How to Take Better Photos on Graduation Day in Jacksonville Florida

Ideas for Senior Girls, Ideas for Senior Guys, Senior, Senior Info, Senior outfit ideas and session prep, Seniors

May 5, 2023

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Graduation…it’s the day you have been waiting for for 12 years! Your son or daughter has worked hard and it’s time to celebrate! And of course you want to take graduation photos of the big day!! So how can you make sure you get the best possible photos even though you may not be a professional photographer?

Here are a few tips for taking better graduation day photos:

1. Find the light! Now you don’t have to know the ins and outs of lighting to find good light. You just need to look for even light or open shade. The best light is natural light and can be found next to a window or outside. If you go outside, look for what is known as open shade, which is a spot just out of the direct sun light. Look at your son or daughter’s face when you place them in the spot and check to make sure the light on their face is even and they are not squinting.

2.Take photos before your senior puts on his or her cap and gown. Make sure to capture your senior all dressed up before they put on the cap and gown so you get variety in your photos.

3.Be sure to get in the photo with your senior! You helped get your son or daughter to this point and you should be celebrated too! Plus, moms and dads don’t get in enough photos so make sure you capture you too!

4.Tell a story with the photos! Take lots of angles and lots of different shots to tell the story of this special day. Things such as close ups of the cap and tassel, your senior’s hands round the diploma, smiling at the camera shots and more! Capture candid shots throughout the entire day such as getting ready to putting on the gown to walking across the stage and more. If you want to put these in an album it will tell a story of the entire day.

5.Take photos of your grad by his or herself! Be sure to get formal photos of the graduate!

6.And take photos of your grad with his or her friends! Make sure you get the friends who are celebrating this day as well!!

7.Try to find a spot with less people! This one may be difficult as graduation ceremonies are crowded but try to find a spot with a blank background such as the building and not the crowd of people.

8.If you can’t find a secluded spot, zoom in! Make sure to get some tight shots that will cut out some of the people or distractions in the background.

9.For the ceremony pics, if you are not sitting super close (which most won’t be) don’t bother using the flash! You senior will be too far away. It might be better to leave those to the professional who is probably close to the stage.

10.Don’t forget to toss the hat! That always makes a great photo and captures the feeling of the day perfectly.

11. Do some Cap & Gown graduation photos in ADVANCE of the big day. We all do it, we think we will have plenty of time, but the day gets away from us, and we are rushing around. By capturing your Senior in advance, you remove the stress the day of, and make you both happier! {better still, trust KHP to do it for you!, we have cap & Gown minis just for this reason}!

I am attending my own daughter’s graduation in one month {yes, I have cried, A LOT}. After that I will come back and update my additional graduation thoughts! I have a lot of senior year thoughts after living through one!

Whew… well that was two years ago! But, since I have more graduation day experience, I like to come back and share that wisdom! Ya’ll this day, is FAST! and crazy! I don’t know that I got a single photo of Ash in her cap and gown that day! Between grad practice, lunch, and then rushing to the ceremony, it seems we never had a minute! I am so glad I had done photos in advance this is a tip to go take those photos NOW}! I will say, try and be in the moment! They will take photos too, and if you can grab a few post ceremony, then do it… even in cruddy lighting! Sometimes done is better than perfect!

Congrats to all the GRADUATES and their parents! Enjoy this celebration and your last few weeks with them as high school seniors! The years go by fast!

Kelleen Hite is a senior portrait photographer based out of Jacksonville and St. Augustine Florida. Her goal is to create and amazing experience and revolutionary portraits so that every senior knows how awesome they are, and so that every parent can enjoy this fleeting moment. Kelleen is now booking for the class of 2024. To learn more about being a revolutionary KHP senior, click here.

  1. Brandi says:

    These are such great tips for pictures on graduation day! My favorite tip is reminding mom to GET IN THE PICTURES too! So important!

  2. Jodi Major says:

    Love these tips. I have a senior graduating in a month as well and will certainly use your tips to take better photos on graduation day!

  3. Shunta says:

    Great information, this is some really helpful information for anyone wanting to make sure they get great photos. Love your photos

  4. jeanine says:

    I love your graduation photos. Your tips are very helpful but I think you are a better choice for the job. I just love the graduation photos that you captured and shared in this post.

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