I LOVE giving back to my community and I LOVE finding campaigns that celebrate our youth and showing them that beauty is not only on the outside but on the inside as well. That you can go through anything in life and come out on top and a better person. That each situation we are given does not define us.
Michelle Gifford began the Beauty Revived Campaign a few years ago and it has now made it's way around the nation, allowing photographers to "use their lens for good." 50 Photographers are chosen to then go out and find a deserving senior to photograph and then share their amazing story to the world.
I feel so very blessed to have been chosen and to have met my amazing senior Sarah. When I found out I was chosen for this campaign I knew I wanted to pick a senior by who THEY are personally and NOT by their circumstance. After I read Sarah's nomination I knew she would be the perfect fit.
Once I met Sarah we started planning out her perfect Senior session for the campaign. I knew I had the photography covered but I wanted to give her the ultimate VIP treatment that all my girls receive but kick it up a notch :) SO I reached out to a local boutique that I LOVE in Union City called the Chocolate Bunny. They immediately wanted to help. A few weeks before our session I had a box full of clothing, shoes and accessories for our session. I appreciate that they didn't even hesitate when I asked and immediately wanted to help. I can't say enough great things about them so go check them out here https://www.thechocolatebunnyboutique.com/
So now that we had amazing clothes it was time to reach out to my team at The Shop of Pleasant View for some amazing hair and makeup. Heather Brown and Mary Carole are my go to girls when it comes to hair and makeup for my sessions so I knew that would jump at the chance to spoil Sarah. Please go check them out, they are not only local but have the biggest hearts when it comes to helping others! https://www.facebook.com/theshopofpleasantview/
Nothing makes my heart smile more than when companies give, not because they have to but because they WANT to!!! I hope as you read her story below it inspires you as well. This sweet, young lady has had to endure the unthinkable at such a young age and to meet her you would never know those struggles. I know by sharing her story she will inspire not only other photographers to go out in their communities and share their gift but to inspire other teens that you can get through anything life throws at you.
Allow Me to Introduce You To, Miss Sarah Pulley…
“I cannot believe it's been a year since you left this earth mama. I miss you more, and more each day. This year has been quite a journey, and extremely difficult to process at times (especially in the "big moments" that we always talked about), but I know that you are always by my side guiding and protecting me. Your signature saying will forever be "I love you to the moon" and I KNOW it's not a coincidence that on this very night the moon is the closest it has been in years. I know that you sent it to remind all of us that you are always close to us. I miss you more than words can describe. Thank you for always leading me in the right direction. I couldn't do this without you being my guardian angel. I love you to the moon mama.”
Those are Sarah’s words to her mother, November 14, 2016, one year after her untimely passing on November 14, 2015. Sarah is an 18 year old vibrant teen! She is a mirror image of her mother, Leanne. Sarah is brave, intelligent, beautiful, strong-willed, strong minded, focused, a leader, a Christian, involved in her community, and most importantly a survivor in her own right.
During the most difficult years of a person’s life, those dreadful teenage years, Sarah has struggled with all of the emotions that come from watching her mother fight for her life. Her mother, Leanne, was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2013. Sarah was just beginning her freshman year in high school. When Leanne underwent surgery, Sarah was her caretaker. Sarah was there by her side, taking care of her, through all of her pain, fear, and anxiety. There was nothing that lit up her mother’s face more, than when Sarah entered the room.
Sarah has seen the ugly side of what cancer can do. She watched as her mother suffered in pain, and held her. She watched as her mother was sick from treatment, and nursed her. She watched as her mother dealt with the anxiety of what was to come, and encouraged her.
The faith that Sarah’s mother instilled in her, from the time she was young child, has never wavered. In the fall of 2015, Sarah was aware of the fact that her mother did not have much time left on this Earth. She was strong, and confident in her faith, and knowing that though her mother was soon to take her last breaths, she would see her again. She carries on every day of her life as an example to her peers, and to other teenagers facing the struggles, and fears that she faced. The fear of losing a parent, as a teenager is beyond the words that can be used to describe fear. That being said, you could describe Sarah as fearless, at least as an outsider looking in.
She continues to take life day by day. Focused on what she knows that her mother would want for her, a happy life. As Sarah stated in her post to her mom, that this year has been quite a journey, with big moments, one of those moments was the night Sarah was crowned Homecoming Queen. She was voted by her senior class to represent them on the homecoming court. When they called Sarah’s name that night, as the 2016 Homecoming Queen, her eyes filled with tears, and though there were tears, there was then a huge smile, as she said to herself “That’s for you mama”, knowing that her mom was there, jumping up, and down screaming “That’s my Sarah!”
She is fearless, she takes on life every day, as a brave, heroic, audacious, bold survivor, as a young teen proving to the world that no matter what life may throw your way, you can prevail, and you can succeed! *Written by Deanna Jackson
You can also find Sarah's story at these links:
Beauty Revived: http://beautyrevived.com/meet-sarah-beauty-revived-noreen-nooner-photography/
Pleasant View Post: https://indd.adobe.com/view/443f0e1f-357e-42cf-bd95-9988bd711e46