Resources for Graduation Event Professionals

How close-up photos work at commencement

At commencement, offering close-up photographs is a great way to provide additional photo options to your graduates and their families.

The Difference Between Ceremony Portraits and Close-Ups

In adClose-Up Photograph at Commencementdition to the handshake photograph taken on stage during commencement, many ceremony coordinators also provide an opportunity for a ceremony portrait to be captured either immediately before or after crossing.

Ceremony portraits are typically cropped from mid-thigh up.  If captured after crossing the stage, graduates can pose holding their diploma covers. The background is important with ceremony portraits, and options range from a professional backdrop or custom backdrop to attractive ambient scenery.

Close-up photographs, on the other hand, often capture more excitement on the graduate's face because of tighter cropping.  An example of a ceremony portrait in comparison to a close-up photograph is shown here.

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Does a close-up photo make sense at your ceremony?

Even though handshake photos may be the quintessential commencement pictures, a December 2015 focus group conducted by GradImages with graduates and their families confirmed a preference for additional poses and photo options.  While ceremony portraits are the default choice for schools that have added a second pose, close-up photos are an excellent way to round-out the photo options provided to your alumni.

Close-up photos can be captured with only a minimal amount of floor space.  If there's room on one side of the stage for a ceremony portrait, then chances are there's room on the opposite side of the stage for a close-up.

Close-up photos should never slow the ceremony

Photographers who take close-up photographs at commencement have a difficult job.  Tighter cropping around each graduate's face means less room for error.  Despite the complexity of this style of shot, close-ups should never slow down the pace of your ceremony. A competent photography team should easily be able to photograph graduates just as fast as they are being recognized on stage.

GradImages clients

If you are a GradImages’ client with questions about close-ups at your commencement, please contact your Client Service Representative. We are happy to evaluate the addition of this pose at your ceremony  and address any logistical concerns in order to provide your graduates with the best possible images.

Topics: Commencement Preparations Terminology Best Practices Customer Choices GradImages Commencement Photography