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As a senior, I am personally counting down the days until graduation, and all the moments in between are just fueling the mounting excitement. But between graduation parties, senior events, and soaking in the last moments with my friends, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by my packed schedule. 

By the time my graduation picture session rolled around, I realized I’d gotten so caught up in everything else happening that I hadn’t even begun to think about how I wanted to use my time with my photographer. I’m not the most photogenic individual (in my opinion), and without some preparation, I knew I would have had no clue how I wanted to pose or dress, let alone actually make them feel unique. 

I knew I wanted a healthy mix of photos, with the traditional white dress and classic poses, plus something more fun — but brainstorming turned out to be harder than I expected. In the end, I did what any college girl would do: I took to Pinterest to get some inspo, made a board to show my photographer, and ended up extremely satisfied with my results. 

If the end of your time in college is coming close and you’re still at a loss for how to comemmorate the past four years, check out the below ideas for some ways to personalize your college graduation photos.

Pop Some Champagne 

Champagne pops have become a popular feature of college graduation photos, and for good reason. Not only do they separate you from high school graduates as someone of age to drink alcohol, but they also create a fun addition to a photo in front of your favorite spots on campus. Whether you’re just popping it, or you want to include a picture of yourself taking a celebratory swig, there are a ton of fun options with this prop. Plus, if you’re crafty, you can decorate your bottle in a fun way. 

Pick (Or Pick Up) Some Flowers

While flowers are a common gift on the day you graduate, they can also make for a fun prop with your senior photos. Whether you choose to match them with your outfit, or choose a bright bouquet in your favorite colors, there are a lot of avenues you can take to add some fun and cheer into your photos

Set Off Smoke Bombs


yall wrong for acting like ts dont burn yo eyes 🤣🤣

♬ original sound – nene❤️‍🔥

If you’re looking for a bit of the dramatics, smoke bombs are a great inclusion for any graduation shoot. Not only will they not require any messy cleanup, but they also add a pop of color that may be harder to find any other way. Whether you decide to use your favorite colors or go with ones that represent your school, there’s no wrong way to go with this prop. 

Use Letter Boards

If you have something to say, what better way to do it than with a letterboard? Whether you choose to write out your favorite motto, a whimsical quote, or just your graduating class, letter boards are a great prop to take advantage of. Many of us already have these from our dorm rooms and apartments, which is a huge plus because you don’t have to spend any extra money. 

Try Non-Traditional Outfits


grad besties and i had our elle woods moment 🫶 pics coming soon to insta!! #graduation #igotmygirls #trend #graduationpics #pinkcapandgown #ellewoodsvibes #fyp

♬ original sound – .

While everyone will be posting photos in their traditional white or black dresses, gowns, and caps, there are more options than just those. Whether you choose to use a nontraditional-colored gown or a fun dress in your favorite color that doesn’t line up with your school’s color scheme, wearing outfits that are unexpected can help you stand out and love your senior pictures even more.

Show Your Hobbies

Hobbies are another great way to personalize your photos. Whether you love basketball, are a huge bookworm, or are always playing an instrument, showing off your hobbies can be a unique way to show off your personality in your photos. 

Spice Up Your Cap

While not every school may allow this, decorating your graduation cap is a great way to express your individuality and take some fun pics with your cap included. Even if you aren’t able to have your cap decorated for the ceremony, many will make a piece that they can take on and off the top in order to avoid this issue. Whether you decide to make the design funny or sentimental, it’s a cool way to lean into your interests and make a boring piece of your graduation regalia fun.

Bring Your Furry Friend

We love our furry friends, so why not include them in our photos? As a pet owner myself, it warms my heart to think of including my baby in my photos, and I’m sure most dog or cat parents feel the same way. Adding them to our photos will be a hit with not only us, but our friends whose hearts have been touched by our pet as well. 

Take It Off Campus

Although taking photos on campus is typical, that’s not the only place you’re locked into as a graduate. Whether you choose to go to your favorite record shop, a cozy café, or your off-campus apartment, there are so many places personal to you that you can take advantage of.

Throw Confetti

Between poppers and loose leaves, there’s a lot of ways you can incorporate confetti into your photos. This may be another more traditional idea, but it’s a tasteful way to incorporate celebration and color into your photos. 

Addie Whightsil is a Public Relations student at the University of Oklahoma. Beyond academics, Addie's interests extend to the simple pleasures in life. She has an undeniable affection for juice, savoring every drop of its fruity goodness. Her fondness for Jellycats, those irresistibly huggable stuffed animals, adds a touch of whimsy to her daily life. However, what she really loves is sharing personal stories and life lessons for the internet to read.