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A Fort Hood soldier is taking portraits of local students in their would-be prom attire

"Cancelled Prom" Portrait Series (L-R) Demareyo Tittle, Alexis Illiff, Faith Dearing
Jordan Orion copy.jpeg
Posted at 5:55 PM, May 16, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-16 19:53:14-04

KILLEEN, TX — A Fort Hood soldier and local photographer is doing his part to document forgotten moments during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Christian Lee, an officer on Fort Hood, is taking portraits of local students wearing the prom dresses and suits they were never able to use after canceled year-end events.

Lee says the project started because of his cousin in Los Angeles.

"We were brainstorming ways to make her happy since her prom was also canceled," Lee said.

He realized there was a group of community members in Central Texas whose loss was not being recognized.

"I thought, I need to go in and do something to acknowledge my community," Lee said. "We get caught up with business news and health news and forget the other people being affected."

In his project "Cancelled Prom," Lee uses a film camera to capture the students in their prom outfits, with family members holding up a white sheet in the background.

He says including families in the portraits was a deliberate decision.

"I didn't want these portraits to be traditional," Lee said. "This is not a traditional moment for them."

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"Cancelled Prom" Portrait Series - Jordan Buie, 18

The white sheets being held up by the parents for the students signify how families nationwide are stepping up to make special moments for their children during these difficult times.

Lee said the parents often get emotional during the photo shoots when they see their child in their prom outfits.

He thinks it's because prom should've been a rite of passage for the teenagers.

One father even gave the photographer a book to show how grateful he was for giving his child this moment.

"I've definitely had mothers cry," Lee said.

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"Cancelled Prom" Portrait Series - Alexis Illiff, 18

He is now looking to partner with someone from the community to put on an exhibit of the portraits in the future.

"I'd like for families and students to come and see the moment we were living in," Lee said. "It's a documentation of this community."

To visit Christian Lee's website and see more photos, click here.