Graduation Photo Ideas for High School and College Grads
- Why Graduation Photos and Senior Portraits are Popular
- Graduation Photo Ideas - Themes
- Graduation Photo Ideas - Props
- Graduation Photo Ideas - Backdrops
- Graduation Photo Ideas - Poses & Composition
- Graduation Photo Ideas - Physical Products
- When To Start Graduation Photo Ideas
- Recommended Photography Gear<
- Graduation Announcement Cards can be customized in various ways. Add text to the image, use one image, or combine several into a collage style. There are 11 pre-styled themes from which to choose, all of which can be customized.
- Premium Softcover Photo Books allow you to combine a large group of senior and graduation photo ideas into a convenient and fun-to-view package. These are also entirely customizable.
- Wall Calendars are another product that lets you use multiple images, taking full advantage of your graduation photo ideas. Available from Photo Book Press in several sizes and styles.
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We’re getting close to the season for pulling out our graduation photo ideas so we can work with our clients, old and new, to create the best graduation or senior pics for them. When I say graduation photo ideas, I’m also including all of the senior photo ideas we need, not simply pictures from a graduation ceremony.
What should we look for in graduation photo ideas? Graduation photo themes, graduation photo poses, graduation photo props, what to use as a graduation photo backdrop, physical products to offer as graduation photo images, and when to start creating these images are all part of the discussion for graduation photo ideas.
Table of Contents:
Why Graduation Photos and Senior Portraits are Popular
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Senior portraits and graduation photo ideas date all the way back to the 1880s when photography for the masses became more popular by means of being safer, less expensive, and much easier to do. Technology, such as celluloid roll film and adjustable camera controls, had a major part in driving the popularity of photography, and it still does today.
These types of pictures have stood the test of time for popularity. Graduation photos are a wonderful method for documenting the transition of young people from their teenage years to full adulthood.
However, these images don’t merely document a milestone; they also capture the personality of the portrait subject, telling us something about them besides that they graduated from this high school or that college, which is why we want some interesting and useful graduation photo ideas.
By the way, for a long, long time, graduation photos and senior portraits were pretty much uniquely an American phenomenon. But with the predominance of digital imaging taking over in so many areas, this genre of photography is spreading in popularity and acceptance outside the US.
Graduation Photo Ideas - Themes
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A trend that has become a mainstay of senior and graduation photo ideas is to capture images with a theme in mind. Deciding on a theme helps determine other graduation photo ideas, such as graduation photo poses, backdrops, and props.
The theme can cover all sorts of graduation photo ideas. Is the student an athlete? Are they involved in specialty studies? Do they have rewards to show? What are their major interests? What are they known for? These can fit into a theme for the senior portraits or graduation photos.
It’s important to capture the subject's personality using the theme and not let it overwhelm the session and results. For instance, a young woman may be on a soccer team and have a team photo on the field. But for her senior portrait, she wants to show that she has academic and artistic pursuits in addition to the sport.
Themes and interests span the ages and fit male or female subjects, so your graduation photo ideas may become a life statement of sorts for some subjects. Be open to suggestions from the clients and subjects involved. The more they are interested in the project, the better the images will be.
Graduation Photo Ideas - Props
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So, what kind of props should we use for these graduation photo ideas? Graduation photo props can be the diploma, the cap and gown, a hockey stick, science instruments, building tools, car parts, and musical instruments, which can all be incorporated into the graduation photo ideas.
Of course, our regular portrait props also work. Items such as a chair or a stool to sit on, a box for lifting a foot up, an umbrella, some clothing accessory, or whatever else we normally use can fit into the category of graduation photo props.
Graduation Photo Ideas - Backdrops
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Backdrops are an integral part of the image for graduation photo ideas. In the images displayed here, some have been taken outdoors with deep depth of field or selective focusing, and some have been taken against a plain white or gray background.
For portraits outdoors, a brick wall at the school, a field of sunflowers, a garden patch, or a doorway can all be put to good use. If you haven’t done so yet, now would be a good time to tour your area looking for good graduation photo backdrops.
In your studio, you have a lot of control over setting up the background. A scrim over a light can create a patterned backdrop, or you can shoot for either low-key or high-key images by adjusting your backdrops and lighting.
Graduation Photo Ideas - Poses & Composition
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Your graduation photo ideas for composition techniques and graduation photo poses also allow a lot of variation and control to create a great image. Environmental portraiture is a great option to take into consideration.
While general composition techniques such as the Rule of Thirds can work well with many graduation photo poses, be sure to also consider centering the subject. Centering creates an air of importance for the subject, which is useful since they are the primary reason for the photo in the first place
Have a look at some posing thoughts and other graduation photo ideas from Jessica Whitaker in the YouTube video above.
Graduation Photo Ideas - Physical Products
Now that you have the images, the other side of graduation photo ideas is to use them. Several fine product ideas come to mind for senior photos and graduation photo ideas. Photo Book Press is a wonderful source for very high-quality graduation photography products.
When To Start Graduation Photo Ideas
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Now that you have all of these senior portrait and graduation photo ideas, when should you start booking clients and taking photos? Besides the actual couple of weeks of graduation season, you can market these sessions all year round.
With all of the creative energy behind graduation photo ideas, don’t forget the actual ceremonies! If you have a package pricing structure, you could include the graduation ceremony and several portraits. Or, stick with the portraits. Either way, you will create some outstanding images and please your graduation photo clients.