5 Props for a Graduation Shoot

March 30, 2020

Graduation photo shoots are a fantastic way to ring in your entrance to the professional world you’ve been training and learning about for years and be a bittersweet way to say goodbye to the college world you’ve adjusted to through these years. That being said, your senior portraits are a fantastic way to showcase your personality! This is such a big life event that it only makes sense to document it and who you are at this special time! How does someone accomplish this, though? Well something that can definitely help your personality shine through is a prop! Bringing something to include in your photos can truly turn a standard portrait of a smiling face into a unique way to capture exactly who you are right now.

Aside from your cap and gown, it may be difficult to know just what props can help liven up a senior photo shoot. Well, I’ve devised a list of five props that can help you shine through!

1. Balloons

Tucson Arizona University of Arizona Senior Grad Graduation Photographer Picture Photos

This can be taken in so many forms and theres no “right” way to use balloons during senior portrait sessions. The most common use I’ve seen is giant silver or gold numbers for the year you’re graduating. So this year, it’d be “2020” or even just “’20”. Another way that’s more unique, but just as festive, is a balloon wall. You can choose a color scheme for this (school colors maybe?) or just have a colorful party in your grad outfit!

The beauty of balloons in photos is that they’re so flexible in terms of creativity.You can hang them from the ceiling, create an arch, throw (the ones without helium) in the air, or go full-blown Up style and let the balloons carry you to your dreams! Balloons are not only fun, but entirely customizable – which is exactly how you can portray your own personality by using them.

2. Homework

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Yes, HOMEWORK! There, I said it. You’ve spent SO. MANY. HOURS. perfecting and writing and studying this material that it only makes sense you include it in your photos. This is a fantastic way to display some of the more academic-driven personalities. The way you show how you feel about homework is up to you. Some people enjoy their subject and learning about it and therefore spend most of their time in college learning rather than going out, so why not bring some notes and a book to your school library or a coffee shop for your big-brained pictures. Another more creative way to show your hard work is arranging books and notes on the floor and laying down on it. This could make for some really fun bird’s-eye-view pictures (especially if you’re known for falling asleep while studying!).

The last and likely most fun way to utilize the years of hard work over the years is by throwing it all in the air! You’re done with it now! It’s all in the big brain of yours now, so how fun would it be to toss it in the air and have a dance party being showered in the hours, weeks, and years of hard work its taken to get here?!

3. Champagne

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What is the go-to drink for celebrating? Champagne, of course! If now isn’t a time to celebrate, then when is!? If your time in college was more focused on socializing and celebrating the little things, this is a fantastic way to commemorate your years as a student. Simply bust that thing open and spray it! I’d recommend at the end of your photo session in case you get some on you. But, like I’ve said this whole time, this session is all you! So bust that thing open when it feels right!

4. Outfits + Accessories

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College is a major factor in finding who you are as a person. After removing all the influences of high school life, college takes you down to the nitty gritty of who you are at your core and allows you to flourish when you find that core. Your personal style is developed and redeveloped during your college years and choosing to share this style with family and friends when you send out graduation announcements is a beautiful way to display who you are on the outside through clothing and accessories. Many people love wearing their cap and gown. Of course that is expected for graduation photos, but what about a fur or faux fur wrap on top of that? or maybe you can dress it up with the jewelry and shoes you wear? Many graduates like to bring a casual or dressed-up second and even third options to change into during their shoot. This can give a variety of options when choosing what to send out and allows you to show all sides of who you are at the tail-end of your college years.

5. Friends of all Kinds

What better testament to your time spent in college than who you spend it with!? Your friends have been there for you and made memories that’ll last a lifetime. Often, people spend so much time enjoying college with their chosen campus families that they have a hard time capturing those memories. Wouldn’t it be amazing to look back on photos with the people most important to you right now? Imagine having silly photos with friends and showing them to future spouses and children. These people did more than impact your college years, they helped make you who you are now! After all, they say you are most like the five people you’re closest to, and you chose them!

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Another type of friend that may not jump to the front of your mind immediately when you think of senior photos, but have just as much of an impact on you at this time in your life are pets!

Dogs, cats, and even other creatures can play a vital part in keeping you sane through all the 11:59pm deadlines and finals-week sleepless nights. These important individuals mean so much to people and don’t have a lifespan like us. So if looking back at photos of you and Mr. Fluff will make future you happy, then there’s no reason not to include them.

These are just some ideas, but the world is truly at your fingertips. Maybe you took something everywhere you went or spent time in a specific place pretty often. Whether or not you choose to use props in your senior photos, the point is, they’ll be all yours through and through. They’ll radiate who you are as a persona and hopefully accurately represent who you are when you graduated. After all, this is just one of the many milestones you’ll hit in your life. So congratulations on this truly phenomenal achievement and go kill that photo shoot. I’m sure everyone is so excited to see where life will take you from here.