Bloomfield Hills High School Class of 2018 graduates Kasra Raffi and Christian Kassab have shared a passion for videography and photography since their middle school years at Bloomfield Hills Middle School. These two students, while currently attending different universities, have maintained and grown their collaboration over the years, and credit BHHS for their skills and growth.
Share a little about yourselves.
Raffi: Currently, I am studying marketing and entrepreneurship at Michigan State University. Starting business school this past year, it was my first year where the majority of my classes pertained to my major. Making new friends in each of my 500 person lectures and just learning that everyone has a story is one of the best feelings. With college being a clear shift from high school, my transition went very well with being involved on campus to make me feel at home.
Kassab: I am a Junior at the University of Michigan studying marketing and performing arts management. My college experience has been amazing because I’ve been able to meet so many different people who are all trying to be the best they can in their respective fields. I love the environment at Michigan, and especially value the collaboration that takes place between the wide range of people who study there.
How did your interest and talent in photography and videography develop?
Ever since middle school at BHMS, we have been doing photo/video together through various clubs. With a friend, we founded BHMS News, where we filmed a weekly news show for the school. Along with that, we also learned in middle school about the power of photo/video for social causes. We created content for Be the Change club, and also to raise awareness for a rare form of epilepsy affecting one of our teacher’s daughters. In high school, we were asked to take photos and videos for the Class of 2017’s Prom. This led to Kasra running for Student Leadership, where we began working together much more often in the field. Student Leadership allowed us to both create a chemistry of working together for various projects, both in and out of school.
And finally, in our senior year we started taking on freelance work. We have done photo and video services for clients such as Lululemon, Broadway star Joshua Henry, TwoFriends Music, and various business professionals. Kasra currently serves as the head photographer at the Broad College of Business at Michigan State University, and Christian is a content producer for the University of Michigan Musical Theatre Department.
This summer, Bokeh Boys, our freelance business, is reducing prices for senior and graduate photo sessions. With students all over missing out on the events they’ve waited years to experience, this is our way of preserving at least one of those memories. With the option of going to more classic areas like Cranbrook still being offered, we are giving the option to do sessions at the client’s home, making things easier and safer if they choose to do so. As parents and students look back on these pictures for years to come, we are making it more available to families all over, and giving a chance to remember the good things in the world, rather than the bad.
What are some of your favorite memories of being a Bloomfield Hills Schools student?
Kassab: My favorite memories of Bloomfield Hills Schools were definitely in the performing arts department. Those teachers were some of the most compassionate and caring people I’ve ever had the chance to work with, and they dramatically affected how I view the world. I also loved the camaraderie and community that the performing arts created in Bloomfield Hills Schools.
Raffi: The most notable memories from Bloomfield Hills Schools were the opportunities. Whether it was a club or sports, there was always a group for everyone. The fact that we were able to get a water sports club at BHHS shows how much the staff and faculty want students to explore. Even going through college, I still use the lessons learned and relations made through those extracurriculars to guide my way.
What were the most important lessons you learned from being at Bloomfield Schools?
Kassab: Bloomfield Hills Schools taught me the importance of having a well rounded education. Now, being in college, I have realized how valuable it was that I had the option to take AP and IB classes, join clubs, sports, arts, and the various other activities in BH Schools. Those activities helped shape who I am as a person, both in and outside of the classroom, and I am so grateful to have had those opportunities in my education.
Raffi: The relations made in high school never leave you. The stereotype of losing all high school relations after graduating could not be more false, and that goes for teachers as well. To this day, my closest friends are from high school, and I still keep in contact with many of my teachers. Going back to visit and seeing your younger friends and previous teachers give BHHS a sense of being home with family.
What advice would you give to current BHS students?
Raffi: Do as much as you can, no matter what it is. BH has so many sports, clubs, and classes that some students don’t utilize. Looking back, I am so grateful that I was able to be a part of these extracurriculars and wish I would have done even more. There are friends to be made, knowledge to gain, and memories to cherish.
Kassab: Similar to Kasra, I would say to do as much as you can of what you love. There are endless opportunities in Bloomfield Hills Schools for whatever it is that you’re interested in. And if there isn’t opportunity yet, BH provides the resources for you to create those opportunities for yourself. So seek out what it is that you love, and do as much of it as you can.
Is there anything that you're excited about for your future?
Kassab: I’m loving college and am excited to enjoy my last 2 years, and hopefully enjoy my career after college. Specifically, I hope to be able to combine this passion I have for the arts with my studies in business, and serve communities I care about through that passion and skill set. The development I had as an artist, thinker, businessperson, and student through the BH School system undoubtedly laid the foundation for the person I am today and will become in the future.
Raffi: I’m most excited to go back to school and create memories. While the balance of class, extracurricular, and social life are hectic, it truly makes the best times. As life gets more and more busy, we begin to lose sight of the truly great times that we experience, without even noticing. Going back to MSU this fall will be the busiest year to come, but I know it will be one of the best.