by Gino Galea of Malta graduation photography
The moment that a graduate enters the photo studio accompanied by his loved ones, one could immediately sense that feeling of relief and unparalleled satisfaction both for himself, the parents and the rest of the family members. The facial expressions, the feel-good factor are so evident. Some of the parents would tell you that they haven’t seen their son/daughter so serene and happy for many years. That is the true meaning of graduation day! The studio photographer, based in Malta would need to adapt according to the day and time of the graduation ceremony in order to accommodate the graduate and his loved ones who are well-groomed for the big day ready to pose in front of a camera!
This is obviously well understood when one takes into account the stress, lack of sleep, the long hours that the student was locked in the study room, browsing and all the rest! All of this hard work in order to ensure that the graduate would acquire that ever-important degree which would open the ‘doors’ of their future career wide open. So it is well worth the effort that the student would input into his own future in order to acquire that symbolic certificate which would serve as a testimony in the future of such a great accomplishment.
After a few years of hard work, the moment that the graduate has been waiting for finally arrived! Is there a better way to celebrate than that one in a lifetime photo session at a photo studio! The beautiful portraits and group family photos that were taken at the studio on graduation day would send a strong message!
They would probably remind the protagonist of that very day that he finally achieved his final goal. Technically speaking, Graduation day symbolizes also that very moment in life that a child ‘completed’ the full journey from a toddler many years ago, all the way to the status of maturity or adulthood! Maybe two decades ago he started at the kindergarten level and now finally arrived at the ‘promised land’ of graduation day!
That formal portrait that was taken at the proper photo studio eventually would end up prominently displayed at home in a sitting room or the office, reminding everybody that the graduate concerned is now certified as a formal professional who is elevated as an authority in that specific area of specialization, be it architecture, information technology, medicine arts or perhaps n professional photography.
Consequently one must, therefore, ensure that such portraiture together with his very loved ones is properly handled by the competent studio. In our day to day role as official photographers during weddings, we are regularly requested to visit the residencies of the bride and the groom. There we come across that typical portrait frame which is prominently displayed at home depicting that outstanding graduate, normally taken at a photo studio. My immediate and natural reaction towards that person behind that portrait frame deserves to be approached with maximum respect particularly in that area that he had studied in the past. It is also true that such respect should afterall be always there in all cases represented in the full spectrum of the society in general.
Moreover, that portrait photo of a graduate is a collective ‘symbol’ or testimony of all the years of study that the individual concerned has followed since childhood. It may also be considered as the ultimate step of the ladder that one has followed in his academic studies over the years. This does not in any way mean that the graduate concerned will call it a day and does not read another book during his whole life. We all know that in this day and age one must continuously strive to move even forward to keep up the pace with reality through refresher courses, updates or perhaps furthering his studies through another diploma!
Despite the never-ending volume of technical information that we receive through the many sources including through the internet, what finally matters is the job through which one would earn a decent living! That is what identifies each and every one of us in society both now and in the future.
The portrait frame that was taken during the graduation photo session, which is proudly displayed by the graduate concerned and his family ends up that very “picture that would tell a thousand words” in the future!
The portrait session or the photoshoot at a photo studio is probably a unique opportunity for the graduate to portray his/her own image and identity positively through the experience of the professional photographer who is probably an artist too. The photo artist at the photo studio is fully trained to get the best out of every individual on the day which finally arrived, namely, graduation day!
It is a real pity that we still come across many graduates who do not even bother at all to go to their favourite photo studio to secure the official portrait, symbolizing the completion of the ‘academic’ journey through the years!
Some may still argue that there would be facilities at the campus through a makeshift ‘studio’ at the location of most universities on graduation day but make no mistake, that such an environment on the big day is not really the ideal circumstance to get the best of portraiture on the graduate. There are too many distractions in the situation not to mention the rigid time factor. I’ve been into this personally, as one of the official photographers on campus on many graduation days over the years. Despite the maximum of effort and attention that a professional studio photographer would probably dedicate to get the best out of the honorable person who has just graduated, the process of long ques, distraction, and frustration does not help the situation in such a rigid and limited timeframe. That is a reality. Definitely not the right ingredients for the proper and eternal graduation portrait!
May I take this opportunity to congratulate all the students and their proud loved ones, who are graduating this year, particularly those at the University of Malta and many other colleges.
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