Graduations 2015

It’s been a whole six years since my own high school graduation. To most, that may not be many, but in this period of time, the freshman during my final year have graduated themselves, I’ve graduated University, and have found myself freelancing photography.

Though I wasn’t assigned my own hometown’s graduation, I was able to photograph other schools in the area. What I was always envious of was the ceremonies held outside at the football field. This seems to be the norm, no? Well if you’re not familiar with McHenry’s high schools system, we’re two separate “campuses,” with two separate graduations, class officers, clubs, etc., sharing some classes (such as the music classes, like Jazz Band, I was in), but a united athletic program. I was also pondering what life would have been, if we were rivals/separate schools like the Crystal Lake system for example (Crystal Lake South, Crystal Lake Central, and Prairie Ridge), but I digress.

I saw one of the pitfalls of this as during the second graduation I was at (Johnsburg High School), it started raining as graduates with the last name beginning with “S” were about fully called. It started light, but as the names were being read, the rain fell harder. They started speeding up the names, as to not miss any, and finally, when all graduates were named, everyone quickly headed inside to regroup, take pictures, etc.

That was probably the highlight of my graduation season.

Another interesting sight I had was a man holding up a tablet, live-streaming Cary-Grove’s graduation ceremonies to a friend or family member. What a world we live in!

After the graduations, I was thanked by Shaw Media Photo Editor, H.Rick Bamman for photographing some of them for him, and sent me a PDF of the page where one of my images made the front, alongside images from his Staff Photographers. I thought that was pretty neat! (

Bonus: I saw former Marching Illini Drum Major Ilona Widomska at Johnsburg. She’s currently the band director for Johnsburg High School and was conducting the band for the ceremony. I-L-L!