The graduation season is on in earnest starting from university level in May and making its way on the educational ladder to elementary schools in June. It is a great time to bring out the camera you got as a Mother’s Day gift. If you have ever been to a graduation recently, the proud moms with their cameras are most interesting.
As a professional photographer I have no problems and the moms with their cameras do not move me. I know what I am doing and I know what shots I want. The professional photographer at a graduation is not just firing off shot after shot. They are on assignment and they know exactly what they are looking for. I just want to use this post to offer a few tips to the moms, dads, and family members who will be attending the graduations this season.
Graduation Photo Tips
1. Charge your battery the night before or get fresh batteries before you leave home.
2. Always carry extra batteries. Sometimes you cannot find an outlet to recharge batteries.
3. Memory cards- carry an extra one and make sure one is in your camera. Memory cards are reasonable so when they are on sale pick up a few 4GB and 8GB cards. I do not suggest the 16 GB because you do not want to keep all your pictures on one card just in case the card gets damaged or lost. I prefer to carry 2-8GB cards rather than 1-8GB card.
4. Make sure you have a zoom lens. You are not going to get close enough to your graduate during the ceremony. Most point and shoot have great zooms. If you are using a DSLR make sure have at least a 300mm lens.
5. Have a little book or sticky with a game plan of the shots you want to get on the day of the graduation. It might seem simple, but it is worth taking the time to write them down. It can be as simple as (graduate lining up; graduate seated with class; receiving diploma). Once the ceremony is over it’s time for family and friends, but how cool will you be when you are the only one with shot of the graduate receiving his/her diploma? Make the list.
I just gave five simple tips, but if you think all of that is too much for you to remember and do, then hire somebody. That is what the professionals do and that is why you pay them so they will get the shots that you were not even thinking of. I recently did the graduation photos for a Columbia University graduate and the parents were so proud when thy got their album and showed it to their friends. The friends were asking how did the photographer get that shot, wow. If you follow those tips you will do just fine.
Please provide feedback and share this post if you learned even one thing from it. Now get out there and celebrate your graduate. In my next post I will give you some innovative things you can do with those pictures apart from just posting them to Facebook and Flickr.