Make a Wish | One Year Later | Sarasota Tween Photographer

Lola Cover


Dear Lola,

A year ago, we became friends, you and I. A year ago, I took a leap of faith, and at the end of it, I found you. You don’t know yet how truly remarkable you are. You don’t know how many lives you have touched, and how many people you have inspired.

I was nervous. Nervous to meet you. I wanted desperately for you to like me. I think it’s safe to say that we crossed that bridge with flying colors.

We created something beautiful together, you and I. I am infinitely proud of you. Proud of your tender heart and your feisty spirit. You get that from your mom, you know. She was the very best kind of feisty. Remembering her makes me smile. A big belly smile that I feel all the way to my toes.

When I saw you on Monday, you are Lola. My friend. And your hugs fill me with so much joy. You looked the same to me. Sweet Lola. But then, with a belly full of Noodles, we explored that old homestead park and played and took photos. Oh my gosh, it was so much fun. And we conspired together about a trip to the beach, and I can’t wait to make that happen. And then, after you & Nama left to go home and I pulled up your pictures from my camera’s memory card, I was blown away by how much you’ve grown up in a year! I know it embarrasses you, but you are beautiful. Stop-in-your-tracks-jaw-dropping-gorgeous. Beautiful in a way that shines so brightly from deep in your soul. Beauty so deep that it can’t be contained. It bubbles up and out in your sweet and funny laugh . That’s the kind of beautiful you are.

Don’t believe me? Just LOOK. Look how much you’ve grown in a year. NO, in 11 months. It’s cool. And I love that you’ve let me share it with you.

Tween girl with red hair and freckles standing against a barn in a park

Can I admit that I’m absolutely giddy and geeked out over the thought of photographing you every single year? Yes, partially because I can’t wait to see the progression from 9 to 19. And I can’t wait to watch you grow into the remarkably amazing person you already are. Partially because I secretly hope that we can get published on the HuffPost.

A photographer photographed #OperationLoveLola for 10 years. You’ll never believe what happened next. 

haha. Just kidding. Mostly.

But mostly it excites me it’s because it’s our thing. You and me. And I love that. I hope you do too.

It’s a Michaela/Lola thing. Awesome.

Whatever you do, never stop wishing.



I’ll spread my wings, and I’ll learn how to fly
I’ll do what it takes till I touch the sky
And I’ll make a wish
Take a chance
Make a change
And breakaway
Out of the darkness and into the sun
But I won’t forget all the ones that I love
I’ll take a risk
Take a chance
Make a change
And breakaway


I’ll spread my wings, and I’ll learn how to fly
Though it’s not easy to tell you goodbye
I gotta take a risk, take a chance, make a change
And breakaway
Out of the darkness and into the sun
But I won’t forget the place I come from
I gotta take a risk, take a chance, make a change
And breakaway

                                         ~ Kelly Clarkson


(Click image below for slideshow.)


Thank you, sweet girl, for being my friend.

I love you.




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  • Jen SheetsJune 4, 2016 - 12:00 am

    This is so wonderful for the two of you! I’m in awe of her beauty, grace, and spirit that just bursts through in these images 🙂 Well done, I can’t wait to watch as the years go by!ReplyCancel

  • Jessie MorrisJune 4, 2016 - 3:37 am

    STUNNING. Seriously beautiful. Well done, friend.ReplyCancel

  • Leola KinnieJune 4, 2016 - 3:52 am

    Tears! Beautiful words and so wonderful you have each other. Lola you are stunning! May you always shine so brightly.ReplyCancel

  • Jana LongJune 4, 2016 - 4:36 am

    Just beautiful! Beautiful girl and beautiful story! <3ReplyCancel

  • Gladys Rhodes ChmielJune 4, 2016 - 3:25 pm

    What an incredible BLESSING for both of you to have found eaxh other! And now Lola can know how I feel about you, my beloved Hodel. XOXOXOXOXOX to you both! <3ReplyCancel