Ryder | Lowell High School Senior Photographer | San Francisco | California

Making the decision to have a child – it is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body. ” 
― Elizabeth Stone 

Ryder | Lowell High School Senior Photographer | San Francisco | California

This is the senior session I have been looking forward to doing since I first began photographing seniors!

This is my son, Ryder. It is so hard to believe that he is already a senior and even harder to believe that he is living all the way across the country. Ryder has big dreams of living in a large city and attending a university in California. He earned an opportunity to attend Lowell High School in San Francisco and live with his aunt, Elisha and her family for the year. He was thrilled, excited, and ready. I was less ready. I had to put my desires for him to be home with me aside and let him live out his dream and find out if this is where he really wants to begin the next chapter of his life. It was a very hard thing to do, but he is happy and that is 100% what matters.

“Resilient, Driven, and Compassionate” are the words Ryder uses to describe himself. I would absolutely agree. He is so dedicated to his studies and his academic goals. I am so proud of him.

Ryder was involved in many clubs when he was attending Blacksburg High School. Now that he is attending Lowell High School, he has joined the Photovoice Club where he is serving as the secretary.

There a lot of subjects Ryder enjoys and on any given day he’d tell you a different “favorite.” Currently his favorite class is AP Environmental Science. Next semester he is slated to take AP Comparative Government and Politics which he is looking forward to. I will guess that in a month he will tell you that is his favorite class! 

Ryder is a senior at Lowell High School in the city. It is a public magnet school for academics in San Francisco. Ryder applied and was accepted to attend and has been working hard (like, seriously hard!) ever since. This is one tough school! He also is interning with the District Attorney of San Francisco for that awesome experience. He loves being in the city. He really enjoys going out and exploring San Francisco and eating in new restaurants with his friends. He is addicted to Boba Tea and it is everywhere! LOL!

When Ryder isn’t studying or working he does have some guilty pleasures. He loves music and watching shows. His current favorite bands are M.I.A. and Ariana Grande. His favorite TV shows are Shameless and American Horror Story. 

Ryder has applied to many colleges and is awaiting word on acceptance. He has some lofty goals and I am sure with his drive he will achieve them. Right now he hopes to major in International Relations or something along those lines. 

I am so proud to call Ryder my son. He is smart, compassionate, loving, and has such a great sense of humor. I find it so difficult to sum up in a few paragraphs all of the reasons I adore this young man. When I was a new mother I read the quote above by Elizabeth Stone and it has remained true for almost 18 years now. It is an amazing thing to be able to look at another human and know without a doubt that you love that being with every part of your heart and soul.

While I miss so many things about having Ryder under my roof, the experiences and the confidence he has gained from exploring his world is immeasurable. Ryder is a young man now, no longer my little boy. I will settle for the infrequent side-hug, the short texts, and almost non-existent phone calls. I am taking solace in knowing that this is him learning to be even more independent. But, and this may be the selfish part of being his mother, I will hold on to the hope that he will always need me. One day he will come back for that real hug. He will text me on a regular basis with news, ideas, excitement to share. He will call me to have a chat about his world. He will. He is my heart.

Ryder’s Addictions