This photography thing I do puts you in the path of folks that pursue their lives in every imaginable sort of way. Some of them are admirable and wonderful, and some set a mind to wondering how they ever managed to get this far without catastrophic consequences. Now and then you run across an exceptional one that strides along a unique, more fruitful, and higher path. Adryann Gent, all seventeen years of her, is one of those rare and special ones.

My wife met her long before I did. Each spring, Ana embarks on a pilgrimage along with hundreds of others, to the Seattle area, Bellevue, Washington to be precise. It’s a physique contest with a prodigious heritage called the Emerald Cup. It draws fans, athletes, and their loved ones in droves. Each year my precious bride brings her latest Blessed Bodywear styles and meets with old friends, makes new ones, and literally sells her pants off. I’ve been dying to use that line in an article for an eternity.

A few years ago a gorgeous and wonderful woman named Maria Gent came to shop and sharing Ana’s Brazilian heritage, as well as their mutual love of fitness wear, the two hit it off. There was a young girl at Maria’s side, her daughter Adryann, and each year Ana would come home and tell me about their visit, how nice they were, and how Adryann had grown and become even cuter than the year before.

This year Ana’s report was different. Adryann wasn’t a young girl or cute anymore.

Little girls become young women at some point, that’s how little girls work I suppose, they grow and mature, as do little boys and trees and dogs. But Ana’s animated and rambling description of Adryann’s metamorphosis came with an order this time, an urgent one that she delivered with a lot of hand waving and wide-eyed enthusiasm. “You need to shoot this girl,” she said loud enough for the neighbors to become concerned. “She grew up, Terry, and she looks incredible.”

She went on in detail describing the blossoming young flower in a torrent of graphic detail and with a sense of great pride, leaving me to wonder if she had raised the child herself. She expounded passionately on a fit and curvy body, an angelic face, and smile, and when she got around to the disarming personality and character part, she truly gushed. Adryann was about to graduate both High School, and College with an associates degree, yet she was so humble and sweet.

It was coming at me so fast my head was spinning. She told me that I wanted to set up a photo shoot with Adryann for Blessed Bodywear, and by the end of her compelling and well-crafted presentation, I was sure it had been my idea all along.

As is the case in all matters such as this, Ana was right. If I were to be completely honest, she was right about them all. Mom, Dad, Adryann, and her beautiful and intriguing twin sister Brynnee were hard people to say goodbye to when the visit was done. The time we had in Las Vegas shooting and getting to know each other was warm, wonderful and new friendships were forged.

Sometimes you meet folks that despite having their share of problems, as we all do, choose to live their way through them in a way you find admirable. So much so that after you spend some time with them, you catch yourself standing a little straighter, smiling a little wider, being kind to others just for the good of it, and loving those around you no matter how many times they stub their toes on life. That’s the Gent family in a nutshell. I can’t wait for the next time.

And the pictures, well, I will let them speak for themselves.