This was my second year volunteering for Beauty Day at the LGBT Youth Center in Los Angeles. It is a celebration created to help make these young adults, many of whom are homeless and living temporarily at the center, feel fabulous, loved-on and seen.
The day was packed with the excitement of glamorous self-expression. They got to dress-up in donated fashion pieces, and receive full blown makeovers by incredibly talented teams of volunteer makeup artists and hair stylists, followed by high key photos sessions with me.
I love shooting with these young adults. Their enthusiasm and energy are kinetic. They model, they perform and above all, they get to showoff their personalities with playful charm. For many it is their first time being professionally photographed and the reaction to their images is everything.
But this day is also a sharp reminder that there are nearly 3,500 youth struggling with homelessness in Los Angeles. The kids I have had the honor of photographing deserve nothing less than loving care. As a society, we must do more to prevent their lives from reaching this point and to safeguard them when they do.
For information on how you can be a part of Beauty Day and volunteer or donate to the LA Gay Center's Youth Services program visit https://lalgbtcenter.org/