It's graduation season when a lot of high school seniors are planning their next move. One West High School student is headed to New York City to pursue her passion for fashion.
"I hate it when people follow the trend. I say create the trend," Caroline Trotter said.
The Tennessee teen creates art.
Caroline Trotter prefers shooting photographs outdoors. She said it's all about the light.
"If the light is too bright you can go under a tree and make some shade or you can come out later in the day around 5:00 or 6:00 p.m. especially in the summertime for the prettiest light you can get and it's all natural," she said.
She knows what she's talking about. Caroline started her own company at age 14.
"It's called Oh So Caro Photography and Caro is short for Caroline which some people have not understood because sometimes I jumble the letters together," she said.
There's nothing jumbled about her ambition. The 18-year-old photographer is focused on fashion.
"I loved playing dress up in elementary school but when my grandmother passed away that was when I was really inspired to follow her path in a way. I was always in awe of her great outfits," she said.
Her interest in the arts started early.
"I started out at the age of four with dance which moved on to learning how to play guitar and piano," she said.
Her mother teaches piano at home so over the years Caroline's listened to a lot of music students.
"Hearing the music my ears have been trained to hear their mistakes so I've been able to play by ear on both guitar and piano," she said.
That musical talent evolved into what she calls visual story telling. Her eye for photography landed her first job at 15 shooting a wedding in North Carolina.
"I met people at that wedding. I made connections to where I still have jobs with them today," she said. "My grandmother and my parents have told me it's all about the connections you make. And when I'm going up to Parsons it's about the academics but it's also about the connections as well. I want to be involved in the fashion industry where connections are a huge part of that world."
Parsons is a design school in New York City known for its eclectic approach to fashion.
"I wouldn't be going to New York City if I wasn't passionate and serious about photography and videography," she said.
You can see her work on the web on her Facebook page and on Italian Vogue's site.
"They're really encouraging up and coming artists to get out there and market themselves," she said.
Two of her photos were selected to be featured online on Italian Vogue's upcoming artists page.
"It's not like it's a huge editorial in the magazine but it's Italian Vogue and I was so proud of myself and that's when I really knew that I shouldn't give up," she said.
An angelic photo of her best friend made the cut. Caroline shot it using natural light. The subject of the photo is one of her closest friends and she is wearing Caroline's grandmother's vintage nightgown and standing on a tall tombstone.
"She stood on the very top of it and I just told her to move her arms slowly like she was flying and I captured the one which is the one with her arms spread out that looks very celestial ethereal," she said.
It looks like the sky's the limit for Caroline Trotter.
A decade from now she hopes to be a fashion photographer working for the top magazines in New York.
"I hope to be living in a great loft down in lower Manhattan and just loving my life photographing what I love just what I love to do up there," she said.
The school she'll attend in New York claims many famous graduates including Jason Wu who designs dresses for First Lady Michelle Obama.