This graduation photography photo captures rows of students and guests seated on long benches for the commencement ceremony. A smiling student sitting a few rows back is sharply in focus, while the rest of the scenery behind her is softly blurred.
There is so much anticipation and excitement leading up to graduation day. It is the culmination of students’ hard work and represents the beginning of the next chapter of their lives. It is a day filled with pomp and circumstance. When photographing a commencement ceremony it is important to strike a balance, by capturing images that are both reflective of the celebratory nature of the day and also convey its significance.
The editorial photographs below capture some of the special moments for CDI students on graduation day, from greeting guests to accepting their diplomas. Even a simple gesture, like the toss of a graduation cap tassel, can hold significance on that day, and thus be worthy of attention.
Here are some things to keep in mind when creating editorial graduation photography:
Consider your client.
Understanding your client – who they are, what they do, what drives them— is the first step to achieving effective storytelling through editorial photography. What is their story? What are their intentions for the images? In some cases editorial images support text, and in others the photographs tell a story on their own, providing a complete visual narrative. Images can convey feelings or emotions that words cannot. Think about what your client wants to say, and how best to express those ideas through photography.
Preparation is key.
Preparing for the shoot will help to ensure that the photographs match the tone of the event. Explore the venue in advance in order to anticipate and plan for any possible challenges, such as inadequate lighting or distracting scenery, and devise creative solutions for these issues. We really want the graduation photography to be memorable.
Get creative with composition.
Framing the subject in unconventional ways, for instance, placing them off-center or to one side of the image will result in more dynamic images. Shoot horizontally and vertically to provide clients with options. Often, graduation photography images need to be clean and crisp, so as not to distract from the text they accompany. It is preferable to produce straight lines and clean compositions at the time of the shoot, rather than relying on post-production for making corrections.
Create a point of interest.
A busy background might divert attention from the subject or theme of an image, thus diluting its storytelling capabilities. Declutter images by using a shallow depth of field. This effect will ensure that the subject stands out by placing them sharply in focus while the rest of the image is blurred.
CDI College has 23 locations in Canada, with various program offerings in business, healthcare and technology. They focus on career training, providing internships and hands-on experience to students. CDI offers students the opportunity to learn in smaller class settings and complete their education in a short period of time.
The graduation photography photos captured convey the students’ feelings of hope and optimism for the future. The close-up, candid shots of CDI graduates help to convey the emotion of this day, by highlighting the expressions of joy and pride on their faces. Since the school prides itself on offering small class sizes and a personalized learning experience, it was important to take photos of individual students, to document their unique experiences on graduation day. These images show prospective students that they, too, can advance their careers and achieve their educational goals at CDI, just as the graduates in these photos have done.