Category Archives: Seniors

Lilah’s Senior Portraits – Boston, MA

Honestly, I don’t know where to start. Lilah is stunning – in her personality, in her strength, in her determination, and in her contagious smile. She dedicates dozens of hours each week to soccer in addition to her studies. She already knows where she’s headed to college next year and it seems like she knows what she’s going to pack first: Tigger. He’s been around forever (her mom even had several versions of him in rotation just in case the original got lost) and has traveled with them all over: China, Disney World, you name it. He even has his own Instagram.

Lilah is as beautiful as she was the first time I ever saw her about 16 years ago when I was working as a social worker for an adoption agency: amidst all of the paperwork, a little, wallet-sized photo of her baby-sized face made my heart smile. She was, at the time, on the other side of the world. Her soon-to-be parents, at the time, were one town over from my office. And in the hours that followed, the labor-room-type-feel of the day took shape when I passed that photo across the table to Sarah and David; they got to see their daughter for the first time. To say that they were overjoyed would be an understatement. All that was standing between them actually getting to hold her was a long flight (and more paperwork). When their trip to China finally rolled around to adopt Lilah, I was so fortunate to be able to accompany them. To witness a family coming together for the first time is an experience I will never, ever forget. (Scroll down to see some pics from that trip.)

Needless to say, since I transitioned out of social work years ago, I didn’t really think I’d get a chance to feel my adoption-work roots again. So when Sarah contacted me to see if I would photograph Lilah for her high school senior portraits, I was brought to tears. Once again, I find myself feeling ever so fortunate.

Lilah, what an honor to get to spend a couple hours with you and your parents after all this time. While I realize you have no recollection of me, your story has remained embedded in my heart ever since that moment in Gansu. I truly hope our paths will cross again someday! Your future is bright, my friend.

Senior portrait session (Erin) – Hampton, NH

She smiles wide. She sings amazingly well. She wants to work with kids. She has a beauty that glows from the inside out. And while Erin has started her senior year with a whole host of uncertainty in the world around her, she’s facing it head on feeling confident and strong. You can see it in her eyes and it gives me hope.

Senior portrait session (Lindsay) – Topsfield, MA

When a Nor’easter comes through on the day of your high school senior portraits, you reschedule and hope for the best. And the best is what we got – beautiful fall foliage and perfect weather. All we needed was a little stone bridge to bring home the New England feel to this beautiful girl. As I was lamenting how nervous I am of the teenage years for my own young girls, she shared some words of wisdom from the kid perspective: Encourage without pressure (writing that one down and filing away for future use – wait, no need to file away, will start using NOW). In the midst of the college admission process, she is keeping a good head on her shoulders and hopefully, will continue to heed some of her own advice – encourage yourself without pressure!

Wishing you a successful senior year filled with some fun, some studying (of course), and some time to reflect on what you’ve accomplished as well as what lies ahead. Thank you, Lindsay and Karen, for a beautiful session!

Senior portrait session (Nicholas) – Winchester, MA

He is kind and well-grounded, confident without being overly so, and isn’t *too* shy showing affection to his parents. It seems to baffle him as much as it does his parents that he’s actually a senior in high school. He loves the family dog, Boomer, and, if nudged, would likely admit that he loves his “little” brother, too. He’s trying football for the first time this year (and has the elbow bandaged up to prove it), because if not now, when? Man, I could wax poetic about the passage of time, about how absolutely crazy it is that this kid… ahem, young man, is a senior in high school, but I will let the last image in this post speak to that. It’s from 2011, the first time I photographed this family.

Cara and Dick, thanks for trusting me through all of these past eight years (!) to capture your awesome crew (and for hiring me even when my photography skills were clearly still developing!). Best of luck to you, Nicholas, in your final year in high school. You are off to do great things!

M’s senior photos – North Shore, MA

She’s been dancing since she was about 9 years old. With training in tap (her favorite), ballet, jazz, and pointe, this girl has more poise in her little finger than most humans I know. And not only that, but she’s got heart. She recently took her love of dance and turned it into a force for good, teaching dance to seniors (not the high school variety) in her community as a way to reduce the risk of dementia. True story. Look out world, this girl is going places.

I was so heartened to get the call from her mom to photograph her for her senior portraits; I remember fondly photographing her older sister just a few years ago for the same purpose. And what I remember most from that session holds true for this session as well: there is a unique beauty and grace here that doesn’t always exist in girls this age. It is the humble and heartwarming kind; the kind that will take her places and keep her going when facing the world head on.

Well done, mama. While I know that M has a mind and spirit of her own, it was you who helped her to see it and use it for good.

photographystephanie goryl

stephanie [at] stephaniegorylphotography [dot] com

Wakefield, MA

(just north of Boston)