Congratulations on making it to your graduation!!!
Since it’s almost here, now is the time to start thinking about some awesome graduation photo ideas that you can re-create on your big day.
After celebrating three of my own graduations (high school, college, and law school), I have taken enough pictures and seen TONS of other pictures I wish I had taken myself to know what YOU need to make it super memorable!
You want to be able to look back at your graduation photos and feel that they capture everything and everyone that’s important to you.
So keep this list close and download the checklist!!!
Here are 21+ genius graduation photo ideas for your big day:
Disclosure: *This post contains affiliate links which means that I may receive a small commission at no cost to you, if you make a purchase through my link.
1. Tons by Yourself
First, you should take a ton by yourself.
(Trust me, you’ll thank me later!!!)
I don’t know why but for every graduation I had, I didn’t take enough by myself. The one (above) is the only one that I took by myself and it looks pretty staged 🙁 …I wish I had taken some candid photos by myself!
And I regret not doing that because you want a TON of photo options of yourself so you can decide which one will go into the big gold frame that will go on your wall or nightstand.
You may think you won’t forget to take solo pictures but it is super EASY to forget.
On graduation day, you are a celebrity for a day, who everyone rushes to and wants to take a million pictures with.
Pleasing everyone with enough pictures can easily take up the WHOLE day, leaving you too exhausted to take any more by yourself.
- Take your solo pictures on a separate day (Most girls do this!!)
- Take your solo pictures BEFORE your graduation.
2. One with Parents
This one is a super obvious one but still one worth sharing! You should definitely take one with just your parents, especially if they made a huge contribution in getting you through high school/college.
Giving them a picture of you and them together is a perfect way to say THANK YOU for all they did for you and one that you and them can cherish and look back at for years.
3. One with your step-parents*
Do you have step-parents? Were your step-parents super involved (even for emotional support) in your college life? If so, say THANK YOU by taking separate photos with them that they can keep and share with friends.
They are proud of you (and like your biological parents) want to have pictures they can show off on Facebook, so don’t forget to take these photos!
They will be so grateful for them and you’ll be super happy that you’ll have tons of photos to look back at with them.
4. With your boyfriend, spouse, or partner
Do you have a boyfriend, spouse, or partner? If so, you should definitely take one alone with them. That way, you’ll be able to add this to your future family album later.
Fun Fact: My boyfriend and I took tons of graduation photos together (more than some would usually take) because he proposed! We’re happily married today!
5. One with your entire crew
Another great graduation photo idea you can’t forget to take is one with your ENTIRE crew.
Your crew is everybody that showed up to your graduation and watched you get your diploma!! Have fun with them by taking some silly pictures and pictures where you’re just smiling.
That way you can post on social media, share them with your friends, and add to your graduation album.
6. With Friends
Are your friends coming to your graduation? If so, this is another fantastic graduation photo idea.
Your friends will likely spend the entire day out with you and your family, screaming after you (and losing their voice in the process) as you walk across the stage to grab your diploma.
As such, they need something to show for it!
Take one with just you and them in it so they have something to post and shout you out with on social media.
7. One with Your Colleagues
The next best graduation photo idea is one with your colleagues (only). This can be super challenging to do if they are graduating as well but if you are able to rally them together, then definitely take the opportunity.
It’ll be fun later to look back on them with your friends and even your future kids (!!! to show them who you hung out with.
8. Greek friends
Were you part of a sorority in college? If so, make sure you get at least one picture with your soror sisters!!
I was never a part of a sorority but I always enjoyed seeing graduation pictures of soror sisters taking pictures in a line with their matching sashes and their hands up displaying their organization’s greek sign.
This will likely require a little work and coordination on your part but being able to look back at these photos will be SO worth it.
Sorry to interrupt: Make sure you click on the checklist or click here to download a copy of the checklist. No email required! Okay, carry on!
Often our siblings get bunched in together with a family photo shot or “the crew” shot, but it’s SUPER important that you take a separate graduation photo with your siblings.
This may be the last time for a LONG time you and your siblings are all together in one photo because you or one of your siblings may get married and move away, take a job hundreds of miles away, or go off to graduate school out of town.
This is especially true if you’re parents are divorced and you have half or step-siblings from both sides of your family. As such, don’t forget this.
Another genius graduation photo idea is one with your school’s mascot!!
The mascot is often at graduations really early passing out t-shirts and getting the crowd hype for the graduation class’s big day.
So if you want another fun, awesome photo to look back at, confirm with your school’s graduation committee that the mascot will be there and show up early so you get your shot.
11. In the library
Now this one is a super POPULAR graduation photo idea and for good reason.
The library provides the perfect school backdrop for your photo.
It is the epitome of everything you likely had to do to get to your big day (study for hours), so definitely take several amazing shots in there.
12. On Steps
Another genius graduation photo idea is one on a huge staircase or mountain of steps.
Taking them on the steps provides your photographer with LOTS of great angles to take of you, your cap, and your entire outfit!
Don’t have steps but there is another elevated object you can sit or stand up on? Take it! You’ll definitely appreciate taking pictures from different angles 🙂
13. In front of a beautiful body of water or garden
If you can find a beautiful body of water or garden nearby, then you should definitely take a graduation photo in front of it.
On graduation day, many of your graduation pictures will be in front of a sea of other students in their cap and gown taking pictures with their family.
As a result, many of your shots taken may look very busy in the background.
For this reason, I highly recommend that you take your photos against a body of water (if you can find one nearby), which will provide a better, cleaner shot of you.
If taken right, it’ll also come out very bright and be the preferred one of choice when it’s time to print your pictures and share with family/friends.
14. In Front of an Iconic Building
Another genius graduation photo idea is one in front of an iconic building at your school.
Having an iconic building as your backdrop can turn an otherwise unremarkable photo into an eye-stopper, jaw-dropper shot that will garner hundreds of comments and likes on your Facebook and Instagram, and one you’ll want to memorialize in a gold frame.
15. One with your graduation outfit
Okay. This graduation photo idea may seem obvious but it is so EASY to forget to take pictures of your graduation outfit.
It’s so easy to forget because you have to wait FOUR years to wear your cap and gown and your graduation day is pretty much the FIRST and LAST day you’ll ever wear it.
I didn’t forget to take my graduation outfit at my high school and college graduation but I almost forgot to take it at my law school graduation because I was freakin’ graduating from law school. I did not want to take off my black cape for anything.
Thank God though I got pictures of my graduation outfit at the restaurant my family and I went to celebrate.
After an hour after I pulled off my gown to unwind and eat, my boyfriend (now husband) got down on one knee to propose and the cameras immediately started flashing.
16. One with You Throwing Your Hat Up
Okay, so I’ll be honest and say that I’ve never personally done this because I was always afraid that I’d lose my hat, or worst, stab myself in the eye with it (because I’m THAT clumsy) but if YOU ARE into this, then go for it!!
Having a picture of you throwing your hat up is such an EPIC shot to look back at.
It will instantly bring a smile to yourself and others to see, and it’s one of the few graduation photo ideas that will truly capture how you feel: “I DID IT!!!”
17. One with Your Tassel
Another genius graduation photo idea is a close-up shot of your tassel. If you lose things easily like me, it’ll be great to AT LEAST have a picture of your tassel that you can include with your graduation photo album to make it complete.
18. One with a Confetti Cannon
Want to add some serious creativity and color to your graduation photo??
Then consider getting the confetti cannon below. A confetti cannon is perfect for creating photo bomb photos because it’s not super messy and with 8 in the pack, you can take SEVERAL re-shots of your photobomb moment to get the perfect shot.
19. Getting your certificate
The next best graduation photo idea is one with you getting your certificate. Due to the current pandemic, getting a shot of you being handed your diploma may or may not be an option for you.
However, if you and your family want to recreate this moment and capture a shot of you holding your certificate, you can get this amazing blank LOOK-A-LIKE graduation certificate for under $6 on Amazon and grab a red ribbon at your local dollar store (because the ones on Amazon are too expensive for this project).
20. With Champagne
Want to create an over-the-top, fun (and maybe wet) shot?? Well, then take a photo of you in your graduation cap and gown popping Champagne!! It’ll be the EASY choice for social media and another great option for your frames.
21. One with Your Graduation Cap
Finally, are you planning on decorating your graduation cap? If so, then you definitely need to take a photo of your cap (and you holding your cap).
Your graduation cap may not hold up for years to come–letters may fall off or glitter and gems may pop off. So having a picture where you can look back at your cap’s design in its perfect state will be worth it.