Congratulations UCR graduates Class of 2011

Enthusiasm from friends and family members are always great to capture at such happy events like a graduation.

At any commencement or graduation ceremony these days, what do you think outnumbers the number of people in attendance?


Just about everyone present has a cellphone and we all know every phone has a built-in camera.

Digital cameras have made self-portraits so much easier and more fun.

During Sunday’s commencement ceremony for the College of Humanities, Arts & Social Sciences at UC Riverside, it was great to see so many folks capturing this important milestone for themselves.


I saw the entire gamut: Canon 5D Mark2s, Nikon DSLRs, iPhones, Blackberries, iPads, and even disposable film cameras.

Some of the audience actually had better equipment than me.

A very happy graduate shares a moment with Chancellor Timothy White after she receives her diploma.

I counted at least 3 of the undergraduates doing self-portraits with the big guy Chancellor Timothy White during their big moment at the podium.

Ever the good sport, Chancellor White who was recently on the reality tv show “Undercover Boss” naturally obliged by posing with the graduates even if it meant creating a minor disruption to the flow of diploma-passing.

Everyone present must have felt the bittersweetness of the moment as “Pomp and Circumstance” played continuously.

I never made it to my own commencement ceremony because I didn’t have any family here at the time.

So I understand more than most folks how important this day is for the families of the graduates.

College of Humanities, Arts & Social Sciences

Commencement ceremony for College of Humanities, Arts & Social Sciences. June 12, 2011


There’s no doubt in my mind that in a situation like this, access is key.

Having a long telephoto lens helps, but even if all you had was a short telephoto or kit lens, having the ability to walk up closer makes all the difference.

A Virtual Reality view

Mouseover the image below, press “Shift” to zoom in, “Control” to zoom out. Click and drag with the mouse to scroll left or right.

Peter Phun Photography

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2 thoughts on “Congratulations UCR graduates Class of 2011”

  1. Hi Jo,
    Always great to hear from you. You are blessed to have been present at such an important day for your children. I’m hoping these graduates won’t have a hard time finding employment in our terrible economy here in California.

    I bet you have some wonderful pictures from your kid’s graduations. I’ve been loving what you share on your blog, Jo.

  2. I love all these shots, Peter! I’ve been at two of my children’s graduations now and YES, they are amazing events with cameras everywhere; the kind of skill, compassion and originality you bring to them, however, is just too rare.

    I keep your advice in mind whenever I go to a “standard” event now. I’ve learned so much from you. Thanks, as usual!

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