Chris and I chatted as he lead me to the second story of his building, the one he promised that I would love because of its windows and unfinished industrial look. I was on the hunt for architecture and something unique, something Laura Urban would love.
Did our small town of Athens Pennsylvania even have something like this?
Chris and I rounded the corner and I exhaled as my heart beat faster. I looked from floor to ceiling at the windows that cover the far left and right walls allowing sunlight to come streaming in. The old wood floors were covered in a thin layer of dust, the faded paint, the thick industrial metal doors, and old brick were the only thing filling the large space. It was untouched, unused, forgotten, and beautiful.
"I love it," I said to my friend as I struggled to keep my eyes from filling with thankful tears. "It's absolutely perfect Chris! Laura is gonna love it!"
Laura is a freshly graduated senior with a love of travel and architecture and a gift for connecting with others. Laura is chill. She's an easy Sunday morning with a sunshine smile and warm words.
"What do you want to see in your pictures?" I asked Laura.
She thought a minute then smiled, "I don't really know. I just want to see myself, maybe have some cool building or some unique architecture."
"She was a dancer for almost ten years," her mother Stephanie added. "It would just be my dream to get pictures of her doing that." "Is that something you'd like, Laura?"
Laura nodded her head, her sweet smile still in place, "Yeah, that could be cool."
I wanted more than 'cool' for Laura.
I wanted 'epic' and 'showstopping' and 'grand' and 'beautiful' and . . . wanted this remarkable young woman who is full of spirit and kindness to see herself as unique and valuable.
Unbeknownst, to Laura, I took the word 'cool' as a challenge. Laura deserved more than 'cool' and it was my personal goal to make sure she got it.
We spent time trying on dresses, choosing wardrobe, talking about style and combinations. Laura chose looks she loved, dresses and outfits that made her feel most like her beautiful self. We mapped out a plan, once again going over what Laura most wanted to see.
We were ready for Laura's photoshoot.
Shea created an incredible hair and makeup looks, adding to the dynamic beauty of Laura's big eyes and easy smile.
We convyed to the location and Laura's shoot began.
Laura didn't say 'cool' when she saw the space that would be her personal studio for her senior pictures.
"This is amazing," she said, spinning around as she admired the windows and walls.
"Wow!" said Stephanie.
I was grinning. "I know, right?"
"It's like the perfect place for dancing," Laura said.
"It's all yours, my friend. Let's make something pretty."
Laura was the missing piece that this building needed. It was already unique and striking but Laura gave it purpose as she moved and danced and posed around the expansive space. Laura brought life to a dusty room, a bit of magic, and music that was all her own.
I watched as light and shadow and movement created art in front of my eyes. It was Laura moving effortlessly, gliding through smiles and lifts like she was born to it . . . likely she was.
Likely this young woman, fresh out of high school, was born for moments like these, moments where time goes by too quickly because what's happening is too beautiful to look away from. Moments where things come together in balanced synchronicity.
Laura was made for more than just 'cool. She was made for more than 'typical', 'standard', or 'common'.
Laura is art. A walking, breathing, living creation of beauty and light.
That's a hard thing to showcase in pictures.
Thankfully, all we really had to do was show Laura.
The rest took care of itself.
Private Photography Studio in Athens PA.
Serving Athens, Sayre Pennsylvania, Towanda Pennsylvania, Elmira New York, Corning New
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