Photos by Chris created this collage for the Princess Margaret grads of 2020 after they couldn’t have a group photo taken because of COVID-19 social distance requirements. The collage was given to each Maggie grad. (Photos by Chris)

Photos by Chris created this collage for the Princess Margaret grads of 2020 after they couldn’t have a group photo taken because of COVID-19 social distance requirements. The collage was given to each Maggie grad. (Photos by Chris)

YIR: Penticton photographer recreates group photo for Maggie grads of 2020

Grads of 2020 couldn’t have a group photo taken because of COVID-19 social distancing

With almost every event being cancelled in 2020, one that seemed to really sting was cancelling graduation celebrations across the province and right here in Penticton.

The grads of 2020 had their celebrations ripped away from them because of the COVID-19 pandemic. There were no public ceremonies and no celebrations.

Instead of tossing the whole thing away, grads, school administration and the community got creative.

Pen Hi grads had their picture taken at the Penticton sign on Munson Mountain from a photographer taking their picture from a helicopter. Summerland grads held a parade down Main Street and did a similar helicopter picture on the trestles there.

Chris Cornett of Photos by Chris was in charge of taking the cap and gown photos for Princess Margaret grads of 2020.

But because of COVID-19 and social distance requirements, they couldn’t do the traditional group photo that was sponsored by the Princess Margaret dry grad.

“We had the opportunity to photograph each grad with scrolls, bursaries, scholarships and trophies over a two day period in June 18 and 19th,” said Cornett.

The Princess Margaret grads were treated to a drive-in movie. That was a big hit, he said.

But Cornett wanted to do something special for the Maggie grads as well.

“My assistant Tina Murphy and I discussed how we could apply all the individual head shots of grads into one 8×12 group grad 2020 portrait,” said Cornett.

“Previously we had done group grad prom photos at the Lakeside Hotel, but as we all now that was not going to be possible this year of COVID,” he said.

“Once we had the principal on board with our concept and the Princess Margaret Dry Grad support for grads to have a memory of being all together in one group, we went to work.”

“After many hours in post production to arrange all the grads in the one photo, we presented the principal Roger Wiebe a sample of the 2020 group portrait.”

Cornett’s assistant Tina Murphy made a collage of all the grads in cap and gown placed into one photo.

“This was a monumental task by Tina but we think it was worth it.”

Each graduating student was given the collage photo as part of their graduation.

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