Miss S’s Inside/Outside Photo Shoot

Miss S was one of my very first Inside/Outside tweens (yes, I’m way behind on blogging). I met her sweet mom through a Bunco gang of red hot babes I was asked to join and she was all in for a session for her only daughter. Working with tweens is such a treat. Each one is so unique. For these sessions we usually start in their room. Girls especially are always so excited to show me their favorite things and tell me stories about what’s in their room (and often on the floor). ūüôā

For this young lady it was soccer (and pogo sticking, but you’ll have to scroll down to see what I mean). I heard stories from mom about their trip to see the US women’s team compete in Canada. I heard stories from S about her plans to play for the US women’s soccer team one day. And from all the comments on the surveys friends and family fill out as part of the preparation for this session (and the surprise stuff that comes at the end for each tween), it was clear I was in the presence of a budding star.Self esteem Inside/Outside Project, Photographers in Greensboro NC

Naturally we took some time to chat and do other things like the fan favorite make-a-funny-face-and-change-it-after-every- camera-click game. I also HAD to see the pogo stick action.

A pogo stick is a lethal device in my hands so I left it to the expert. I learned through grandma’s survey that Miss S learned to pogo in 90 minutes. And I saw it for my own eyes in a YouTube video of the school talent show. The photos don’t even come close, but the girl is amazing on that thing. Even better yet, she’s as nice as she is talented.

Words matter a lot to your tween…

Reading through all the surveys for this shoot (and every shoot) is inspiring. Messages from mom and dad, brothers, friends and close family are all there on screen, then get transferred to the magic at the end. And by magic I mean watching Miss S read all the comments mixed in with photos and music. It got really dusty (ahem) in my friend’s kitchen when we all watched the video together for the first time (and then three more times.)

Miss S is loved. Her brother loves her laugh. Her father says she lights up a room. Aunts, friends and grandparents say she is driven, kind, honest, adventurous and magnetic (besides being an awesome soccer player). And now she knows they know that about her. How do you beat that?

Click here¬†to learn more about¬†The Inside/Outside Project, including how session fees are waived for this project. It’s a little bit of work up front, but I promise it’s worth it. For you and your tween.

Book now to secure your slot.

Photographers in Greensboro NC with tween girl with soccer ball

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Here’s the pogo sticking¬†(Is that a word?) Anyway, the girl can pogo and jump rope AT THE SAME TIME! It’s unbelievable.

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The Inside/Outside Project

I remember being a tween. I remember it because it was not so awesome. I was chubby, I had braces, and I had hair that couldn’t decide if it was straight or curly. I got teased. That was on the outside.

On the inside I was a comedienne, a scientist, an Olympic medal-winning softball pitcher, and certainly had awesome hair. That was on the inside. 

Tracy Anderson as a tween, self esteem Inside/Outside ProjectAs an adult, I feel for my 12-year-old-self. I wish I could have pulled more of that inside spirit out. I wish I worried less about what people saw (or what I thought people saw) on the outside. I wonder what kind of impact that might have had on my sel esteem. Don’t get me wrong, I had a great childhood.

But I also remember — being a tween is¬†hard.

So about a year¬†ago this time I launched a program called The Inside/Outside Project as a way stay within my beloved niche of tween photography, but also as a way to help girls and boys see themselves differently and hear how much they’re loved by others.

Since the first few emails went out and Facebook posts went up, the response from parents has been overwhelming. It’s
definitely¬†struck a chord. I realize I’m not alone in my late-at-night-neverending-paralyzing-worry-that-my-tween-will-be-hurt-or-sad-or-anything-that-doesn’t-involve-bubble-wrapping-them-until-they’re-25 fear. I worry about my own budding tweens. A lot. Will they be liked, will they be teased, will they be bullied or pressured or worse? But an equally important set of questions is will they like themselves? If they are bullied will they have the strength to speak up or speak out on behalf of a friend? And what am I doing to support that strength at home?

As a woman, I know I’ve voiced aloud my unhappiness with the reflection in the mirror or the number on the scale. I know my own self esteem has (is) suffered (suffering) over the years. I honestly don’t know if I would have the strength to be a tween in today’s world.Self esteem Inside/Outside Project, Photographers in Greensboro NC

I’m proud of the response to this program. I will continue to worry about my tweens. But I also want to help show them they are awesome just as they are — right now.

See more of my work with Tweens here and find details on the program and how messages of love and support from family and friends are incorporated into the finished project here.

And, to get started on a session of your own,¬†click the contact me tab. It’s a little bit of work upfront, but it’s so worth it — for you and for them!

Miss A’s Tween Session

We had such a great time hanging in her room and just doing the things she loves. It’s so amazing to see what makes each incredible tween unique.

Photographers in Greensboro NC with tween girl with stuffed dog

Photographers in Greensboro NC with tween girl on bed

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Photographers in Greensboro NC with tween girl


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Why photo competitions?

Until this year, I had never entered any photo competitions.¬†Shoot and Share was the first. I watched my friend Tiffany rock it last year and I thought, “okay, maybe next year.” So next year rolled around and it was time to enter. Panic ensued. What to enter, which ones (you can enter up to 50), on and on. Naturally it took me forever to decide and cull through my photos, size and submit them. Then I waited (and voted, dying to see even one of my images pop up on the screen to select). Yes, I voted for myself, duh.Greensboro finalist badge

Shoot and Share is different from other photo competitions in that it’s totally free, open to anyone (pros or hobbyists) and is anonymous. There’s no social media rally to get people to vote for you and there’s little opportunity to be swayed by a name (unless you just flat out recognize the work.) I’m a stalker fan of some of these people so that did happen. The other fun (addicting) thing is that voting is done by everyone online for a specific period of time. There’s some fancy nerdy algorithm for how photos get shown, but never mind all that. It was just fun to be part of the frenzy.

Anyway, the talent was amazing and panic ensued again. Would any make the cut (any cut)? I waited some more….In general I’ve seen a few schools of thought on entering these types of¬†photo competitions.¬†The first is that unless it’s juried by expert panelists¬†and¬†you have skin in the game (a la entrance fee), you’re not getting true a true assessment of the quality of your photos. Another, more cynical view I guess, is that photographers only enter photo competitions to be seen by other photographers. I think my motivation for entering was fairly simple. “Let’s just see what happens.”

Some interesting stats from the competition:

  • 226,000 photos were entered from all over the world
  • 25 categories
  • All 50 states represented and 24 countries
  • 26,545,680 votes cast from
    • 51,473 unique voters from
    • 135 countries spent¬†the equivalent of
    • 11.7 YEARS (4291 days) of time voting on the contest!


So, when I got my finalist badge I was super excited. That’s the top 3.5 %! Of all that above! We had to wait what seemed like forever to see all the results¬†(I’m terrible at waiting), but here they are. And while I didn’t have any place in the top 100, I’m really pleased with the outcome. I mean seriously, 226,000 photos were¬†entered! So yeah, I’m going to be stoked about a bunch in the top 20 and 30%. These are some of my favorite images of some of my favorite people and to have them selected by photographers and others who love photography made me proud. I will definitely enter¬†again next year with a goal of improving my results.

Basically, my¬†advice to you is if you’re considering entering a competition next year — do it. Yes, this was free and a zillion people voted instead of an impressive panel, but these people ARE impressive and they love photography too. And the work was OUTSTANDING. I mean JAW DROPPING. This¬†group¬†is¬†passionate and supportive and doesn’t¬†care where you are in your journey. Photo competitions push you to be critical of your¬†work when selecting photos, strategic about what categories to enter and hopeful about your¬†progress and success. I know that’s how I feel after participating. So start saving those photos for next year! I’ve got my folder ready.

To see all the amazing photos go here.

Greensboro finalist photo competitions

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  • Jodi - Congrats on making it to a finalist! such an achievement <3 you should be very proud!ReplyCancel

Tween sisters!

Getting ramped up in a new city is not easy, but I’m getting excited about the spring and fall seasons for 2016. Just the little hint of spring weather this weekend made me anxious to shoot following my downtime in December and January. I love meeting new people and there are so many amazing locations in and around the city. And, oh the light! I swear it’s brighter here. Perfect for a tween sister shoot. ūüôā

As we’re getting to know each other a little better, you must¬†know that one of the groups I loooove photographing is tweens. And tween girls to be specific. (Perhaps that’s because I’m a mom of two boys…) Tweens are so much fun to work with. It’s such a terrific age as¬†they begin to¬†test their wings. It’s exciting and I love being a part of it. Lucky for me, I just happen to have two gorgeous tweens — sisters — living a few houses down from me. I was thrilled when they wanted to get outside a play for a bit. Both were¬†naturals in front of the camera and we had such a good time in the woods of our neighborhood. I’m sure you’ll be seeing these girls again on my blog soon.

If you have tweens who love being in front of the camera and want to hang out with their friends and get their photos taken at the same time — whoo hoo! Give me a call. Or, if you’re stuck for THE. PERFECT. gift for your tween for an upcoming birthday, Photo Parties are the best!¬†Click here to find details about both types of sessions. I can take three¬†more for February and have a few slots open still for March. It’s going to be such a great year for Greensboro tweens!

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Hey there. Now that I’m settling into my new town, let’s get to know each other with the help of my updated¬†portrait¬†guide. I look forward to meeting the¬†families in my new community, and I thought¬†a peek at my¬†portrait guide¬†would help get things started. I’ve included a ton of¬†great information about how to plan the perfect session, what to expect when working with me,¬†plus tips on what to wear and all my product offerings. I try to answer it all in one comprehensive package. Whoo hoo!

Give me a shout to book your session today! I’m now booking for 2016!!!

Session guide from photographers in Greensboro NC

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