How to Take Better Graduation Photos Outside

Graduating is one of the most thrilling experiences! You’ve worked for many years to specialize in a specific area and have gained the tools necessary to be successful in the real world (hopefully lol). Two of my really good friends from the Communication Department at BYU-Idaho just graduated and I was so happy to take their photos and capture the happiness that comes from taking such a big step.

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A question I try to ask myself before going to a shoot is, “What can I do better this time?” So in this case, “How can I take better graduation photos?” However, I had never taken graduation photos previous to taking Sara and Amber’s pictures. I had to think about what makes graduation photos different from a normal portrait shoot. The only things you add are a graduation gown, hat, school, and possibly a diploma depending on when you take the photos. Since these are the signifying things that tell everyone that these photos are graduation photos I wanted to make sure I highlighted those things well.

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To be honest, I’m not a huge fan of graduation gowns. You lose your form, they’re a weird length, and just not super flattering. I still wanted the gowns to be a part of the shoot because it is one of the signifying things that make your photos graduation photos versus portrait photos. So how to take better graduation photos is to mix it up! I took a few with the gown closed, and more with the gown (see below for differnce) open so we can still get some color from their dress and see more of their form. I also made some better choices by having some with the cap on their head, some with them holding them to the side, and some with them throwing them up in the air. Make it fun and memorable as you look for how you can take better graduation photos!

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Check out Nikon’s article about some great graduation day photo tips!

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