After the prom there was a party at Joe’s. It was a steamy Chicago evening, but no one had thought to get ice for the beer. Mexican music was coming from a car stereo. Despite the temperature, it was a good night to be outside, hanging with your friends. No adults, no worries, and just a couple more weeks of school.
I did not photograph much that night. Instead I talked to Sergio and Carlos and Joe and Stephanie. They were used to me being around at school but were just recently letting me accompany them into their neighborhood. We talked about cars, who was dating whom, and plans for after high school. Sergio showed me his new tattoo.
For the first time, I was no longer the white guy with a camera. They were no longer gangbangers. We were just people hanging out together on a hot summer night.
This project isn’t meant to be anything more than letting them be themselves.