It’s that time of year! Introducing… the Great Princeton Class of 2022 graduation photos! It was my sixth year photographing Princeton grads and I spent three weeks in May on campus shooting almost everyday. It was great to meet so many new people from the class of 2022 and also photograph my own 2020 classmates who returned this year for the first time since Covid. (So I also graduated this year, hurrah! See my own graduation photos here.)
After the Princeton Class of 2022 graduation… Reunions began. Princeton places the largest beer order in the United States after the Indy 500 for the weekend-long event. Around 30,000 alumni visit campus for three days of partying, networking, and drinking. Campus can only be described as a sea of orange and black. I went to sleep at 4am and woke up at 9am to start shooting again. It was also a blistering 95 degrees on Saturday, the day of the P-rade. (A photo of my mother from the parade is now the cover of the July edition of the Princeton Alumni Weekly magazine, and it is possibly the best photo I’ve ever seen.)
The Ultimate Graduation Shoot Guide!
Princeton students, listen up! If you’re interested in scheduling a shoot next year, please read this entirely. Please email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you would like to be put on the waitlist. You will be the first to know when spots open up! Here are lots of helpful tips you may not have already thought of, and I want you to be as prepared as possible so our shoot is as successful as it can be!
When should I book?
As soon as spots open up, I’d suggest scheduling your shoot a few weeks prior to graduation! The earlier the better. There are a couple weeks when campus is very hectic as everyone is trying to get their photos in. We can definitely work around it, but it’s easier to just get it done ahead of time. It also takes a little longer to grab the iconic spots (such as the Nassau Hall tigers) if everyone else is there too.
What do I bring?
Bring all your graduation gear, like your sashes, cap, gown, and hood with the tassel. And your THESIS! If you want, you can also bring champagne to pop, confetti to throw, cute ’23’ balloons, your pet, any certificates or awards, and also a change of clothes or accessories. Scroll through these photos for inspiration! The more choices, the better!
Is there anything I shouldn’t wear?
Any color is free game! If you wear something with a big pattern, it might take away attention from your face. I would keep the patterns small and subdued, or just stick to solid colors. I also suggest wearing a dress or outfit you are entirely comfortable in. When you are comfortable, you are confident. If you choose to go with something tight-fitting, wear proper undergarments so lines don’t show. Many women wear white dresses in line with graduation tradition, which are perfectly fine and photograph beautifully. But don’t be afraid to go with something different!
Where do we take photos?
I generally stay around the Nassau Hall / Pyne Hall / Chapel / Firestone area of campus. Although if you schedule enough time, we can go anywhere on campus that’s meaningful to you. But all the beautiful and traditional architecture is luckily in one central spot so we can hop between places quite efficiently.
What about friends or groups?
Bring whomever you want in your photos! The price remains the same – it’s a flat fee for the amount of time you book. If you really want to fully document your Princeton graduation, I’d recommend scheduling a half hour with your closest friends on one day and then another individual half-hour on another. (Or later that day, so you can switch outfits.)
Extra information about modeling:
I will direct you and suggest poses, so if you don’t know how to ‘pose’, don’t worry! But if you’re super comfortable in front of the camera and know exactly what you want, then I’ll snap away and capture whatever you’re giving me. To prepare ahead of time, I recommend going on Pinterest and searching grad photo ideas, or looking through these to get inspiration. Save a few to your phone that you can look through before the shoot to remind yourself. You can also show me my own photos and tell me what backgrounds and locations you want the most. Otherwise, I’ll just take you around to different spots that look great.
What time of day is best?
I will have time slots open all day, from morning until sunset. The best time of day is golden hour, which is around an hour before sunset when the light is glowy and soft. Regardless of when we shoot, there are beautiful spots on campus throughout the day that aren’t negatively affected by the light.
I hope you enjoy these photos! This is just a small selection of shots I took for Princeton Class of 2022 graduation.