Friend

I love that these things balance out her strong will, independence, inquisitiveness, intelligence, and determination.  Above all, though, what strikes me most about Anastasia is her confidence - in herself, her family, and her ability to stand up for what, and who, she believes in.

One of her friends shared this story about her:

"I remember when I was selling Girl Scout cookies at school. Anastasia ran all over the yard asking all of the yard duties if they would buy some."

What a sweet story of friendship and loyalty. And did I mention that she skateboards?

In a world where girls "shouldn't" have strong wills, be independent, have opinions, ask questions, or have determination, it's refreshing to see the girls that are fearless and aren't afraid to show how strong they can be.

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Do you know a tween that deserves to know how great she is? Nominate her for 

The Who I Am Project,

an ongoing project that focuses on tween girls! It encourages self-confidence by exposing their inner and outer beauty via quotes and moments shared by the people that care about them the most. I accept submissions twice a year.

 

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