It is that time of year again: leaves cover the ground, yellow trees lie across the horizon, and anywhere you go in Sackville, you are bound to see clusters of people in black gowns followed by a photographer. Fall is the perfect time to take graduation photos because it is the season when the town is its most beautiful. The grass is still green, but the ivy covering the walls of Flemington Building and Convocation Hall has turned red, and the trees across campus add splashes of yellow and orange.
Sarah Reeder, a student graduation photographer, said that “the most common place [she does photoshoots] is [the] Waterfowl” Park. The Flemington wall, the library, residences, the Breezeway, the Mount Allison sign, and the Purdy Crawford Centre for the Arts are some other popular spots.
Reeder is a 5th year student who is studying commerce with a minor in photography. She “fell in love with the process” of photography because her “grandfather loved [it] and always took [her] out shooting when [she] was a little kid.” When she was in second year, one of her graduating friends asked her to take headshots. This friend told others, “and all of a sudden [Reeder] was taking people’s grad photos.”
As a third year student, I have trouble coping with the fact that I will be one of these people trekking around campus in a graduation cap and heels this time next year. Reeder told me that one of her favourite parts of shooting graduation photos is “hearing ‘Is this really happening?!?’ moments. It happens almost every session.”
One of the challenges of being a photographer, Reeder noted, is that “people are very particular about what they look like.” On the other hand, Reeder loves capturing graduation photos because “every shoot is different.” It was fascinating for her to be the photographer of one group who went to Ducky’s to “get a photo in their grad gowns of them drinking a beer[.] Everyone inside [the bar] loved it!”
I myself love taking photos to remember all the best moments of my life. I often look back on my photos with nostalgia and excitement at the prospect of going on even more adventures. Reeder shared my feelings exactly when she expressed that “photographs are so powerful and document memories [that] are so important. [She] love[s] being part of that process.”
To book a graduation photoshoot with Sarah Reeder, you can contact her by email ([email protected]) or on Instagram (@sarahreederphotography). She usually does hour-long sessions with individuals or groups of 5 people or less, who are free to decide on a route of locations that fit within the time frame.