renee bowen


AVERY :: 2018 rbmodel



So happy to connect with you here! If you're a fellow neurospicy creative, I hope you appreciate the mish-mash of goodness I have here; it's a little nutty but I love it - hope you do too!

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Can’t believe I’m even writing this blog …. I keep asking myself how did we get here?  How is it that my little girl is about to go off to college?  THIS little girl – 

Screenshot ..










is about to go to 


I’m not okay!

I mean, seriously?  The passage of time is just damn cruel sometimes.  We sit here thinking we have all the time in the world; that we won’t EVER escape the constant “Mom, Mom, Mom, MOOOOOOOM” of having three kids under the age of two …. but here we are – a seriously almost empty nest indeed.  

Now, let me say (and my friends know this) – I am NOT an overly sentimental person.  I think I once was – a million years ago … but the lack of estrogen has robbed me of SO many emotions at this point in my life.  I do think; however, that I am in for a flood of emotions/tears/breakdowns in the coming year because …. I’m going to miss the hell out of this one.  

I love all my kids – deeply.  Fiercely.  

But this is my baby girl.  My only female cohort in a house full of ADD-ravaged males!  She is both my sanity and my INsanity on a daily basis.  


and she is gorgeous 

I mean … wow, right?  But here’s the thing – she’s just as smart and kind and caring as she is beautiful.  I know, I’m biased.  But I will say this – she’s kinda always been this way; I can’t take credit for it.  She came into this world knowing who she was – at a very deep level.  From the moment she could talk, she was VERY vocal about what she wanted and how she wanted it to be done.  Like a Border Collie herds sheep, she herded her brothers – nonstop – making sure “her boys” did what they were supposed to be doing.   It.  Was.  Infuriating.  I cannot tell you how many times I had to say, “Avery, I’M THE MOM“.  

It didn’t matter – she did it anyway.  Something internal drove her to make sure everyone was doing what they were supposed to be doing.

At her preschool graduation, she was given the “Most Responsible” award – and as the teachers handed it to her, they said, “If something happened and we didn’t show up to work, we know Avery would be able to answer the phones and get everything done”.  

She was FOUR


She is the self-proclaimed “Mom” of her group of friends (a group I am so thankful she has – they’re all incredible and so much more mature than my friends and I were at their age… thank GOD).

I just want her to have an amazing experience in college … wherever she decides to go.  She’s already been accepted to a number of schools, but she’s still waiting for the “big guns” … so we won’t know until April where she will eventually land.   

This entire college application process has been INSANE and so stressful for her; even with the help of her school counselor, facilitators at school and the college counselor we hired – it’s still been awful and anxiety-filled. 

WHY does getting into college these days need to be so crazy?!  There’s far too much pressure on these kids .. and even though we opted for a different kind of education for our kids (they’ve been at SCVi Charter School for 8 years – a project-based learning school that is focused on the whole child and is amazing) …. but for someone like Avery – the college process has still been challenging.  She holds herself to a very high standard.  

Again, she kinda just came in like this ….


Even though this college process has been challenging, though, she has shown maturity and responsibility throughout. 

She applied to a LOT of colleges … and if you know anything about that process, you know that the essays alone are not only time-consuming, but so very important – and the applications can be super expensive.  She handled everything – she just let me know when things needed to be submitted and paid for – literally; and was able to secure fee waivers for a lot of them – again, on her own

Honestly, part of me wishes she would just stay here and work for me!  


But we would kill each other for sure. 😮

We are a lot alike … and both very, very, VERY strong-willed and opinionated.  I like to think this will serve her well later in life (please let it serve her well later in life!) ... because we have definitely had our fair share of butting heads.  

On a daily basis.  We pretty much butt heads on a daily basis.

This is normal, yes?



Even with the battle of our wills, we had so much fun shooting these up in Big Bear … Avery was very adamant about wanting a session that not only represented HER, but was different from anything else I had done (of course)  – and I wanted to give that to her.  She has been watching me shoot High School Seniors for 10 years – it was her turn now 🙂

She loves nature and trees and Fall and wildlife and mountains … so we opted for Big Bear since we really didn’t have a huge window of time and I had never shot there.  It was November and it ended up being perfectJami of course came along (we made a mini girls’ trip out of it) and she did an amazing job with her hair and makeup, as usual.  Avery doesn’t wear a lot of makeup on a daily basis – but man does she have a great face for it!  Jami has done her makeup MANY times …. and as any makeup artist will tell you, the more you do someone’s makeup, the easier and better it is.  She went more dramatic toward the end of the session, but Avery can definitely pull it off 🙂


I had to grab a couple with her … 

Really I wish we would have had a couple more days … but honestly, I KNOW I’ll shoot a little more with her – in a little different setting 🙂   #theperksofbeingaphotographer

I still need to shoot her twin brother’s session …. but he hasn’t decided what he wants yet – so be on the lookout for that in the next couple of months!  We are getting down to the wire here!

And if you want a customized shoot like this, just ask. Travel fees can apply, depending on where you want to go, but I am always up for an adventure!

Update on my calendar: I’m booked until late March now, but March is still a GREAT time to get that Spring session. Let’s hope we get some rain, so it gets all green and pretty again!  So, 2018 Seniors, hit me up on the contact form below to get info on how to make that happen!

Oh, and 2019 Seniors, it’s now time to book YOUR summer or fall session … they will sell out!  But if you reserve it before March 15th, you get something pretty cool – so hit me up asap for all the info!!

    Read the Comments +

    1. Lisa Cerone says:

      Oh my! Renee, she’s so deeply stunningly beautiful. And congrats for surviving the hellish application process you have all just endured. It’s a weird year. A lot of “lasts”. From “last time we shop for school supplies, to the last time you drop off her off at school. Lots of lumps in throats to swallow. Like you, i also have no place for nostelgia. It seems indulgent and pointless. But emotions ran high for me this time last year with my senior girl. I found myself looking back instead of forward. And it made me sad. But i literally overheard someone on the subway as I made my 3rd trip to Bed Bath and Beyond in NYC on move-in day at Columbia. She said “parenting my adult children has been my favorite part of being a mom”. Suddenly I realized i had something to look forward. And I feel like a new mom again! Totally new rules. New relationship and as fascinating and fulfilling as those times we look back on with our silly little sweet and squishy babies. Love you, Renee. You are a great mom.

      • Renee Bowen says:

        Oh wow, Lisa – thank you so much for that perspective! I love that!! I’m definitely looking forward to it – just trying to savor all these moments 🙂

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