FOLSOM (CBS13) – It’s the type of picture that says one thing: “I’m graduating high school.”
Photographer Melissa Goodland takes a lot of senior portraits.
But with senior year a little different for the graduating class of 2020, she’s re-focusing her efforts to make sure some Folsom seniors garner the usual graduation pomp and circumstance in a very unusual time.
“I thought to cheer them up it would be a good idea to show my love for them,” Goodland said. “So I teamed up with their parents…to design a really cute yard sign for them with one of their senior portraits.”
And just as this school year has been unpredictable, so was Goodland’s kind-hearted gestures as she surprised seniors like Jillian Keagan with those special signs.
“Usually, we have our grad announcements that we send and we invite people to our grad parties but not something we are going to be able to do probably this year,” Keagan, a Vista Del Lago High School senior, said. “So it just nice that we get to show them off.”
Other seniors like Jadyn Shaw and Maya Phillip described the moments when they saw their sign for the first time as pure excitement.
“It made me feel so happy. Melissa just goes above and beyond always to make us happen even amidst a pandemic,” Shaw said.
“We don’t have anything now conventional to celebrate. So when you see something that’s so personalized and is specifically for you and has your picture that you love on there; it’s just going to means so much to everybody and make them feel so supported,” Phillip said.
Goodland has made six personalized portrait signs so far but says her work is far from done.
“I want to make people feel as special as possible,” Goodland said. “I get to be a part of their story I guess; a part of their excitement. It’s not about me. It’s about them.”
And it’s not just high school seniors, the Folsom photographer said parents of college grads, middle and elementary students have also reached out to her – all hoping to have personalized signs made for their students as well.