Monday, May 2, 2011

Graduation Photos

What a weekend it was! To be honest, I've been going back and forth about graduation. Most days I'm ecstatic about it, but there are still a few when I get a little down about it. San Jose State is one of the best things that ever happened to me and it is still emotional for me to think about leaving and moving on to the next stage in life. I've been savoring all the exciting things about graduation as a way to keep myself from getting sad about it. One of the things I was most looking forward to was graduation photos for my announcement and invitations. Nothing can cheer me up faster than social stationary.

Before I tell you all about it, I want to say that I seriously debated how to write this post. Should I tell the whole story... or sweeten it up a little? I chose to tell the real story.

You see, I have this problem. I'll see something little that I love and it will stick in my mind. It just kind of hangs out in there and grows. I'll keep adding to it and perfecting it until it's this master plan and the plan is so big and seemingly important that I get a little obsessed with doing it JUST the way I see it in my head. If I could name this problem... I would name it "daydream perfectionism". I've got it real bad.

For graduation photos, I had one thing stuck in my head... balloons. There was a big craze in past months with balloons in engagement pictures and such and I've just been WAITING for an excuse to do it. So, I decided on balloons. But the balloons had to go with the perfect dress... which needed the perfect accessories... which called for the perfect hair. It was kind of like "If You Give a Mouse a Cookie". I love that book.

I was consumed by the project. The setting, the light, the photographer. It's a good thing my husband doesn't get carried away as easily as I do. Without his reality checks, it might have been a hot air balloon and a team of National Geographic photographers.

Hubby ended up being the photographer. He is actually really good. No training or anything, he just kind of has an eye for things. I feel very grateful that he put up with my endless brainstorming, my list of "necessities" and a lot of back seat photography advice. Oh yeah, the man is a saint.

On Saturday we picked up my dress (love love love) and the notorious balloons and waited for the perfect evening light. I started to get nervous. What if I couldn't pull it off? What if I couldn't live up to the idea in my head? I'm laughing now because it's just graduation photos, not royal wedding portraits. But I was serious on Saturday... like a heart attack.

So 6pm we went out to the campus and horror of horrors... it was WINDY! Very windy! Balloons and wind DO NOT MIX! They kept hitting me in the face and making my hair static-y and the light wasn't right yet. I was trying to smile, but I was heartbroken that my plan wasn't working out.

This face is for real.

I told Jake I wanted to go home, but he is smarter than me and convinced me to stay and to lighten up a little... so I tried. The light did get better and I did get a little happier. After a couple hours, we called it quits with plans to try another location in the morning. He actually ended up getting some decent shots on day one:

On Sunday, we got up EARLY (as in 5am) and headed down to Santana Row. It's this really cute street of shops and restaurants that is a big deal around here. When we got there at 6am, it was empty and the light was wonderful and I started to get really excited again. Despite the cold and the fact that I am normally not alive at 6am, the pictures turned out great and I am so so excited about them:

Here is how my announcements turned out:

So there you have it. I'm a complete and total nutcase when it comes to these projects. That is the real story... however crazy it makes me. Thanks a MILLION to my patient and talented husband who always encourages me to become completely immersed in my projects.

Here's to hoping that you're having a great Monday!

Dress: Donna Morgan from Nordstrom, Bracelet: Forever 21, Earrings: Thrift Store, Shoes: Bevv Pump by Steve Madden

Shirt: American Eagle, Jeans: Vigoss from Nordstrom Rack, Necklace: Forever 21, Bracelet: Cookie Lee, Fedora: D&Y, Shoes: Payless

Graduation Announcement: Tiny Prints


  1. Beautiful pictures! Congratulations on finishing your degree!!!! Bravo!

  2. TOBS!!
    i love all of your photos!! sooo excited that you're graduating!!!
    much love from your OC asian