my friend Britany …

is graduating with the Central Valley High School class of 2011.
For Britany this is particularly exciting because she is emerging from a really tough, year-long trial that forced her to withdraw from school entirely. Britany has had more medical tests done than anyone I know. It is still uncertain what exactly she is dealing with, but thanks to a very loving, dedicated mother and many health professionals, she is on the mend.

Britany’s passion is cheer leading and she has cheered since she was a young girl. Unfortunately she had to resign her post on the senior team early last fall. She was so sick that she missed the deadlines for senior pictures too. Yesterday afternoon, I took a break from my Finding Photo Freedom prep to take some fun pictures of Britany …

I like to take pictures.

But … I am NOT even close to a professional photographer.
A) I have no formal training.
B) I still don’t know how to operate my camera in manual mode. (I should take an online class, huh?)
C) There’s no way I could take the pressure.
So, I’m never super-confident that my subject is in focus or that my program mode settings are correct. All of that aside, I enjoy coming up with creative shots and I enjoy capturing someone’s personality.

I’m particularly proud of this one.
Can you see the “2011″?

This is the cute girl with CV Bear pose …

and this is the “Bring it on, I’m a brave girl” pose.

After the school shots, we drove just around the corner and found an abandoned house with ample color and texture and some *almost* golden light!

I came home with 199 images on my camera.
I uploaded them to iPhoto.
I purged and I played.
I used my little sliders and I applied a few special effects.
I was able to give Britany 64 really decent photos to enjoy and share.

Knowing what you do about my fetish for yellow and green, you might guess that this is my FAVORITE.
I think it’s pure magic.


  1. i wish you could have taken my photo! these beat any senior shots I have ever seen. very cute shots and very cute girl. I hope she heals soon.

  2. Lisa R. says:

    I love the photos you took. She is beautiful and looks like a fun girl. The abandoned building ones are fantastic. Wish you could’ve taken my son’s photos. His did not turn out well.

  3. Great shots Stacy, I’m sure she loved them all! She looks a very sweet girl, I do hope she gets well soon.

  4. Great pictures, Stacy! What a lucky young lady to have you for a friend!

  5. Kathy Jo Camacaho says:

    Great shots! LOVE the one of her on the front steps of the house – my favorite! Nice shootin’

  6. Barb in AK says:

    What a beautiful young lady. With all that she has been through, her beaming smile just radiates complete happiness! I’m sure she is a blessing to anyone whose life she touches! I love the last photo best, too :-) Stacy you are a gem to take the time to be a support and friend to her. Bless Britany and bless you!

  7. Britany looks beautiful in all the shots, but I especially like the ones in the window. Great job, Stacy!

  8. She’s gorgeous and you’ve captured her personality and spirit well!

  9. Dorothy says:

    What a beautiful young lady. You can see the beauty in her soul too.

  10. Bec_Kilgore says:

    You did a fabulous job!!!

  11. Brenda DellaVecchia says:

    Beautiful job.

  12. You may not see your photo taking skills as professional – but I think you did a FANTASTIC job. Brittany is a beautiful girl but you also greatly captured her warm and giving personality. (And I don’t personally know either of you….but through your eyes, her beauty is amplified). Thank you for sharing with all of us. And many prayers to Britany!

  13. For someone who doesn’t consider herself a photographer, I think these are all FANTASTIC!!!

  14. Great shots!! You are definitely better with your camera than I am with mine. She is a beautiful girl :)

  15. Cindy d says:

    I’d never guess that these weren’t taken by a pro. They’re beautiful. It helps to have a beautiful subject, but you clearly know what you’re doing around a camera.

  16. Beautiful photos of a beautiful, brave young woman! The first shot is my personal fav!

  17. That was a really wonderful thing for you to do. Bless you both!

  18. What an amazing friend you are Stacy! A great reminder that we don’t have to feel perfect before we share, give, or do for others. The photos are beautiful! She must love them. So glad to hear she’s on the mend!

  19. Beautiful pictures of a gorgeous girl! She and her family will treasure them always. We don’t do senior photos here in Canada, but we totally should! (When I first learned about it, I thought people were taking photos of senior citizens – ha!!!)

    • These pictures are truly breathtaking! They will be treasured for years to come. Thanks for sharing and for being an inspiration to appreciate life’s simple everyday blessings!

  20. What beautiful pictures. And what a super nice thing to do for Britany. It fits in with what I feel is a natural part of your character (from what I have learned about you following your blog), and is a important example for all of us to follow. Thanks!

  21. You may not be a pro, but you did an amazing job. She is adorable, and very photogenic!

  22. Your photos are great! Composition is so important, and you are very creative. Love the “2011″ on the track field!

  23. Beautiful all around!

  24. Krunberry says:

    So cute! You know, if you can do it, I can do it. I even took a one day class and learned how to shoot on Manual. But I haven’t done a photo shoot with anyone yet. I really kinda oughtta…thanks for the inspiration. I just need a willing guinea pig. Maybe my kids would do it for some ice cream after?? :)

  25. Way cute pictures! And beautiful young woman. She looks absolutely charming and sweet. What a nice thing to do for someone. I sincerely hope she continues on her road to recovery.

  26. Those are some great pictures. I’ll bet Britany was pleased with them.

  27. Beautiful pictures, beautiful girl! Not only did you have a lot of fun together, but you gave this girl a special day with special memories.

  28. Nancy L says:

    The pictures were pure magic. I loved each and every one of them and so will Brittany. I also loved your comment about not using the ‘manual’ mode on your camera. I too have been using my cameras for years and am still leary about trying out the manual mode. I think my brain is stuck in automatic.

  29. Great photos!! Pretty sure even the ones you thought weren’t as good were probably still good, too!!

  30. Aw beautiful snapshots you have got for her. glad you could jump in to take her senior pictures!!!

    Congrats to her and all.. Wish her well with future!!

  31. “2011″

    Perfect idea to do that!!

  32. Nice pictures!

  33. Jeannie says:

    Stacy, even professional photographers don’t take great photos every time. I love these shots. Lots of creativity in the 2011 shot!

  34. The pictures look FABULOUS!! I think what you did was awesome. I am sure that you made her day as well as her parents.

  35. What a beautiful act of service you gave to Britany. The pictures turned out great and something she will treasure for years to come–not just because they look so fabulous (they really do), but also because of the memories that will go with the pictures. Amazing, Stacy.

  36. Those are beautiful pictures you have taken! What a wonderful token of friendship for you to do this for her. Doesn’t it feel great to take time from our busy schedules to do something for someone else? And you got some fresh air and sun likely too! Britany sounds like a very brave, strong girl, wishing her the best in her future. I’ve enjoyed the beautiful photos you’ve taken of her. The 2011 is especially creative…never underestimate your abilities! You did a fine job! :)

  37. Our ‘professional’ photographer did almost the same thing at Bellevue’s botanical garden with my son. First business suit, then casual clothes. And he went for that rustic board look too. I would say your photos were definitely professional! And you have a terrific model..’wow!’ She is lucky to have you.

  38. Stacy, you did such a great job. Not only did you get some fantastic shots, but it’s obvious that your heart went into it.

    Since I live so close to CV, I am going to find that house and get some pictures of my kids there! But I should probably do it soon before it gets inundated and someone posts “No Trespassing” signs. ;)

  39. Wow Stacy! It seems to me you are a great photographer. Want to come to my house and take some more shots? I have eight subjects you can practice on. All the pictures seem very natural, which means you must be great at putting your subject at ease. And they are very creative. I may take a page from your book.

  40. Awesome photos, love the 2011 pic!

  41. I think you are a natural born photographer! Brittany is so lucky to have you to call a friend. Hope she continues to grow stronger.

  42. You did a fabulous job for this beautiful young lady! What wonderful pictures. You definatly have a knack for posing.
    I pray that whatever is going on with this your lady that it is discovered and healed soon.
    We went through a very tough time with my niece at this age. She has Crohn’s Disease and early in her senior year she was extremely ill and we almost lost her. Thank God that she has had an amazing recovery and has stayed healthy since then.

  43. Cindy Carlson says:

    These are unbelievably gorgeous! I am impressed that you got 64 awesome ones out of your lot – usually it’s more like 100 shot to 1 good one for me. =] Maybe you’ve found an alternative career. ; )

  44. Those are great photos! She’s beautiful.

  45. The pictures are amazing! She is a beautiful girl and lucky to have you for a friend. Bet you both had a wonderful time. Blessings to both of you, I’m sure it was a very special day!

  46. Christine says:

    What an amazing group of photos Stacy. You have a photographer’s eye. We were just in Spokane this past weekend and that would of been a great place to take pictures. Oh well, I guess I can look for an abandoned house with character on this side of the mountains. Please give my best to this young girl. Sounds like things are looking up for her.

  47. You did an amazing job taking those photos! What a beautiful subject, too! I’m sure she was thrilled!!

  48. Congratulations Britany! I think that these creative and personalized photos are more valuable than professional but standardized shots. Best wishes to Britany :)

  49. Ruth Ann says:

    What a beautiful young woman!! She sure looks healthy, hope she is on the mend. I agree, I think my favorite from what you shared is the last one as well. You do an awesome job!!

  50. jennifer h says:

    You captured her beauty wonderfully.

  51. Good for you! The pictures turned out great! And what a beautiful subject! Good luck to her!

  52. Tracy Dayett says:

    These are awesome!! Just like the sweet young lady in them!! I send her a huge CONGRATULATIONS on her upcoming graduation…well done and good luck!!!!

  53. Congratulations to Brittany! She’s gorgeous and your photos are awesome! What a lovely thing you did for her. I’ll be praying that she stays well.

  54. Beautiful, what a special thing to do for her. Mr. Rogers would tell you IMPOY – I am proud of you.

  55. What an inspirational story! So brave at such a young age! And, your senior portraits look wonderful – you should be so proud!

  56. Kristyn G says:

    The pictures look great! Congrats to Britany on graduation!

  57. I really love these pictures. They show such emotion and personality traits. I see a kind and lovely young lady full of joy. Your post shows the enjoyment you had in taking these beautiful pictures. I just love you blog. I read two blogs regularly. Yours is my “go-to” blog for a real-life pick-me-up. Thanks for sharing the real-life you and those around you.

  58. karen Hobbs says:

    As I have a Sr. too I sure hope that she really is better. AND your photos are wonderful!!
    They look just as good and creative and well lit as the ones I payed hundreds for in 08 for my daughter. I think you really captured a beautiful teenage spirt in your shots. Great job!!

  59. Fabulous photos Stacy! How sad she had to miss so much school but it is good to know she is doing better.

  60. GREAT job! I, too, LOVE to take photos – but am not a photographer – it’s just so fun to play with it all, though, isn’t it? My favorite? They’re all such good shots – but I love the one on the porch steps — it’s just so wonderful with the trees out back!

  61. Stacy, those are wonderful photos and you are too a great photographer (training or no). What a beautiful subject and how great you could give her awesome photos. Made me smile.

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