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7 Creative Graduation Portrait Ideas

by Brenda Barron on May 1, 2019

Year after year, we see countless pictures online of graduates smiling and looking pristine for the camera. While there’s nothing wrong with a professional-looking group or head-shot for a graduation memory, sometimes it’s nice to get a bit more creative with your photography.

Remember, graduation is one of the biggest moments in any young person’s life. It’s a chance for them to celebrate their new independence and look towards a life of new opportunities. With that in mind, you might be wondering, how do I come up with some amazing and creative graduation portrait ideas?

We’ve found a range of photo options you might not have considered before to help get you started!

1.     Squad Goals

School and college years are a fantastic opportunity to form the bonds that will stay with you for the rest of your life. What better way to mark the next stage in your life than with a photo that includes all the people who have helped to form who you are?

For one of the most meaningful creative graduation portrait ideas, bring all of the graduate’s friends together for a group shot. Something where people are jumping, throwing the caps or just having fun will always be more compelling than a static shot.

A lined up group of graduates in black and red gowns jumping and throwing their hats

2.     Blowing Confetti or Glitter

This photo style is common in wedding images, but it can be just as great in a graduation shoot too. After all, glitter and confetti are all about celebration. What better time to celebrate than when you’re completing your studies and heading out into the world?

Symbolize a fun fresh start with a shade that suits your subject’s personality. You can also have a banner or something in the background to show what your student is celebrating.

3.     Add a Burst of Color

Graduation photos don’t have to be dull and bland! Make sure that your images stand out with a quick burst of color. You can buy color bombs online or fill a balloon with paint powder for a fantastic bright and creative picture.

Just make sure that you buy something that’s going to come out of clothing easily. It’s an eye-catching special effect for any image, and an excellent way to add some fun to images too.

A graduating student holding up his graduation cap

4.     Snap the Caps

Graduation caps are a big deal for people who are graduating. Some of the best ones are the personalized caps that students create to show off their personality or express something special about their time at school. Celebrate the thought and creativity that go into these caps by taking a picture of them up-close.

On the other hand, you could try including all of the caps of the friends in a particular crew in one shot for a creative squad picture.

5.     How Times have Changed

Another of our favorite creative graduation portrait ideas is to have your student pose with a picture of them from their childhood. The younger the photo, the better. The purpose of this image is to show how much the youngster has grown over the years. It’s amazing to have that juxtaposition between the young man or women graduating, and the youngster they once were.

What’s more, it’s fair to say that no matter how old we grow, we always have a bit of kid at heart. These kinds of images show that off perfectly.

A man in a blue graduation gown giving a thumbs up

6.     Make a Banner

Rather than just having your graduate stand in a pretty location, or against a brick wall for those more gritty, urban shots, why not celebrate their end-of-school experience in style. Have your graduates and their friend create their own massive graduation banner and let them all pose in front of it.

If you decide to send cards out about the graduation after this, you won’t need any extra context to show people what the photo is all about. The banner will do the talking for you.

7.     Super grad

Finally, let your graduation student have a little fun with their photo shoot! There’s no reason that these pictures should be serious all the time. If you have a comic or superhero nerd in your midst, let them tear open their graduate gown to reveal the superhero beneath.

All you need is for your graduate to wear a shirt with the logo of a famous hero on it, like superman, superwoman, or wonder woman, and you’re ready to go. These fun pictures will keep you smiling for years to come. What’s more, they show off your graduate’s super achievement. Use a preset to add extra special effects to the image too!

One graduate giving another a hug while someone else talks at the podium behind them

There you have it, a host of creative graduation portrait ideas to give you some amazing photos. Which one is your favorite? Let us know in the comments and don’t forget to follow us on Facebook and Twitter for more!

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