Last year, I photographed a couple of nursery graduation ceremonies locally in South Woodford, E18. This month, on behalf of an organisation called Creative Camera, I’ve have travelled further afield to Croydon and West London to photograph two nursery graduation days. With that in mind I’ve put together my own graduation photography tips to help you get the look of success.
Because I had forty children and babies to photograph in a short space of time, I had to work very quickly – which isn’t easy with young children- because it takes time to build rapport, in order to enable those natural smiles.
So please understand, because I was working on behalf of someone else, and there wasn’t opportunity to ask the parents for permission to showcase their child’s portrait on my blog, I hope you will appreciate I am unable to showcase any nursery graduation portraits on this occasion. However, the portrait below is (with permission to showcase), of two young girls at a toddler/children’s event in London. The mother commented to me how much she loved the portrait of the girls because she finds it so difficult herself it to capture ‘natural’ smiles.
Girls Portraits | kimrixphotography.co.uk
My graduation photography tips:
The long lens is your friend
This is a great tip from a video by Tom Sapp. In it he points out that a lot of the actual action of a graduation day (the walking across the stage, the hand shake, the passing over of the degree) actually happens at a distance.
To this end having a long lens on your camera is going to be very beneficial. This will ensure that even if you’re seated quite a few rows from the front you’ll be able to capture a decent picture that isn’t just a wide angle of the stage.
Don’t be afraid to crop later on
Being distant from the action doesn’t necessarily have to be a problem. Things like distance, framing and poor lighting can often be resolved after the actual picture is taken.
If you’re unhappy with some of your images because parts of the photo take away focus from your subject try cropping the image and see how it turns out. This can be an effective way of making a so-so photograph much more powerful.
Take action shots if possible
Ultimately the best portraits, and most memorable moments of graduation day are going to be the action shots. Think about when and where people will be throwing hats into the air.
There are also going to be plenty of celebratory hugs between people, so you might even be able to capture some wonderful and tender moments. Don’t be afraid of the pictures you can capture after the main ceremony.
The main hand over of the degree may happen formally on stage, but the carefree portraits you capture afterwards are where the memories live.
Will you be celebrating a graduation this summer? Find out about how I can help you and your family remember this as a precious memory with a bespoke family portrait. Call me on 0208 989 4886 or drop me an email to info@kimrixphotography.co.uk
Kim Rix Photography
Making Memories Precious