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 responses to “Graduation day”

  1. J P Avatar

    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 in a couple of weeks when my eldest is ordained as a Dominican priest.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      Oh wow, that’s very exciting! Congratulations to you both.

  2. brandib1977 Avatar

    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!

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      His school did a great job. I was apprehensive going in but that melted pretty quickly.

      1. brandib1977 Avatar

        That’s fantastic!

  3. Andy Umbo Avatar
    Andy Umbo

    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!

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      IKR? 10 years from now we’ll all chuckle over photos like that.

  4. Dani Avatar

    Congratulations to you both!

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      Thanks my friend!

  5. Victor Villaseñor Avatar
    Victor Villaseñor

    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!

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      Thanks Victor! Garrett was so happy this day.

  6. Daniel Brinneman Avatar

    Good photos. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      It was a good day.

  7. DougD Avatar

    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.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      My older son is vaccinated, and my younger son says he will get it done this summer. That will open up a lot for us!

  8. marcusterrypeddle Avatar

    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.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      I like that entrepreneurial streak in those photographers! I’m not sure you could get away with that here.

  9. Sam Avatar

    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!!

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      He looks more mature at 22 than I did! Crazy.

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