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5 Ways to Crush Your Cap & Gown Session

Updated: Apr 29

Graduation is a significant milestone, marking the end of one chapter and the beginning of another. It's a time to celebrate achievements, friendships, and memories. What better way to commemorate this special occasion than with a cap and gown photoshoot? From booking your hair and makeup artist to choosing the perfect props, here are five essential tips to ensure your photoshoot is a success.

Step one is to BOOK your Cap & Gown Mini Session today! Check the link for upcoming dates/times. May dates are quickly filling up!

1. Book your HMUA (Hair and Makeup Artist)

Your cap and gown photoshoot is a chance to shine, so why not start by pampering yourself? Hiring a professional hair and makeup artist can elevate your look and give you the confidence to rock your photoshoot. Here's why it's essential:

  • IMMEDIATELY after you've booked your session, schedule your Hair & Makeup Artist appointment to make sure they are available on your desired date.

  • Ladies - Choose a hairstyle that will fit comfortably under your graduation cap (if possible), and select a style your know you already love.

  • I recommend a soft, natural look for make up to ensure you look like YOU! Simply smoothing the skin and evening your tones will help ensure a polished look on your images.

  • Professional makeup translates beautifully on camera, ensuring you look flawless in every shot.

  • Guys - Schedule. your haircut the day before to take care of that in advance and ensure you look your best!

cap and gown session with white dress

2. Pick your Outfit

Your outfit sets the tone for your photoshoot and reflects your personal style. When choosing what to wear for your cap and gown photoshoot, consider these factors:

  • Graduation attire: Of course, your cap and gown are the stars of the show. Ensure they are clean, wrinkle-free, and properly fitted. Steam it or throw your gown in the drying on low/medium heat.

  • Underneath attire: Coordinate your outfit beneath the gown to complement the overall look. Plan for something simple and classic that won't distract from the main ensemble.

  • Ladies - wear a white or black dress, romper, or jumpsuit. These look amazing and complement any cap & gown color. Don't forget the cute heels!

  • Guys - wear a white shirt with tie, and bring a blazer, which nice slacks / pants, shoes, and belt

  • Plan for that professional headshot to add to your social media profile, LinkedIn profile, college id, etc

  • Comfort is key: You'll be moving around and posing for photos, so choose clothing and shoes that you feel comfortable and confident in.

  • Express yourself: Don't be afraid to add personal touches to your outfit, such as statement jewelry or a pop of color, to showcase your personality. Remember, this is to create your unique graduation photo!

cap and gown session with black and red outfit and stole

3. Decide on Props

One of the perks to choosing my cap & gown session is the option to select from my GRAD Closet! I have several items to choose from, include cap & gowns! During your booking, you can choose to add honor stoles & cord, kente stole, books, and more!

Props can add an extra layer of creativity and personality to your cap and gown photoshoot. Whether you want to keep it simple or go all out, here are some ideas to consider:

  • GRAD essentials: Include props such as books, a diploma, or a graduation cap toss to capture the essence of the occasion.

  • FLOWERS are always a great add in any photo! Think about the color and kind so you can grab it a day before your session!

  • PERSONAL items that hold special significance to you, such as your musical instrument, sports equipment (football, bat), award or trophy, or a beloved pet.

  • CUSTOM SIGNAGE are great, you can create signs or banners with inspiring quotes, your future plans, or inside jokes to personalize your photos.

  • CHAMPAGNE bottles are cool additions as well, usually for college grads

cap and gown session with senior guy in shirt and tie with football

4. Choose Fun Poses

My number one goto is Pinterest! There are a TON of ideas out there for key poses that will fit your personality! Posing plays a crucial role in capturing memorable photos that you'll cherish for years to come.

  • Select your top 5 poses you want to capture in your session

  • Take the time to do this at least a few days before your session in case you see some that include items you may want to purchase.

  • Classic poses: Capture timeless shots like standing with your diploma, throwing your cap in the air, or holding your gown's train as you walk.

  • Candid moments: Some of the best photos happen when you're simply being yourself. Laugh, smile, and interact naturally with your surroundings.

  • Group shots: If you're including friends, family, or pets in your photoshoot, coordinate group poses that highlight your relationships and bond.

  • Creative angles: Get creative with angles and perspectives to add visual interest to your photos. Try sitting, lying down, or capturing shots from above or below for unique perspectives.

cap and gown session senior girl with white dress fun pose

5. Bring your Peeps, Family, Pets

Your cap and gown photoshoot is a celebration, so why not share the joy with your loved ones? Here's why bringing your peeps, family, and even pets can enhance the experience:

  • Support system: Surrounding yourself with loved ones can help ease nerves and make the photoshoot more enjoyable.

  • Candid moments: Having friends and family present can lead to spontaneous and heartwarming moments that make for memorable photos.

  • Fur babies: Pets are part of the family too! Including your furry friends adds an extra layer of cuteness and personality to your photoshoot.

  • Group dynamics: Group shots with family and friends capture the joy and excitement of the occasion, creating cherished memories for years to come.

cap and gown session of senior girl with white dress and dog

Know that your cap and gown photoshoot is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to celebrate your achievements and create lasting memories. By following these five essential tips, you'll be well-prepared to nail your photoshoot and capture this momentous occasion in style. So, book your HMUA, pick your outfit, decide on props, choose fun poses, and don't forget to bring your peeps along for the ride!

cap and gown session of senior girl with black jumpsuit and confetti

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