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My COVID Graduation Story | CSC Photography - Personal | Virginia Wedding Photographer

I know, I know this post is LATE! School for the 2021-2021 year has already commenced (whether in-person for some or virtually for others), and I am just now posting my graduation story from where my own college graduation... in May.

It might be a bit of a blessing and a slight downfall because while my own post is a little late hitting the blog, that means I've been busy showcasing my incredible clients and offering some educational tips as well (which I find WAY more important - even though having a personal relationship with your photographer is also important).

Anyway... this story is here now, and I am so excited to share it because it honestly wouldn't have been the same if I had written it back in May when I *actually* graduated (extra emphasis on the actually because COVID canceled our ceremony).

For those of you who don't know, I only graduated from high school in 2017. I was over-involved in high school, like I did EVERYTHING. As an introvert, I really hate talking about myself, but I'll try to suck it up for a minute to give you some perspective. I was the student body president, co-captain of the cheerleading team, I did theatre, I was the president of my school's choir (and participated in several choirs outside of my school's), I was president of the National Honor Society, did dual enrollment course for college credit, and participated in several other clubs. I know what you're thinking, and yes, I was that kid... and that was just my senior year - I let a couple of activities go over the years.

So, when I got to college, I tried to give myself a small break in an attempt to not to overwhelm myself. Grades are very important to me, so I wanted to be sure I was well-adjusted to the courseload of my double major at Emory & Henry College.

I choose Emory & Henry for a couple of reasons. After being accepted to 17 schools, I had lots of options. My first choice for the longest time was Iowa State University, in which I was granted early admission my junior year for meteorology. I toured the school the summer in between my junior and senior years and decided to change majors from meteorology to law & politics because all good meteorology schools were between 9-15 hours away from my hometown, and I didn't want that. Eventually, I narrowed it down to Emory & Henry and the University of Virginia. I won't even lie when I say I picked E&H for the money (they offered a much better financial aid package)... but their small and loving community truly did make me feel at home.

I honestly had a sense of home when on the E&H campus from the first time I toured, sophomore year if I'm not mistaken. I wasn't even considering the college because it didn't offer the meteorology program I thought I wanted, but a school trip brought me there anyway.

My times at Emory were joyous. I started out as a double major in Musical Theatre and Pre-Law/Political Science. Consistently participating in theatre productions and choirs, I never gave up my love of the arts. Eventually, I did drop my Musical Theatre major to just focus on Law & Politics when I found out I had enough college credits from high school to graduate early.

I had so many wonderful opportunities while at E&H. I was able to continue my passion for the performing arts through my theatre and choral scholarships on campus, I found a church I adore through a different music scholarship (where I sing in their choir and play handbells), and I helped our school start an a cappella group and enjoyed chairing their PR department for 3 semesters (I joined the group a semester after they formed, but I still loved every minute and miss all of my friends from Grace Notes dearly). I served in student government as the Secretary of Elections and later as Clerk (I still volunteer my time to help photograph their events when I can). I was also offered a life-changing internship with Judge Lowe at the Washington County Circuit my senior spring semester. I will forever be grateful to all of the judges I was able to shadow while I was able to complete hours in-person (pre-COVID) and the friendly staff that made me feel at home the 4 days a week I was there. I was also happy to be inducted into Blue Key honor society and Phi Eta Sigma honor society.

It's true that my original plan after completing my undergraduate degree was to immediately attend law school. However, many of you know that those plans have changed. I am now a full-time wedding photographer! As of right now, I'm on an indefinte gap year, and law school isn't completley out of the picture, but I am so happy serving my couples and being there through their journey of becoming a married couple. Plus, with universities being moslty online, I think not starting the most intense education of my life via Zoom classes might be a good decision.

I don't say any of this to brag or show-off, just to invite you into my life and journey. I value personal connections, and want to get to know each and every one of you. Sharing about my personal life (even though it's late - and hard for an introvert) is my way of opening myself up to dialoge.

... and now for the pretty pictures! Special thanks to Amanda and Chad for taking these stunning images (and I really don't like pictures of myself) for me! Enjoy just a few of my personal favorites!

I had to include Devon in a few as well... you may see him scattered here & there.

This is the courthouse I did my intership at!!!

Also, can I just say that I'm impressed my hair didn't get messed up after taking this cap off... it never cooperates this much!

We did all of my pictures on Main Street in Abingdon, and I love that we were able to capture so many areas of my life in one place. This is my church where I started singing freshman year!

Outfit change!!! I may or may not have changed outside next to the Barter for this... thankful for theatre which taught me the art of quick changes (how fitting).

Did you know I used to work at the Barter? I was a child actress here and portrayed Kate in the musical Annie way back in 2010. Even though that was while I was in middle school, I still loved theatre in college and spent many weekends in this theatre during my one semester as a musical theatre major.

... and then we had to include my photography.


See you soon,

Caitlin S. Cornett

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