Taking my daughter’s senior pictures

I saw the house from the highway. My husband, two daughters and I were on our way to St. George to attend a banquet where Sabrina was going to be honored along with four other scholarship recipients.

The wind was brisk, and I hurried over a cattle guard to get close enough for a good photo. One side of the house had fallen into disrepair but most still looked intact. Through the window, graffiti was visible.

Behind me, the girls laughed as they raced each other down a dirt lane. They had come out of our SUV, too, and were making their way to the house.

We’d already talked earlier about taking some of Sabrina’s senior pictures in St. George, anticipating good lighting and a lovely background coupled with her being dressed up. But seeing her hair flowing in the wind by this house near Holden, I asked her if we could try some shots. She agreed.

I had her pose by a fallen tree whose trunk was jammed into a rusting metal cylinder. I cropped the tree in my viewfinder. And then I took several photos. It was an overcast day; actually, really nice for portraits. There was no squinting and her smiles didn’t look forced. Of course I also took some shots by the house. I got a bunch; below are just a few in black and white.

Afterwards, the girls explored the ruins and where once was a cold cellar. Sabrina stood framed by the window and, as I have been prone to lately, my heart squeezed with affection for this girl.

Since March, when Sabrina turned 18, I sometimes find myself marveling that the toddler with dimples–clutching onto a sibling’s finger to keep her balance and her plump little legs planted like a little ballerina’s on the floor–is now all grown up.