Katie’s Nature Inspired Life- A Beautifully Earthy Senior Session in Alpena, Michigan

Katie was such a joy to photograph. Not just because of her humor, cute personality, her joyful smile, or amazing red hair. She has a thousand expressions, and she brought them all to her session. She was simply herself and she didn’t hold back for her first photoshoot. “I love doing new things,” she explains, “It was cool.”



As Katie does, she considered a bit more, then added, “Don’t let being photographed intimidate you. The more relaxed you are, the better your pictures will look. Just enjoy your time.”  And this seems to be Katie’s general attitude toward life- to enjoy the journey, and make the most of it.

When I asked her where she sees herself in ten years, she was silent a minute, then finally replied, “There’s just so much that could happen.” And then this: “There are some people who want bad things to happen, and people who want good things to happen. I’d be one of the ones fighting for the good things.”

Katie is going to Michigan State University in the RISE program (Residential Initiative on the Study of the Environment). She plans to minor in Environmental studies, but her major? “Maybe bio-chem or something science-y. Every science class I’ve ever taken has been my favorite.” Crediting her science-teacher mom for fostering that passion, and her dad for piquing her interest in law, she sees environmental law as a field where she would be able to fuse her love for the environment with the means to legally protect it, using science “to make the world better for everybody.”


As the only high school student in the new Plastics F.L.O.A.T. club at the Marine Sanctuary, she already is doing the work that she loves. As a mentor to the elementary club members,  she guides them through activities and helps them learn about sustainability, the law, and how kids can be conscientious in daily life.” Katie is exceptionally mindful already, studying yoga with her mom, who Katie adds, “is a huge influence.”


But that’s not all she does. Katie will be honored among the top 10% her class, she’s dual-enrolled, takes AP courses, and has been on the A Honor Roll continuously. She’s also on the senior planning team, a Freshmen Connections leader, and National Honor Society. “I was made for winter,” she says, adding  Ski Club to the list.


Known around AHS as an athlete, she surprised me with her modesty about it. “Katie, aren’t you a captain?” I asked. “I guess I’m… like… a Captain,” she responds. And she is, for both track and volleyball, for which she made the all-conference and all-region rosters. But this is what makes Katie so absolutely great- she leads by doing, she follows her heart and allows her curiosity to guide her into a life she loves. She earns accolades, but she isn’t motivated by that praise or by the titles, but rather by a love of the work.

With sharp intellect, a gentle heart, and the courage to speak her mind- Katie represents everything that’s right about our kids and the future they will create.