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Need Grad Photos? No Problem!

Kylar Daniels, Staff Writer

Photo//University of Hawai’i News via Flickr

Graduation is a momentous occasion; taking photos to commemorate the event is a must for many. However, professional graduation photoshoots can be costly, as not everyone has the budget for it. Luckily, with today's technology, taking your own graduation photos has become more accessible than ever.

Here are some tips on how to save money by taking your own graduation photos and ways to get creative with them.

Choose the Right Equipment

To take great graduation photos, you do not need to break the bank on expensive equipment. Most modern smartphones come with excellent cameras, and with a little bit of skill, you can take professional-looking photos. Alternatively, if you have a DSLR camera, that is even better! Just make sure to choose a lens that suits the type of shots you want to take. A 50 mm lens is a great starting point for portrait photography.

Choose a Great Location

The location you choose for your graduation photoshoot will have a significant impact on the overall look and feel of your photos. Consider choosing a location that has meaning to you, such as your campus or a local park. Keep in mind that some locations may require permission or have restrictions on photography, so make sure to do your research beforehand.

Plan Your Outfit and Props

What you wear and what props you use can make your graduation photos stand out. Choose an outfit that compliments your personality and style. Consider adding props that are meaningful to you, such as your graduation cap and gown or your favorite book.

Get Creative with Poses

To make your graduation photos look unique, get creative with poses. Try different angles, such as shooting from a low angle or from above, and experiment with poses that showcase your personality. Some classic poses to consider include holding your graduation cap or diploma, throwing your graduation cap in the air, or standing with your family.

Edit Your Photos

Editing your graduation photos can make a significant difference in the overall look and feel of your photos. Some basic editing techniques include adjusting exposure, contrast, and color balance. You can use free editing software such as GIMP or Adobe Lightroom or pay for a subscription to Adobe Photoshop.

Some product recommendations to save money on graduation photos that you can pick up from Amazon are:

Smartphone with a good camera - Most modern smartphones come equipped with excellent cameras, making them an ideal choice for taking graduation photos. Some popular models include the iPhone 13 or 14, Samsung Galaxy S21, and Google Pixel 6.

Tripod - A tripod is a handy accessory to have when taking photos, as it allows you to stabilize your camera and get the perfect angle. One budget-friendly option is the AmazonBasics 50-Inch Lightweight Tripod.

Remote Shutter Release - A remote shutter release allows you to take photos without having to physically touch your camera, reducing the risk of camera shake. One affordable option is the Neewer Wireless Remote Shutter Release.

Reflector - A reflector can help you control the light in your photos and reduce harsh shadows. One popular option is the Neewer 5-in-1 Collapsible Multi-Disc Light Reflector.

Lens - If you have a DSLR camera, investing in a good lens can make a significant difference in the quality of your photos. The Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM lens is an affordable option that is great for portrait photography.

Editing Software - Editing software can help you enhance the quality of your photos and make them look more professional. Some popular options include Adobe Lightroom, Photoshop, and GIMP (a free and open-source software).

Taking your own graduation photos can save you a lot of money while still producing stunning results. By following these tips, you can save money and have full creative control over your photos and make your graduation photoshoot a fun and memorable experience.

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