How to Take Your Own Studio Graduation Photos

Don't you just HATE it when your graduation photo just turned out so much fatter than real life?

Or if it made you looked puffy and flabby, probably due to the graduation gown (which most probably was).

unedited graduation photo

(I told you! It's the damn gown! THICK and FAT ok?!)

But don't you hate it even more when you have to pay TONS of money, like RM500-1000 (especially when you're graduating overseas and they charge in Australian dollars or Sterling Pounds) and for what? But a piece or two, or five at most of measly looking 12r, 8r or 5r size photos without the digital copies of those photos.

Which means if ever you run out of photos, or if your photos turn yellow in some distant future, you will never be able to re-print it again.

Which is why producing your very own digital photo is the most important.

1. Prepare

It's all about preparation, preparation, preparation.

Make up and dress up (even if it's under the suit).

dress up

2. Find a Monochrome Background

Can be either dark grey, or white. Or any neutral color that doesn't clash with your outfit of the day.

unedited graduation photo

3. Ask a Friend for Help

To adjust your position, your hat, the placement of your gown and hood. Do select a location of good lighting.

Doesn't matter if you can't get a perfect shot. As long as you leave space for editing or cropping.

4. Upload to Photoshop

Now you have a raw photo. You'll need to do some editing.

Nothing is perfect, and especially as primitive as a compact digital won't get you the effect you want a SLR could bring, and definitely not a nice background to boot, what with studio and grand lighting that expensive package normally provide.

But have no fear.

load into photoshop

Load the said photo to your photoshop (if you don't have it, buy one!).

5. Crop.


Enough said.

6. Liquify.

Liquify is like the most amazing feature in photoshop history.


If your rather fat outlook,

liquify 2


In fact, it can make your face smaller, sharper, your body toner, legs trimmer and transform you into a wonder beauty.

7. Adjust Lighting

If your photo is too dark, adjust to make it brighter. Go to Image -> Adjustment ->

and play with Contrast, Curves, Shadow/Highlight or even Color Balance.

My photo was good enough so I didn't need to change anything more.

8. Print out and Frame

black backdrop graduation photo

Print it out at your local photo printer shop.

8x12 inch is a good size. But you can also opt for 8r size (8x10).

holding framed photograph

Ta da! Nice as ever.

I know the photo color doesn't look nice in the photo, maybe because I didn't set the lighting properly when I took this photo.

But trust me, it's really NICE.

Frame cost: RM16.90
Print cost: RM12

Total damage: RM28.90

Original price: AUD99 =~ RM290

Save:~ RM 260.

I saved RM250!

Take that money sucking universities!!
And I get to keep my digital copy.

In fact, you want to be more adventurous. Bring your camera and friends outdoor.

sitting down shot

Have fun and go wild with the shots. You'll never know what you will come up with.

graduation photo_solo on grass

tongue action

pout with graduation hat



trio sitting on grass

me and graduation teddy bear

playing with teddies

graduation photo_smile on grass

graduation photo_frontal view lying on grass

graduation photo_sleeping on grass

graduation photo_sleeping

hat_lilies_teddy_and_graduation suit

Tousled hair

graduation photo_me and jessie

jessie and me on grass

graduation photo_me and jessie sleeping on grass

trio on the grass

graduation photo_trio

jessie weird face

lying on grass

nicole in graduation suit on grass

So guys, have fun at your graduation. ;)


7 kissed Nicole

  1. You look pretty good before or after the editing anyway. Happy Graduation!

  2. my gf and i vow that we must take a girlish graduation shoot in a studion nxt time, emm...maybe we can diy it and save buck huh haha

    thanks for sharing this :)

  3. all the photo studios in town will have to close shop now that we know how to take photos of ourselves, develop and edit/crop them or whatever...

    Nicole, your 2nd photo looks like you wanna bare Pamela Anderson!! He he.....

  4. Big Python23/8/09 9:18 PM

    Second one definitely is the best, only need to imagine :-)