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Smiles like these

The clear star of the summer of 2017 for us was the rain. There was no safe time to organize a photo shoot because it rained day and night. Eventually, we gave in and started just conducting our shoots in the rain under umbrellas- frizzy, wet hair and all.

Meredith Chastain & Meghan Schroder

One of our rainiest mornings was when we photographed the Woodland Brook Blazers Swim Team but you would never be able to tell from the adorable picture of Lily and Kate Goodyear. These are two of my favorite subjects. Lily is a softball star that we have photographed since t-ball and Kate is rising soccer star. If you will note, Lily is swimming with a cast because she has a broken arm but was so determined not to miss the swim season. Kate is 3 years old and competing in 6 and under—we were amazed.

It was hard to prepare and train for an outstanding softball season, only to have most of it—including championship games—rained out. This is where pictures fill a gap because many teams went ahead with their photo ops!! Coach David McCollum’s 7U baseball team represented Bay Creek Park and had an amazing record. They won both the Bulldog Bash & Summer Slam. They were in the championship game four out of the five tournaments they were in. The West Walton All Star Softball team had less of a chance to prove themselves. The county and state tournaments were both rained out this summer but we sure enjoyed the photo shoot and thought the team would go far. 

At the beginning of every summer, the Gwinnett Senior Leadership Team, hold its Summit at Peachtree Ridge High School. Hundreds of engaged high school students spend a day in educational and inspiration seminars given by national and local leaders. However, before the meetings begin, there is the traditional highly competitive spirit presentation from each of the 22 Gwinnett County High Schools. Central Gwinnett High School, is always well represented as they make their case.

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Grayson High School, the small town school with big time successes, celebrated State Shotput champion, Natasha Stamps. After winning shotput, Natasha went on to an impressive second place finish in the discus. Natasha dreamt of going to the University of Southern California since she was a small child. With scholarship offers from several schools across the nation, Natasha said yes to Texas University before hearing from USC, but, following her outstanding performance in the state competition, she received the call of a lifetime from USC and will be headed there in the fall.

Another student fulfilling their dreams is actress Rhylee Mirus. Rhylee has decided to pursue her acting ambition and is off to an impressive start. She was part of Broadway Dreams this summer and landed a role in Little Women at the Aurora Theater, one of my favorite places. Rhylee has an impressive singing voice and we will definitely be keeping track of her successes. Her cute personality shone through when we did her pictures.

Houston and Brinley Abner are two swimmers on the North Fork Swim Team and middle schoolers from Trinity Prep School. I have run into this family literally everywhere we have photographed for the past ten years. Mom, Heather Abner, is the librarian at Grayson Elementary and dad, Jason, is both a football and head track coach at Grayson High School. Brinley is a competition cheerleader with Jay Hawks and we have seen Houston play basketball and baseball throughout the years. There is a predictable grimace when they are told to pose together, followed by sunny smiles for the camera. Actually, smiles like these have been the best sun, we’ve had this summer. Here’s to long hot summers with just enough rain!!