Class of 2017
Pickerington High School North
Story Told Photography Ambassador
Everyone meet Maddy!! She is my first Story Told Senior Ambassador for 2017 and I couldn’t be happier that she chose me to take her senior photos. This is My Maddy. You see, I met her when she was in junior high, when she started taking ice skating lessons from me. So, this post will be a little more personal than most!
I love this girl and I have been privileged to watch her grow into such a beautiful young woman. I must tell you, Maddy has always been different than the other girls. Let me explain! Maddy is an old soul. I swear there is a free-spirited woman from the 1920s inside of this modern day beauty. She listens to old music, and her presence and demeanor just makes you feel like this is not a normal sixteen-year-old girl. There is so much more to Maddy! She’s a classic beauty. She’s delicate but also strong willed. She is deep and thoughtful and so caring. Everyone loves her.
This might be my favorite session I have ever photographed. Of course I love all my seniors! But this was so fulfilling to be a part of. Not only did we have beautiful golden hour light, but this session was so perfect for Maddison.
One day… Well, I should say, one extremely early morning at the ice rink, Maddy wasn’t hitting her moves just right. Maddy is a perfectionist and the one student of mine that reminds me so much of myself. I relate with Maddy on so many levels, especially of being a people-pleasing perfectionist. If she didn’t get it just right, she would be so hard on herself.
So one day, towards the end of my coaching career, I got it out of Maddy. I could tell after a couple of attempts at a move that she was about to lose her cool. I could see it in her eyes. I know this look because I’ve had that same look in my own eyes. But there was more. I asked her what was so wrong. She finally told me, “I don’t want to do this.”
Hellooooo heartbreaaaaak. I stared at her as tears started to fall down her cheeks. I felt my chest tighten in pain. Was it me? Did she not like her lessons with me? Was I not what she wanted in a coach? “What do you mean?” I asked. “I don’t want to ice skate.” Oh my God. It’s me. Get it together, Ali. “What do you want to do, then?” I asked rather directly. “I want to ride.” Oh…Horses. She loves her horses. “Then go ride.”
I believe that was the last lesson I ever had with Maddison. Maybe one or two more to finish up what we had worked on, but that was the one I remember the most out of all of those mornings, afternoons, and evenings on the ice. I remember her crying as she told me what she really wanted, but that she kept coming because she didn’t want to let anyone down. My God. I love this girl. I told her to go talk to her mom and to tell her what she wanted, to do what made her happy. I’m so glad she did.
That same feeling I have when I’m on the ice, the feeling of complete happiness, fulfillment, and pure freedom, is what I saw in Maddy as she showed me around her new arena. This is what Maddy loves.
I am so happy for Maddison as she takes on a different kind of senior year. No, she won’t be going to Friday night football games, dancing the night away at prom with her friends, or participating in senior tag. Instead, she’s off to Germany to immerse herself into an entirely different culture through an exchange program. I not only believe that Maddison knows this will be a once in a l lifetime, one of a kind, unforgettable experience, but I also believe Maddy wants to go because of her genuine love for all people. She loves meeting new people, asking them questions and learning all about them, and making lasting friendships.
Maddy’s mom texted me after I posted sneak peeks of her senior portraits. She said Maddy told her she’s never looked so good in photos before… that she doesn’t normally look that good. But that’s why I am here. You do normally look that good, Maddison. This is how I see you, and this is how the rest of the world sees you. You’re beautiful, kind, fun, with a heart of gold. I cannot wait to see all the photos you take in Deutschland. Have a fantastic senior year, Maddy! Love you. xo