Jasmine Dauphine had dreamed about going to prom for years.
The 18-year-old from Washington, D.C. spent hours scouring online retailers to find the perfect dress, a flowy orange Lunss gown that reminded Jasmine of a dress Zendaya once wore at the Met Gala.
Unfortunately, COVID-19 had other plans. Jasmine’s school joined the thousands that had to cancel prom due to the pandemic.
“At first I was OK with it because it was a pandemic, and I still am OK with it!” she told BuzzFeed News. “But then I got really sad when I fully realized that I won’t be able to ever go to prom.”
That June, instead of dressing up for the big dance, Jasmine dressed up for a photo shoot with her sister on the Mall. She did her hair and make up just so, put on her incredible ball gown and headed to the Washington Monument and Lincoln Memorial to take some pics.
“I took this photo shoot because I still wanted to say I did something for prom, and I wanted to bring a little joy to myself even if it wasn’t a whole prom event,” she said.
Naturally, Jasmine got a lot of attention from curious bystanders during the shoot. One person who happened to spot Jasmine in her incredible dress was photographer Isabella Ortiz, who was visiting the city from Florida. As soon as she spotted the stunning teen Isabella knew she had to photograph her!
“I noticed Jasmine from afar and the creative in me was, like, OMG, I have to take a picture of her!” Isabella explained. “I simply walked up to her and kindly asked, praying she would say yes.”
Isabella snapped a series of photographs that captured Jasmine’s haute couture outfit set against the impressive D.C. background. “I am 10,000% certain she captured not only my attention,” she said, “but everyone’s attention that day with her beauty!”
Isabella sent Jasmine the edited images from their impromptu shoot, but it wasn’t until months later that the teen decided to share them on Twitter. “Since no one ever got to see my prom dress bc of Covid here y’all go,” she wrote. Before she knew it the post had gone viral with over 588,000 “likes” and thousands of shares.
“When this went viral, I was so shocked,” she said. “I think I stared at my phone for 10 minutes trying to comprehend the numbers that I was seeing. It was so crazy to me.”
Isabella is equally surprised by how wildly popular her pictures are online, but says the second she saw Jasmine “I knew she was someone super special.”
We’ve got to admit, going viral for looking like a supermodel sounds way better than attending prom! We’re so glad this worked out so well for both Jasmine and the lucky photographer fate put in her path.
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