Tips For Taking Graduation Photos

Do you have your graduation coming up? Congratulations! Graduations are one of the most exciting events that a young adult can experience.

Not only is it a celebration of all the hard work put in to achieve a college degree, but a graduation also marks the end of one chapter and the beginning of the next.

Tips For Taking Graduation Photos

So, it only makes sense to want to snap the day.

If you’ve got big plans to remember the day with photographs, then you’re in the right place.

In this guide, we’re going to be sharing with you all of the best tips and tricks that we have to ensure that you’re able to take professional, natural photos that will stand the test of time.

Whenever you’re ready, just keep on reading to discover our top tips for taking graduation photos below.

How To Take Great Graduation Photos

Nowadays, there are many different types of graduations.

Even though, traditionally, graduations are rites of passage for young people who are finishing college life and entering the world, it is becoming increasingly more common for high school students, kindergartners, and even preschool students to have their own graduation ceremony at the end of their school year.

Not just that, but graduation ceremonies are also a wonderful opportunity for friends and family to come together and celebrate their children’s achievements…no matter what age they might be, or what stage of their schooling journey they might be at.

From large-scale ceremonies celebrating young people entering adult life, all the way to smaller celebrations for younger children heading up to the next grade, these special celebrations are the perfect opportunity to capture the day through photos that can be treasured forever.

Below, we’re going to be sharing with you some of the best tips we have to ensure that your photos turn out natural and professional! Let’s take a look at them:

1. Get As Close As You Can!

If you’re in charge of taking the graduation photos, then we highly recommend that you try to get as close as you can to the graduating class and, of course, the graduate you’re going to be cheering on.

If you’re going to be using a smartphone, we recommend avoiding the zoom feature (as this will reduce quality) and instead try and position yourself as close to the action as possible.

Alternatively, however, if you’re planning on taking a photography camera, you should make sure that your camera is going to be able to reach at least 300mm without compromising on quality.

This will especially be the case if you are going to be seated further back in the audience.

2. Utilize The ISO Feature

Regardless of whether you are going to be using a flashy, high-tech camera or you’re simply going to be using your iPhone to snap photos throughout the day – we highly recommend that you make sure to make good use of the ISO feature.

If you weren’t already aware of the term, ISO refers to the level of sensitivity that a camera’s sensor has to light, regardless of whether the camera is in a smartphone or top of the line camera.

To cut a long story short, the higher the level of ISO, the more sensitive the camera sensor is going to be to light.

For the most part, regardless of what type of camera you might be using, the ISO will typically be adjusted automatically in accordance with the level of light.

However, you can easily adjust the ISO settings to directly impact the exposure level depending on how bright you want it to be.

Along with this, by increasing the ISO, you will also be able to utilize a much faster shutter speed, which will in turn help to raise the chances of getting clearer photos throughout the graduation day.

3. Set The Camera To Default Setting

This is another great way that you can help to ensure you get great graduation photos!

For the most part, if you are planning on capturing pictures of a graduation day, chances are you aren’t going to be a professional photographer.

That being said, it’s highly likely that you aren’t going to be overly familiar with all of the different settings that a camera offers, especially if you are thinking about using a photography camera.

For that reason, we highly recommend that you consider setting your camera to its default settings, as this will then mean that the camera will be able to do all of the hard work for you.

For maximum ease of use, you should make sure that you set the camera’s settings to default (or manual, which is what it is also sometimes referred to) as this will then allow the camera to make its own changes without the need for any manual assistance.

In other words, you’ll be able to focus on the big graduation day, rather than worrying about the camera settings.

Of course, if you are familiar with the various features of a camera, then you can certainly go ahead and make the adjustments as you please.

Still, graduation ceremonies can be fast-paced and full of surprises, and the last thing you want is to miss out on a photo opportunity because you’re preoccupied with trying to adjust the settings on your camera!

4. Avoid Using Flash

While this next point should certainly go without saying, we still think that it is worth noting in this guide.

When it comes to a big public event such as a graduation, it’s highly recommended that you make sure to avoid using flash photography during the day.

The main reason for this is so that you do not disturb anyone who is also going to be in attendance on the graduation day, as well.

As well as potentially disturbing other guests to the graduation and the graduates themselves, it is also worth mentioning that the flash feature might also reduce the overall quality of the images that you take.

In particular, if you are going to be sitting a little further back in the crowd, using flash will lead to blurry images because the flash will not be able to effectively reach the graduates that you are trying to take the photos of.

Additionally, you should also make sure that you avoid flash if you want your graduation photos to turn out as natural and true to life as possible.

Flash photography can often distort the images taken by making them appear bright and harsh, which is something that you should keep in mind if you want to take beautiful, professional photographs that appear to be entirely true to life.

5. Check The Weather In Advance

When it comes to taking graduation photographs, we’re sure that you might agree with us when we say that the weather might not necessarily be the first thing that comes to mind.

However, it’s worth making sure that you check the weather in advance so that you will be able to adjust your camera accordingly.

Depending on whether the weather is going to be sunny, cloudy or rain, you’ll need to make sure you adjust the white balance in your camera.

For example, if the weather forecast for the big graduation day says that it is going to be forecast with periods of rain showers, then you will need to make sure that you set your white balance to “auto” in order to ensure you are able to get the best quality photos.

Similarly, if you are going to be attending a graduation day that is going to be indoors, you are also going to need to make sure that you are adjusting the white balance in your camera’s settings to ensure that you are able to take high quality photos that will be true to life, natural and professional.

If the graduation ceremony is going to be indoors, then we recommend that you arrive a few minutes early so that you will be able to experiment with the white balance in your camera to find the perfect balance.

Final Thoughts

There we have it. You’ve made it to the end of the guide!

After taking the time to read through everything that we have shared with you above, we are hoping that we have been able to give you all of the photography tips and tricks you need to take professional photos that will last a lifetime…and then some!

By following the tips that we’ve shared with you above, you should find that you are able to take photos that will be natural and true to life, all while being able to ensure professional-quality results that will look as though you hired a qualified photographer for the day.

Thank you for taking the time to read this guide, and we hope that you have a graduation to remember!

Laura McNeill
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