Whether it’s from kindergarten, high school, college or a military academy, graduations are an important event for both the graduate and for the families. You will be able to capture outstanding graduation photos with almost any digital camera by following these easy tips.
Create a keepsake that your grad will be able to keep forever by covering every aspect of the big event. Include photos of the ceremony. Portraits of the graduate, friends and family, and abstract photos of the ceremony and the school.
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- Portrait Shot
Try to find a nice plain background for a close-up portrait shot of the graduate. If this isn’t possible, simply use a larger aperture to blur out the background while shooting at a telephoto focal length of 70-105mm.
- Show the Pride
This is one of the most exciting moments in the graduate’s life. Make sure you capture this joyous occasion by snapping shotsof the grad alone or with friends jumping for joy, fist pumping, giving the thumbs up, or jumping into a lake with their graduation gowns on!
- Shade is Your Friend
Outdoor graduation ceremonies can be tough to photograph, especially if the sun is shining brightly. A cloudy day is best if you want to capture the perfect shots. If Mother Nature fails to cooperate with you on the big day, you’ll need to move your grad to an area with open shade like the side of a building, under an awning or in a portico.
- The Indoor Challenge
If the graduation ceremony is held indoors you may run into Fluorescent, incandescent, Sodium Vapor, or a mixture of low lighting, which will create quite a challenge with your photography. You will need to use the highest ISO your camera will let you use allowing you to choose a hand- holdable shutter speed. Also, choose auto white balance or shoot RAW and balance the lighting when you edit your pictures later. Buydig.com has several digital cameras that are perfect for both indoor and outdoor photography.
- Don’t Forget the BFF’s
No doubt your grad has made several friends along this journey, many of whom he/she will remain close to for years to come. Take several pictures of this group while making some of the poses serious and others fun. Choose an uncluttered background, and make sure you can see all of their faces in the view finder. Using a flash will help with the shadows on their faces as well.
Take advantage of the school’s architecture making sure you get some shots of the graduate in front of any notorious or special spots around campus.
- The Hat Toss
The customary tossing of the mortarboards is the shot of the day. Try to shoot this one from a low angle. Capture as much of the sky filled with the hats as possible. A great final shot is one of the graduates situated at the bottom of the frame with their empty hands in the air as they toss the hats.
- Then-And-Now-Find a favorite picture of the graduate from childhood. Have the grad reenact it wearing the cap and gown and take a new picture. This will be a nice photo for the keepsake album and to place side by side on your wall.
The most important thing to remember is to take multiple shots throughout the day. Begin photographing the graduate. The events leading up to the ceremony, keep snapping throughout the ceremony. Capture all of the emotions after the mortarboards have been tossed. One of the advantages to photographing with a digital camera is that you can always delete images after the event is over.