Behind the Story: Capturing the class of 2020 amidst a global pandemic

I found the process of creating this project to be especially compelling because both my partner, Ella, and I were able to experience Krogius’ craft from the other side of the camera lens. I have known Krogius for a few years, and though I know she studies art and is truly the trendiest person I’ve met, I was unaware of how long she had been making a business out of her passion for photography. Because of the pandemic, what began as only taking photos for her sorority sisters in the beginning turned into Krogius adapting to social distancing rules and re-expanding her business. When we started the interview process with Krogius, it became clear that she would be the perfect candidate to take my senior photos. What I was then able to write about Krogius was my true experience with her and the subject of our story. 

Krogius was candid in our interview about her passion for capturing portraits, especially of her friends, and her positive attitude about the current state of the world as well as the future of her classmates. 

“I think during the shoots, people seem more hopeful than grim, just because they are excited to be there,” said Krogius. “And they’re excited that they’re going to have these photographs to commemorate their time at Cal Poly.”

While it was great to hear about Krogius’ hopeful attitude during the interview from Ella, it was even better to experience Krogius in her element during my senior photoshoot. I am the first to admit that I went down a spiral of feeling sorry for myself once I heard that my final quarter of college would not be what I dreamed it would be for the last four years. I haven’t felt any sense of closure from being a student and wasn’t sure if I would even have a cap and gown to take photos in. Once I was on site with Krogius, I can honestly say those feelings of negativity disappeared. Her vibrant energy and complementary nature made me feel the proudest of myself I have felt all quarter while I was posing for the photos. 

My videographer teammate, Ella, has followed along with Krogius’ photography work throughout their friendship, but this project allowed for them to discuss both her work and her morale in a different way.

“I know McKenna is always trying to make the best of every situation and make people happy,” said Ella. “But she’s in the exact same boat as us, and she obviously can’t take senior photos of herself, but she is still being that positive light in people’s lives and helping everyone out.”

The most impactful aspect of our story about Krogius was that even though our last quarter of college is not what we had anticipated, we don’t need a graduation ceremony to commemorate these years of our lives. The photos we’ve taken, both with Krogius and throughout the years, hold the memories of a college education and experience that we will never forget.