Over the years, I must have photographed over thirty university, college, and high school graduation ceremonies. Mostly the ones for the University of New Brunswick and St Thomas in Fredericton. The challenge was always finding something interesting…because they are pretty much the same every year.
The students line up at the student union building, fix their gowns and hats, and have pictures taken. Then they walk up the hill and wave to their parents and have their pictures taken. They enter the Aitken Centre, more waving, more pictures. They take their seats. The University President gets up and speaks. Some people get honorary degrees, and one of them speaks to the graduates. Then the hundreds of grads line up to get their degrees, and their family members cram into the photo area to get pictures. (You can see examples of all of these in this post about taking great photos at a graduation ceremony.)
The key is finding something interesting, and that involves paying attention and looking around.
I was at the edge of the graduates as they stood during God Save the Queen, and as I looked to my right I saw these two heads popping up from the crowd. Remember, we are all STANDING up here. I thought to myself “Holy moly, those two guys are tall!”
I got myself into a bit better position to get a clearer shot of the these 6 foot 5 inch twin brothers Tim and Chris Beatty as they towered above their classmates. As always, I needed to get their names, so I made my way quietly and an unobtrusive as possible through the grads.
When I told them who I was, one of them remarked “Let me guess, you took a photo that makes us look really tall, right?” To which I replied “Yeah…sorry.” But they were good sports about it and gave me their names. I even got a nice letter from their dad saying how much he liked the photo. Always appreciate that!
Shutter Speed: 1/250
Metering: MANUAL of course!
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