Maggie Bockart | Senior '16

This is hands down my favorite shoot in the history of ever.

Let me count the ways...

Maggie is a Bockart, a family I love fiercely. A few years ago, I started teaching her younger sister, Callie, private art lessons and learned that we were very much kindred spirits. Her mom, Rebecca, is someone I go to regularly for advice, wisdom, encouragement, and the ever-ready hilarious anecdote. I have learned so much from they way they raise their girls and want to create the kind of open, honest atmosphere they have fostered in my own home.

Another reason this shoot is dear to me is that Maggie loves to read. She wanted to incorporate books into our shoot and I was absolutely thrilled to orchestrate it. The week before, I arrived at their house for a fashion show and with latte in hand and wit and banter echoing around her basement cave we selected which outfits would be best for the occasion. We also determined I would bring a big stack of beautiful old books I had acquired in my days as a Dana library work study to artfully arrange for a few shots. And Harry Potter? Totally making the cut. This communicates way more than a love of books - it says "I'm Maggie and I don't really care what you think - I'm not too cool to take a picture with my favorite book." For a 17 year old with peers, that takes a certain level of confidence, moxy, spirit, and...well, balls. Maggie, my 17 year old self wishes I was you. I was such a nerd about reading in high school but I don't think I possessed the same level of self-assurance. Props, sista. Props.

This shoot is also just plain beautiful. We unloaded our bundles of equipment, gear, and attire and wished we had a small pack animal to glamp with us. (Seriously - so much stuff!) Maggie chose Hitchcock Nature Center in Iowa - a meaningful home away from home. They camped there regularly growing up and spent many a summer practically living there. This fall didn't disappoint. We found golden trails and fiery sumac. She literally frolicked and flounced, rambled and roved for hours that afternoon, all whilst I followed and documented her in her nostalgic natural habitat. The entire time we were shooting, I kept thinking this feels more like an editorial magazine spread than senior photos. There was a magic to it - whether the lighting or the setting or the people...or all of it. It was one of the most satisfying shoots I'd ever done.

And then there's Maggie herself. That book-reading, animal-loving, theater-queen in the red dress with the Grecian profile, paisley birth mark, golden hair and golden heart, dancing barefoot down the hill with dirt on her knees and a smile on her lips. Maggie, you're so kind and tender-hearted and I am so inspired by your fearless pursuit of what you enjoy and love. Your dry humor and quick wit, along with your genuine interest in other people, make you a joy to spend time with. You are truly remarkable and I'm so glad to have another kindred spirit in the Bockart family.

I hope you love a few of my favorites...

Heather Hallmasterpieces