OXNARD, Calif. - The Oxnard Performing Arts Center celebrated graduates from Ventura County by offering them a photoshoot.
It might not have been the graduation photos the Class of 2020 envisioned, but Alanis Gutierrez, who is about to graduate from Oxnard High School, says it's a great alternative.
“I think it is amazing,” said Gutierrez. “It is even more beautiful than I imagined.”
The Oxnard Performing Arts Center and Party Stars held a photo session Friday for all graduates.
“It is an opportunity to be in the spotlight,” said Carolyn Mullin, who is the executive director at the Oxnard Performing Arts Center nonprofit. “To take a photo and really just get their time to shine.”
“People are in really tough times right now and we had to try to find a way to lift their spirits,” said Ace Garcia, who is with Party Stars.
Janine Tadiaman, who just graduated from Cal State Channel Islands, took advantage of the chance to showcase her accomplishments one last time.
“I wanted to take some graduation pictures, but unfortunately due to everything going on I couldn’t take them at a formal setting so I am grateful to have this opportunity right here,” said Tadiaman.
The package deal includes different backdrops, a mask with the graduate's school logo and a chance to win a graduation party once it’s safe.
“Everyone who does a photo session will be entered into a raffle and could possibly win an ultimate graduation party for themselves and 100 friends at the Performing Arts Center and it is all expenses paid,” said Mullin.
The PACC hopes to do another session in two weeks. Money raised from photo sales goes to the nonprofit.
“The photography starts at $64 a piece which is pretty reasonable,” said Mullin. “This is how we are trying to manage. Our doors have been closed for two and a half months and it has been very tight.”
It is also helping many students feel special after missing out on graduation day.
“At first it was a bit hard to let it sink in, but after a while thanks to the support of my friends and family, I know I have greater things ahead of me, so I think I will be ok,” said Gutierrez.
If you would like to register your graduate to partake in the photo session, click here.