Photographer offers mini-sessions to students

RALEIGH COUNTY, WV (WOAY) – Students are disappointed that there will be no prom this year, but they’re determined to make the most of it.

Amid a global pandemic, students across the country grieve the loss of end-of-year celebrations, including prom and graduation. In southern West Virginia, some students refuse to give up on making memories.

“I was upset and I was disappointed but at the same time I knew that was going to happen so I kind of accepted,” said high school senior Madison Tabor. “I’m just glad that I get to get to do this to kind of make up for it.”

A local photographer who typically charges hundreds for similar packages teamed up with a wedding venue to give a group of seniors a taste of prom night at a major discount.

“They come out, they have about 15 minutes by themselves, and we travel around here at Glade Creek Farm and they get their pictures made,” said photographer Kelli Carrico. “They get a gallery and they get their digital images so they can download those, share them on social media, print them if they want. [It’s] just like a normal package, except for much much cheaper.”

The $50 package gives the girls a chance to feel beautiful even for just one evening as they should have on their prom night. While the short photography session put a smile on their faces, it’s no secret that it isn’t the dream they had in mind.

“It makes me feel great that they’re able to do that, but it also makes me feel really sad because 15 minutes here is not at all the night that they had planned,” said Carrico. “I’m glad they have it. I’m glad they got to put on the dress, but I also am very aware that this was not the plan.”

Even though Prom 2020 didn’t go as planned, the girls seem to appreciate the chance to feel like princesses anyways.

“The only thing I really care about when it comes to prom is getting ready [and] taking pictures,” said Tabor. “Being able to do that really made it the whole situation a little bit better.”

The photo shoot was a one-time event, but you can still book a session with Carrico on her Facebook page.

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Kassie Simmons joined the team in January 2019 as a weekend journalist. She graduated from Virginia Tech in just two and a half years with a BA in multimedia journalism. During her short time at Virginia Tech, she served as the editor for the university’s chapter of The Tab. Kassie was named the top reporter for The Tab at Virginia Tech on multiple occasions and made the list for the top 30 reporters for The Tab in the U.S. She also studied theater performance and minored in creative writing. Before coming to WOAY, Kassie interned at WSLS in Roanoke and the Tidewater Review in her hometown of West Point, Va. She has loved following breaking news since her childhood and has a passion for delivering the stories people care most about. Kassie is excited to be working in Southern West Virginia and looks forward to all the adventures ahead of her. You can follow her on Twitter at @KassieLSimmons and like her page on Facebook. If you have a story you think she should check out, send her an email at