When I was a high schooler growing up in New Orleans, the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts (or NOCCA) was a place for High School students who tested gifted and talented in the arts to spend half of their school day honing their artistic skills. They would receive excellent training in their chosen artistic discipline while getting their academic education at another high school. In recent years, NOCCA has expanded to include a diploma-granting academic program as well, meaning students accepted into this tuition-free arts institution are also receiving top-notch academic instruction. What was already an incredible place for artistic teens to explore and grow in their chosen craft (churning out many notable artists over the years including Harry Conick, Jr., Wendell Pierce, and Wynton Marsalis) is now a full-fledged high school. I had no idea NOCCA was now a full-time school until I met one of its Seniors, Casey.
Casey is a dance student at NOCCA that plans to attend Howard after she graduates. Her mother wanted to capture some of the precious, fleeting moments of her daughter’s life before she heads off to college- including Casey all done up for Prom. While Casey mentioned that this wasn’t the first prom she has attended, this would be the first at her own school. She was understandably excited, dashing to her phone to text her friends while I set up for the next shot. Family members kept turning up at the house to see her off. “Is it always this busy here?” I asked her while we were shooting. “No!” she said. “It’s usually so quiet!”. It warmed my heart to see her family gathered to show her love on such a special evening!
I’m greatly looking forward to our Senior portrait session together next week. Until then, here are some of my favorite shots from Casey’s pre-prom shoot!