About Stuart Bish Photography/Design

Stuart Bish Photography (formerly McDonalds Photography) has been taking grad photos for the graduates of Penticton High since 1972. Each year the grad class of Penticton Secondary School and now of Princess Margaret Secondary School have their individual grad portraits created by one of the best portrait photographers in the business, Stuart Bish.

Stuart has been named BC Photographer of the Year by the Professional Photographers of Canada, an unprecedented 5 times. The graduating students of Penticton High School and Princess Margaret High School get their cap and gown graduation portraits taken in the studio (with personalized attention to every detail) so their grad portraits are perfect.

All of the past Pen High graduation portrait negatives have been preserved and stored since 1972 by subsequent owners of the business. This year, Stuart Bish began the task of scanning and digitizing the old negatives so they could be seen again and made available to Penticton Secondary School for the celebration of Pen Hi's 100th anniversary. Each negative (from graduation portraits taken in 1972, 1973, 1974, 1975 and 1976) have been carefully scanned, colour-corrected and enhanced; dust and scratches removed and faces retouched. The image files have been made available to Pen High to be used in a searchable, digital display system that will allow those attending the 100 year reunion to see the grads of the past.

In addition to the display system, the images are available for viewing at www.stuartbish.com, where prints of them or digital downloads can be purchased. Subsequent years of grad photos are also being digitized, and donations to this legacy can be made on the website.

It is very rare for a high school to have such a comprehensive and unbroken archive of grad photos going back this far. Most schools arrange for the school photography firms who take the student photos at the beginning of the year to do the grad photography, and they rarely archive their negatives for more than a few years. Pen High's administrations of the past should be applauded for the wisdom of choosing local photography firms to create these precious portraits.

In this era of cap and gown grad portraits, crisp, clean white shirts, with ties, are put on the boys. Caps and gowns are carefully fitted for every size student. Girls can be photographed with a full congratulatory bouquet that harmonizes with the school colours - purple and gold for Pen High; black, white and red for Maggie. Graduates are carefully directed into natural, relaxed poses. Last minute checking of hair and clothing details ensures the photographer can fully concentrate on the most important aspect of a graduation portrait - the expression. Stuart's ability to help his subjects relax in front of the camera means the expressions are beautifully natural and spontaneous, letting their true personality shine through. This is what makes Stuart one of the best photographer's in British Columbia.

The grad students can then choose their favourite poses and expressions for grad photo for family and friends, and for use in the annual or high school yearbook. All portraits selected are fully retouched; with all blemishes removed; teeth carefully whitened; and eyes enhanced. Printed portraits and grad photo packages are printed using archival, pigmented inks on high quality photo paper, which is then protected with a non-glare laminating film that eliminates the need to frame behind glass. Portraits are usually ready within 3 weeks, and rush orders can often be met within a few days, if necessary.