I just finished my second day of shooting cap and gown photos for this years graduating class. Let me tell you, it is hard work shooting 30 or 40 kids in only six hours. Even when you have two assistants helping you.
Things are going very smoothly. I have my routine down pretty well from last year, thankfully. That makes it much easier on me. I can spend more time on the details that turn a nice photo good and a good photo great.
My main assistant is the same girl I worked with for the entire school season, and let me tell you, she is great. I couldn't ask for a better helper. She works quickly and efficiently, and she remembers to do things the way I like them. She catches on to the cues I give in conversation. She has a good eye for detail and catches most of the things we are looking for, as she helps the model into each pose.
Today, I took over about 15 minutes before the supper break and by that time we were about 45 minutes behind schedule and we had to use almost the entire break catching up. Then the first three after supper appointments showed up 10 minutes early. I didn't have a problem asking them to wait until 7:00.
With graduation photos like this, it is hard to avoid comparing the grads to how we perceived their school to be back in September. I suppose that this is somewhat unfair. At the school, the kids arrive in huge groups thinking, in many cases, that the photos don't matter. "My parents aren't going to buy these ones, I'm graduating. They will probably only buy the cap and gown photos. These photos are only for the id card." It's easier to be annoying to the photographer when you don't care about the photos. Another difference is the price of the photos. Grad photos cost nearly four times as much as the school photos. Oh, and you can't forget it is the grad photos that are going in the yearbook. Generally the grads behave a little better. The get a little rowdy when they come with a group of their friends, but it sort of evens out when their mom brings them.
I'm having a great time taking pictures of these kids.