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Take Great Graduation Photos

Digital Photography Tips

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Graduation is a special time in our lives, whether you’re graduating, or a relative. Either way it’s a huge milestone that you’ll want to remember. It can be so disappointing when your graduation photos don't turn out well. Here are tips to help you take fabulous photos of that special day.

Proper preparation

Make sure you’re camera is in good working order, your memory cards are clear, packed and ready, and your batteries are charged. When there is a big event that I want to take pictures of, I usually try to take care of this the night before so I won’t be running around like a madman the morning of the event if I discover, say, the batteries are dead.

Get up-close and personal

Try to get close to the stage, either by getting a seat close or asking the school where you can take pictures. They may not let you get right next to the stage, but it never hurts to ask. If possible, use a telephoto lens or a camera with a decent optical zoom lens.

Don't be a pose-eur

Not all photos have to be staged and planned in advance. Candids are sometimes the best photos you’ll ever capture. Think of all the touching and special moments that precede and follow a graduation: hugging family members, dressing in the graduation robes, chatting with friends afterwards. Capture all the smiles, hugs and tears that you can, when you can. It will all be over before you know it.

Get on the other side

Don’t forget to include yourself. Ask a friend or family member to take a few pictures of you with the graduate. It's so easy to get obsessed with taking pictures that you forget none will feature you. You could arrange to split up time between yourself and another person.

See the light

If you're shooting outside, try to position the sun so it is to the side, not directly behind you (the shooter) or the graduate. This will avoid forcing the graduate to squint or become an unpleasant silhouette. It can also help to use the flash. This will get ride of some of the harsh shadows on the graduate from the sun.

This is a rare opportunity to catch possibly a once-in-a-lifetime moment. These tips can help your photos shine.

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