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Mariah Karson

Shurz High School Prom (for CPS Lives)

When many people reflect on their time at high school they often recall senior prom - a night to remember. Prom marks the end of a student's experience in high school, an evening when they dressed up and had a taste of adulthood while in the safety of a school setting, right before they graduated and began their lives as adults. Over time, all the details of memory fade so gifting portraits to the students was a way that I could help commemorate this moment in time.

Under the program CPS Lives I worked with teachers and the junior and senior student councils to create a themed backdrop and portrait booth at their 2023 senior prom - “A Starry, Starry Night.” In the winter I attended a senior student council meeting and talked with students about prom planning and my proposal to take portraits for them to reflect back on in the future. The junior student council was responsible for decorations, so I met with students who were interested in assisting with crafting centerpieces and the portrait booth. Leading up to prom we worked on centerpiece decorations for tables and the backdrop set, then I finished the details in my studio and prepared all the equipment we needed. On prom night, three
juniors - Mia Matias, Anais Arias, and Eli Gomez - assisted me and built the backdrop set then helped me photograph portraits and gained experience using their own cameras to take more photos and capture the glamor and excitement of prom.

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