I am moved to tears. The roll of names, solemnly announced, edging ever closer to that of my son’s. I am suddenly distracted by the giggling. and soon to be outright laughter coming from my left. Swiveling my head to the noise I see what appears to be splash down from the bowels of a giant Pterodactyl or perhaps a Dodo Bird oozing down my wife’s arm. Ok, maybe the extinct bird analogy is a bit over the top, but whatever it was, it came out of the sky and it was clearly poo. Tears streaming down my face; the sweat pouring through the armpits of my suit coat, for a brief moment is forgotten.
Outdoor ceremonies in May in the sunny South, while beautiful, at 90 degrees can be rather hot and bothersome. I am pretty much sweating like an Arkansas razorback but somewhat revived by the momentary childlike hysterics brought on by the diversionary tactics of the wayward Pelican.
Like many dads, I got the call of duty to be the official family photographer for my son’s 2015 graduation from Hoof Hearts High. Cameras snapping from every direction, I wonder if anyone with a camera actually saw anyone graduate? I pretty much missed the whole danged thing. In my defense, distance and hair were working against me. My view was obfuscated by the colossal mound of Texas hair standing proud on the grandma in front of me. I had to hold the camera over my head and view the ceremony through a 2.5″ LCD screen tilted down toward me, whilst my head was tilted up towards it. After the kids proceed in with my zoom on, I am able to get this shot of the boys…that’s my son in the middle.
As his row stands up and moves to line up for their diplomas, I snap this winner. The moment of truth. Here is what I see looking up into the LCD screen of my camera as my son receives his diploma. Holding the camera high over my head as I snap the shutter, the freaking camera moves. I am never going to hear the end of this. Having missed the money shot, I quickly try to recover and snap one of him, in post diploma receiving glee. Fail again. This may or may not be my son. It could be the student immediately preceding him. I snap one more for good measure. I have no clue where my son is. Screw the zoom lens, I know I won’t chop him out the shot if I back off a bit. He is definitely in this shot…somewhere. I think this one was right before I pass out. It was really hot.
And this is one right when I am coming to. Imagine 200 black and white graduation caps sailing through the air..because this is what was happening when I am snapping this award winner. Ahhhhhh. We’ve made it through the ceremony, but of course we have to get a couple more shots. And…
If there is a silver lining to this little epic, I suppose it is nice I didn’t have to pay for film or developing; better still, there is a red Solo cup in my near future. Next time the camera stays home. Good grief Charlie Brown.