'There Is No Box': Photographer Captures Girls as Athletes and Princesses - NBC10 Boston
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'There Is No Box': Photographer Captures Girls as Athletes and Princesses

"Our daughters do not have to choose"

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    NEWSLETTERS

    'There Is No Box': Photographer Captures Girls as Athletes and Princesses
    HMP Couture Imagery/Heather Miller

    While chatting with the other moms at her eight-year-old daughter's softball practice recently, Heather Mitchell was hit with the inspiration to create a photo series that shows young girls dressed simultaneously as athletes and princesses

    "One of the moms told me (my daughter) was not athletic — that she was a girly girl," Mitchell told TODAY Parents. "I couldn't sleep that night. All I could think was, 'Why does she have to choose?'"

    After another mom told her that her daughter, Paislee, was "not athletic" and was "a girly girl," Heather Mitchell was inspired to create a series of photos that shows young girls being both things.
    Photo credit: HMP Couture Imagery/Heather Miller

    Mitchell, an Alabama portrait photographer, says during her school days, she "played every sport offered and wore lipstick to every game."

    "Our daughters do not have to choose," said Mitchell. "My parents taught me that I could be anything I wanted growing up. I didn't realize until I was much older that everyone is not that blessed."

    Mitchell says after posting the photos of her daughter on Facebook, other members of her community asked for similar shoots.
    Photo credit: HMP Couture Imagery/Heather Miller

    Mitchell's stunning images have gone viral, something she hopes will send a powerful message to young girls.
    Photo credit: HMP Couture Imagery/Heather Miller

    After her sleepless night, Mitchell took her daughter, Paislee, into her photography studio and took a few photos of the eight year old dressed in princess dresses and tiaras while posing with softball gear. After posting the images to her personal Facebook account, she received requests to photograph more girls with the same theme.

    Mitchell photographed one child in a princess dress with a basketball.
    Photo credit: HMP Couture Imagery/Heather Miller

    The empowering photo sessions sold out, and the high demand has caused Mitchell, who also has a 15-year-old daughter named Ivy, to plan for additional shoots in the coming weeks.

    Mitchell's post to her photography Facebook page has gone viral, with nearly 200,000 shares of her photos and simple message: "Because you can do it all."

    Mitchell says her photos are about teaching girls they do not have to choose between playing sports and being feminine.
    Photo credit: HMP Couture Imagery/Heather Miller

    Due to high demand for her creative photo sessions, Mitchell will offer more to clients in the coming weeks.
    Photo credit: HMP Couture Imagery/Heather Miller

    Mitchell says she hopes the images send a clear message to young girls everywhere. 

    "I hope that every little girl that sees this series can see that there is no box," said Mitchell. "Whatever their dreams are, they can achieve them."

    This story first appeared on TODAY.com. More from TODAY: