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Commencement Speech at Photography School

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This is a big day for everyone assembled. For students, it’s time to take everything that you’ve learned in these hallowed halls and go live in your parents’ basements. For parents, it’s time to give up that dream of a home gym/art studio in the basement and the carefree life of empty nesters. And for us, the faculty and staff of this august institution, it’s time to take the summer off before coming back in the fall to delude yet another class of bright eyed-kids with the idea that they could possibly make a decent life as a photographer.

My have these four years gone by quickly, haven’t they? I remember that first day like it was yesterday—young minds empty of any practical knowledge and eager for “the college experience.” In the short time that you have been here, we’ve filled these empty vessels with the the spells, incantations, and arcane knowledge of the darkroom while you simultaneously poked holes in the very same vessel with binge consumption of alcohol, weed, and only you know what else. In other words, you’re managing to leave still virtually empty of any practical knowledge, the vessel known as your brain is badly damaged, and you’re saddled with crippling debt.

But do not despair! You know how to use a camera much better than that alleged “Pro” down the block and can win Internet arguments with the three or four pieces of knowledge you were awake for in Photography History 101. This background will give your photos of the youth soccer game and the engagement photo in the local gazebo a certain je ne sais quois that make people say, “poor schmuck went to photography school and is now being paid barrista wages.”

As you prepare for the barren desert that was once professional photography, please remember to join our alumni association and give as much as you can so that we can keep this farce alive.

Our condolences too all of your friends and family as the seeds of professional bitterness that were planted here grow and flourish with each passing year, infecting every conversation that contains the innocent question “How’s work?” Please remember that your student loans need to be paid, even if you are working at Starbucks.

Finally, for those wishing to postpone the deafening mediocrity of adulthood, please consider enrolling in one of our graduate programs; we need cheap labor to “educate” the next undergraduate class. We’ll happily defer your students loan payments as you incur more debt.

Good luck and God speed!

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5 COMMENTS

  1. My advice to graduates: Spend your summer wisely – don’t spend it practicing taking selfies for Facebook.

  2. And for us, the faculty and staff of this august institution, it’s time to take the summer off before coming back in the fall to delude yet another class of bright eyed-kids with the idea that they could possibly make a decent life as a photographer.

    I think you meant delude a new crop of parents, whom our culture has guilted into paying a quarter-million dollars per BA – Art / Photography.

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