Lens on Lake Minnetonka -- June Photo of the Month

Judy Griesedieck captures the unbridled joy of kindergarten graduates.

With faces like these, local photographer Judy Griesedieck knew she was going to have plenty of photo opportunities at the Orono Class of 2024 kindergarten graduation night. Tasked with taking photos for the Orono High School calendar, Griesedieck was looking for priceless shots like this one as the young students basked in the glory of finishing their first year of school.

“These kids are so excited, and it’s not unusual to see things like this,” Griesedieck says.

A photographer for much of her life, Griesedieck tries to capture stories with her photographs. At this particular moment, one excited graduate can hardly contain her enthusiasm as she proudly shows her diploma to another graduate, waving it right in front of his face. “I'm always keeping my eye on the most animated children in the class, just waiting for a moment like this to happen,” she says.

Griesedieck loves photography and has always had a camera in hand, even as a child. She says it’s important to her to capture those little unexpected moments in life and hang onto them.

“I love this photo because it shows the uninhibited joy of childhood and reminds me of the small events in day-to-day life that can make kids happy—and that should make us all equally joyful,” she says. “It's a good reminder to appreciate the little moments in life as we grow older, the same way children appreciate those things.”