Choice & Accountability
I will choose good over evil and
will accept responsibility for my decisions
"Choose you this day whom ye will serve: But as for me
and my house, we will serve the lord."
The ability to choose and act for ourselves is a gift bestowed upon us from our Heavenly Father. This gift is called moral agency. And while we have this free will to choose and do we also are subject to the consequences of our choices. If we make good choices then we can live happy lives.
Ada wrote about this value experience quite beautifully. She said "We are accountable for our actions. Everything we do has consequences, whether they are good or bad. So we need to be making good decisions on a daily basis. The For the Strength of Youth booklet teaches me to be strong in my standards when those around me are wandering off the straight and narrow path. As I went through the value experiences in this section, I learned how to stick to my standards. I thought a lot about how much my choices affect others, and how other's choices affect me, and my ability to make the right decisions. If people around me are making poor choices, I need to focus on sticking to the standards in the For Strength of Youth book. If we make sure to make good decisions, then we will be blessed."
The spirit is strong in this one... she speaks such eloquent words and has such conviction that she is an example to me. In fact she and her family have been a fabulous examples to me in this whole process of putting these Young Women Segments together. The choices they make that I witness, mostly of service are inspiring.
Ada's words and the significance of this value and the time of this post are quite humbling to me. I really struggled with getting this one done. Not because I didn't choose to or that I didn't want to, but because I have run into so many road blocks that have prevented me from finishing it. There were also some things that fell right into place. So I would like to share these with you.
This session was my favorite of all of them. I was inspired by the color orange, not necessarily the value we were to represent at the time. Because when we started these I couldn't even tell you what all of the values were. I had to look them up or frequently ask Ada and Alison while we were shooting. I just knew that I really wanted to take pictures and create something... Something significant and something that I could mark off in my own personal progress (because I never completed mine as a young woman). When it came time to shoot the orange value or Choice and Accountability, I had a vision in my head of Ada in a canoe in the water with a floral garland and a floral crown - In almost of the Values sessions that we completed, Ada was wearing a floral crown. This was supposed to symbolize our divine nature as royal spirit daughters of god, and it was supposed to be representative of the crown of thorns that Jesus wore at his crucifixion. But for some reason a floral crown didn't seem to be the way to style her for this session. So I spent countless hours researching hairstyles for her that would look good with something orange. I needed something special. I just didn't know what. I got on pinterest and googled orange headbands, headware , etc. And I came across a picture of a girl with monarch butterflies cascading down her hair and I Knew that was it! So Alison - Ada's mom set out to buy a bunch of butterflies for Ada's hair. You might be wondering "Why butterflies? What do they have to do with it?" Well many cultures associate the butterfly with our souls and some Christian religions see the butterfly as a symbol of the resurrection. The majority of Ada's sessions have the symbol of the crown for the crucifixion so why not style the last session for the resurrection! Then we needed a boat. I didn't have one, and Alison's canoe is great but she didn't think it would be the right one, but knew someone with a beautiful wooden one and he let us borrow it. Thank you for that! Next we needed a garland. I called a few florists and I either could not get in touch with them or they didn't have orange flowers. Finally the morning of the shoot when I was ready to give up on the flowers I decided to call Lee's. The girl on the end of the line expressed to me how odd it was that they had just gotten orange flowers in that morning, because they hardly ever have them!! I was ecstatic because we were actually going to pull this off!!
When I arrived at Alison's property we got Ada in the boat and started shooting. The light was pretty harsh for the time of day. That was my first set back. We had super bright light, and super dark shadows. I wanted to shoot in a really soft light so I had to work hard to find the right spots to shoot in. Then it came time for me to ride in the other canoe to follow Ada around the creek in her boat. The creek wasn't very deep, but I don't swim well. I actually crawled along the dock on all fours to get into the boat because I was afraid I'd rock the dock and fall in!!! Shooting various angles while you are in a boat on the water with an expensive camera is quite a challenging experience. I pretty much just sat trying to hold my camera steady while my husband rowed. Ada's sweet older brother Avery pulled her boat along the creek and put her in different angles so I could shoot. He was a life saver!
I was relieved when her session was over, because it was the final one that we were going to shoot. Then the challenges with completing this project began with my camera and it's focusing issues, and then a computer that kept crashing every time I tried to edit her photos, then problems with transferring her photos to another computer proved challenging as well. But...I am happy to say that it is finished and I am super happy with the results!! And it couldn't have been finished at a better time. Choice and Accountability is a value not only subject to responsibility by young women, but all of us. We are experiencing some tiresome and confusing things today in politics, civil rights and liberties, and possibly losing those depending on the way things progress in our world today. Editing this session and thinking about it's symbolism while listening to an interview with President Hinkley and Mike Wallace last night struck a chord in me. It made me critically think through some choices that I and many Americans will have to make in less than a month and I think it helped me with the anxiety of it all tremendously.
I am super grateful for the opportunity to shoot these sessions. I am thankful to Alison and her dress finding, dying, styling talents and to Ada for her modeling and her heavenly convictions. She really embodies the values that a Young Woman strives for and is an example for many to follow to make good choices. Thank you for being you Ada! You are pretty special.
Even though this was to be the last session we will be re shooting "Virtue" so look for that one soon. And thank you for taking your time to read and browse through the pictures of this session.
You can read more about the Young Women's Program Here.