Pushing the envelope and getting yelled at by the Principal!

So here I am in Sunny California doing some freelance photography for the month of June. My first assignment for the Silicon Valley Community Newspapers was the coverage of the Willow Glen High School graduation. This year, the brief included the stipulation that all photographers must get full names of all students. This presents a challenge especially during the ceremony where its really hard to approach anyone, let alone talk to them.

Graduate Zoe Civiletti gets the finishing touches to her hair and cap while lining up for the processional with her fellow students.

The first change was to get mobile. I walked this morning to the closest rental car company. While it looked close on the map (and doesn’t seem far when driving), but it took me about 3/4 hour to get there. So all good, managed to get to the wrong branch, but they helped me out and hooked me up with a PT-Cruiser. It was certainly odd driving in the US again. Staying right is OK, its things like the 4 way stop signs that tend to throw me at the beginning.

Nick Andrade stretches to kick a hacky sack while he waits with his friends and fellow graduates prior to lining up for the ceremony.

Some of the highlights from the event were: getting props from a female graduate for my New York Fire Fighter T-Shirt. It was good to see patriotism was still alive and well- I even crossed my heart during the national anthem. There were also marines there supporting family members. It was nice to see them there in the smart uniforms representing the military so well.

Showing relief and excitement at the moment of officially graduating as a class, Lyndsey Wilson shows a big smile as she looks out at the crowd.

Another observation I made was seeing a journalist from another local newspaper chain having to take her own photos with a point and shoot camera and shadowing my moves. She said she was trying not to be distracting from in front of the crowd. It was pretty intimidating I must admit. Especially after getting yelled at. In my attempt to get all the names of students who I was photographing, I walked up to what turned out to be the principal on the stage. She saw me and immediately said I had to get off. In many ways, it pays to find the limits (she told me the names as a apologized and walked off). I always am willing to back off, but think its good to go as far as people will allow.

Siobhan Ross acknowledges her friends and family cheering for her as she walks up to the stage through the center aisle in the Rose Garden.

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