Ulen, Minn. teen uses 'ghosting' in senior photo shoot

ULEN, Minn. — This is the time of year you see a lot of high school seniors all dressed up, posing for their senior pictures, but one student in Ulen, Minn. — who has endured so much loss recently — decided her senior pictures would include more than just herself.

A year ago, Ulen-Hitterdal High School student, Alyssa Anderson, expected her senior picture to of the traditional fair, but the past few months have been hard for the 17-year-old.

A few months ago, her dad, Michael Anderson, died from liver cancer at the age of 49.

"He did everything with us, we rode four-wheelers, anything you could think of, we did everything together," Alyssa said.

So Alyssa's mother, Laurie Anderson, decided to surprise her daughter with a dream photo shoot in Nebraska with a photographer who specializes in taking pictures of families who have lost loved ones serving in the military and law enforcement. The style she uses is called ghosting.


"I was super happy, especially when she told me why we were going down there," Alyssa described.

Alyssa's senior picture now includes someone she loved so much, but lost. Her father can be seen standing beside her in her senior photos.

"It definitely helps, it's a good thing to look back on, he (my father) may not be there physically but he was there spiritually and it just helped me quite a bit knowing that," Alyssa said.

The school year will soon be starting in Ulen. For the Andersons, it has been a year of loss — and 2020 has been crazy — so with Alyssa's senior year upcoming, the family is hoping for new beginnings.

"This is a little, memorable point, because there has been so much bad that has happened, I am hoping this is a little, memorable turnaround," Laurie Anderson said.

You can learn more about the photographer who took Alyssa's senior pictures by visiting her website .

Kevin Wallevand has been a Reporter at WDAY-TV since 1983. He is a native of Vining, Minnesota in Otter Tail County. His series and documentary work have brought him to Africa, Vietnam, Haiti, Kosovo, South America, Mongolia, Juarez,Mexico and the Middle East. He is an multiple Emmy and national Edward R. Murrow award recipient.

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