Graduation Portrait Photography | Helpful Tips

Mar 21, 2023

A few helpful tips to keep in mind when planning for your graduation portrait session…

  • Family, friends, and even pets are welcome to join in on the fun!
  • Bring an extra outfit or two to give yourself some variety in your photos. Consider one dressy outfit and one more casual option.
  • Don’t forget to bring any props that you want to incorporate into your photos, such as your tassel, graduation cap, or any achievements or awards you’ve earned. Extra points if you iron out any wrinkles in your sash!
  • Make sure to communicate any specific poses or shots that you’re hoping to get during your session with your photographer.
  • If you’re planning an outdoor session, be mindful of the weather and consider bringing along items like sunscreen or an umbrella.
  • Champagne is a great prop to bring and pop open during the session!
  • Don’t be afraid to have fun and be yourself! The best photos often come from natural and relaxed moments.

Graduating from school is an important milestone in your life, and what better way to commemorate it than with a graduation portrait session? Graduation photography captures this special moment in time, and provides you with memories that you can cherish for years to come. If you’re planning a graduation portrait session, here are a few helpful tips to keep in mind, whether you’re looking for graduation photography ideas or searching for a San Francisco photographer.

Choose the Right Time and Place

When planning your graduation portrait session, it’s important to choose the right time and place. Consider what kind of setting you would like for your photos – would you prefer a natural, outdoor environment or a more urban, cityscape? You should also think about the time of day that would be best for your session. Early morning or late afternoon light can create beautiful, soft lighting for your photos. You might also want to consider scheduling your session during the week or earlier in the daytime when there are fewer people around. If your session will be on campus, feel free to pick out a few important buildings you’ve connected with and we can be sure to get some photos of you at those memory-worthy places.

Dress for Success

Your outfit plays a big role in your graduation photos, so make sure you dress for success! Choose clothing that you feel comfortable in and that represents your personal style. Avoid overly trendy or fussy outfits that might distract from your overall look. You should also consider the color of your clothing and how it will look against the background of your chosen location.

Choose Props and Accessories

Props and accessories can add personality and interest to your graduation photos. Think about bringing along items that are meaningful to you, such as your diploma or a favorite book. You might also want to consider incorporating your school colors or any other special items that represent your school or degree program.

Work with a Professional Photographer

Finally, when planning your graduation portrait session, it’s important to work with a professional photographer. A San Francisco photographer who specializes in graduation photography will have experience in capturing the perfect shot and will know how to create a relaxed and comfortable atmosphere during your session. Look for a photographer who has a style that aligns with your vision and who can provide you with plenty of graduation photography ideas and inspiration.

In conclusion, your graduation portrait session is an opportunity to capture a special moment in your life that you’ll treasure for years to come. By following these tips and working with a professional San Francisco photographer, you’ll be sure to create beautiful and meaningful photos that will stand the test of time.



Jamie A.

Emily was super easy to work with and very accommodating. This was our first time in the area and Emily was extremely helpful with assisting us in choosing the perfect location for our shoot. We enjoyed getting to know her as well as telling our personal story. I think she caught the essence of who we are as a couple and definitely memorialized this special trip for us.

Kayla F.

Working with Emily was awesome! It felt so natural and I was at ease taking photos. She knew what she was doing and captured spectacular candid pictures throughout the night as well! She took fantastic pictures despite terrible weather and lighting conditions. 10/10 would recommend hiring her for your wedding! Thank you Emily!!

Spencer H.

Emily did a fantastic Job! I somewhat planned my engagement on the Fly with about a week (or less) for her to prepare and she did a phenomenal job working with me and making me feel at ease In a part of the country I’ve never traveled to. She was able to stay in contact with me (secretly) up until about 1 min before I proposed which was a MASSIVE help. Super easy to work with, made it fun, was also very professional and I would recommend her NO DOUBT. Thanks again! You made an insanely stressful “operation” (haha) go incredibly smooth! Her photos were fabulous and turned out great! I honestly didn’t know what to expect!
Well done!!

Samantha K.

Emily is an outstanding photographer! My husband and I hired her for our outdoor maternity shoot with our first born. Booking Emily was painless, and she was extremely easy to communicate with throughout the entire process.  She suggested multiple beautiful locations to shoot. We met at a gorgeous nearby beach she suggested. To top it off Emily sent us our photos ahead of scheduled time. Overall, Emily is exceptionally professional, pleasant and creative. She is one of the best I’ve ever worked with. Book her for your next photography needs, and you won’t be disappointed!!

Emily A.

We hired Emily for our engagement photo shoot this past weekend and I honestly cannot recommend her enough! Not only is she super polite, kind, and professional, but she is also extremely talented.
She has such an eye for detail and is fantastic at helping pose her clients. We did our photo shoot on my cousin’s property and Emily was so good at picking spots and playing with the light and surroundings.
My fiancé and I were both completely out of our element, because we had never done a professional shoot before, but Emily made us feel comfortable, confident, and natural from the start and we completely love every picture we received! On top of all that the turnaround time for pictures was quick and she was very communicative from start to finish! 10/10, highly recommend! 

Charmaine Z.

Emily was amazing. She made my day easy and more special than I could have imagined. She’s sweet and knows what you want. She made her way around the family effortlessly. My family will definitely use her again.

Jennifer S

Emily captured my wedding in a way I never thought was imaginable! We had a beautiful outdoor wedding, Emily was really able to use the natural light in our favor. (I love natural light) She came early to set up and was extremely professional! Emily was easy to work with and great with my family and guests. I love the way our photos turned out and would recommend her to anyone that I knew!! Thanks again Emily you’re part of the family now!

Emily pillon photography
San Francisco | Los Angeles | Worldwide

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