Beauty of the Boomers

I enjoyed reading about Cindy Joseph, makeup artist turned model and her success after 50.  She was discovered as a model after she let her hair go gray and I think she’s just beautiful!

Just as beautiful is her attitude. She really believes she was discovered because of her confidence and attitude and these only came with age. I remember when I thought the world ended after 40. Now I see so many accomplished women just beginning their new lives and careers at 40 and even 50. It so inspires me and makes me believe that even though I’ve loved my life so far, the best may be yet to come.

Maybe this is why the 40+ is becoming one of my favorite demographics. So much confidence, so much fun with these women!

http://www.boombycindyjoseph.com/

 

 

Another Special Senior…And Client From Long Ago

When I first started out with portrait photography I didn’t need to look far for some of my first models. Luckily I had two adorable little girls living just around the corner and a family who appreciated having a photographer in the neighborhood.

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This is still one of my favorite photos and I’ve promised them that we would recreate it sometime soon (a bit difficult since the older girl is now a Junior in college. Yikes).

The other day I had the honor of photographing the younger daughter, Lija’s senior session, oh so many years later.

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The years between that first picture and the second haven’t been the easiest for Lija.  I asked her mom for her input since I didn’t want to get any details wrong:

On December 15, 2011 Lija was diagnosed with Hodgkins lymphoma and she stated chemotherapy in January of 2012. We were lucky to find it early – but it still took its toll. Lija lost her hair after the first chemo treatments – and ended up in the hospital after the end of each batch of treatments. Through it all Lija never cried; well twice, once when she was diagnosed and once when she had mouth sores. 


 Thoreau Middle School organized a Make a Cut Event for her and she was one of the speakers. She was also awarded the Anthony MCCay Spirit Award – in recognition of her energy, enthusiasm and positive spirit. 


Lija never let cancer own her. One day after her cancer treatments; we were driving to school, and she said that in a way she was glad she got cancer. I asked her why. She said that a girl had come up to her at school and said that Lija was her inspiration because if she could still come to school and be positive even with cancer, then this young lady could deal with the problems that she faced. 


 Lija continues to attend the Make The Cut events and plans to pursue a degree as physician assistant specializing in pediatric oncology.

I remember that time and how I hurt for Lija and her family as they went through the diagnosis and treatment, and I remember trying to comprehend the enduring fear that follows, even when the healthy diagnosis is given.

But I also believe that some of the beauty and strength that comes out in Lija’s pictures are the result of going through that experience and coming out strong. I wish this girl all her dreams and plans come true, and I get the feeling they will, because she will make it happen!

Yes, I feel old when I photograph past clients’ senior session, but I also feel special in the participation I’ve had in capturing memories for my lovely neighbors.

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Starting Off With My 2016 Seniors!

I’m so happy to be photographing my 2016 seniors – and feeling pretty relieved that this is my bump year – I just sent one kid off to college and have one year of perceived rest before my next one becomes a senior (I know it’s perceived because junior year is full of pressure too!)

This guy was so easy to photograph and I loved how the outfit changes really changed the attitude of the shots.

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I also like how the August drought has made some trees look almost fall-like already – maybe not good for the grass, but adds some nice variety to location shooting.

The fall will be gone in a blink of an eye, so anyone interested in senior shoots before the weather turns cold, please contact me at info@melissamaillett.com

Here are some shots from spring’s sessions. All were taken close to Vienna – so lucky to live in an area with such diverse locations for fun shots.

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Athlete Photo Shoot

When I put the call out there for someone to be my “guinea pig” for trying out an athlete portrait shoot, I was so happy Joann graciously volunteered, but a little nervous that I would do justice to her incredibly sculpted body.
As I am often in the company of beautiful women who are serious about their fitness, I want to try to help them celebrate the fruits of their labor.  Even though, I realize that no matter what we do, our body may never look like this.  After all, Joann is a certified exercise instructor and the co-owner of Grass Roots Fitness, which is celebrating it’s 5th anniversary in the business of  helping women achieve fitness, strength and health.  She may look fierce but she is firmly directed in helping all shapes and sizes of women feel better through fitness and healthy eating.
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Those of you who have taken her outdoor boot camp classes or cardio fusion and strengthclasses know her as a gentle but firm drill sargent when it comes to directing exercises. And she has convinced me more than once to meet at 6:00 am at the Lincoln Memorial to run the steps and do burpees in front of the reflecting pool. So she must have some magic in her!
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I tried to shoot as fast as I could while Joann held these incredible poses. Although I may have been tempted to direct her to hold the pose…just a little bit longer...(payback perhaps?)
I was also happy to capture Joann’s signature “leap of joy” near the end of the shoot.
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And here are some in black-and-white. I like how the helps focus on the those incredible muscles.
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Thanks again Joann, and for anyone is interested in learning more her company…it’s