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Graduation day

When my older son graduated college two years ago, the ceremony was in a giant auditorium. I tried to photograph my son walking across the stage to collect his degree, but even with my lens zoomed out as far as it would go I wasn’t able to get photographs worth a darn. We were just too far away.

The pandemic has put a stop to ceremonies like that. My younger son’s school did something innovative for their graduation ceremony on Saturday: a car parade around campus. There were stops along the way for photographs, as well as a stop where students got to cross the stage to collect their degrees.

The school did a wonderful job making this fun. Thank heavens the skies were clear! This would have been miserable in the rain.

At one stop, students had the opportunity to have their portrait made. A large, gray backdrop had been set up, and a professional photographer was on hand. Because I had my 70-300mm zoom on my Nikon Df, I was able to make my own portrait from afar.

Garrett was so happy on Saturday! He was all in for whatever the ceremony had to offer.

He received an empty folder when he walked across the stage — he’s a few credits short. He’s taking a class in his school’s “May semester” that he believes will put him over the top. Then he’ll start looking for work. He’s eager to live on his own and build his life.

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19 thoughts on “Graduation day

  1. Congratulations to both of you! It was a genuinely wonderful feeling to stand at the doorway to “real life” when anything was possible. And it was just as exciting watching offspring experience that feeling.

    I get one last Crack at.it in a couple of weeks when my eldest is ordained as a Dominican priest.

  2. It has been gratifying to see how hard schools and colleges are working to make graduation memorable and fun these last two years. This looks great! Congratulations Garrett!

  3. Andy Umbo says:

    Gotta love the picture of him getting the sheep-skin with everyone wearing a mask. If you think of photography as freezing time, 40 years from now this is going to bring back a lot of memories of the era!

  4. Victor Villaseñor says:

    Hooray! Congrats Garrett & Jim!

    I concur, that photograph with the masks and sheepskin hand over is bound to be a talking point for him years to come. Nailed that shot Jim!

  5. DougD says:

    Great photos. I remember the day as being alternately exciting, boring and terrifying, good for him to want to forge ahead with his own life.

    Graduation and the waning of the pandemic should facilitate you continuing your adult relationship with your sons.

  6. Congratulations. The school really stepped up to make a great graduation during a difficult time. I’m sure all the students and parents appreciated it.
    Up until last year, there were always two or three older guys with Hasselblads hanging around my university’s (the one where I work now) administration building to see if any students and their families wanted the special day captured on film. Lots of flower sellers showed up as well. Neither of the groups were official, but the university didn’t seem to mind.

  7. It’s scary when you’re son no longer looks like a “son” but looks like his own man! Great pics, great moments Jim congrats!!

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