On Sunday afternoon I had the incredible pleasure of taking some senior portraits for a young man named Austin Gutwein. I’m not even joking when I say that you should keep an eye on this guy, because he’s going places. He started an amazing charity to help African orphans called Hoops of Hope at the age of nine. He raised $3,000 that first year by shooting 2000+ free throws, and to-date his charity has gone global and brought in over $2.5 million! 40,000 people in over 27 countries have participated to help these orphans in Africa. All because he had this idea. Incredible right?

To top it off he was just named one of ESPN’s 18 Under 18.

But to meet him in person you’d have no idea. Humble, humble guy…soft spoken, kind…we had a blast hanging out on Sunday. Austin’s mom says he’s an “old soul” who loves anything vintage, like old buildings, trains, etc. Some of my favorite things too, so I was super excited to just wander around one of my favorite areas of downtown Phoenix. His mom, dad and sister were there for the shoot as well, but followed along in the “support vehicle” to let him change clothes a few times. Loved all of them, just an amazing, amazing family.

I feel blessed to have met this guy and can’t wait to see what he does. I should also mention he has a second book coming out (second!) and plans to get into politics someday.

And he’s only 17.  The sky is the limit for Austin.

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