Millenium Park College Grad Session

We walked around Millennium Park in the surprisingly chilly weather that Chicago is known for. Elexys and her best friend and girlfriend were the most amazing people to spend the late Sunday evening with on the day before our graduation. When Elexys first met with me before we started shooting, she showed me all her beautiful outfits, and told me about her graduation cap and gown that wasn't required or provided from The School of the Art Institute. She was gonna be one of the only few students wearing it, but her mom insisted that she do it the right way and celebrate her achievements to the fully extent. So, Elexys had her friend decorate her cap with fabric flower petals and hand crafted letters that exclaimed how she had made it.

Elexys was always the kinda girl who'd you see in passing and end up talking to for 45 minutes without even realizing that you're late to class. She has one of the most sincere and supportive personalities that I've ever had the pleasure to meet and be friends with - the kind of person who, even if you aren't close, will message you and see how you're doing if she thinks something's up with you. She was the head of the women's group in our school that focused on sexual assault victims and built a support network throughout the student body that benefited those who needed her, organizing events and art projects that spoke to those who had trouble speaking for themselves. Elexys is an advocate for women, she's absolutely one of the kindest people I know, and after our session together I went home with a stomach ache from laughing for so long with her.

I'm gonna miss this girl, but I know that she's on to pursuing new, amazing adventures with her loved ones, and I just hope she comes back to visit after she's out making the world a better place. :) Congrats, Elexys! Cheers to you, girl!

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Katharine Hannah

Chicago, IL

Katharine’s work has graced the walls of institutions such as The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, The Harold Washington Library of Chicago, and local galleries such as Dreambox Gallery, Siragus Gallery and Blick Art Materials. She has also been featured on websites such as the Huffington Post, Phlearn, Fstoppers, Tigress Magazine for Girls, Bitchtopia, and Golden Boy Press.

In addition to photography, Katharine has been a mentor and educator in the arts since 2013. She has worked with students in various organizations and projects over the last two years, including Hive Chicago’s PROjectUS initiative and Digital Youth Network’s Digital Diva’s and Chicago City of Learning programs.