Tips and tricks to the perfect graduation photos


Each time graduation comes around, students take photos in their caps and gowns at some of their most memorable places on campus.

The BYU campus is full of sites with beautiful architecture and buildings that make any graduation photo worth framing.

Alex Whitlock, from Boise, Idaho, works for BYU grounds. According to Whitlock, the two busiest times of year for the grounds crew are snowplow season and graduation.

“When we are preparing the grounds for spring and for all the visitors that come at graduation time, not only do we just make the grounds and plants look nice, but we also design certain areas to look aesthetically pleasing in photographs,” Whitlock said. “Students will remember their time at BYU through their photographs, so we need to make sure each area does the school justice.”

(Courtesy Angie)
Kali Webb and Nikki Hold took graduation photos together to commemorate their time as roommates.  (Photo courtesy Angie Simmons)

Nichole Hollon is a sophomore from Vancouver and has had four siblings graduate from BYU prior to her attending. Hollon had been up to campus for so many graduation ceremonies that by the time it was her turn to attend BYU, she already knew the campus.

Hollon was amazed that when each of her siblings graduated, they still had their own unique places to take their graduation photos.

Some places she remembers taking graduation shots with siblings include inside the Tanner building, in front of the administration building, and in front of each of the siblings’ buildings for their major.

“I even had a brother take a picture with the stuffed cougar in the Wilk and another brother take a shot with the Native American statue,” Hollon said. “I thought it was strange, but (it) was how they wanted to remember their time here.”

When students are unable to hire a professional photographer, a great alternative is to find a friend with a quality camera and alternate taking photos for each other.

Britney Johnson, a former graduate and photography enthusiast from Salt Lake, said she has mastered the art of graduation photos. Johnson has a high-end camera, so at the end of her senior year at BYU she offered to do a few graduation shots for her friends.

“The trick is to get the photos done a week or so before graduation,” Johnson said. “I don’t know if you have ever driven past the entrance sign to BYU during graduation, but there is literally a line of people waiting to get a photo shot. If you plan ahead, it takes unnecessary stress away from the actual day and you can spend the time you want getting a perfect photo.”

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