Capturing the Milestones

8th grade graduation | portraits | NWI photo shoot | NWI photographer | Chicagoland photographer | portrait photographer | NWI portrait photographer | graduation photos |

As a parent, each time your child reaches a new milestone, it’s a special moment.  We fill with pride to see that next level achieved so it’s only natural that you’d want to document it!

As a proud parent and photographer, I have tons of photos of my son.  Seriously, I may have actually scarred him. I took so many pics of him over the years that now he hates it when I pull the camera out. ☺️ But if that’s the worst thing I do, I think I’m doing pretty well.

Are you the same way too?  Have you been snap-happy documenting every aspect of your child’s life?

So why take photos when you kid is graduating 8th?

This goes waaaaay back….and well, celebrating 8th grade graduation was the norm.

When I was a kid, we actually had a full fledged graduation from 8th grade. It was complete with a cap & gown ceremony, diploma and walking across the stage. Granted we didn’t do a photo shoot for it, but why not?! Plus, over the summer we had a big party to celebrate!  I can even remember trying to coordinate my party’s date with my closest friends so we could attend each other’s parties and not miss out! 

Now, we still live relatively close to where I grew up.  We’re living less than 10 miles away from where I grew up, but it is a different states and things are done a little differently at the school my son went to.  There were no caps & gowns, no diplomas and no ceremony...period. It was like exiting any other grade and moving onto the next. I kinda chalk this up to the middle school and high school share the same campus, despite being separate buildings….well they do share a set of doors so you can move from one building to the other without venturing outside, but for all intensive purposes they are separate.  

However, my son’s school isn’t the only one in the area that doesn’t hold a formal graduation from 8th grade.  Some schools still have a ceremony and some don’t, but in little area of NWI, most seem to forego the ritual. I really don’t know the reason why, but I can speculate…

It's the law...

Passing 8th grade is now a requirement as opposed to a luxury. I realize that WAY back in the day, 8th grade was often the upper limits of many kids’ educations.  Therefore, 8th grade graduation was probably a big deal back then. In contrast nowadays, the police are sent out to look for you if you don’t attend school until you’re at least 16.  

Plus, it’s more common for kids to go onto college and even graduate school, so 8th grade doesn’t seem quite as impressive as it once had. Kids no longer need to exit school at a young age to work in the fields on their family’s farms and most parents fully expect their kids to continue their education LOOOOONG past 8th grade.  As a kid, I can remember college was an expectation. There never was any other way it was discussed.

That being said, I still feel like graduating 8th grade and moving onto high school is a milestone, and in my book milestones are meant to be recorded for the sake of posterity.

text here...

8th grade graduation | portraits | NWI photo shoot | NWI photographer | Chicagoland photographer | portrait photographer | NWI portrait photographer | graduation photos |

The good news is that’s exactly what I did this summer!  I was lucky enough to be asked by a friend of mine to photograph her son.  Cari wanted to commemorate her son's milestone.  Moving on to high school for most kids means traveling a few minutes from home to the nearest high school. However, for Cari's son this meant getting up extra early, carpooling with a few local friends to a bus stop to take the bus into Chicago.  He was accepted to Mount Carmel, an all boys Catholic high school and THE catholic school in the area for sports!! So, it's not surprise that Charlie has been playing baseball since he was a little tyke and has also taken up golf. 

Location is everything!

The idea for the photoshoot was to have it take place at their country club.  I mean you can’t beat the country club backdrop...they’re typically amazingly beautiful, right?!  Unfortunately, at the last minute a golf outing was booked and we were no longer able to access the locations that would’ve been perfect for the shoot.  Next, we tossed around several other scenic locations that were close to home, but none of them really spoke to Cari. She really wanted a place that was special.  A place that really meant something to the family as a whole. We discussed different parks with baseball diamonds and changing the date, but we finally ended up with a location that was fitting….The Shrine of Christ’s Passion.

8th grade graduation | portraits | NWI photo shoot | NWI photographer | Chicagoland photographer | portrait photographer | NWI portrait photographer | graduation photos |

I had never been to The Shrine of Christ’s Passion before, despite driving past it more times than I’d care to count, but it was the perfect setting for an incoming freshman to a Catholic high school.  I was surprised to find out how big the place actually was and even more surprised to find out how beautiful the grounds were. Luckily for us, the place wasn’t too busy when we went, so we didn’t have any issues moving around and taking a variety of shots.  (Side note….this place get SUPER busy...I’m talking people arrive by the bus load!!!)

Anyways, I was very pleased with the location.  Plenty of different backdrops to utilize. The only “problem” I had is that some of the shots I would’ve loved to get were not allowed.  They have signs everywhere saying that you’re not allowed to climb on the rocks….DARN!!! (but totally understandable).

We ended up getting plenty of great shots even though he was over the photo shoot long before we actually finished.  😆...no surprise there!

In all, I would be happy to return here to take more photos in the future.  It's a beautiful location!!

So what do you think...?  Leave me your thoughts below!

Ready to capture your child's milestones?  Message me so we can get you scheduled for a photo session!!

8th grade graduation | portraits | NWI photo shoot | NWI photographer | Chicagoland photographer | portrait photographer | NWI portrait photographer | graduation photos |

This shoot turned out great and I was absolutely pleased with how it turned out.  Another great photo op location is County Line Orchard.  Check out the fall birthday shoot I recently shot here.

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