2018 College America Graduation / Commencement

College America graduates participate in their 2018 Commencement Services on June 2, 2018 in the Sinagua Middle School auditorium. Photo by Sean Openshaw / www.SeanOpenshaw.com

I’ll say it again.

One of my favorite things to photograph are graduations. They are tricky to light because they are usually held in somewhat dark auditoriums or on stages with super-overhead and mixed-color lighting. They are tricky to shoot because students fly across the stage with their eye on the target (getting that diploma) and when combined with nerves and anticipation, there isn’t a lot of stopping to pose for a good photo. So, even if I have a somewhat fast shutter speed and throw in a little light, it’s still hard to capture the moment. Oh, and don’t forget that the odds of me getting both people with their eyes open in the one or two shots that I can fire downrange are even more slim than the odds of them not having their back to me while they show this amazing emotion towards the person giving the diploma.

The fact that there are even a few usable images is something of a miracle.

I really love photographing College America graduations.

I think that this is a group of students that don’t always have the best odds either. But they are out there making it happen against some of the most heart-wrenching challenges. And they are doing it with a smile on their face – cracking jokes and raising the bar for themselves and everyone around them.

Bravo to all of you on this amazing day!

Here is a link to all of the 2018 College America graduation photographs.

Below are some of my favorites:

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