Photographer gives back with free senior portraits

Nova Moisa wanted to help homeless high schoolers take professional senior pictures

McMinnville native Nova Moisa is giving back with free senior portraits for homeless high schoolers. March 25, 2015 (KOIN 6 News)
McMinnville native Nova Moisa is giving back with free senior portraits for homeless high schoolers. March 25, 2015 (KOIN 6 News)

MCMINNVILLE, Ore. (KOIN 6) — A local woman has an eye for conceptual photography, but it’s her recent senior portraits that are getting a lot of attention.

McMinnville native Nova Moisa said she has always loved photography. She earned a Fine Arts degree from Marylhurst University and managed a photography studio for several years.

Last fall, however, she set her sights on high school students who are homeless.

“It’s something I can do,” Moisa said. “It’s something that’s very tangible. It’s just my time and it’s something I love doing, so it’s a win-win.”

She partnered with Portland’s Park Rose School District and photographed seven seniors. Moisa will still work with clients to keep her skills sharp for this fall when she plans to offer even more portrait sessions for free. Her original fundraising goal was met within the first 12 hours.

“They’re the model for the day,” she said. “All the attention is on them and you just see the spirit is different.”

Moisa worked with a district homeless advocate who picked the students. The advocate told her there are about 200 homeless students in the Park Rose School District and about 20 who are seniors.

She has been overwhelmed by the community support and said other local photographers have offered to help, along with hair and make-up artists who volunteered their services this year, as well as a photo supply shop that plans to donate gift cards so the students can buy prints.

If you want to help, here’s a link to Moisa’s project.

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