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Fort Hood soldier, photographer joins with others to offer free senior photo shoots

A local Fort Hood pilot teamed up with other local photographers to give back to the Class of 2020 by taking free senior portraits.

KILLEEN, Texas — Mark Fernandez an Army Black Hawk pilot on Fort Hood, works as a photographer on the side, and thought he could use his passion for photography to celebrate seniors. 

"I was thinking about the COVID and how much seniors in our community were missing out on," Fernandez said. "A parent asked me to take their child's senior pictures and I thought why not just do a community wide session." 

He teamed up with more than 10 local photographers to give graduating seniors the opportunity to have their pictures taken in different outfits and with different backgrounds. 

"We thought they can bring their cap and gown, Letterman jackets, and even prom dresses if they have them," Fernandez said.

Caitlyn Ryan, a soon-to-be Killeen High graduate, said with senior year being cut short she appreciates this gesture. 

"I think it is really sweet they are doing this for us," Ryan said. "It makes me feel really appreciated after my 12 years of suffering in school."

Students from all across Central Texas were welcomed at this event that ran from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. at Social Coffee Bar in Killeen.

The photos that were taken were sent to a tablet where they were edited and uploaded to a Google Drive for the students to download for free.

"It makes me feel really good," Fernandez said. "We should always do what we can to help people out but we all teamed up and it came together very nicely."

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