“One who gains strength by overcoming obstacles possesses the only strength which can overcome adversity.”

— Albert Schweitzer

Braden's senior portrait session

I have known Braden for most of his life, so when his Mom contacted me about photographing his senior portrait casuals, I was elated! Braden is such a special kid (young adult I should say) and I wanted to make sure I captured him in a way that showcases his amazing smile and love of basketball . We chose locations around Mandeville, Louisiana since this is his home town. Braden is with the Varsity Basketball Team so we had to get some shots from inside the gym. Braden is such a cool kid. I mean like really cool. The shoes, his demeanor, his swag. And that full-face laughing smile. I swear he smiles with his whole body.

Braden taught me a lot of lessons during our time together. Braden was born with MPS/Hurler’s Syndrome, a condition in which children lack an enzyme that the body needs to digest sugar. As a result, undigested sugar molecules build up in the body, causing progressive damage to the brain, heart, and other organs. But his condition is not what he is about. What you take away from time with Braden is amazing energy, adoration of his family, and just a great person to be around. I am in awe of people like Braden because he has all of the excuses to quit, to be unhappy, to give up. But he doesn't. The way he handles a basketball with ease, dribbling in between his legs, spinning it on his finger shows a dedication to something he loves. I think a lot of us would probably say, this is too difficult, so I shouldn't even try. But not Braden. So what I was reminded during the days of shooting was that times may be hard, you may think the challenges are insurmountable, but in the end if you have the right attitude and a dedication to being the best you can be, then everything will be just fine.