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Celebrating seniors: Photographer celebrates grads with free photo session

Out of work, Louise Doleman turned to her camera to spotlight the grads' special moment.

ATLANTA — The month of May is meant to be a time of celebration for high school seniors with graduation and celebrations, but coronavirus cancellations mean many students will now miss such milestones. 

Learning students may not get their chance to walk across the stage, Louise Doleman wanted to help. 

"I'm a self-employed hairdresser and am out of work so after doing all the projects I could find at the house, I got bored," Doleman said. "One of my clients called me and asked me to take her daughter's picture and all of a sudden people started calling me and I'm just doing these kids photoshoots and I love it."

Doleman's photos capture the smiles and commemorate students' achievement with confetti. Yet, the reason for the photos remains bittersweet. 

"This is something I've been looking forward to for years," graduating senior Skylar Barnarsh told 11Alive. "But now I don't really get to do it."

"You've been working for this for so long," Yafet Abraham, also graduating, said. "It doesn't feel real...you just have to stay positive."

Doleman, who offered the portrait sessions for free, hopes the photos will give students something to hold onto.

"I think I'll be glad I actually got pictures in my cap and gown. Even if I'm not walking, I have some cool pictures to remember," Barnash said. 

"I want to tell a little about them with my photography," Doleman said, "And a little about what's going on with history. And the seniors? They have the best attitude. I'm proud of them. I really am." 

Doleman, who is already booked through the end of the month, is planning to return to her day job as a hairdresser soon.

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