31 Graduation Photo Ideas to Capture Big Day Memories

graduation photo ideas

When it comes to graduation photo ideas, many options are available. Most images will feature you in formal attire demonstrating your diploma. However, it would be appropriate to capture some funny and creative images as well. Here you can play with poses, choose among various locations, and include the props you like.

WeEdit.Photos retouchers have compiled this guide and selected handy tips that will come in handy for unseasoned photographers and retouchers. Besides, this article contains much useful info for graduates of various educational establishments.

1. Celebrate Graduation with Champagne

graduation photo ideas with champagne

Take a stunning shot with splashes of champagne using an educational institution as your backdrop. To make these tiny bubbles clearly visible, make sure that you are taking pictures against a dark background.

champagne for grad pic ideas

Another option is to conduct a photoshoot at the sunset. This will also give your images a golden feel.

2. Use Balloons as a Prop for Graduation Photo

graduation photo ideas with balloons

Fun balloons are probably the best props for graduation images. A shot should feature a model holding balloons in one hand and a diploma in another. You can either order helium balloons or purchase the entire composition with the year of graduation and an arch of balloons.

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graduation photo weeditphotos

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3. Hats Up!

graduation photo ideas with hats

Throwing up graduation caps in the air is one of the most classic ideas for graduation pictures. It is easy to implement, and you can either do it alone or with a group of other people. The gist is to catch the moment when your hat freezes in the air. This kind of posing requires a photographer to switch on a burst mode, which is available in many modern cameras, iPhones, and Android smartphones, to get beautiful pictures.

4. Adorn Your Graduation Shot with Confetti

graduation photo ideas with confetti

Confetti can create a festive mood at any event. Make certain to purchase enough confetti to experiment with poses and scatter it around.

confetti for grad pic ideas

To snap an ideal image, you will need to capture a series of pictures. Make sure to clean up your photoshoot location afterward.

5. Choose Fountain as a Background

ideas for graduation pictures with the fountain

Shoot a graduate with a fountain in the background and apply a blurring effect. To make the backdrop unfocused, set a wide aperture. Choose aperture priority mode (A or AV). If you have a DSLR camera and lens, opt for the smallest possible f-value. Most kit lenses have an F5 button for activating this function.

6. Write Your Feelings on a Chalkboard Sign

ideas for graduation pictures with sign

A chalkboard sign is the most suitable prop for realizing this idea. Give a graduate a blank chalkboard sign and invite them to write it on it. Such phrases as “I’m done!”, “Ready for sleep,” or “It’s been real” will remind them of funny moments that happened during their time at school.

7. Classic Graduation Photo with Diploma

ideas for graduation pictures with diploma

The success of your grad pictures depends on how well the chosen pose suits the setting. You can choose a simple green garden, a symbolic location on your school’s campus, and even some spots of your home. Brick walls are the most classic and popular backdrops. Other great options are murals, geometric patterns, and original textures.

8. Take Graduation Pictures at an Unusual Angle

ideas for graduation pictures from various angles

One of the greatest graduation photo ideas is to try to snap low-angle pictures. Install the camera on the ground and take a picture with the device pointing towards you. Another option is to pose on the first floor and take pictures from the ground floor.

9. Take a Couple Shots on Campus

ideas for graduation pictures in the campus

You might have a favorite place on campus. It could be where you have lectures, go for a walk, have a coffee with friends, or spend time with your beloved one. Try to think of the location that became meaningful for you during your schooling. Put on either formal or casual attire, and use books as a prop.

10. Highlight Detail of Your Graduation Look

ideas for graduation pictures with details

During your graduation photo shoot, make sure to highlight every detail of your graduation look. Focus on something that can be hung or displayed. For this purpose, you may take close-up photos. Close-up filter and tripod will come in handy in this case.

capture details for grad pic ideas

As for recommended settings, opt for a small aperture for adjusting the depth of field and focusing on the subject while softening the backdrop. A low ISO value allows getting rid of grain in images. To make this work, shoot at a low shutter speed.

11. Conduct a Graduation Photoshoot in a Library

graduation picture ideas in library

When studying in the library, try to implement a thinking pose. Position an elbow of your one hand on the other and touch your chin with fingers. Another pose that will help you look more attractive is to put your hands in your pockets adding a casual touch to your photos.

12. Capture Graduate’s Emotions

emotional graduation picture ideas

Keep your camera ready to capture the sincere emotions of a graduate. Take a photo when they are giving a speech, chatting with friends, or receiving a diploma. Such spontaneous photos can convey the character of the graduate better than any staged shots.

13. Graduation Image in a Jump

jump for graduation picture idea

Ask students to jump up. This a bit childish activity will allow you to capture an array of positive emotions. Mid-air photos are also great for sharing on social media.

14. Add Sunbeams to the Graduation Shot

graduation picture ideas with sunlights

To make sure that your graduation pics ideas will bring success, conduct a photoshoot during the golden hour. It is one hour before sunset and one hour after dawn.

sunlights for grad pic ideas

Besides, you can take advantage of sunset color effects using free Lightroom sunset presets. They work well with both landscape and portrait pictures captured at 7 p.m. Apply these filters to highlight colors and tints, decrease shadows, make tones brighter and increase saturation.

15. Have Fun with Bubbles

graduation picture ideas with bubbles

One cannot imagine a celebration without such classic attributes as champagne, confetti, and bubbles that can serve as beautiful props. You only need to capture the right moment to get stunning pictures. Make sure to get everything prepared by acquiring bubbles or a bubble machine.

16. High Five for Everyone

graduation picture ideas with high five

High spirits and the feel of celebration might drive you to high-five everyone, which is a great idea for taking an original shot. To capture this fleeting moment, your shutter speed should be high enough.

high five grad pic ideas

Configure this setting to above 1/200 in manual mode. Lower values will result in blurry pictures. If your photo shoot takes place outdoors with much natural illumination, use a shutter speed of 1/1000 or higher.

17. Graduate Dance

dancing graduation picture ideas

This is one of the most playful graduation shoot ideas for seniors who are fond of music and passionate about performing arts, dance, or cheerleading. Such casual poses will result in appealing shots. Ask a shooter to snap the pirouettes made by the grads focusing on the students when they are twirling around. The movement of a skirt or a dress will make your photos airy.

18. Examine Photos from the First Graduation

graduation picture ideas with first grader photo

Take a closer look at the first-grade photos to draw inspiration to come up with some original graduation photo ideas. Look for some significant location to pose with a picture featuring young you. Snap an image that showcases the grads sitting on the school steps to visualize the rapid lapse of time. A collection of these framed photos would be a perfect gift.

19. Involve a Pet in Photoshoot

graduation picture ideas with pet

If you adore your pets, include them in graduation pictures. Pose holding and petting your furry friend. You should also care about the proper look of your animal, so it would be a great idea to visit a groom beforehand. Also, pay attention to the mood of your pet and create comfortable conditions to help your friend avoid stress.

20. Organize Graduation Sports Action Shot

sports action graduation picture ideas

Sportsmen and performers like to show off their talents. You can capture them to get eye-catching and memorable shots. To snap such pictures, ask students to put on a sports uniform and pick up accessories that will help complete the composition. Such props as a basketball, skipping rope or a baseball bat will help you get great shots.

sports grad pic ideas

You can also take pics of football players playing on the field and capture hikers who are posing on a trail.

21. Create Magnetic Bokeh

graduation picture ideas with bokeh

The bokeh effect can result in stunning graduate portrait photography. A fast lens and the widest aperture are the necessary settings for blurring the area around the subject. The lens with an f/2.8 aperture will work well for this, but f/2, f/1.8, or f/1.4 apertures are even better. As for the lens, the Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM, Sigma 85mm f/1.4 DG HSM, or Canon RF 85mm f/1.2L USM are the most appropriate for this task.

bokeh grad pic ideas

You can also try to add bokeh effect in Photoshop manually or using ready-made overlays.

22. Pose on the School Steps

graduation picture ideas on the school steps

If you want your picture to feature some recognizable spot in your school or campus, try posing on the school steps or in front of a campus sign. You can either squat on the steps or strike the winner pose – hold both hands up and extend them upward to one of the sides.

23. Thank Your Parents

graduation picture ideas for parents

The feel of gratitude to parents may be expressed in various ways: you can write your ‘Thank you’ speech on a sign, give a bouquet or just hug them. A graduate will look natural if you use one of the most popular photo poses for women: the 45-degree angle pose, the three-quarter pose, hands-on-hips pose, half-body shots.

24. Go to the Beach

graduation picture ideas on the beach

If you are a beach person, consider posing at the seaside. One of the simplest beach photoshoot ideas is to stroll or stand barefoot on the soft sand with waves rising behind you as a background. Wear comfortable shoes like crocs or sneakers.

25. Graduation Pose with Classmates

graduation picture ideas with classmates

Schoolfellows are people with whom you share sweet memories. Capture images that feature the whole kindergarten class, the college roommates, fellow athletes, or other people you’ve spent years of study with. There is no need to force graduates to pose. It’s better to capture them in a natural setting or from an unusual angle.

26. Snaps an Original Graduation Shot

montage graduation picture ideas

Instead of a standard photo taken with an educational institution in the background, you can implement one of the most creative photo manipulation ideas. You can either combine the photos as in the example above or replace the background and add an object that is not related to the photo shoot. It is possible to perform such manipulations either in professional software like Photoshop or in online prog rams for beginners. Canva, Fotor, and Pixlr X are among the best options.

27. Kiss Your Significant Other

graduation picture ideas with kiss

Celebrating the graduation with your beloved one is a special occasion. Such graduation picture ideas involve much hugging and other displays of affection. You can pose by holding your hands, strolling, or kissing – the gist is to convey a romantic feel.

28. Graduation Silly Book Photo

graduation picture ideas with books

When it comes to a graduation photoshoot, books are one of the best props. Do not be too serious and try to have some fun. You can pose while reading or holding a book as well as surround yourself with textbooks. Avid readers will definitely like this idea.

29. Create a Collage Using the Best Graduation Photos

collage graduation picture ideas

If you are not sure what kind of photoshoot (casual vs. professional) to conduct, combine the two looks creating a collage. It will be great for graduation announcements, invitations, and framed mementos. We recommend choosing one of the best programs for building collages, like Fotojet, Canva, or Fotor.

30. Photos With Parents

graduation picture ideas with parents

Capturing a family portrait with your parents is one of the cutest graduation shoot ideas. Try using the following pose: take the graduation certificate and kiss your parents. If your mom and dad are both at a ceremony, ask them to kiss you on either of your cheeks.

31. Take a Picture with Your Younger Sister or Brother

graduation picture ideas with younger sister or brother

To implement this idea, you will need preschool and kindergarten graduation clothes for your younger sibling and a couple of signs. You can pose holding a child in your arms, take a shot when they are playing with your hat or graduation attire, or try to make the child smile or laugh by cracking some jokes.

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