WALLINGFORD — Two local photographers are offering Lyman Hall High School seniors complimentary mini-prom photo shoots as a silver lining to the pandemic canceling the event.
“We want to document this time,” photographer Christy Mitchell said. “This is something that everybody is not going to forget.”
The photos will go to the families and also be used for the school’s planned virtual prom on May 22.
Mitchell and Jennifer Dougan both grew up in Wallingford and have studios in town. The two friends contacted the schools hoping to do something special for the seniors.
Over about five days, the pair are visiting homes to do outside photo shoots while social distancing and wearing masks.
Mitchell said the reaction of the families was “amazing.”
“It gave them a few minutes of normalcy and it was nice, it really went wonderful,” she said.
One mom said it was the first time she saw her daughter really smile in weeks.
Mitchell and Dougan have been running their own photography businesses for about 10 years and are seeing their jobs change because of the pandemic. Mitchell photographs a lot of newborns and Dougan would normally be busy with weddings this time of year.
“The wedding industry has really been shaken by this,” Dougan said. “It’s definitely challenging to try to help clients navigate through this as we try to navigate through it ourselves.”
Mitchell and Dougan have come up with ways to connect with clients, including offering tips for at-home shoots.
“A lot of these clients have been with us for years and years,” Dougan said. “Right now we’re trying to give back a little support to them … just to show that we are here for them and we will be here for them when this ends.”
Mitchell said they are looking in to doing prom porch sessions for Sheehan High School students as well, and ways to photograph seniors for graduation.