Graduations are among the milestone moments of our children’s lives and it’s only natural that we want to preserve those moments in photographs.
The best and easiest times to take pictures of the grads are before and after the ceremony. During the graduation it’s a bit harder to do. In larger schools you may be seated in an arena or stadium far away from your child and it may require a long telephoto lens just to see them let alone get a shot of them.
Some schools may have an official photographer to take pictures of the grads as they receive their diplomas or just after. It may be easier to get a photo of your graduate from the school than try and get a shot yourself. There may or may not be a fee involved but it’s probably a nominal one and may worth the hassle of trying to get one yourself.
Some schools (usually the smaller ones) allow parents and friends a spot to get photos of the graduates as they leave the stage with their diplomas. Its best to approach that spot just before your child’s turn, perhaps kneel down so that you’re not in the way of others, quickly take your shot and then head back to your seat. Don’t linger too long afterwards because there are family members of the other students wanting to do the same for their children.
Getting a picture before is a good time. You can get a photo of your grad as he or she waits in line. The main problem is that, depending on when you get to the ceremony, you may not have a whole lot of time. Try to factor in some time for photos. Also some students may be nervous and anxious so it might be difficult to get a natural picture of them.
After the ceremony is also a good time to get pictures. You should have plenty of time to shoot and every one is pretty happy so it should relatively easy to get a natural smile out of them. The biggest drawback is that there are a lot of people milling about and its hard to get a shot without someone accidentally photo bombing your shot.
Soon, our children will be off to college, the military or finding jobs and making lives for themselves. Graduations are among the last times that we’ll see them as kids before becoming adults and the one of the last times we’ll be able to photograph them as such.