Caps, gowns and class of 2022 tassels can be seen in front of the Fonville Fountain — a sign that graduation season has begun.
As Elon University seniors prepare for commencement on May 20, many are taking photos on campus to bring happy memories for years to come. Their fellow classmates are helping with those memories.
Senior Willem Butler takes headshots and photos of his classmates in the musical theater department throughout the year. But when graduation season comes around, his business picks up, allowing him to meet new faces on campus.
“Having a love of photography and taking these photos for these people who are gonna use them the rest of their lives is really inspiring to me and kind of fuels me to do more,” Butler said.
For senior Georgia Scarborough, her photography business has been running since high school — Little Blue Jay photography. Though she plans to go into healthcare after graduating as a biology major, she still sees photography as a way to help others.
“My passion has always been, bottom line, helping people,” Scarborough said. “So in this photography sense, it's helping people capture their memories and capture pictures of their loved ones or even just times in their life.”
Scarborough said for this graduation season, she’s offering senior photoshoots at 40% off her normal rate.
“I wanted to offer my services at a discounted rate because I did not want any students for any financial reason to not be able to capture their senior memories,” Scarborough said. “I don't think that should have a price tag on it.”
Senior Liam O’Connor has been taking senior photos for his friends since his freshman year. He said photography is a form of expression for him rather than just a hobby. O’Connor also formerly served as a photographer for Elon News Network.
“I love having photography as a form of expression. I like to keep it as something that's not exactly sacred, because I do capitalize on it,and it's something that I do think I have value to,” O’Connor said. “If I didn’t produce something with it, then it's not showcasing who I am to my fullest.”
But, now that he’s a senior himself, he wants to take a step from taking graduation photos to enjoy his final moments at Elon.
”I'm at this moment where I am getting everyone's text bombarding me, ‘Hey Liam, are you overbooked at this moment? ... I really didn't want to be overwhelmed with the amount of people I was shooting for because I did want to enjoy my senior spring. This is a moment to cherish.”
All three photographers said hot spots on campus seniors want their photos taken at are in front of the Alamance building.
After four years of taking photos of others, Butler said he is ready to have his own senior photoshoot.
“It's kind of bittersweet because it's like, wow, I've been doing this for four years and now I'm finally the one who's gonna be in front of the camera looking back on my senior year at Elon,” Butler said.