Philly Rising: To salvage senior year memories, teacher offers free ‘pull up prom’ photo sessions

Candy Manning offers free prom photos to seniors
Photo credit Courtesy of Candy Manning
By KYW Newsradio 1060
PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio)  In normal times, high school students around the country would have been looking forward to their prom around this time. But with the pandemic canceling prom, a Philadelphia-area teacher decided to take matters into her own hands and help students remember their special day.

“The world is throwing them a curveball that they clearly did not expect, nobody expected. It’s dampening the things that they thought they were going to have,” said Candy Manning, a teacher at Cheltenham High School. 

Students won’t be able to enjoy prom in the typical fashion this year, but Manning has come up with a plan that may help salvage senior year for many students — as well as helping her be remembered as the teacher of the year.

“I thought to myself, how can I brighten the day of my students and the younger kids around me,” she explained. 

Manning, who shoots photos internationally and locally through her company Candids by Candy Photography, decided to put her skills to use.

Honoring our seniors! I am offering a free prom session... please visit my website to understand the real purpose and what I mean. Parents have already bought gowns and all sorts of fun things to send their child off for Prom and graduation. Let’s still do it...but with social distancing being considered. I am offering a drive by option for prom photos. Read about it on my site and schedule your time online. A location will be determined and released for each week. link is in my bio #pullup2prom2k20 #prom #projectsaveprom2k20

A post shared by Candids By Candy Photography (@candidsbycandy) on Apr 28, 2020 at 11:46am PDT

“A lot of the parents had already purchased the prom attire for their kids, so instead of having all that money go to waste, why not go ahead and take pictures of them so they can have something to remember this particular year,” Manning said. 

In what she’s named “pull up prom,” individuals or couples can come dressed in their prom attire to take photos, while keeping a distance.

“I have lens that will allow me to be 50 feet away from someone and still take pictures and still be safe, and still would look in the pictures as if I was right there,” she said.

She’s offering to take the photos for free, and has also partnered with Cosi to offer meals to participants and make it a fun event.

“The prom picture would be a saving grace essentially of a memory of high school. Yes, it’s a sad situation, but nobody else can say they had a COVID prom,” she added. 

Students and parents interested in taking part of #PullupProm2K20 can book appointments on her website.