His vision for his photo included his rescue cat, Mr. Bigglesworth, so he had a professional photographer snap a picture of him holding his beloved pet.
In the photo, Mr. Bigglesworth's superimposed head floats in the background amid colorful lasers reminiscent of 1980s school portraits.
"I'm a little out there and a little tongue-in-cheek," he told his hometown newspaper, The Daily Gazette. "Cats and lasers . . . sarcastic. It's so outlandish and ridiculous."
Rodriguez suspected school officials might not be on board with his unique choice of senior photo, so he pre-emptively started an online petition to garner support.
"This is my photo that should be going into the yearbook, but we know how finicky the school systems can be," the petition reads. "I'm hoping that with enough signatures, my school simply can't turn this down."
Rodriguez's photo went viral and he quickly accrued more than 7,000 signatures, but school officials weren't swayed.
Karen Corona, the school's public information officer, says the school has guidelines for the senior portrait section of the yearbook.
"It's a uniform, consistent-looking section," she told Today.com. "When you opt to be included, all photos look like each other."
However, the school says that while Rodriguez and Mr. Bigglesworth can't appear in the senior portrait section, the photo can be used elsewhere in the yearbook.
Days later though, a new compromise was reached. The school's principal, Diane Wilkinson, suggested that she and Rodriguez take a photo together — with their rescue pets, of course — in the same '80s laser style.
Rodriguez agreed, saying he thought it was a fair compromise.
"I'm not trying to make any statement other than my photo is ridiculous and this is how I am," he said.
Take a look at the photographic masterpiece below.
Photo: Vincent Giordano/Trinacria Photography
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