Shannon

Class of 2019 Graduation — The University of Derby

On Thursday, I graduated for the second time! I have completed my Masters in Writing for Performance. I have completed my second dissertation, a full-length screenplay, and walked across the stage.

Thursday was a day of celebration. My parents and my friend, Sophie joined me for this day and watched as I walked across the stage. Along with some of my class, of course.

I wanted the day to be perfect. So I used my first graduation experience to make this one better!

Ede and Ravenscroft

Universities around the UK force you to use a company called Ede and Ravenscroft for your gown. Although some universities (such as Oxbridge) do allow students to have alternatives, these are rare.

The gown themselves are great, but you can find the same gown for hire at a cheaper rate. Additionally, Ede and Ravenscroft offer a photo service. I learned from my experience with this photo service. Look them up on Trust Pilot. It’s not just me.

The photos are often poor quality and many of the students look stiff and unnatural in the photos. One of my friends last year had a shadow across her face that looked like a beard. Another had her eye photoshopped, resized and placed back in. Mine looked alright but not absolutely stunning. It’s an important event and for many, a once in a life time event. It should look stunning!

Maybe it’s living with a photographer, but I just knew the photos were rubbish for the price. I bought the £120 bundle when I first graduated and it took three months to arrive.

So this year, I did something different.

Richard Richards

Richard is a photographer that I hired privately to capture photos of my friends, class and family. It was £100 for an hour with as many digital prints as I wanted. He did offer to print, but I turned it down for now as we have to ask the landlord to hang photos.

I graduated Thursday afternoon and I got the photos Thursday night. Great service and I am absolutely glad that I did this. My photos aren’t the standard grey background or book background photos and I don’t look like I’ve been forced into a uniform position while some guy takes my photo for ten seconds then shouts next.

It was worth the money and it was cheaper… perhaps because it is digital, but that means they’ll never get lost… and I lost my certificate already, oops.

Shannon's Graduation Portrait
Shannon’s graduation, photographed by Richard Richards Photography.
Graduation. Shannon's portrait and university crest
Shannon’s graduation, photographed by Richard Richards Photography.

The Graduation Ceremony

My Ceremony was at the Arena; the second ceremony of the day. Due to my disability, I was told my gown would be at the Arena rather than the football stadium next door. Football fans will know this stadium.

The first ceremony was running late, which delayed mine by about twenty minutes, although I didn’t mind this. But they did forget to bring my gown to the Arena at first. The staff were lovely and went to fetch it and helped me put it on.

The speeches from the staff and honourable student were lovely and empowering. Overall it was an amazing day and I can’t thank my loved ones, family, friends and lecturers enough.

Thank you to everyone.

Feel free to skip the video to 1 hour 27 (I’m around there)

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5 replies »

  1. This is my proudest moment my little girl has now grown up and graduated I’m so very proud of Shannon and still with all she does eg blogs visiting family friends and so on I’m just so really proud of my little princess keep up the good work well done again you made me a proud mom xxxx

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