Resources for Graduation Event Professionals

Welcome to our Resource site! Here you will find information about graduation event planning, best practices, and personal stories.

Austin Livingston

Recent Posts by Austin Livingston:

The proper attire for commencement ceremony staff

Commencement is a distinctive occasion.  Graduates will normally be dressed in caps & gowns, as will faculty as many institutions.  However, for individuals not wearing graduation regalia but with a visible role on the ceremony floor, conventional wisdom dictates that they be wearing conservative, professional business attire.  It's a sign of respect to the graduates, their families, the school, and the dignity of the event.

Topics: Best Practices Commencement Preparation GradImages Etiquette

Why a handshake photographer's position really matters at commencement

In three previous articles, we have discussed the best position for a photographer while taking handshake pictures of graduates being individually recognized on stage.

Topics: Best Practices Commencement Photography Commencement Preparation GradImages

The best angle for a handshake photographer at commencement

What is the best angle for a photographer to stand in order to capture great handshake photographs at commencement?  Although the answer is somewhat subjective, years of purchasing data suggest one angle in particular is overwhelmingly favored by graduates and their families.  That is what we will discuss today.

Topics: Best Practices Commencement Photography Commencement Preparation

An overview of public relations photography at commencement

Public relations (PR) photographs are candid, fun, memorable pictures taken before, during, and after a commencement ceremony. Photographers have more flexibility and artistic discretion when taking PR images than they do taking ceremony images, such as handshake photographs. They enjoy exploring the creative side of their job to help capture the true spirit and emotion of graduation.

Topics: Terminology Commencement Photography GradImages

How GradImages' facial recognition technology works

When graduates are individually recognized on stage, we are able to determine precisely who each person is by virtue of the fact that names are announced. However, it is not easy to individually identify public relations (PR) images of graduates taken before or after the ceremony. This is because photographers capture PR images "in the moment," and cannot always document each person's name before moving on to the next opportunity. The result is that these images are put into a large "gallery" with hundreds of other PR images, and graduates often need to browse through them all in order to find their own.

Topics: Terminology Customer Choices Commencement Photography

3 reasons why commencement handshake photographers should be on-stage

At commencement ceremonies, there are a number of factors that go into trying to capture the best possible handshake photographs.  In an earlier article, we wrote about the appropriate distance between the graduate and photographer (click here to read the full article).  Today, we will examine whether the photographer should ideally be standing on the elevated stage with the graduate and administrator for the handshake photograph, or should be several feet lower down on the ceremony floor.

Topics: Best Practices Commencement Photography Commencement Preparation

GradImages is already preparing for your next graduation

With most schools now back in session after the summer break, we wanted to take a moment to reflect on the commencement season that is now behind us, and look ahead to the 2019-2020 academic year. It was an exciting summer at GradImages, and we are very grateful for the event coordinators at our client schools who made everything happen. What we do would not be possible without your hard work!

Topics: Terminology Customer Choices Commencement Photography GradImages

Avoid background distractions in commencement handshake photographs

As a commencement coordinator, you know that stage layout at your ceremony is normally planned well in advance. In fact, at most institutions, how elements are arranged on the ceremony stage rarely changes from year to year. As such, there is more than enough time to consider one important element of stage layout that is often ignored: the background behind your graduates’ handshake photographs.

Topics: Best Practices Commencement Photography Commencement Preparation

How the Univ. of South Florida handled selfie pictures at commencement

The University of South Florida in Tampa recently made headlines by prohibiting graduates from taking “selfie” pictures while being individually recognized on stage during commencement. Making a similar announcement was Bryant University in Smithfield, Rhode Island. Both institutions are valued clients of GradImages, so this story certainly caught our attention.

Topics: Best Practices Commencement Photography Commencement Preparation GradImages Etiquette