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'It's devastating' | Sports photographer improvises to support his family

The photographer is now selling yard signs to help congratulate seniors who won't get a normal commencement.

BRENTWOOD, Mo. — Sports photographer Jason Schoenig earns his living through a viewfinder, but when COVID-19 shuttered the high school sports season leaving him with nothing to shoot, he had to get creative.

"I never thought or dreamed this would be as big as it has," said Schoenig.

The sports photographer relies on the high school sports season to pay his bills, but a sign of the times put his business in jeopardy. 

"Sports photography you know, on March 10 when Missouri shut us down our income went to zero," explained Schoenig.

He took that as a sign he had to switch things up to take care of his family.

"We had to start thinking outside the box," Schoenig said.

That's why signs litter his front yard honoring graduating seniors.

Credit: KSDK

"You gotta feel for these kids too, right?" asked 5 On Your Side's Brandon Merano.

"Oh gosh, yeah. I mean these kids, especially at De Smet, are an extension of my family," said Schoenig.

RELATED: 'I was really upset' | Seniors react to missing prom, graduation thanks to COVID-19

Now, hundreds of parents are placing orders with Schoenig, buying these yard signs to congratulate their senior on a job well done.

"All the way from missing proms, I've got moms who are crying when they come to pick up their signs because they've been robbed of so much," explained Schoenig.

He's now snapping pictures of these seniors — hoping to give them some semblance of normalcy as COVID-19 cancels many of their commencements.

"One hundred percent my driving force with photography is to take a young man or young lady and make them feel like a superhero," said Schoenig. "The income is nice, but my whole drive for the business whether that be the signs or whatever has been the kids," added Schoenig.

To place an order for a sign, click here.

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