The northwest – and the nation – was stunned, angered, and dismayed on Tuesday when one student was shot and killed by another student at Reynolds High School.  It was the second-to-last day of school in the district, and I was scheduled that very evening to come out to one of the districts’ middle schools to photograph the 8th grade students and their families as they celebrated being promoted to high school.  Oh, what a way to welcome them on that journey… I can only begin to imagine what these students and families are thinking about while preparing for their Freshman year.

I am still getting goose bumps every time I think about what happened that day – so close to home. These kids are strong, though, and their spirit came through in the photos we took (rescheduled for the following morning after Tuesday’s tragedy).  I put together a little collage of inspiring young faces to share with you all, and I sincerely hope these young people will be part of the change we need. I hope we as a culture stop giving so much attention and reinforcement to people who commit violent acts. I hope we stop justifying gun violence by saying that being armed is the answer to stopping these attacks and instead start practicing kindness, openness, and acceptance in our everyday lives.

8th graders celebrate their promotion to high school next year in the shadow of a school shooting in their district.

I am stunned and disappointed. Yes – mostly disappointed in my fellow Americans and my fellow humans that violence continues to be so prevalent in our culture. We are on top – we are the leaders in senseless shootings. So great.  Now I will shake off that feeling and share with you my fun “behind-the-scenes” photo from the shoot.  There wasn’t a lot of available space that was out of the way, so I was showed into the “alternative to suspension” classroom.  The teacher there graciously helped me get rid of half the desks so there was some empty floor space, and he even took a couple of pictures off the wall so we’d have a blank canvas to work with.

That “canvas” was certainly not too pretty!  But not to fear, I had noticed that green was one of the school colors and I decided to pull a trick out of my bag and make the wall green by covering a flash in green plastic and pointing it at the wall behind people.  I love how it turned out, and so did everyone who saw the results on my camera at the event.  Having control of light is apparently equatable with being a magician, but you don’t have to lie or keep your methods a secret.  I love it!

Behind-The-Scenes Setup Photo from HB Lee Middle School Photo Booth

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