Sunday, October 26, 2008

Sunderland University Convocation @ SEGI College, 25/10/08


University Of Sunderland had it's 2008 convocation at the Multi-Purpose Hall yesterday and the only reason I am able to write about it is because I was given the opportunity to help out as the photographers' assistant. I was invited by Philip to join him and his partner to cover for the event thus letting me experience taking studio photos and also the graduation ceremony shots. So what does an assistant do? Well, doing whatever the photographers need you to do. There were 4 other student helpers/volunteers from SEGI college making me the odd one from Taylors College. Due to this being my first time in going to SEGI, I was slightly late due to the twist and turns and stopping to ask for directions (who says guys don't know how to stop and ask for directions?). Finally, arriving at SEGI at 1215, I met up with the two photographers face to face for the first time and also had lunch with them. It was great because they spoke Foo Chou with me and this is rare in K.L. Well, yea, this is because I forgot to mention, Philip and Andy were flown in by SEGI as the official photographers for the event from Sibu.


SEGI College Roman Inspired Main Building.



Interior of the main building.

Well, I had the opportunity to run out abit to snap photos of the College and the graduates before the photography session.

The view into the college. Reminds me of the Roman empire. Except, there weren't any gigantic clock towers at that era.

On the way back to the photography studio, I saw this small pavillion consisting of 6 female statues.


And the statues resembles a Roman sculpture. Don't ask me how I know? These are the things I must know. Thanks to Architecture History.


When you look up at the center of the pavillion, the motives just brings in the light revealing the clouds of the bright sunny sky. The only reason it looks dark is because I am shooting directly into the bright light.


Went back to the studio to find that Philip was already starting to snap photos of the registration area and also of the surroundings. So I also took the oppotunity to do so. Then I spotted a small makeshift stall selling bouquets of flowers for the graduates.


And this shop provided me with one of my favorite kind of photographs which is the micro shots.



I wonder who got these beautiful bouquet of roses. And yes it cost almost the same price as those sold on Valentine's day. About rm 35 for 6 roses. Expensive nya... but guess what? There were all sold out by 4 p.m. How did I know this? Because some of the graduates's parents told me so during the photoshoot.


Registeration area.


Stairway to the MPH.


Even before the graduates began swarming into the photography studio, there were already some taking pictures with their family by the pool.



Everyone was looking their best.

So after taking the shots i wanted, I went back into the photography studio and by then, there were a few people signing up for the Studio shots of them and their family.

The small, make-shift backdrop.


One of the graduates signing up.

After signing up and paying, the graduates gets their photo taken by Andy. And what was my first job? See the chair in the make-shift studio, I had to move it to the side when it's individual shots of the graduates and bring it in and arrange it when taking the family shots.


Andy at work.

Graduate and family choosing the photos and Clara (far left), one of the helpers whom I earlier found out was also a Sibu-ian there to help out Philip. She helped write down which pictures the graduates and their family wants.


The props used for the photos. Sorry, I didn't take any pictures Andy was taking, because it will just look weird me, taking the photos.

But I did manag to take some of the reactions of the people in the room while the photo shot was in session.

Gradutes busily signing up for a photoshoot.


From the inside, I spotted a little girl holding a Bouquet with a teddy bear in the middle. I am guessing her dad just graduated or her uncle. But this picture is just too adorable.


Elsewhere, graduates taking pictures everywhere.

The graduates began to leave the studio at 4 p.m. for their rehearsal walk. Well, even at this time, there were some family members coming up to us as if they will not be able to get their pictures taken. We had to request them to leave the room politely or else they will make Clara crazy with all the complaining. Me and the rest of the helpers followed Philip and Andy up to the graduation hall so that Philip can brief us on what to do for the Stage shot.


6 o'clock came fast and the graduates began to take their seats and the family members began filling up the hall. There were chatters everywhere. Everyone was excited, its like one of the highlights in their life. Well, maybe it is. I can only answer you next year. If I graduate Diploma in Architecture that is. But I believe I can, I just have to work hard till the end.

The ceremony started with the march in by the Dean and the scholars for the University, the VIPs.



After singing the Malaysian National song and the British Anthem, a small speech was given by the representative from Sunderland and the certificate ceremony began.



190 graduates, one by one walked up the stage to receive their degrees and was presented by the representative.

The cermony took about 1 and a half hours. After that, it was time for us to do our job. After the VIPs left the room, we had to move 75 chairs up the stage and 10 sofas, sat by the VIPs to the floor. Besides, we had to control the crowd as the graduates went up the stage to their spots for the group photographs session. Excited parents wanted to get pictures of their children and ignoring the announcement made by us and the M.C. We had to pull a rope accross the hall and asked those family members to step behind the line.

So here is a message to all the students out there to tell their family when you graduate: "I know that you all have been educated. So when you graduate, please tell your parents or family to learn how to listen to instructions. It just creates more trouble when they don't listen. Tell them that the photographers will give them time to snap the photo they want. So please do not waste their time and their energy."

After much arranging and persuasion, we managed to get the group photos. Even, I got the chance to take one, Just for fun. HAHA. Proof I was there.


Big crowd!


The representative from Sunderland.


Final group shot, throwing up the graduation hats. Congratulations to all who graduated.


Family members frantically trying to get the photos after Andy took the pictures.


The representative was the star of the night. Every graduates wanted a picture with her.


One of the graduates speaking with one of the VIP.


Happy graduates.

Had to rush back to the studio to finish up the photo session at 8. By the time we went back to the studio, it was just chaos everywhere. So many graduates and their family rushed into the studio and requesting to be the first to have their picture taken. There was so much chaos that we had to use a number system to keep everyone at bay. Some got mad and decided to cancel, some yelled but all in all, we had to finish up no matter what. Didn't manage to take any photos then because I was just too busy. The final graduate and family left at 10 p.m. We were just too tired. By then, my body was aching from the constantly moving the chair and my eyes were flashing due to all the flashes made by the flash. My eyes were starting to sing the song "Flashing Lights" by Kanye West at this point. But I was just thankful that everything was done.

After packing everything was packed and moved to Philip's room, all of us went out for dinner. Philip reated us to dinner and I really appreciate it. After dinner, I asked them for a for a group photo. Just so I can remember this day and the people I met.

From left: Philip, Pek Tong, Joe, Ivan, Andy and Clara. Hope I got the names right.

The experience I gained was priceless. I got to see the work and the pressure the photographers face each time they go out for a studio shoot. I see their dedication and their knowledge in this field. Just like to thank Philip for the opportunity to follow him. At least now I know what to expect in the future when I cover events for the college activities.

Well, got to start doing assignments again. Sorry for the long post. Ciaoz..

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