“I’d love for you to take my graduation pictures!” Lily exclaimed excitedly. We had reunited and chatted at a convention a couple of years ago during the summer. “Absolutely!” I said with a smile. Little did I know that she would keep me in mind, right after completing her degree at the University of Maryland School of Nursing. As we chatted about what she was looking for in her college senior shoot, I carefully listened as she explained all that was important to her.
When we met at Brookside Gardens that day, I marveled at just how beautiful she was. I’ve known her and her family for years…she was little when we first met, just about 6 years old or so! And now…she’s a lovely woman all grown up, with such a kind countenance and a profound love of life and helping others.
As we moved through the park, she elegantly and gracefully fell into each pose; her years of studying dance was evident. In fact, her love of dance led her to become a nurse! She adores fitness and movement, and she wanted to incorporate this and help others to heal, and live healthy lives.
The rose garden was our final destination. This has always been one of my favorite locations, and Lily lit up when she saw all of the beautiful flowers.
“What do the colors of the chords mean?” I asked inquisitively. Decked out in her full graduation attire, Lily showed me what each piece signified. “The yellow cord is for graduating with honors; I graduated Summa Cum Laude” she explained softly. “Which is for the top 5%.” Eyebrows raising I said “Oh really? That is so excellent! And what’s the purple chord for?” “Purple is for those who are in the top one third of their nursing class, and got inducted into Sigma Theta Tau International, which is a nursing honor society” she explained proudly. “Wow, what an accomplishment, I know you must be so happy!” Smiling from ear to ear she exclaimed that she was. All of her hard work was worth it. “You’re gonna start working at the end of the summer, right?” I asked while snapping away. “Yes, I’ll be working in critical care nursing, at the ICU.”
“That’s so awesome Lily! I’m so happy for you!!” I exclaimed.
Smiling, she replied humbly and kindly, “Thank you so much!”
The sunlight began to fade and we continued excitedly chatting as we made our way past the fountains and lily ponds. It’s always a pleasure to document special times like these, I thought, especially for my sweet friends. It’s such an honor and a privilege to be a part of my friends’ lives in a way that can be expressed visually.
Thank you Lily for the wonderful time, and for the chance to capture your amazing achievement, the end of your college life, and the beginning of your secular career! Have fun putting into practice all that you’ve learned!