One of the highlights of high school is the senior prom. When COVID-19 canceled proms, photographer Mackenzie Clark, who owns Top Secret Images, stepped up to change that.
"If I didn't attend prom, I don't know what I would have done," Clark said. "It was everything to me."
So Clark offered free photoshoots for high school seniors who had the dresses and tuxedos, but nowhere to wear them.
"No, it was real sad," Keelan Moore said. "It was," echoed Moore's prom date, Keara Sanders.
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Both are 2020 graduates of Kathlyn Joy Gilliam Collegiate Academy. On Wednesday morning Sanders got dressed in a bright blue gown, Moore in a matching blue tux with studded silver shoes, to have prom photos taken by Clark.
"To do something to make people happy during this hard time," Clark said. "So much stuff has been going on, so much negativity."
The photoshoot was all smiles. Clark has photographed about 50 seniors in their prom attire. She's been doing it for free.
"Doing it for free didn't really hurt me. It actually helped me mentally. It helped me physically," Clark said. "It also made me feel real good because I was able to help people who probably wouldn't have been able to document their senior year because of the expense of it."
"Corona, we see it as a huge bad thing, you know it is to a certain extent, but there's a lot of good things that come from it too," Moore said. "You adapt. Things change, you change with 'em."
The couple spent about a half an hour posing and smiling on a shaded sidewalk across the street from Lakeside Park in Highland Park.
"It's still something you can think about, go back over, and remember," Sanders said. "I feel like next year if the same thing happens I want to help out."
Clark said that's what she hopes her photo subjects will do ... pay it forward.
"So hopefully they can touch other people doing what they love," Clark said.