To explore more of Cassandra’s project, follow @afterschoolproject on Instagram.
For photographer Cassandra Giraldo (@cassandragiraldo), the After School Project (@afterschoolproject) began as a creative break from newspaper assignments. It helped that she lives across the street from one of New York City’s largest high schools. “I would always catch myself taking portraits of teens in the city,” she says. “I realized I had a wealth of youth right in front of me to work with.” About twice a week, she goes for “walkabouts” in her neighborhood to capture the embrace of high school lovers, the moment after a football huddle or a pair doing math homework in the park. “What’s great about teenagers is that they don’t wear masks like us adults do,” she says. “They’re completely themselves, which makes it such a fascinating subject matter.”