Michigan State University Graduation Photos


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Michigan State University Graduation Photos You Must Have

As you are looking for graduation photo ideas, here are 6 quick tips to have a successful and fun experience! There’s a lot to think about when it comes to graduation and senior portraits. In this post, I will share some graduation photo ideas and poses from my recent graduation session with Reanna, a recent graduate from the MSU College of Veterinary Medicine.

MSU College of Veterinary Medicine

MSU College of Veterinary Medicine

What to Ask You Photographer Before Booking?

Truly, all graduates deserve to have a meaningful and fun photography experience. However, some people might not know how to choose the right photographer or what questions to ask before booking. To begin with, you can start with some important questions like:

  • What are the session options?

  • How many outfit changes do I get with my session package?

  • How many locations can we go during the session?

  • Can I see a sample gallery?

  • How do you deliver the photos?

  • Do we get the print release?

  • Can I bring my pet(s) or friends? How do you charge for extra person to be in the photo?

  • Can we order prints or albums from you?

  • What’s your cancellation policy?

  • Do you carry backup equipment?

Most importantly, schedule a Discovery Call with your potential photographer. A professional photographer should be able to walk you through the process. Also, you can have the opportunity to tell him or her about your vision. Plus, you’ll get to know your photographer’s personality through the call. Personally, I enjoy talking with my potential clients before booking because it allows me to design a  personalized experience!

MSU graduation photo at College of Veterinary Medicine

Take Reanna’s graduation portrait session at MSU as an example, I included a custom proposal with session options along with a sample gallery in our initial communication. In my opinion, it’s extremely important for the photographer to help the clients to have realistic expectations. Not only will this build up the trust, but you will have more effective communication throughout the process.

Of course, another efficient way for the photographers to answer these questions is to prepare a Portrait Session Prep Guide.  

Tell a Story with Your College Graduation Photos

Next, work with your graduation portrait photographer to tell a story with your Michigan State University graduation photos. In other words, incorporate props with your area of study to enable your photographer to capture the images in a narrative and personal way. In particular, remember to include close-up shots of your props, cap and gown!

MSU graduation photo at College of Veterinary Medicine

In fact, there are many different ways you can show off your school pride. In our Michigan State graduation session, for example, Reanna graduated from MSU College of Veterinary Medicine and Veterinary Medical Center. As you might know, Michigan State University’s colors are green and white. So I recommended Reanna choosing her outfits based on this color scheme to highlight her school’s colors.

michigan state university graduation photos Spartan Stadium

Choose Iconic Campus Landmark As A Backdrop

On top of that, we also took some photos of her in front of the Small Animal Clinic and her School in lab coat to tell the story of her educational journey. These two buildings mean a lot to her as she spent most of her PhD program there. So don’t forget to use the College as a backdrop!

Similarly, choosing a great portrait location plays an essential role in your graduation photo ideas and poses. If necessary, scout the locations beforehand and give specific location address to your photographer to save time on the day.  

MSU Spartan Stadium drone shot by Beyond Jade

For example, I believe it is the photographer’s responsibility to scout the perfect photography location for their clients. Prior to Reanna’s graduate session, I did some research and found that Michigan State landmarks include the bronze statue of Sparty, Beaumont Tower, and the bridge by Spartan Stadium. However, during the college graduation season, it’s highly recommended to bring an extra friend to help you wait in line while you are taking photos! By doing this, you’re not wasting your session time away.

MSU Spartan Stadium drone shot by Beyond Jade

MSU Spartan Stadium drone shot by Beyond Jade

MSU Spartan Stadium

MSU Spartan Stadium

(Pro Tip: We are now offering DRONE PHOTOGRAPHY/VIDEOGRAPHY to take your graduation sessions to the next level!) 

michigan state university graduation photos and engagement session photos

Include Your Family, Best Friends or Pets

Now, graduation is a celebration of your achievement. How can you celebrate without your significant other, parents, best friends, and of course, your pets? They are the ones who have been supporting you along your journey. It wouldn’t be the same without them!

Yet, if you are planning to bring extra person or pets, make sure to talk to your photographer before booking. First of all, this will allow your photographer to allocate your session time more effectively. Also, your photographer will definitely appreciate your heads-up and respect.   



Get a Few Formal Headshots

In general, I always include a few formal headshots with cap and gown in my college graduation sessions. On the one hand, these professional headshots might come in handy when they apply for new jobs. On the other hand, proud parents and grandparents will love the opportunity to show off and display framed photos on their wall!

michigan state university graduation photos pop champagne Spartan statue

Bring Props to Have Fun

Last but not the least, bring props to celebrate! A meaningful sign, confetti, glitter or champagne are a fun touch to add in your graduation session. In terms of graduation photo ideas and poses, action shots will always be my favorite to capture!

michigan state university graduation photos law school

RELATED: Saginaw Valley State University Graduation

Saginaw Valley State University Graduation Photo headshot by Beyond Jade


Tips for Picking Senior Photo Outfit
  1. Maggie Herron says:

    These pictures are so good!!! You captured so many amazing moments!

  2. Maggie Herron says:

    These pictures are so good!!! You captured so many amazing moments!

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An academic director turned creative director

 With her roots in Taiwan and her home in Michigan, Chinling passionately serves multicultural couples and creative entrepreneurs. Each frame she crafts stands as a testament to her attention to detail and penchant for luxury.

She has mastered the art of balancing aesthetics with authentic storytelling, making every photograph she captures a timeless work of art. A firm believer in the power of creativity, her love for design, culture and human connection fuels her illustrious career. 




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