A couple of weeks ago I traveled to Lusk with Casper Star-Tribune features editor Kristy Gray for a story on GED graduation at the Wyoming Women’s Center.
There’s usually not much to be happy about when visiting a detention center, but this event was happily different. We were there to document the graduation of nearly 30 inmates.
As soon as Kristy and I were done with security (including the always-difficult act of relinquishing my iPhone) we both almost instantly zeroed in on an adorable little girl in the waiting area. She was there with her grandparents to see her mother walk down the aisle and get her GED. Kristy briefly chatted with the group and from then on neither of us let them out of our sight.
The graduation went as any would, with plenty of cheers and tears and speeches of a bright future. In this setting, however, it was more poignant than ever.
After the ceremony we made our way to the girl and her grandmother. We watched as they waited for mom, Samantha Gallas, to return from the traditional walk out.
I didn’t take my camera off these two as they shared their wonderful moment. I was invisible to them, as it should be. It was difficult to narrow it down to a single image, but below is what I went with.
This is one of those rare moments that is gifted to a photographer. The beautiful interaction between proud mom and her adorable daughter contrasts with the orange uniforms in the back that remind us where they are. It’s sweet, natural and hopeful. I’m always so grateful to people who allow us into their lives and let us share moments like these with our readers. It’s something that, no matter how many years I might do this, I will never forget.