As Photo Editor of The Wood Word (Marywood’s online news source), I covered this year’s graduation ceremony. It was my first time covering an event this big, and it was a great learning opportunity and a lot of fun! This year’s graduation was Marywood’s 105th ceremony, and was held at Mohegan Sun Arena.
I arrived early to scope out the event and where I could stand to get the important shots. I was initially focused on getting images of the stage, as that’s where I am naturally drawn due to the work I have been doing for The Wood Word, however that was not what was needed here. For a graduation ceremony, pictures of the crowd, the graduates themselves, I realized, where what was most important to capture. This may seem like a no-brainer, however sometimes when photographing such a large and energized event it can be hard to find the most important shots right away. Getting there early allowed me to navigate all of this before the graduates came in, and be ready to capture all of their smiling faces as they paraded in. There were certainly many smiles as they walked towards their seats, as well as energized waves to friends and family shouting in the crowd. These were some of my favorite images from the beginning of the ceremony.
Among some of my other favorites were those of all the creatively decorated caps, often related to the graduate’s degree. Once the graduates started receiving their diplomas I was moving around even more on the floor of the stadium, trying to get as many angles as possible. This also entailed dodging the videographers, making sure the back of my head did not appear on the Jumbotron. Since I hope to go into wedding photography, this busy and lively event was great practice for what I will be doing for the rest of my career as a photographer, learning to navigate the obstacles that come up when trying to get where you need to be. I am very much looking forward to photographing the ceremony again next year, and attending my own graduation the following year!
A huge congratulations to the class of 2023 and all their accomplishments! You can read more about the commencement ceremony and the guest speaker, Trapeta B. Mayson from Philadelphia, here on The Wood Word.