If someone in your life has a graduation coming up this spring, it may be time to start thinking about how to capture some great photos. Here are some tips to plan your photo-taking strategy:
Before the ceremony itself, think about the specific pictures you can’t live without. It may be helpful to make a list so that nothing is forgotten. After all, some moments only happen once. That said, you don’t want to put too much pressure on yourself in case the graduate blinks or their tassel swings in front of their face. Some great moments to capture are:
- Diploma hand-off
- Handshake following diploma hand-off
- Graduate with significant teacher or mentor
- Cap toss
Inside or Outside?
If the graduation is indoors, plan on taking photos in low light. The fluorescent lights of an auditorium or gymnasium may seem bright, but they are very different than natural sunlight. For either indoor or outdoors, it may be worth breaking out your camera’s manual and educating yourself on the exposure guidelines. Specifically, focus on the ISO of your camera, this measures the sensitivity level of the image sensor on your digital camera. If the graduation is indoors, you will want to turn the ISO way up. This will also help if your object is moving- like a graduate walking across the stage. If this isn’t possible, the “auto mode” will help adjust the ISO settings.
Since the moment you’re trying to capture may be in motion, you may consider a tripod. However, these aren’t the easiest to haul around or squeeze into a row of chairs. If your shutter speed is adjustable, make sure it’s very fast. Most cameras have an “action shot” setting as well. And remember to focus in advance! Maybe practice this a few times before the ceremony.