[ Tough Love ] A blunt letter to my 12-year-old self + Model Call

Writing a letter to your past self is a total, utter, diabolical cliche, I know it! But for a moment yesterday the mushy mom side of me won the battle against the the sarcastic, eye-rolling side of me (imagine two little people on my shoulders, like the angel/devil).

So I figured, I better write this letter and click “send” before the other side of me freaks out.

Plus, I’m in need of some 10-12 year old boys & girls for this third part of my Who I Am project (yep, that’s right, this year we’re including boys, woot woot! Throw the confetti!).

Dear Lisa,

Your Name *
Your Name

If I could, I would give you the biggest bear hug – a hug so tight it would squeeze your guts out.

You don’t know me, but I know you very, very well.

I know that you don’t raise your hand in class even though 90% of the time you know the answer to the question being asked, because you’re afraid to have all eyes on you.

I know you enjoy music – you’ve been playing the piano since you were a little girl – but that you fear being deemed a “geek” for playing the trombone in band class. The truth is – being in the band or any other club, group or sport for that matter, doesn’t change who you are.

Just because you play trombone in the band, doesn’t make you a geek. Just because you’re good at math, doesn’t make you a geek.

Truth be told – you are a geek – in the sense that you are smart. Smart with numbers, “book smart.” Embrace it – it will make you successful in your adult life.

Be a little kinder to yourself.

You are not fat, you are not overweight. I repeat –  you are not fat. You, my dear girl, are perfect, and you 30-year-old self wishes she could be your size again.

A Quick tip: Don’t write a mean note about the flute player – this will be the only time in your life you’ll get sent to the principle’s office. And, you’re not a mean girl.

You’ll have your first kiss this year, and it will be terrible.

Be a little kinder to your mom – maybe even give her a hug some days. She is not your enemy. She only wants to protect you, and be loved by you. Some day, just like she has told you before, you will understand.

Wear. Your. Retainer. Your adult self will NOT go for “adult braces” and you will have permanently crooked bottom teeth.

Don’t let the reflection you see in the mirror determine who you think you are. #1: The mirror lies. Or rather, your eyes lie to your mind when you see your reflection. #2: You aren’t merely a face. The number of zits on your face doesn’t determine what you’re worth.

Your future self,

Lisa Edwards (yep, you get married!)

As I read this letter back to myself, I realize so, so many of the tidbits of advice I give ring true to who I am today.

It’s as if I’m giving my past self advice that I should be taking today.

  1. I could still be kinder to myself –

  2. I’m still nervous to be “called on” in this classroom called life.

  3. I could still use a big bear hug once in awhile (thank goodness for my kids!)

What’s the point of all of this? Why are you making me read this depressing letter and want to eat comfort food (chocolate cake, anybody?)

Because just like Marty McFly in Back to the Future, the Who I Am project saga just won’t be complete without part 3.

It’s my personal mission to capture the lost preteen years. The goal is to help tweens look and feel beautiful and have unshakable confidence in themselves when they hit junior high. Because frankly, I remember how it was to be a 10-12 year old. ***New this year – we’ll be photographing boys as well as girls***


Who we’re looking for

We are looking for both male and female models for our photography project, ages 10-12. We will ask the model and their parents a few questions, then combine the text and photographs to create one impactful piece of art.


Why “Who I am”?

We want to capture the the personality of these tweens and record the last stage of their childhood before they become young ladies and young men. We want young ladies to realize their true beauty so that they are confident in themselves before they hit Junior High. Imagine the impact a single beautiful image can do for your daughter’s self-image. We want young men to feel confident in who they’re becoming.


How to participate or nominate a friend:

Please fill out the form below or e-mail us by Thursday, January 21st  if you are interested in having your child participate in this project, or if you would like to nominate a friend or family member of yours that you think would be perfect for this. Please nominate people you think would enjoy the boutique experience we provide. The in-studio session itself is complimentary and includes a 5×7 fine art print (a total $200 value). There is no obligation to purchase additional prints, but we do make them available for purchase after the session if people wish to have gifts for family and friends. Most people love more than one image and do wish to purchase extras.

After you email us or send us a message below, we will send you specific details and you can decide if this project is perfect for your daughter or son.

Your Name *
Your Name

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