Meet our next Fab Grad… Irene!

When Irene’s mom contacted me with their interest in a session & mentioned that she is both a dancer AND an Ice Hockey player, and that they are looking for someone to capture her varied sides in the creative ways she had envisioned, my response was immediately… Ummm… YES PLEASE!!! I’m not sure if I hung up the phone all the way before I squealed in excitement!

Then… I met Irene & her mom in person. What awesome & fun gals and goodness – their relationship is beyond adorable! I think I could sit & listen to them interact with each other all day long. It is a very, very cool thing to experience and I quickly became EVEN MORE excited! Irene is a very soon to be Class of 2017 Graduate of Cardinal Gibbons High School, headed to the University of Notre Dame! She is an awesome pillar of confidence, at least from my perspective… quite accomplished both in ballet & in ice hockey nationally (& I’m sure many other things I don’t even know about); she is athletic & strong while also stunning & girly too. She knows what she likes, what she doesn’t, where she’s going and believes in it!

We did most of Irene’s session in studio, beginning with a nice classic look. Something she could use for a professional looking headshot & for family. She wore a green lace dress that looked stunning with her features. We then switched to a classic black dress but with a splash of fun… from point shoes to sitting amidst all her hockey jerseys from the years leading up to now. My FAV… her playfully fun & very her shot with her championship medal! I picked up some plexiglass in preparation for this session and we put her hockey skate on right inside here! Creating some unique images that she had envisioned with both her point shoe & hockey skate on before also capturing some elegant ballet portraits. I loved this opportunity to capture these artistic dance portraits for them!! Our mission to capture who Irene wasn’t complete yet though. It couldn’t possibly be, not without some ice! We finished her session with a trip up to Polar Ice House at the Factory in Wake Forest. I’m, well, a chicken & have no clue how to ice skate. So I was quite honored that Irene & her mom still chose me to capture this special moment in her life despite this fact and also oh, sooo grateful for my friend Jen who came to help out with this piece! Funny story – Jen’s daughter was actually one of Irene’s favorite students in hockey classes she taught! WHAT a small world!!! We continued Irene’s play on mixing her sides and then went for a few with full hockey feel. I captured from the side, Jen captured from the ice & we ‘completed’ the session! And… oh did we have FUN in the process!!

We wish Irene the best of luck as she moves on to this next chapter & sincerely hope our paths will cross again.


Thanks so much to Denise Hutter, Images by Denise for Irene’s beautiful Hair & Makeup! And my awesome friend & peer, Jen Haygood, J.B. Haygood Photography, for helping us out on the ice rink!!!

You may check out Irene’s condensed session highlights video, including behind the scenes on YouTube at

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