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Positively Cincinnati: Local photographer gifts photo shoots to 2020 grads

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Posted at 2:53 PM, May 20, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-21 08:22:21-04

CINCINNATI — Photographer Lé Thompson knew she had to do something for graduates when she noticed people posting senior pictures on social media in solidarity with the class of 2020.

So she started Graduate Project 2020, an initiative in which Thompson takes portraits of high school and college seniors, free of charge.

“It's about trying to create memories for people who don't have them right now,” Thompson said.

Sydney Perry, Thompson’s co-worker, arranged a photo shoot for her cousin, Alaysia Rowe, who is a recent Princeton High School graduate.

“I just wanted her to have a good graduation,” Perry said.

And Rowe said she wanted to make sure she celebrated her achievement, even if it was a little nontraditional.

Rowe will have a virtual graduation ceremony, but not getting to formally say goodbye to classmates and teachers has been tough. Rowe said she is just thankful for her health when so many people have been sick.

“You just gotta look at the bigger picture of it all,” Rowe said.

Thompson said she hopes the photos provide memories. But she also hopes they serve as a reminder of perseverance.

“I just hope it shows strength, man … even though this happened ... they're still 2020 strong,” Thompson said.

Thompson plans to take portraits of seniors through July.Click here if you're interested in booking a photo shoot.