The 10 Types of Parents at a 5th Grade Graduation

Ben —  May 27, 2011 — 18 Comments

Yesterday I got to witness my oldest daughter graduate from 5th grade. During the ceremony, in finding the “perfect” spot to record what I could with our budget-minded video camera, I noticed that I was not the only one trying to find “that” spot.

We had the full gamut of parents with all kinds of different memory-capturing gadgets. From cell phones to full on DSLR’s for the stills, and old school minidv camcorders to full on pro-sumer HDD cameras for video. I thought of a name for each one of these parents, and decided to add a couple of pictures along with them ala 10 types of Soccer Parents style.

Here I bring you: The 10 Types of Parents at a 5th Grade Graduation

Example A

1] The Oblivious

This man (or woman) walks in front of everybody, with no regard as to if you are actually shooting video. All they care about is getting their shot, although sometimes they will yield to the guy with the bigger lens.

(See example A)

Example B

2] Joe Cool One Hander

His ice-cold blood runs through his veins. There’s not a nervous shake at all as he can handle this camcorder without a tripod, and with one hand.

Image Stabilization? As if!

(See example B)

3] Inspector Gadget

This guy has all kinds of attachments to his camera. Spot light, boom mic, lapel mic, monitor, steadicam, etc… I couldn’t grab a good photo of him, but just picture Data’s Dad from Goonies.

Example C

4] The Rebel

This guy refuses to shoot when all the kids get on stage, instead he goes against the flow and stands up in front of everybody to shoot backwards. He doesn’t care that his fly is down for everybody to see, all he cares about is the “entrance.”

(See example C)

Example D

5] She-Rebel

Ok seriously, all the kids are coming from the back. What the heck are you looking at and shooting? The banner? Not to mention your arms/kleenex/camera are in the line-of-sight to me taking a shot of Joe Cool One Hander, have some respect!

(See Example D)

6] Big A$$ lens to a 5th grade graduation guy

I mean, c’mon. You’re not Ron Howard, so why do you need a 400mm f/2.8 lens inside of a freakin cafeteria? To see the fingernails on the diploma during the handoff?

Lens Envy? Yeah, I got it.

(See Example A, to the right)

Example E

7] You got a bad Spot, dude.

Really, no explanation here. Here’s the view before I moved.

All I can say is I feel bad for the guy who took my spot as I went ahead and turned into #1.

(See Example  E)

Example F

8] The Supporter

This guy is clearly here just to lovingly support his wife who is playing the Pomp and Circumstance on the piano for 2 hours straight.

Bless his heart, as long as he doesn’t get in my way.

(See Example F)

Example G

9] Humble Pieman

This guy doesn’t mind taking a back-seat to all of the #1-8’s. Usually it’s an older fellow who is just trying to get “backup” for his grandkids. When viewing these pictures later on, they may or may not be blurry, tilted, and time-stamped.

(See Example G)

10] The Boy Whisperer

This thing of beauty is a rare phenomenon. As you glance over, you notice this woman is holding a boy. 2’ish or so.  You think to yourself “great, I have to make sure they’re not within ear-shot of my boom mic,” but as the ceremony goes on, you notice something. As a parent, it’s hard to miss these kinds of things, but you see a lack of an assortment of snacks in her purse, and not even a cup of milk ready to shove down the boys throat should he even think of throwing a tantrum. Yet amazingly, he does not and he actually (unbelievably) behaves for the majority of the ceremony.

This woman definitely has skill. (ok until the end when he started whining “allll donnnnne?”)

(See Example Beautiful)

Example Beautiful

When was the last time you went to a graduation? Do you relate to any of these 10 above? Did I miss any?
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18 responses to The 10 Types of Parents at a 5th Grade Graduation

  1. :…sometimes they will yield to the guy with the bigger lens.”

    Yes…the guy with the bigger lens. wait,wait,wait That’s what she said!

    (Sorry, it’s Friday and I am 42 going on 13.)

    I’m not at the point where my daughters have ceremonies of any sort (aside from the weekly animal sacrifice out in the back yard, but that’s not important right now) but when the time comes I have every intention of being the obnoxious dad with the ridiculously expensive camera, and choreographing all the kids to resemble the great dance number “Simon Zealotes/Poor Jerusalem” from Jesus Christ Superstar.

    Have a great weekend, Mistah Ben!

  2. Great post dude. How about the dude who has a staff with him and thinks he’s a professional photographer but he’s shooting from a Motorola Razr? LOL

    I have gone to a graduation the last 3 years. My daughter’s pre-school graduation, kinder graduation and my son has been graduating for the last 2 years and again next year from pre-school. Yeah, any reason to celebrate.

    I hope you have cool plan this weekend man.

    • Hey, tilt the phone 20 degrees to the left = art.

      By the way, I have an interview w/ Kiersten coming up soon, inspired by your Gabe interview post. I hope she cooperates as much as he did. lol

      Oh, and this weekend consists of waiting for Lowes to deliver, install, and haul away a couple of washers. Yay.

  3. Haven’t been to a graduation in a while …. last one was probably my college grad. Yikes. Soon enough it’ll be my kids.

    I’m the dad who is videoing with one hand and taking pictures with the other. Not sure what you’d call that. šŸ™‚

    • So yeah, I excluded that one, because well.. that was me too. DSLR in my right, camcorder on monopod on my left.

      We need a name though… any ideas?

  4. Wow – the last graduation I went to was for my son Shawn and we were in a HUGE arena sitting with family so I don’t think any of these applied there. Everything on the platform was on HUGE wall boards above our heads – no one would get a good video shot from where we were sitting. All my pictures are too far away.

  5. This was HIIIIIIlarious, Ben. I love it!

    Yes, you did miss one. The woman who completely forgot it was a special event and ending up racing out of Target to make it, and completely forgot a camera so ended up just using the lame camera on her phone. (that’s me!)

  6. I have 2 graduating this year. My oldest from 8th and one of my middle daughters from 5th grade.
    I’ve been through this enough times to know how it all goes.
    I would consider myself #2. Since photography is one of my hobbies and passion I have learned how to get good shots and how to do it from a decent position.
    I hope you guys enjoy your time and congratulations to your daughter.

    • Thanks Chris. So one handed huh? I bet your other hand is in your pocket, all cool-like. I get it, I’m not hatin’ šŸ™‚

  7. Have not been to graduation recently, but did go to a 5th grade talent show last week. I have to say I heard Justin Bieber songs until I was about to barf!

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