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Sunday, October 14, 2012

Minneapolis Gymnastics Photo Shoot Part I - Renee Edelman | Maris Ehlers Photography

When Renee and her mother Mary came in to meet with me to discuss photographing Renee's senior portraits, the first thing that stuck with me was how tiny Renee is and what a cute little voice she has.  I had no idea what a little stick of dynamite this girl is.  

We sat and chatted about who is she is and what she wanted her portraits to be, and I learned that not only is Renee a straight A student at Maple Grove Senior High, but she is also a state and national gymnastics champion, AND she dreams of becoming a pediatric surgeon.  Besides all that, she also loves ALL thing girly and frilly.  

I also learned is that the life of a gymnast is a very disciplined one, with hours upon hours spent at the gym doing really hard work. In this case, that's at Twin City Twisters in Champlin, Minnesota. I guess I already knew that it required a lot of dedication and hard work, but didn't realize what that means on a daily basis. Between that commitment and academics, Renee doesn't always have a lot of time for glitter, lace and girly fun, so that's what she wanted her portraits to be. And they were. What she didn't want though, surprisingly enough, was to have gymnastics share the spotlight, and so we did not incorporate gymnastics at all. And to be honest, I felt like something was missing. 

The big thing I discovered that day though, is Renee's.... HAIR.  It is the craziest, wildest, curliest hair I have ever seen.  She had it up in this tight little bun, and we talked about how she might wear it.  Turns out she never wears it down because it is so curly, thick and unruly. So much so that unless it's just been washed, she can't even get a comb or brush through it.  At first their plan was that she would just wear it up, but they decided to see if they could pull off a "down-do" for her portraits.  Two trips to the salon (one practice run) and 3 1/2 hours later, Renee and her hair were both looking smashing. 

As we were finishing up her portrait session, we were joking about her hair (I think I just kept saying that I couldn't believe this hair), and her mom said "You should see her sister!"  Renee's younger sister Abby, has the same hair (except it's red), same gorgeous skin, and apparently the same state champion gymnastics genes.  I offhandedly mentioned that since Renee didn't really want gymnastics to be a part of her senior portraits but it's such a big part of her life, it would be fun to get both girls together and do a wild gymnastics themed shoot where they could cut loose, have fun, and show off their muscles and skill.  But really, let's be honest - it was also to create an opportunity to show off that hair!  

Today's post is all about Renee, and is Part I of a multipart series that will be on the blog this week, showcasing both girls. They work so incredibly hard at what they do, and in a world where discipline, technique and drive get you everywhere, we thought it might be fun to show their skill with flair, fun and style.  

In gymnastics, Renee's favorite events are uneven bars and floor.  In 2012, she was the National Beam Champion and 2nd All round,  Regional Bars and Floor Champion and 2nd All Round, and State Bars, Floor and All Round Champion.

These pictures are just a smidgen of fun we have to post this week, so make sure you don't miss out on the rest. You'll meet Abby, see the girls together, and we'll also be showing some flat out cool ass pictures, if I do say so myself.  

Assisted by:  Angel Petit for Maris Ehlers Photography
Hair and Makeup by:  MJ Evans for Maris Ehlers Photography

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