This is Ala (pronounced Ay-luh). I’m her “nanny,” but really I’m her paid big sister and chaperone. She is also from Seattle– my mom bought her moms house during my sophomore year in college in New York. When Ala’s mom Janet got a job in New York, she asked me if I would help Ala with the transition. I said yes even though we had never met. On that first plane ride from Seattle to New York, I was horrified. How was I going to calm down this quivering adolescent, so eager yet insecure, and somehow completely sheltered by divorced parents. The move was rough but a year later we’re practically best friends. I am proud to say that I have shown her the ropes of the city, helped navigate being an adolescent girl, and guided her to find her individuality (no more Lily Pulitzer dresses thank you very much). We have so much fun together going on adventures, dealing with the trials and tribulations of life and femininity, and indulging in our Seattle identities. I am thrilled that she is my job because it makes work not work at all For these photos I wanted to capture her doing the things that make her happiest: playing guitar, eating out, dressing up, exploring, reading, and being 14.In the process I could see her confidence going up, something that makes me beam. I only have another year with her, but, as cheesy as it sounds, we’ll be friends forever.


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