I Peaked in Highschool



This is the story of my Senior Yearbook photo. Sounds boring, but stick with me- there's the payoff of seeing the photos ...



The year was 2008, and I had just wrapped up a summer of bus-boy work at a local resort called La Paloma. It was time for Senior photos. The year before I'd admired the creative shots. The ones with clever props or fun poses.


Most of all I liked this one ironic shot of a guy named Tyler Delorenzo. He looked like the fifth member of Led Zeppelin. He skated. Did art. Joked all the time and even made a goofy rap album that I bought on the back of a bus for five dollars. Tyler definitely did not play sports. Needless to say, Tyler's yearbook photo was him, laying on the ground, wearing a letterman jacket and holding a football. The shot was an instant classic.


So the day before, while thinking of things to do for my own photo, I took a look at the old yearbook and asked myself "what would be the most opposite, unusual, thing I could do?" I was going into the year as Senior Class President, an election I had won at the end of Junior year, so whatever the photo was had to be completely unprofessional and prove everyone's suspicions right that I was wholly unprepared for any and all of this.


Before I did that though, I had to take some serious photos. You know, the ones for family refrigerators!



Some serious cheesin'



These were sent out for my graduation announcement, and if you were like my grandmother, you would have seen the photo and gone "Very handsome Matthew, but what on earth is on your hands?" Well grandma, those are remnants from another shoot I had done that day....


Before I talk about the other photos, I should mention Nick Quinn, an old friend who happened to be on the yearbook crew. He was the one who deserves all the credit for getting my photo into the yearbook. Not sure how he managed to pull it off, but here is the actual yearbook from 2009.






Here are the rest of the 'high-res' shots from that day. No grandma, that's not me.





Of course my parents were furious. They could not understand why I would have done something like this and potentially ruin their family name for eternity. They were at least glad I had done some decent shots to send aunts and uncles and put up on their desks at work, but money and baggy clothes? That was unheard of and unacceptable.


Meanwhile I am laughing up a storm, and still am, considering this to be the best thing I have ever done. As I said I had peaked here.


Now this next part of the story I didn't find out until a few months ago while talking to my mom about these photos.


So my mom goes a month later to the photo studio to pick up the photos, still mad about what I'd done. And lo and behold, there hanging up on their wall, next to photos of babies in pumpkins, puppies in costumes, and families with picturesque mountains in the background, is a big framed photo of my punk ass throwing money in the air.


They must have liked it.


For the rest of the year I didn't tell anyone about the photo, and my buddy Nick helped keep it a secret too, so when the yearbook came out, people were shocked. I got lots of high fives that last week of school, and that my friends, is when I peaked.



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