Graduation is a special day you’ll want to remember forever, but taking memorable photos in the crowded confines of an auditorium or a sun-drenched stadium can be challenging. Here’s how to ensure you’ll end up with some great pictures of the day.
A large crowd, parents jockeying for position, and anxious young people milling around in the bright sun aren’t conducive to great photography—and many hastily-shot graduation pictures reflect this. But with attention to planning and the right camera, you can get really great results. Here are some tips on getting the best shots on graduation day.
Just as a bride looks her best before the wedding reception, your graduate will really shine before the ceremony begins. Caps get lost and gowns get disheveled, makeup runs and hair gets mussed. By shooting a collection of shots well in advance of the graduation ceremony, you get your grads at their freshest. You’ll have plenty of time for additional pictures later.
There’s usually plenty of waiting-around time before the ceremonies start, so use that period to stake out a location where you’ll get a clear view of your grads and their friends. Determine where they’re sitting and what routes they’ll walk to and from the stage. Sure, you want to get shots when your graduate is shaking hands with the principal or the dean and receiving a diploma, but there are plenty of other opportunities for interesting pictures.
Think about unexpected angles and perspectives, and use the zoom lens on a camera like the Samsung WB150F Smart Camera (which offers 18x optical zoom) to grab a closeup when you can’t actually get close. Take a wide variety of shots: Capture the venue, the crowd, a banner on the wall, and of course, your graduate with friends and family members. If it catches your eye, snap a picture, and do your editing later.
If security and the crowd will allow it, take your camera and move around. Getting as close to the action as possible is the best way to ensure a great shot. Follow your graduate before, during, and after the ceremony, but try not to be intrusive. When you’re out and about, be courteous. Don’t block the view (or cameras) of others, and if you’re near the stage, take your shot and get out of the way as quickly as possible.
Set a meeting place for pictures after the ceremony ends and you’ll be rewarded with some relaxed and even emotion-filled shots. You’ll want somewhere out of the direct sunlight, so use the shade provided by trees and buildings to your advantage. If you can’t shoot in the shadows, make sure the sun is to your back and side. You don’t want the sun directly behind your graduate’s head (which will result in deep shadows on their face), but you don’t want them squinting into the direct sunlight, either. Consider the background: Photos shot against the back wall of the gym aren’t likely to make it onto your graduate’s Facebook page.
The ceremony and the parties are over, but there’s one last job: Sharing your photos with friends and relatives who couldn’t make it—or the whole world, if that’s your style. The Samsung WB150F and other Wi-Fi enabled cameras let you share shots instantly and directly from your camera whenever wireless is nearby.
You can upload pictures to Facebook or Microsoft Skydrive, or transfer photos to a PC on your home network to email or print later. You can even share photos with TVs and mobile phones through Samsung’s TV Link and Smartphone Link systems.
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