How to Take Memorable Graduation Photos


“It is with passion, courage of conviction, and strong sense of self that we take our next steps into the world, remembering that first impressions are not always correct.”

We’re already halfway through May, which means one thing for millions of students across the country: Graduation is right around the corner. Whether it’s from elementary school, all the way through a PhD program, commencement ceremonies are one of life’s most memorable experiences.

Everyone has their own idea of what makes a perfect picture, but there are certainly graduation classics: You, wearing your cap and gown, with proud parents beside you; the ubiquitous group picture with friends; the iconic pictures of the graduating class throwing their caps up in the air once they are declared graduated.

It’s fun; and for some people, the feeling of accomplishment is accompanied by a sense of nostalgia: Knowing that you have completed a chapter in your life can come with competing emotions.

Regardless of what this ceremony means to you, there is one indisputable fact: You want the pictures to turn out perfectly. The following are tips to make you smile when you look back at these pictures a couple of years (or even decades) from now:

Take pictures with both of your parents:

They’ve raised you, fed you, kept a roof over your head, and always been there for you. This is their accomplishment too. Make them have their shining moment with you.

Take pictures with your closest, best of friends:

Even if you’re in a hurry ‘cause there are a million things to do on your schedule, take a couple of minutes to take pictures with your posse. Your close friends are part of your history. Even if life gets in the way and everyone goes down different paths, you’ll be glad you have these mementos.

Pose for photos in the shade:

If possible, try to take your pictures in a shaded area (think trees, or by the side of a big building), to prevent having someone’s eyes closed during the shots, or from getting shadows from your square little hats obscuring half your face. If it’s a cloudy day, thank your lucky stars for the natural soft glow you’ll be getting, and get click happy.

Look for inspiration on Pinterest:

If you’re want less traditional pictures, the Internet is your oyster; and Pinterest is a haven for brainstorming for your creative genius.

Go out and celebrate this great moment. Memories like these life a lifetime. Go Tigers! (Just kidding. I don’t know who your school’s mascot is).