Her Name Fits Her

Dakota moved to Richmond her partway into her Junior year, much to the delight of her peers. She immediately brightened their lives: her enthusiasm is contagious, she’s a compassionate and loyal friend, and she's always planning get-togethers. Jokingly, one of her gifts is bring people together. That, and playing tennis.

Her name fits her: “Dakota” is Native American for friend. And if Dakota calls you friend, consider yourself very blessed, indeed. She is positive and compassionate, bringing joy to those around her. And on top of that, she’s strong, fierce and determined—truly a force for good. Which is why I was delighted when her mom asked me to do her senior photos.

When planning her session, I asked Dakota if she wanted to have her session somewhere green or somewhere urban. Without hesitation, she said “urban.” Having lived in Richmond a little over a year, this city has nestled into her heart and she loves it. But instead of an urban setting, I thought she might like to have the whole city in the background, as a memoir. With that decided, the location choice was easy: the hanging footbridge to Belle Isle.

Her final photos were everything she hoped! With Richmond in the background, it almost looks surreal. But it was the real-deal—on a beautiful summer day, with her beautiful, bright smile in the foreground. I'm thankful her senior photos will be a happy memory for her for years to come.

After the session, I asked Dakota’s mom what makes Dakota so amazing and her one-word answer said it all: “Jesus!” To know Dakota is to know her hope is in the Lord. No matter where she goes to college or whether she studies languages or business or plays tennis or a combination of whatever she dreams up, Dakota’s future is a very bright one and she’s looking to her Heavenly Father to direct her path. I can’t wait to see what the Lord has in store for her in this next chapter—it’s going to be amazing.

Congrats on being a senior, Dakota!