CARTERelite

CARTERelite - Blog

Rangefinder Magazine: The Portrait

Welcome to the redesigned CARTERelite website!

We have been working so hard to curate images that represent this brand perfectly, and I am so proud of what we have accomplished! With thousands of images from years gone by, it was very difficult to narrow down to my absolute favorites. With that said, on the new site you will find my favorite images from only the last three years.... and there are so many more to come!

I am very excited about all of the amazing shoots, and opportunities, that 2017 has in store! One of the first ones that I would like to share is that I have an image in a National Photography Competition! Each year Rangefinder Magazine host a competition called The Portrait, and I am thrilled to be a part of it this year!

One of my favorite aspects of photography is that I get to help others by sharing my talent. This image is from a personal project that is very close to my heart.

Emily is a college student who has Alopecia! She and I followed each other on Instagram for about a year before she shared the story about her truth, and when she did I knew that I needed to photograph her! Showing the world her heart, and strength was important to me!

When I originally shared her images I asked Emily to share her heart with all of you, and this is what she had to say:

From the moment the world was shaken into existence, you’ve had a purpose. Your voice would move rooms of people, your intelligence would change life as we know it, your love for others would bury the existing hate, your beauty would be accentuated by the joy that radiates from your laughter. You as a whole, make the world far better than it would be without you. I was always told something along those lines, yet I never truly believed them. What is your biggest fear? What is your breaking point? Are they the same thing? Common in our society, I dealt with the insecurities that normal teenage girls experience. I wonder if they can see this zit on my chin. But it seemed like in a blink of an eye that, that was the least of my worries. I spent all of high school covering up my biggest flaw, if you will. I ignored the fact that my hair began to thin. I ignored the attention my drawn-on eyebrows, drew. However, I couldn’t ignore my biggest fear that was rapidly becoming routine. Clumps of hair would fall from my head into the shower drain every morning. I was balding. Now, I had reached my breaking point. My doctor informed me around seven years ago that I had mild Alopecia Areata, not that I would develop bald spots that would inhabit the whole back of my head. I am a stubborn person. I refuse to quit, refuse to take “no” for an answer, so over the years when small spots would develop, I would remain positive and they would just grow back. So, when majority of my hair decided to fall out, I briefly lost hope. After trying all treatments on the market, I turned to my last resort: Wigs.  I thought I had found the answer to my problems, my worries, and my insecurities.  Right? Wrong. Sure it seemed like I had perfect hair all the time, but the cons outweighed the pros. I was a wreck. I was always concerned that someone would find out that I didn’t have hair. I was petrified that people wouldn’t look at me the same if they knew. I wore a wig for nine months, my freshman year of college. As summer approached I began to think of the things that I wasn’t going to be able to do, now that I had a wig. No swimming, no skydiving, no boating, no working-out because of the sweat that would ruin the hairpiece. It was exhausting thinking about how I would rationalize to myself that I was giving up things that I loved and wanted to do, over an uncontrollable condition. I blamed God for ruining my fun. If I had hair, none of this would’ve been an issue. Then it hit me like brick wall. God wants me to have fun, but God wants me to serve him while doing it. May 20, 2015, was the last day I wore my wig. I turned all my negative energy into fuel for my future. I began loving myself, for God made me in His image and I’m fearfully and wonderfully made. The mean things I told myself when I looked in the mirror faded from my thoughts. I quit believing that God messed up on me. I can say that I’m finally confident in who I am, who I serve, and what I stand for.  When people see me, I no longer want them to see me, but rather Him through me. My point is this: You are more special than you think. You are perfectly unique in your own way. I wasn’t trying to inspire anyone when I decided to be comfortable in my own skin; I did this for none other than Emily. I just decided to love myself, and I pray that everyone can learn to do the same.   If you would like to vote for Emily's image, then you can do that here: http://carterelite.rangefindertheportrait.com                                                                                                                               

From the moment the world was shaken into existence, you’ve had a purpose. Your voice would move rooms of people, your intelligence would change life as we know it, your love for others would bury the existing hate, your beauty would be accentuated by the joy that radiates from your laughter. You as a whole, make the world far better than it would be without you. I was always told something along those lines, yet I never truly believed them.

What is your biggest fear? What is your breaking point? Are they the same thing? Common in our society, I dealt with the insecurities that normal teenage girls experience. I wonder if they can see this zit on my chin. But it seemed like in a blink of an eye that, that was the least of my worries. I spent all of high school covering up my biggest flaw, if you will. I ignored the fact that my hair began to thin. I ignored the attention my drawn-on eyebrows, drew. However, I couldn’t ignore my biggest fear that was rapidly becoming routine. Clumps of hair would fall from my head into the shower drain every morning. I was balding. Now, I had reached my breaking point.

My doctor informed me around seven years ago that I had mild Alopecia Areata, not that I would develop bald spots that would inhabit the whole back of my head. I am a stubborn person. I refuse to quit, refuse to take “no” for an answer, so over the years when small spots would develop, I would remain positive and they would just grow back. So, when majority of my hair decided to fall out, I briefly lost hope. After trying all treatments on the market, I turned to my last resort: Wigs. 

I thought I had found the answer to my problems, my worries, and my insecurities.  Right? Wrong. Sure it seemed like I had perfect hair all the time, but the cons outweighed the pros. I was a wreck. I was always concerned that someone would find out that I didn’t have hair. I was petrified that people wouldn’t look at me the same if they knew. I wore a wig for nine months, my freshman year of college. As summer approached I began to think of the things that I wasn’t going to be able to do, now that I had a wig. No swimming, no skydiving, no boating, no working-out because of the sweat that would ruin the hairpiece. It was exhausting thinking about how I would rationalize to myself that I was giving up things that I loved and wanted to do, over an uncontrollable condition. I blamed God for ruining my fun. If I had hair, none of this would’ve been an issue.

Then it hit me like brick wall. God wants me to have fun, but God wants me to serve him while doing it. May 20, 2015, was the last day I wore my wig. I turned all my negative energy into fuel for my future. I began loving myself, for God made me in His image and I’m fearfully and wonderfully made. The mean things I told myself when I looked in the mirror faded from my thoughts. I quit believing that God messed up on me. I can say that I’m finally confident in who I am, who I serve, and what I stand for.  When people see me, I no longer want them to see me, but rather Him through me.

My point is this: You are more special than you think. You are perfectly unique in your own way. I wasn’t trying to inspire anyone when I decided to be comfortable in my own skin; I did this for none other than Emily. I just decided to love myself, and I pray that everyone can learn to do the same.

 

If you would like to vote for Emily's image, then you can do that here:

http://carterelite.rangefindertheportrait.com