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70 Creative Ideas for Your Graduation Photos

Posted by Carl Poxon on



Your graduation day is sure to be one of the most memorable occasions of your life, so it’s expected that you’ll want to celebrate it as much as possible! You’ve got your degree on the way, you’re clad in robes straight out of Hogwarts and you can feel the buzz in the air as everyone’s getting ready for this life changing event.

The only thing missing is the photographer!

Whether you’ve hired a professional or your friends and family are set to be the day’s shutterbugs, you’re going to want to make as many memories as possible. You might have a few poses in mind, maybe even a few backdrops, but surely there’s more you can do to make the most out of the occasion?

Well, that’s what we’re here for, as yes; yes there is! Here at Beaver Frames we love graduation pics, so we’ve compiled our very own list of shots that’d make an impressive graduation photo album. Below are plenty of creative and fun ideas for graduations pictures, take a look and see how many you’ll want to recreate!

Using Symbols

  1. “Last Time I’ll Need This”: Every student came close having their ID surgically attached as not to lose it, and as soon as the graduation ceremony is over you’ll never need your university ID again. Still, it’ll have undeniably played a big part in your studies, so using it as a graduation prop will make for a delightful picture and, possibly, an excellent physical addition to a graduation photo album!

  2. Easy as Alpha, Beta, Gamma: Though it’s much rarer here in the UK than it is in American counterparts, class rings are still around in universities. Any student with one of these will surely love to use them as part of their graduation pics.

  3. I Went to University and All I Got Was This T-Shirt: Virtually every university will have its own merchandise, and there are few ways clearer of showcasing where you’ve gone for your studies. These can really paint a clear picture about where your graduation ceremony takes place if you add them into your graduation pics!

  4. Robbie the Royalty Free Bear: Another common sight within a university’s own merch shop is some form of stuffed bear, or if the university has a mascot, a stuffed version of that. Whether it’s identified by wearing a uni t-shirt or it’s an iconic mascot, including this little guy in your graduation pics can help make them a little bit more fun.

  5. I Tip My Cap: The quintessential icon of graduation, every graduation photo album needs a few shots that puts the focus on your graduation cap…

  6. I Throw My Cap: ...And this focus includes a picture of you throwing your graduation cap up in the air. The elation of the occasion will be hard to miss during one of these classic shots!

  7. “I’ve Heard Worse Excuses to Drink”: Whether it's primed and poiised with champagne flutes or someone brought in a six pack, having some pictures with a few celebratory drinks is always a sign of good times. Bonus points if it’s taken on campus, especially as it’s the one day the staff can’t tell you not to drink!

  8. A Toast to the Graduate: This shot’ll take a bit of precise timing, perhaps using a camera with a burst mode, but the potential photos from this idea could make for a fantastic centerpiece within a graduation themed multi aperture frame. The classic uncorking of a champagne or prosecco bottle is sure to make for a magnificent graduation picture, and using a burst mode can get the entire stream of bursting champagne!

  9. What Today’s All About: It may seem a little obvious, or even on the nose, but posing with your physical degree or diploma can make for a timeless graduation photo. The reason this is on this list is because many universities don’t actually hand out real degrees during the ceremony anymore; so if you’ve personally been given your qualifications be proud and get some graduation pics!

  10. I Wear My Graduation on My Sleeve: One of the most popular ways of showcasing the year you’ve graduated is by going slightly unconventional. Toss out the signs entirely and start using yourself or your clothes as a canvas! Whether it’s painting the year onto your eyelids, your palms or simply wearing a grand sash, you shouldn’t shy away from highlighting your year of accomplishment.

Working in Vocational Elements

  1. So...Many...References...: Pose by a big stack of books, namely, by the big stack of books you had to read throughout your studies! Depending on how many you own (/can get your hand on) standing, sitting or leaning by this pile can certainly look impressive.

  2. The Good Book: On the other hand, holding just one, vital tome can be worth its weight in gold. If there was a particularly helpful, inspirational or useful book that helped get you through your studies, why not honour it with a good photo?

  3. Paint it Black: Graduation props can seem a little on the nose, though what icon symbolises a career in the arts more than a paintbrush? This is especially true for anyone studying fine arts. Bonus points, if you have your own graduation cap, having your cap stylised like a palette!

  4. Play Ball!: Football, basketball, netball and more, whatever sport you passionately played throughout university should surely be part of your graduation photos! Got any team members milling around at the same time? Bring them in for that element of diversity that really fleshes out multi aperture frames!

  5. Styling the Slopes: A particularly apt graduation prop for those prominent in, or often enjoying the perks of, a skiing & snowboarding society, bring your own skis or snowboard can be great way of showing how you spent your time outside of the lecture halls. Bonus points for having other society members in the photo!

  6. Catch!: There are plenty of other sports style societies within a majority of universities, such as extreme frisbee and juggling. Be sure to add these fun times to your graduation photos with some of the graduation props!

  7. Tools of Your Trade: Those pursuing a vocation that uses their hands can showcase this straight away with iconic and easily recognisable tools. Don’t be so blase though; integrate a full tool belt into your outfit, wrapped around your gown, or even a hard hat with your graduation cap resting atop it; it’ll stand out as much as wearing a high-vis vest!

  8. Cooking up a Storm: Much like the hard hit idea before, precariously balancing your graduate hat atop of classic chef’s hat would make for a pretty funny graduate photo. It’d be quite fitting if you were the house chef, or better yet, pursuing a career in the culinary arts!

  9. Tag me in That: Graduation photo ideas don’t need to reinvent the wheel; they can just be used to focus on your pastimes, as well as the tools you’ll be using in your career! Serving as an ever increasingly important tool of digital marketing is social media, so taking an over the shoulder shot and looking at your phone opening up the likes of twitter can serve as a good representation of how your career will start!

  10. Stargazing: It makes sense that those going off into a scientific career path should be captured with a telescope, especially those looking to the stars and the cosmos, though to be fair, stargazing shots could symbolise how you’re going to be reaching for the stars in your career!

Location, Location, Location

  1. University Art is Iconic in the Eye of the Beholder: Graduation photos are so much more memorable when anchored to the institutes that reward them. Every campus and university has at least one artistic contribution to it, so including something iconic in your graduation photo is sure to make it stand out even more.

  2. From Where I Once Graduated: Just as good, if not better, than iconic art installations around the university are the iconic buildings of the university itself/ Whether it’s the building you went to for most of your seminars or its simply a universally beloved piece of architecture on the ground, picking a shot with a beautiful building in the frame is sure to look good.

  3. My the University Entrance: A great way to bookmark your experience on campus; capturing your last moments at the university at the very spot in which you entered for the first time. Bonus points if they’ve left any signs or banners congratulating you for graduating!

  4. To the SU!: Ah, the Student Union bar; where ice is broken and cheap booze is enjoyed before hitting the town. Every good university has an on-site bar, and many students have good memories, in their first year at least, of taking advantage of the student prices in this bar. Commemorate these times with one more drink, a cheerful graduation picture, and then maybe three or four more drinks after that.

  5. To Anywhere but the Local Spoons!: As fond a collection of memories you may have about the SU, there will surely be fonder memories for other bars in your local area. Most people would agree that there are worse reasons to go for a drink, so go and cap off your uni experience with a few graduation photos in your favourite bar!

  6. Shhhh-utterbug: The Library will most likely have taken a lot of your time whilst studying as a student, especially if your university had a treasure trove of old books that made writing essays about niche topics a breeze.

  7. Go, Sports!: Often a university will take pride in their athletic community and have their own football field, swimming pool, hockey field and so on. Why not pick one of these spots for one last swell of university pride? Even if you never watched or played sports within this iconic area, it’ll still serve as a means of diversifying those photos in the multi picture frames!

  8. Flight of the Bumblebees of Manchester: If your university campus isn’t home to too many beautiful or eye-catching pieces of art there’s no doubt that the surrounding area will be full of them. Case in point, attending university in Manchester will present plenty of brilliant graduation pictures besides some iconic bees!

  9. It’s a Beautiful City: Much like finding a favourite building on campus to take a few graduation photos by, plenty of people choose the university they go to because of the town or city it’s placed in. Whether it’s the majesty of London or the whimsical nature of York, the architecture of a city can make for a stunning backdrop.

  10. It’s Not Over Until the Gown’s Gone: Even when you get back home from all the celebrations and ceremonies, there are still opportunities for some memorable additions to the graduation photo album; namely, the last photo. Just as you’re walking back into your home, one last photo of you turning back with a smile can perfectly represent how you’re ready to rest and relax before moving onto the next stage of your life.

With Friends...

  1. One Last Match?: If you and your friends spent a lot of time playing sports together this type of photo might just be the perfect send off to your academic days. Maybe don’t go full on, kitted out and playing in the mud, but a few token shots of playing a ball game whilst wearing grad clothes can be a great way of memorialising those uni days.

  2. One Last Game?: Likewise, if you and your friends enjoyed gaming more with video games the same kind of shot can apply. Grab some game controllers, break out the custom mapped keyboards or even bring out the 20-sided dice if pen & paper games are more of your thing. Either way, keep those caps on and roll play as yourself from the day of student finance.

  3. A Toast to Toasts Gone By: Now these photos are what multi aperture photo frames were made for; after the ceremony and more of the traditional photos have been taken, be sure to go to your favourite, nearby bar (bonus points if it’s the same haunt you’ve all enjoyed throughout university) and take some good photos whilst enjoying some good drinks; each of you wearing your caps, of course.

  4. You’re My Best Friend: Almost as important as a picture with parents, if your best friend is graduating on the same day (or has made the trip to celebrate your graduation) then it’s more or less necessary to have a photo of the two of you celebrating together.

  5. The Super Friends: The more the merrier! Gather all your friends graduating on the same day, make the call to invite those who aren’t and get together for one big, legendary photo!

  6. Listen Up, See: Timelessly stylish and all about the hat, 20s style gangsters had all the poise of Art Deco style and its this kind of pose that’s undeniably cool. Tip your graduation cap down, curl your lips into a smirk and jut out a leg; all you’ll be missing is a classic tommy gun.

  7. That’s a Dandy Suit, Friend: A good suit is timeless, so take the joyous occasion of a graduation as the perfect excuse to get some good pictures in a fantastic suit. Combine this with a graduation cap and you’ll be rocking a style well worthy of taking several photos.

  8. That’s a Charming Dress, my Dear: Much like suits for men, it’s hard to picture a time that wouldn’t benefit from the extra element of class and grace brought about by a fine dress.

  9. A Graduate’s Best Friend: Whether it’s with a faithful pup, a chilled out cat or even a loving rat, having a few pictures with beloved pets will add a little bit of cuteness to the occasion. After all, they’re friends too!

  10. The Class of Your Year: Last but not least, with a little bit of coordination you can take one incredibly epic graduation photo; one with all of your classmates! This will surely be a universally appealing picture, one that could comfortably fit into the centre of a multi picture frame to really showcase your graduation ceremony!

...And With Family


  1. With the Entire Family: Having everyone who came to congratulate you in one big, happy photo will undeniably be something worthy of adorning the mantelpiece, so have everyone you love be a part of your special day.

  2. Just with Parents: They’ve been there from day one and surely feel more pride than they can convey; they’ll probably be unable to contain their smiles either in this classic, heartwarming picture!

  3. Just with Siblings: Another one of those photos your parents are sure to love, having the warmth and support of a sibling can be brilliant, and having them bask in the celebrations is sure to make for a good photo. Remember to tell them it’s not a contest though!

  4. Just with the Grandparents: If any of your elderly relatives took the time and effort to visit on your special day then it’d surely warm their heart to have a photo taken just with them. It’s sure to be one of the proudest photos they’ll own, after all!

  5. With Someone Special: This is especially delightful for anyone who’s had a boyfriend or girlfriend stay with them throughout their entire time in higher education, and letting them be a special part of your special day will show them just how much you love them. This kind of photo will probably deserve it’s own special picture frame!

  6. Just with Your Kids: Of course, this one only really applies if you actually have children, though it can be just as cute with younger siblings, cousins, nephews or nieces! Bonus points if they’re holding up a sign saying something along the lines of “I helped!”

  7. With Tutors: Okay, so they’re not strictly family but a good tutor acts as a guiding role so why not try to have a few graduation photos with them?

  8. Balloon Bearers: Find some big balloons to make out the date, such as ‘2020’, and have members of your family hold them up behind you; a great way to include the family, celebrate the year and make you the glamorous centrepiece of it all.

  9. Beginning a Feast: It’s fairly common for the family to go out to celebrate a graduation with a good meal, and having everyone within a different setting (along with the tantalising food and drinks in the shot, of course) can make for some truly memorable graduation photos.

  10. Ending a Feast: Of course, with every beginning comes an end; seeing the satisfied and happy faces of a well-fed family on a joyous occasion can serve as a brilliant bookmark moment for any family graduation photo album.

Exploring Alternative Angles


  1. Framed by Quotes: Anything from the simple “I’m done!” to motivational quotes from your favourite author, having signs of quotes in your shots can really help send the message home, with bonus points for writing them on yourself!

  2. Concealed by Success: Of course, any great photo should feature your beaming smile, but for a few graduation focused shots why not but the emphasis on the graduation cap, hiding slightly behind it with a close up shot.

  3. Taken from Above, Cap Throw: Capturing an image with a thrown graduation cap closer to the camera than the grad throwing it can put a real focus on the day and the event.

  4. Taken from Below, Up the Stairs: Showing a graduate standing triumphant at the top of some stairs, whether they’re on campus or at the nearby city hall, is a great way of capturing their confidence to go out and make their mark on the professional world.

  5. Having Fun with it: Graduation photos don’t have to be all primed and serious; they can be silly too! Pull a face, strike a pose, just have fun with it. Funny graduation photos can be anything you make of them!

  6. During the Ceremony: Good enough quality cameras can capture moments from the actual Graduation Ceremony with enough style, should the shutterbug’s eye be keen enough.

  7. Don’t Fight the Weather: Whether it’s gloriously sunny or tipping it down, make good use of the weather. Photos beaming up into the sun, looking miffed by the rain or keeping your cap firmly placed on your head from the wind can all contribute to the story of your day.

  8. Walk Proud: Strut your stuff and walk tall towards the camera, centred in the shot with a look of confidence on your face. It doesn’t have to be B-list action hero serious, just confident enough to carry yourself into the next stage of your life!

  9. Super Casual: Create a stark contrast to the traditions of the graduation ceremony itself by getting some good shots in your normal, everyday clothes; albeit still wearing your graduation cap. It’s got to mark the occasion, after all!

  10. Selfie-Made: An exceptionally viable avenue for those who’ve just graduated from a photography class, making most of the graduation photo album up with selfies can be a delightfully charming means of capturing the day.

Just-for-Fun Shots

  1. See How Far I’ve Come!: A fun and novel shot can be showcasing just how far the years have taken you. Pose with a smile on your face and a picture of yourself from your early years of education to show little you that staying in school was well worth it!

  2. Discarding Gowns: Photos with the graduation gown slung over a shoulder and the cap in hand instead on atop a head can serve as a stylish message.

  3. Celebrations in the Background: Who says confetti is just for weddings? Grab some bubble blowers, flower petals or charming confetti and start decorating the background to your graduation photos. This can be an especially fun idea if you have kids in the family; let them join in the fun of the day!

  4. Super Educated, Super Powered: For a while during wedding photography you’d find a lot of nods to superhero pop culture, so why not extend the trend to graduation photos? Whether you’re a Spider-Fan, your heart’s pierced by Green Arrow or you’re crazy for Harley Quinn, having a costume underneath your graduation gown for a classic Superman style reveal can make for a fun shot!

  5. Cap, Fashion Statement, Shield: Probably only a good idea if you’ve bought the graduation cap instead of rented, but a photo where the classic champagne shot is spraying bubbly at you, protected by your trusty graduation cap, could be an endearing shot.

  6. A Personalised Graduation: Again, this is only really viable if you’ve bought your graduation cap, but decorating the cap with your own sense of style can really make it pop in photos; especially graduation photos centred on the cap! More of your favourite quotes, course/vocationally appropriate themes and simply using splashes of colour can really give the day a stylish edge.

  7. Party Time: What’s more fun than being surrounded by friends and getting ready to party? Celebrate the celebrations with good food, delectable drinks and great company; all captured on film, of course!

  8. Can I Take a Nap Now?: Anyone who’s gone through higher education will tell you just how much hard work and how many sleepless nights go into it, so a graduation photo of you taking a snooze, light concealed by your graduation cap, can serve as a charming reminder of a time where you needed to rest as much as you deserved to relax.

  9. Success is on the Horizon: if you’re lucky enough to have been handed your diploma or degree directly, a few fun shots can be taken by rolling it up and looking through it like a telescope. A physical manifestation of looking towards the future or a heavy-handed way of disrespecting a deed of qualification; you be the judge.

  10. The Classic “Yeah!” Jump: Finally we have a true blue classic. Timing will be key here, but doing the classic jump for joy and having a graduation photo taken with your legs up in the air will showcase the joy of occasion in an undeniable fashion.

That was our list of favourite graduation picture ideas; did you have any you feel would be a great addition to the graduation photo album? Be sure to let us know on our Facebook page and get in touch with us directly, and remember to keep up to date with the rest of our blog posts!


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