5 Tips for Great Graduation Photos during the Ceremony

Great graduation photos are hard to get. It's such an important moment in your loved ones life, and you have only one chance to capture it. Here are 5 tips to help make sure your photos are the best they can be.

1. Use a Tripod

You should use a tripod for two reasons. One is that you have no control over the lighting, and if the ceremony is in doors with low light, then you may need to compensate by slowing the shutter speed slightly. With so much going on, it can be easy for the slightest camera movement to become blurred and thus ruinned. The other reason to use a tripod is so you can safely set the focus, aperture and frame before the ceremony begins, thus insuring you're ready when the moment comes to take pictures.

2. Have a Long Lens

Odds are that you're not going to be able to get as close to the action as you'd like. Have a telephoto lens to help you bridge the distance to make sure you have a close up of the special moment.

3. Get There Early

You're competing with every other graduates family to get a good seat (or spot for your camera). Arrive before everyone else comes to claim your ground. Remember, you're there to shoot the graduate, not the back of people heads. You can also scout out the area and maybe find a great spot to shoot from that's a little hard to find. The more time you have to prepare, the more successful you will be.

4. Practice

It's pretty likely that the person you came to shoot will not be the first one to receive their diploma (unless the last name begins with 'A'). Why not shoot a couple of the graduates to see how you're doing. Are the pictures coming out blurry? Is the framing off? Now is the time to practice and compensate for variables you did not think of before. Take advantage of every opportunity you have to get the best photos.

5. Pay Close Attention

The graduation program might not be terribly accurate. Maybe someone didn't show up and the order was changed. Who knows? That's why you need to pay close attention to what is going on. You don't want to miss the person you came to shoot because your mind was wondering or because she was the 52nd person instead of the 54th. There is no excuse to miss the shot.

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