Inner beauty: Photographer Shawna Durick captures makeup-free images of older people – The Daily Reporter


Editor’s Note: The Daily Reporter will feature our “neighbours” each month, whether it’s someone with an interesting hobby or profession, or a non-profit group that does a difference in our community. Here, Shawna Durick, Greenfield resident and photographer for 14 years, shares her project to capture the raw beauty of high school kids. For more information about Durick, visit If you know a person or group you’d like to see featured in Neighbours, email [email protected]

Daily Reporter: How did you start photography?

Shawna Durick: I’ve been interested pretty much my whole life, but my husband’s deployment to Iraq made me take a lot more pictures of my kids, and I had a lot of time to learn more while I was there. he was there.

Photographer Shawna Durick captures images of raw high school beauty in a year-long project. Each group of seniors in their project chooses a theme for a group photo shoot, like this 1970s theme.

Photo submitted

DR: Tell us about your senior photo shoots.

SD: My VIP program that I do with seniors is a one-year experience. I build my team in February and March of their junior year. We start with a no-makeup photoshoot and an interview where I ask them things like what true beauty means to them, what they look best on, just things that you can’t see in a photo but are important. Then we throw a party where I get my whole team together and play icebreaker games so they can get to know each other a bit. We usually take a few fun photos and then start planning our big shoot. We choose a fun theme for it. Last year we used a hippie van and did a 70s theme. The girls had a blast and it was so cute! Then I divide them into small groups, and they come up with their own photo shoot from location, theme, outfits and more, and I take it for them. One of my favorites was a retro photoshoot at the pool. It was the cutest thing! Then, of course, each girl has her own senior session. Even though at the beginning of the year I do a photoshoot showing them that makeup is not necessary, makeup is fun, so we have a professional makeup artist who comes and does it for them before their own photoshoot and their just gives a day of special sensations.

DR: What do teens get out of it?

SD: Many of my daughters have told me that they came out of this year with a lot more confidence. The interviews with all the girls show them that they are not alone in the situations that they struggle with and that concern them. They also leave with new friends, good memories and great photos from their last year!

DR: What do you hope their families, friends and community learn from the photoshoot?

SD: I hope their families and friends will learn a bit more about them, their insecurities and the things they would like people to know about them. As far as the community is concerned, I hope they see that there are some very good teenagers in our community and that it is important for me to build relationships with my elders and their families.

DR: What’s next for you?

SD: I intend to continue this program and perhaps develop it a little more. I really want to involve younger kids at some point, like a big sister/little sister relationship, but haven’t quite figured out how to implement it. And we would also like to add more community service to the program.


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