Get to know: Millard teen uses lens to show peers their inner beauty -
Published Monday, December 23, 2013 at 1:00 am / Updated at 4:13 pm
Get to know: Millard teen uses lens to show peers their inner beauty
Age: 16

Hometown: Omaha

Education: Junior at Millard West High School

School activities: choir, show choir and a club that works with special needs students at Millard West

Family: Parents Dave and Julia, and sisters Allison, Madeline and Emily

When Michaela Reddel points her camera, she's guided by her faith.

The 16-year-old believes that all people are created in the image of God and wants her photographs to reflect that.

This summer, Reddel, a Millard West High School junior, started True Beauty Photography, which is aimed at helping girls know they are beautiful.

For a $10 fee to cover her costs, she takes photos of fellow students and friends at lakes, parks and other natural outdoor settings.

Girls have used the pictures for their profile photo on Facebook and for Christmas cards, and some plan to use them for their yearbook senior photo.

Reddel, who wants to become an elementary school teacher, said she is driven by the Bible's message about the beauty of all people and how they are “wonderfully made.”

Girls are often insecure about their looks, she said, and think they need to look like the skinny, air-brushed models in fashion magazines, said Reddel, who has loved photography since she was in grade school.

She wants to help girls know they were made perfect by God and don't need to change.

“It's not about what society says you should look like,” she said, “but how you feel about yourself and how God made you.”

Her website says: “True beauty is who you are in your heart. The person you are on the inside is the truly beautiful person that should really be seen.”

Casey Allen is one of the roughly dozen girls Reddel's taken photos of so far.

Allen, her friend and a fellow Millard West junior, said the photos are powerful.

“She showcases your beauty in a modest way,'' Allen said.

Allen said her mom is using some of the photos to make a collage of her high school years.

For Reddel, the best part is when the girls see their photos for the first time.

“I love seeing their reaction,'' she said. “Their faces light up.”

Contact the writer: Michael O'Connor    |   402-444-1122    |  

Michael is a general assignment reporter for the Living section, covering a mix of topics including human interest stories.

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