Tips for Taking Grad Photos on Campus

As spring quarter rushes by and the weather starts to warm up, we are coming closer and closer to the inevitable time of year when every group of seniors search for a friend who has dabbled in photography (or who at least has a nice camera) to take their graduation pictures. Here's some advice on how to get the best graduation pictures possible!

Make sure everyone has gotten their caps and, if applicable, their stoles:

Every year, I hear stories of one person in a group forgetting to order or forgetting to bring their graduation regalia. While it's nice to get all dressed up and take some pictures with your friends, they won't look like graduation pictures unless you wear some of that iconic graduation gear.

4-6 People in a group is ideal:

While it may be fun to get a huge group together, it's easier to get pictures that are flattering for everyone if you're in smaller groups. Plus, it is easier to find places to take the pictures if there are less people to fit into them! That said, don't be mean about it: if someone doesn't have people to take pictures with and wants to join you, welcome them.

It will take longer than expected, especially the weekend before graduation:

There are certain iconic spots on campus that many people want to take pictures near (the brick sign by A Street, the egg heads, and the wonderfully-symmetrical walkway in the middle of the quad). Consequently, you might have to wait at these spots for quite awhile for your group to get a turn. If there are certain spots that are less iconic but more important to you, you might want to take pictures there instead! Try the arboretum or even by the cows for alternative locations!

Get an early start:

While you may want to spend the last weekends of college sleeping in, it's probably going to take some time to get all dressed up, and the last thing you want is to run out of daylight while you're trying to take your pictures.

Don't stand directly in front of trees:

Many of the most picturesque places on campus are full of beautiful foliage, but you don’t want your photos to look like there are tree branches sticking out of your head! You can avoid this by trying to stand between trees and not in front of them, or at enough of a distance that the trees in the background are blurred and in focus for the photo.

If you are going to take a picture in a bike circle, wait until the weekend:

While you may be celebrating the end of your collegiate career, many others still need to get to and from our classes. So if you want to take a picture in a bike circle, wait until there aren't any people cycling to class!

But most importantly, have fun! Congrats to all the collegiettes who are gearing up to graduate, and hopefully your photos turn out fabulously!

Cover photo source

*None of the images belong to Her Campus or the author