This is a super special shoot for me so I'm honored to post it, and I have Alex's permission to do so..so hi Alex! :)
I met Jackie, the mama of this fine family, at Squam Art Workshops (click on the link and sign up.  See you there!).  It was there that she told me about her daughter, Alex, who is living (like a bad ass) with alopecia (an auto immune disease that causes hair loss in some or all areas of the body).  Jackie talked about Alex's bravery and beauty and strength which didn't surprise me, of course, because those are some of the things Jackie exudes.  I pretty much immediately offered to come to Chicago to spend a day with Jackie and Alex, little sis Kate, big brother Jake, and dad/husband extraordinaire Roger.  Sure glad I did because this family is RAD!!  Wow.  What nice (nice nice nice) people they make in Illinois! ;)  Every single member of this family is a kind, generous, low key, friendly, outgoing, sweetheart.  It was a total honor to spend the day with them.  
As for Alex, well... I mean... think about what it was like to be 14.  Probably wouldn't go rushing back there if you had a time machine, huh?  Remember the utter bullshit you had a FIT over. 
yeeeeaaaaa..... I won't elaborate on that.  
Alex, my sister.  You. Are. A. Star.  Your kindness and beauty is all anyone does or ever will see.  You have been given a test that few could handle at any age, and you have not let it get even close to your heart.  You are a commander in what it means to love and accept yourself.  We are ALL headed for that lesson, and we will need you to show us how it's done. You ARE love. You ARE peace.  You are strength.  And beauty... (and a perfect fucking head! hahaha).  . Keep your head up and those eyes bright. 
You get out there and show em how it's done with grace.
Thank you all for trusting me to come into your home with my camera.  You make all my dreams come true, and I am madly inspired by every one of you.  Thank you. 
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jackie says:

Words can not express what you captured and then how you beautifully said about our family. I love you! Come back to Illinois xoxo tears streaming....all love and joy.

(12.21.15 @ 02:21 PM)
Paula says:

This brought me to tears. Alex, you are truly a bad ass. Jackie, I hope I can raise my girl to be as strong and amazing as yours!

(01.20.16 @ 05:11 PM)