Posing Techniques For Flattering Graduation Photos

Whether you are looking to expand your photography portfolio or you have your teenager’s graduation coming up, there are many ways to take great pictures to commemorate the event.

In fact, the correct posing techniques can help to create flattering graduation photographs, even if the person you are photographing appears ‘wooden’ in the first initial pictures.

Posing Techniques For Flattering Graduation Photos

It can be a challenge to take formal photographs, while also trying to make them interesting and creative.

While you do not want to go overboard, just finding the right poses can make or break the picture.

If you want to find posing techniques for flattering graduation photos, then you have come to the right place. Read on to find out how to take some of the best graduation photos this year!

Why Take Graduation Photos As A Photographer?

If you are looking to earn some extra income as a photographer, then graduation season is a good time to earn it.

Whether people are looking for extra social media pictures or photographs to frame at home, students and parents alike will always want graduation photographs.

Even if you are not looking to make some extra dollars, learning how to take good graduation photos is a bonus if you have children.

It means that they can rely on you, rather than a professional photographer, to take great photos of them during important milestones in their life.

While you might already have a trained eye for a good picture, often the subject needs a little help to finalize the look of the photograph. This all comes down to the posing.

Fortunately, with a few simple tricks and tips, you will be able to take some amazing graduation photos that look professional and print-worthy.

8 Posing Techniques For Flattering Graduation Photos

Here are 8 ways to get the best graduation photographs:

1. Start With Formal Photographs

Whether you have been taking portraits for years, or you are new to it, then sometimes it is best to start with formal photographs. This can also ease the subject into having their photograph taken too.

It can be quite rare that the person you are photographing is already relaxed and willing to pose for the camera, though this does happen.

Even if it is your own child, often they can appear a little wooden and nervous about having the camera pointing directly at them.

Use this time to take some standard and easy graduation photographs. You may also want to take some potential headshots too that can be used for their CV.

While taking photographs head-on is great, think about having them side-on while looking directly at the camera. The different poses can make a real difference to the end photo.

2. From The Back Shot

Think about different angles too. This includes how the subject is standing. For example, have their whole body face away from you, and then turn their head to look at you.

This is a great way to capture different shots that also shows off their graduation outfit, as well as a robe and anything else important that they are wearing.

You can also have them holding the robe on their shoulder while looking back as they walk forward. Just make sure that they also have a smile on their face too – after all, it is a fun photo!

The photo serves as a reminder that they got through the years of studying to achieve their degree, and now they are off to live their life.

3. Show The Graduation Attire

The reason you are taking the photographs is to showcase the graduation attire. It is also a really fun way to mix up the photographs.

It allows you to make sure that you are taking the pictures for graduation, and not just doing a portrait photo shoot.

This means it will give you a clear focus, rather than just trying to figure out how you want the subject to pose. This helps if you ever feel like you are struggling with ideas.

For example, you can have the academic robe hanging over the shoulder while holding the graduation cap. Make these a focal point of the photograph.

However, make sure you keep these kinds of photographs casual. It is a fun photo shoot after all, and you have finished with the formal shots!

4. Use Props That Tie-In With The Theme

Using props in the graduation shoot is a wonderful and easy way of breaking the ice. Not only that, they can provide a great way to get a creative and unique photo.

Okay, so you may find that a lot of the props have been used before in graduation photographs, but there is a reason for this: they work. For example, blowing the confetti or popping the champagne.

Sometimes it is best to at least start with the tried and tested shots. You may find that the subject wants to have these kinds of photos, no matter how cliche they might seem to you.

You can get really creative with props to make fun photographs that will be worth framing or using as social media photos.

The blowing of the confetti can be done face-on so the colors create texture and a focal point.

Confetti also has a celebratory feel to it, and that is what graduation is all about.

5. Tossing Of The Hat

Back in 1912, official hats were given to naval cadets after their training had come to an end.

To celebrate this moment, they would throw the midshipmen’s headwear they had been wearing up into the air to commemorate the next chapter of their lives.

That was more than a hundred years ago, and since then, graduates have been throwing their hats in the air to celebrate the end of their college years.

For this reason, you are going to want to capture the well-known toss of the graduation cap.

It has become a staple photo, not just in America, but around the globe.

Take this photo with the subject on their own, as well as group photographs with their friends also throwing their graduation caps into the air.

6. Take Close-Up Photographs

While portraits and wide-angle shots are important during graduation photography, you will want to think about close-up photography too.

This is all about capturing the details of the day, rather than everything in one go.

One example is taking a picture of the tassel on the graduation cap. It may have a pin on it with the graduation year, which is always a great photograph to take.

You can also pick out other details too, such as the bottle of champagne, academic scrolls that they might be holding, and so on.

These close-up shots add an extra element that looks great with a photo set, rather than on their own. This means it can be used for social media, or within a special graduation photo book.

7. Remember Group Shots

Another thing to remember is group shots. The subject is bound to have made lots of friends while studying, and having pictures together shows them all excited about the next step in their lives.

It is great to capture general photographs of the group smiling at the camera, but think about other ways you can include them too.

For example, you can take a group photo of them all throwing their graduation caps into the air.

You may also want to try different angles. One example is them walking along as they laugh and smile while you use a wide-angle lens to photograph them.

Make sure to include the landscape too, as this type of photograph is not a close-up of the group.

Do remember to photograph the subject with family too, as it is important to get everyone included.

8. Think About Landscape

Finally, you will want to think about the landscape. This is all about where you are taking the photographs.

While no doubt most of your photos will have a depth of field to them to create a wonderful blur behind the subject, you will want to make sure that you capture the college or university’s signage or anything else that would look great in the photos.

You can also make use of steps and exterior walls of the building. Don’t just take these photographs in one place – move around.

It does not mean you have to be taking photographs every second – just when inspiration strikes, use it.

Final Thoughts

There are many different ways to achieve the best graduation photographs to commemorate that special day, either for a friend or your child.

While you might already be able to take great photographs, knowing how to pose the subject will make the photographs even better.

With the know-how, you will be able to achieve great results. So much so, they will look amazing in your portfolio, or just as framed prints around the home.

If you want to know more about taking graduation photographs, then check out the rest of the website for extra helpful tips.

Laura McNeill
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