Resources for Graduation Event Professionals

Graduation Ceremonies in COVID-19

With the proper precautions, graduations can be executed safely during these times.

At GradImages, we’ve spoken with hundreds of commencement coordinators since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. While most traditional events since mid-March have been cancelled, the conversation is shifting as states begin to move through the phases of reopening.  We are hearing less about cancellations and virtual-only options and more about looking at what can be done to give students the most complete commencement experience possible while remaining safe and socially distant. The solution for every institution will differ based on a number of variables, but we would like to present a few success stories from recent ceremonies our clients have hosted.

Topics: Best Practices Commencement Photography Innovation COVID

COVID-19 and Commencement

Over the course of the last several weeks, thousands of universities and colleges across the country have had the unprecedented challenge of responding to the ever changing situation with the COVID-19 pandemic.  In addition to the unsettled atmosphere in the community, students are also having to adjust to the disruption of their academic endeavors while administrators work tirelessly to provide as much continuity as possible.  Invariably, one of the topics that has been difficult to handle is what to do about commencement. 

At GradImages, we have always prided ourselves on being a resource on all things commencement and have seen some amazing ideas on to how to recognize and celebrate the most important achievement of a student’s college career.  We have seen over 400,000 signatures on various petitions for the preservation of in-person commencement events. 

Everyone knows commencement is important to graduates and their families and the support around maintaining these events is remarkable.  The biggest question is obviously how to delicately balance the safety of the community while preserving the significant importance of fulfilling a defining moment for the graduates.  We have sited some of the more popular responses from institutions to share with you in the hopes it may spark an idea that works for your school.

Topics: News Best Practices Commencement Photography

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

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

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

Why your graduates' addresses are important

Postal mail, email, and text message are all ways GradImages can provide graduates with access to their proofs from commencement and student portrait events. However, without the ability to acquire address information, proofs cannot be delivered. Consequently, without the ability to deliver proofs, the vast majority of graduates and their families will never see their images from these special events.

Topics: Best Practices Commencement Photography Commencement Preparation GradImages