A Day the Life: Estelle, 13 / by Kamie Chang Kahlo


Estelle was trying her hardest not to smile for the camera. Tall and slender with big green, gold eyes and a full pout, she would glare at me every time I pleaded, "Look at me Estelle!" It wasn't that she was uncomfortable being photographed; it was that it was I on the other side of the camera. I’m her mama, the one that has been washing her tights and leotards for 10 years. Because, you see, Estelle is a ballerina. I tell the story of her dancing in the womb, gently pushing her hands and feet against the side of my tummy.

It’s true and she lives it to this day, pushing her hands and feet gently, not against my tummy, but against the studio air. She also manages to finesse the dance of leaving the nest while she keeps her eyes and ears at home. Because she is 13, she is entering one of the most exciting times of her life. As a teen Estelle wanders away from me a little bit every day. She does so with a graceful awkwardness. She is loving but tough as nails. She is confused yet has her feet firmly planted on the ground. I often marvel at her dance of life, so thoughtful. Her every move, however reckless, is carefully rehearsed and her positioning always perfect.

I spent some time photographing Estelle Sunday afternoon; Texting, filing her fake nails, texting, watching Fanboy and Chum Chum, texting, resting, texting, taking off her fake nails, snarling at the camera, re-doing her real nails, and texting.

Read all the deets on Estelle and scroll down for more photos of this beautiful girl. 

10 things I ♥:
  1. Friends
  2. Doing my nails over and over and over
  3. Crimping my hair
  4. Drawing
  5. Cody (my BF)
  6. Scary things
  7. Twinkie (favorite stuffie)
  8. Dancing
  9. Not smiling for the camera!
  10. Overdosing on my iPad- Psych and Bones

Top 5 on my playlist:
  1. So Sick, Ne-Yo
  2. Deuces, Chris Brown
  3. Mirror, Lil Wayne ft. Bruno Mars
  4. Where Dem Girls At, David Guetta ft. Flo Rider and Nicki Minaj
  5. How to Love, Lil Wayne

Fav Nom Noms: 
  1. Twix
  2. Skittles
  3. Milky Way
  4. Three Musketeers
  5. Fritos

Designer and Shopping Reveal:
  1. Coach shoes
  2. Nike dunks
  3. Adidas jackets
  4. Vans sneakers
  5. F21 everything
  6. Betsey Johnson dresses
  7. Papaya everything
  8. VS Pink
  9. Aeropostale
  10. Juicy hoodies