UVA Graduation Portraits

UVA Graduation Photography Class of 2019 Portraits

May 21, 2019

I’m Manali
Coach, editor & brand photographer based out of Cincinnati, Ohio. When I'm not behind a camera or teaching about systems, you'll find me at a vineyard or cuddled with my cat Keegan on our cozy couch!
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Every year I love getting the chance to go back to UVA for taking graduation pictures! I can’t believe I get to do that as my JOB now!! It always reminds me of exactly what it felt like when I was graduating two years ago and reminds me of how far I’ve come since then! Although I absolutely love my job now and what I get to do, I really do miss my community and being able to do life with my Hoos. I don’t miss the late nights in stacks, or the exams but I miss the spontaneous adventures and the support system of my best friends in college and being able to hang out with them at a moment’s notice!

This year I had the honor of photographing 13 UVA fourth years between my three trips to Charlottesville!! This year was a little extra special since my brother also graduated! He generally hates getting his picture taken but him and his roommates all ended up having theirs taken during actual graduation and it was a really fun time 🙂 He even said he’s excited to be on the blog after being the blog’s most avid reader from the beginning haha. All these fourth years are going on to do incredible things and I can’t wait to see how they make the world a better place! You can catch them clerking at the Virginia Supreme Court, Fannie Mae as financial engineers, going to grad school at Columbia & Georgetown (hello smarties!!), studying some more at law school, and studying even more out at Duke (I’ll be visiting sometime!!). There’s SO much that’s going to be changing in their lives within the next couple of months but I’m so glad that they have these memories capture to mark everything that they have accomplished within the last four years at the university that they can reflect on and be proud of before they launch into “the real world.”

I know your families, siblings and friends are all super proud of you guys for everything that you’ve done over these past four years, but really take some time to celebrate that!!! I know when I graduated I kind of just launched into the next big thing and just felt like graduating was something simple that I was checking off the list before going to the next thing, but when you stop for a second you realize that it’s actually a MAJOR milestone in your life! Four years is a long time!! Think about the person you were who was sitting on the Lawn during your commencement speech. My guess is that it’s a stronger, more independent, wiser, intelligent, funnier, more well-rounded, accomplished, self assured person that’s going to be in that seat facing Old Cabell after walking down the Lawn come graduation day. Think about all the late night study sessions, the hours in class, the number of group projects and presentations, the problem sets and papers and everything that you tackled among the thousands of emails and messages between those two sets of days!

If you’re graduating next year, be sure to reach out to a photographer 2-3 months before graduation since they book up really quickly! I had a TON of people reach out to me a few weeks out from graduation that I unfortunately had to turn away since I was already booked up! If you want to see more, check out pictures from the Class of 2018!

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