Activity 2: Setting up the Studio

Intent:

The Setup

    The first step in learning how to take school Grad photos is the setup.  The setup means all the things you do before the photo.  For school Grad photos you’ll want to select clothing, props, and background/location.

  • Clothing – Select clothing you child actually likes.  You might consider a compromise as well.  They wear the clothes you want first and then you let them wear the orange plaid shirt with the green camo pants that have holes in the knees.
  • Props – Props can be anything from a backpack to something that represents their favorite subject.  Try using beakers filled with colored water for your science fan or a blackboard filled with equations for your math whiz.
  • Background/Location – Select an uncluttered location for your photos.  This way the surroundings aren’t “taking over” the photo.  A plain wall (no glossy painted walls please) or curtains work well.  For a more professional look you can purchase a backgroun.  You can also take your child to a local botanical garden to get nice outdoor shots.

Getting the Shot

    Getting the shot is the other main part of taking school photos.  Once you have the setup completed you’ll need to pose your child, plan your lighting, and setup your camera.

  • Posing – Don’t worry too much over finding a “perfect pose” for your child.  As long as you have them face the camera at a slight angle things will turn out pretty well.  Also remember our tips for capturing a natural smile.
  • Plan Your Lighting – Watch harsh shadows.  Consider a diffuser to soften flashes.
  • Setup Your Camera – Make sure you photograph your child from their eye level.  This helps avoid distortion and creates good visual interest.