How to Capture the Best Graduation Candids

If you have been charged with capturing photographs of a student on graduation day, you may be wondering what the best techniques are for capturing candids. Conventional wisdom is that you should try to capture as many candid photographs as you can. You will only have one chance to truly document a student's graduation, so it is a much better policy to take too many photographs than too few. Graduations provide ample opportunity for candid photography. Below you will find tips for capturing high quality candid graduation photos:

Tools and Materials Needed

  • Digital Camera
  • Tripod
  • High Capacity Memory Card

Understanding Candid Photography

Candid photos are candid precisely because the subject either is not aware that he is being photographed or is not paying attention to the photographer. In comparison to posed photography, then, you will have significantly more opportunities for good candid photographs than you will for posed photographs. With that in mind, and with your high-capacity memory card inserted, feel free to take as many candid photographs as you would like. If they are not good images, you can always delete them later. Truly, the only limitation on candid photography is the photographer's imagination.  With that said, there are a number of candid shots that you will definitely want to capture at any graduation. Be sure to position yourself close enough to your subject that you will be able to capture a high quality shot when the time is right.

During the Ceremony

Snapping photographs while the commencement speaker is talking is a great way to capture candid shots. While everyone is paying attention to what the speaker is saying, take a good number of shots as your subject is reacting to what is being said.

One of the most obvious and essential moments for capturing a candid photograph is when the student receives his diploma. Usually this will be accompanied by a handshake from a school administrator. This is the classic graduation image, and one that both parents and students will treasure for years to come. Along with the actual moment that the degree is conferred, shots of the student walking across the stage will also be important.

After the Ceremony

Other instances where candid photographs will be interesting are after the graduation itself when the student meets with his loved ones. This is an important moment on graduation day, as graduations are an important day for family and friends as well as the student. Candid photographs of family, friends and student talking, laughing and smiling will be great reminders of graduation day.


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