Sunday, May 31, 2009

Families and the Graduation Ritual...

Late Spring is the time of year when we celebrate our children and friends as they graduate from Middle School, High School, College and Graduate School. I love the circle of life, it continues to go round and round, never seeming to end. I always get a little catch in my throat watching all of the attendees at these events. I like to check out these proud Grandparents, Great Grandparents, Aunts, Uncles, Brothers, Sisters and Moms & Dads at these affairs. It truly delights me that the families show up always clapping and cheering the graduates on, year after year. I think about the parties and dinners or lunches that they will be sharing after the commencement is over. This tradition is time honored, I think, because it gives our young people the ballast to go forth and create their own lives and work knowing they have the full support of their families behind them. The most important component in our life is “family” and the understanding, that it really does take a village of folks to move each one of us forward to that next level in our lives.

We just returned from a “Graduation Adventure” for Sabrina, the daughter of my partner Neil Shankman. She graduated with honors from the Graduate School of Journalism at UC Berkeley. What a terrific several days, his three grown children, Conor, Cody, Sabrina and her partner Andrew were a delight. We roamed around town, ate amazing food and explored the campus all the while listening to stories and insights about Berkeley and journalism. Later in the trip we hung out with Sabrina’s Mom and her family. Lovely. Wow, this is the age of integrated families and lifestyles and the Shankman’s do it well. I think it is more important than ever to try to be flexible, open and giving during these family events, well all the time really. It makes for smooth sailing and a future filled with other harmonious family gatherings.

Click on arrow to view slideshow.
Congratulations to all of the graduates and the families who have supported their endeavors, Spiritually, Financially and Emotionally. Good job.
Life is good and our children are a gift.

Some thoughts on photographing your family event.

I believe it is important to document the moments that mark the milestones of our lives. This is an important moment in time, not only for your loved one but also for the entire family.
Here are a few tips for organizing and being prepared to get those perfect shots.
Make sure your camera or handheld video camera has batteries and is in good working order.
Take the time to think about the kind of shots you want to record, before the big event. Why? Because you can be thinking about those intimate family shots that integrate the young and the old. Take a moment and think about who you would like in separate shots and of course where you will stage the ever popular group shots.
When you are considering your photographic approach think about the finished product. Do you want images to print and frame, post on Facebook, or put into an album? Will you be using some type of photo-share site such as Photobucket or Fliker ? If you haven’t used this service for sharing photos, there is no downside. You can easily create a free account and then upload the images to your album. You can then send to everyone on your list, it is that easy. Whatever your finished goal will be, you do need to consider your future use and options, before you click the shutter on your camera.
It is also important to remember to let folks know when you are taking a picture. This simple courtesy prevents closed eyes, opened mouths and folks generally not paying attention and not looking their best and everyone deserves the opportunity to look as great as possible. Lastly, what could be better than seeing the look of joy, relief and a sense of accomplishment on the shining faces of all the graduates who collectively have achieved the honor and title of “Graduate”. Priceless.