Capturing Creative Graduation Photos

How to Capture Creative Graduation Photos You'll Be Proud Of

6th November, 2018

Churchill Gowns Managing Director, Ollie Adkins, tells us why waiting until after your graduation ceremony to get photographs taken results in more personal and creative pictures you’ll be proud to have on your wall!

Here at Churchill Gowns we have seen a growing trend of students getting their own photos organised to commemorate their graduation. It's something we have become more aware of over the last few years and something we expect will continue to grow.

Out with the old...

Anyone who has attended a graduation can confirm, ceremonies are hectic affairs. At each ceremony there are hundreds, often thousands, of students who all need to be gowned, receive their certificates and get that all important grinning photo. This inevitably means very little time for each student with the photographers.

At the end of all that you can expect a picture of you smiling, holding your newly awarded degree certificate, sat in front of a nondescript background. For many of the grandparents and distant relatives who will be the ultimate recipients of these pictures, this is just what they had in mind. However, for the more creative souls out there, this might all seem a little bland.

In with the new...

Getting our own photographer means spending the time to get pictures that really reflect you. You’re less limited by time and location and can get creative with where to take your pictures and how they should look. It's a real opportunity to stand out from the crowd.

Guest spaces at graduation ceremonies are often limited to two or three per student so, if your whole family couldn’t attend your graduation ceremony, inviting them all to a graduation photoshoot could be a fun alternative and a great way to celebrate your achievements. You could even split the cost with a few of your graduating friends and capture all of your uni mates together!

For international students especially, getting graduation photos is a real way to remember your time in the UK. So why not get them done out and about in the places that represent significant memories to you? And we don’t just mean the student union bar… How about a significant landmark from your university town? Or something quirky that seems ‘uniquely British’ and you wouldn’t find in your home country?

It’s about more than just a few extra likes on Instagram; this could be your one opportunity to commemorate your uni achievements and, therefore, an opportunity we think shouldn’t be passed up on.

graduate posing in front of Buckingham Palace
Graduation photo taken on location in London by Sweet London Family Photography


Choosing Your Photographer

If you're going to entrust your graduation memories to a photographer, it’s important to do your research. A bit of Googling is always a good place to start, but make sure you look at portfolios on photographers’ websites, as examples of their previous work should give you a good sense of their style.

The first decision you’ll have to make is whether you want studio shots, or shots taken out and about (‘location shots’). You can also narrow your search by deciding what kind of outcome you are hoping for. Are you looking for photos that are formal and traditional? Artistic? Fun and cheesy? Once you have decided which you would prefer, look for photographers who specialise in these approaches.

Finally, always have a chat with your photographer before the shoot to discuss your personal style and what style of photos you're after. If you can bring along some examples or references of other photos you like, so much the better!

Be Prepared

Finally, make sure you have everything you need on the day. An outfit that looks great in the mirror at home, may not work in studio lighting, so make sure to bring a few options with you. Remember to take your degree certificate and any other props you might need, including your gown, hood and mortarboard.

Our graduation gown, hood and mortarboard sets can be hired for periods of five days at any time of year, meaning you can book them to coincide with your photoshoot and keep them for a few days to plan the perfect accompanying outfit. We also partner regularly with photographers around the UK and have great relationships with studios, so if would like us to recommend a photographer we would be more than happy to do so.