I’ve been sitting on these photographs for a good while now, some of them nearly 4 years, and as my last day of high school is next week I figured now is as good of a time as any to let them go. 

If you know me at all, you’d know it’s rare to ever catch me without a camera around my neck or in my bag, lurking away for just the right moment to jump out and snap the shutter when you least expect it. My friends were the first ones to experience this phenomenon back when I was a freshman with my stupid point-and-shoot I carried everywhere we went. It was the first time I really discovered that a photo could hold an emotion. All that year I chased a feeling of nostalgia, furiously documenting everything we did with the most awful, over-saturated, over-filtered pictures that now can only be found within the depths of an old Facebook page that nobody will ever see. Sophomore year came and went, junior year passed by, yet still I never put down my camera. When senior year hit nothing much had changed. My equipment was slightly heavier, my friends were slightly taller, but still the subject remained the same. The split second of fear right before falling headfirst off a swing, the summer sunlight glimmering in the creek, the late nights with stupid friends doing stupid things. The universal feeling that everyone recognizes of what it’s like to be a fearless teenager as told by the Class of 2015. These are personal photographs of mine; a glimpse into the true life of a high schooler as told by one. 

This is what it’s like to grow up in the suburbs. These pictures tell the story of what it’s like to jump on a bike when you’re 14 and turn the corner of your street, finally being rid of your parents till curfew. The sense of freedom you feel when you’re on your own. This is the exact feeling after your first kiss, after getting kicked out of a parking garage, crawling through holes in fences, and every tense conversation discussing the shared uncertainty of the future. This is what it’s like saying goodbye to everyone and everything you know and starting over again. 

I’ve been thinking about how the moments in these pictures emit the past few years better than even my fading memories can, and how just as excited as I am to be done and over with high school and move on with my life, this is a time that I don’t ever want to forget. So here it is, the best of the past 4 years, polished and finished and formatted in the sense of a true yearbook. 

This one starts around dusk on the night before my first day of high school, circa 2011.

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