Congrats 2016 Graduates!

It's that time of year again! A time when we honor our graduates. May they be the littlest of preschoolers or this gorgeous University graduate I recently photographed. All deserve to be celebrated for their hard work and commitment. 

I will admit, looking back, I took my graduation for granted. Maybe because I felt like going to college was "the norm." Maybe I didn't value my degree because my parents paid for it. I didn't feel like I deserved to be celebrated. I didn't feel accomplished.

But I was wrong. Getting a University degree is a privilege! In many countries, girls like myself never get educated let alone have an opportunity to attend a University.  Many parents do not support their children or have the money to pay for their college degrees. A degree represents my dedication and commitment. I may not be using my "International Business" degree by working in a huge corporation but many of the skills I acquired in school help me tremendously with my own photography business.  All the late nights studying, internships, studying abroad made me the hard working and determined person you see today. Not to mention all the relationships and friendships that are still with me today!

Meet Elaf! She is a foreign exchange student from Saudi Aurabia who graduated with a undergraduate degree in Communications from University of Colorado in Colorado Springs {UCCS}. As her photographer, I was able to experience a University graduation ceremony all over again. This time I was able to see how lucky and blessed I was to also have had this experience. I loved seeing how proud her family and friends were of her. Especially her parents who flew in to see her graduate!  Traveling across the world to a country very different from her own and earning a University degree is no easy task and I am proud to have been part of her day. 

Congratulations Elaf. Nothing but the best to you and all the success your future holds. Here are some of my favorites from her day!