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Tips for the Best College Graduation Photo Session

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  • Post last modified:April 9, 2022

Let’s normalize college grad sessions! I love photographing the excitement and joy that comes from receiving one’s college diploma. As you plan out your next steps, let me capture this exciting moment in an authentic way that captures your emotion! 

Check out this recent interview with Delilah, who is planning on pursuing her passion of writing.

I’ve included some tips and ideas for your upcoming graduation photo session as you plan what location, outfit, and style is best for you!

1. Take pictures with and without your cap and gown

Make sure to grab some pictures with your school colors and graduation outfit in order to memorialize this special milestone you’ve accomplished! It’s also fun to grab some pictures in more casual outfits that make you feel confident. 

2. Bring along family members or your significant other

I definitely recommend bringing along the individuals who have supported you along your education journey and path towards a future career. It’s always a great idea to bring alongside your partner for some pictures to commemorate completing this milestone with their love and support. 

3. Consider taking a more formal picture for interviews and LinkedIn

I love when my college grad clients hire me for a studio session as well, so that they have some professional headshots as they head into the corporate world. As you prepare for either a job or higher education, it’s imperative to have professional headshots as you take your next steps. 

4. Accentuate your personality

Pop a bottle of champagne, wear a bold outfit, or choose your favorite Pittsburgh spot! Make sure to make choices that fit your personality and will remind you of all the fun college experiences you had while in Pittsburgh. Take the time to take in the moment and enjoy!

5. Get a photo of the hat toss

Of course the most iconic, don’t overlook the excitement of a picture of you tossing your graduation cap! 

6. Use your college as a backdrop

From the University of Pittsburgh to Carnegie Mellon, Pittsburgh is full of excellent colleges and universities! Don’t forget to include your college as a location during your graduation session. 

I hope to see you soon at your college graduation photo session!

Best of luck,



Hi, I'm Laura Mares! I'm thankful to be a wife, mother and Pittsburgh lifestyle photographer. I photograph because I believe that life is simply beautiful and every person has a story worth telling. I'd love to tell yours.