13 Graduation Photo Ideas for 2022

Young Asian Woman Students wearing Graduation hat and gown, Garden background, Woman with Graduation Concept.


If you don’t have graduation photos, did you even graduate? You’ve worked hard to get here already, so we did the hard part and collected 13 graduation photo ideas you can use for your graduation announcements (because we know how exciting it is to make those). Being in the business of helping grads make their way into adulthood with ease (we’re all about adulting made easy here at Postable), we thought we could be of service.

If you’ve already started to browse the web for photo inspiration, you know that there’s no such thing as one size fits all for grad photos. You don’t have to follow any set formula or rule (this isn’t college algebra). Instead, we suggest you play with your graduation photo ideas so that they match your unique sense of style and personality. 

We’ve outlined some graduation photoshoot ideas with and without your formal grad attire as well as ideas for photos with and without your loved ones. Remember, play around with whatever suits you!

Send unique graduation announcements in minutes. Postable will print, address, and mail them for you.

Graduation photo ideas with the cap and/or gown

Let’s get things going with the traditional approach to graduation picture ideas. You’ll likely be getting your formal cap and gown attire shortly before your ceremony so you should plan to take your photos while you still have them (in case you’re just renting). 

A classic pose with your diploma

Whatever other grad pictures you decide to take, you’ll want to make sure to fit time for this classic pose. Every grad has this image to look back on and have all the fuzzy feelings about accomplishing something great. 

The background can be anything from a simple green garden (like the one pictured here), an iconic location on your school’s campus, or even somewhere at home. The important thing is you, the cap, the gown, and the diploma (it’s ok to use a substitute for the picture). 

A silhouette against a sunset

If you’re feeling artsy, then you’ll want to get your camera ready for the sunset. Whether you’re using a professional photographer or having someone you know snap a few shots with your iphone, you should be able to capture this photo without issue. 

Get playful with bubbles or confetti 

Nothing screams celebration quite like colorful confetti. If you want a slightly more fun graduation photo idea to take with your formal cap and gown, this would be perfect.

Make sure to get enough confetti to try for a couple of different takes – you may not get the perfect photo at first. And be sure to bring something to clean it up with so you’re not leaving the area littered. 

Send unique graduation announcements in minutes. Postable will print, address, and mail them for you.

Graduation photo ideas without the cap and gown 

You don’t have to take graduation photos exclusively with your cap and gown. In fact, you may want to take a few without either cap or gown. You’re still a graduate regardless of what you wear. You’ve earned as much. The options are endless, but we’ve listed a few ideas that might tickle your fancy. 

Dressed up against a simple backdrop

Get your nails done, blow out your hair and put on that nice outfit you’ve been saving for something special. You’re about to graduate… It doesn’t get any more special (for now). A great way to really highlight yourself in this light is to take the photos with a simple backdrop. In the case pictured above, the backdrop even matches the color scheme of the graduate’s outfit which actually really pulls the whole picture together. 

Take a walk around your campus or city to spot the perfect wall for your photo.

Get an action shot in nature

Are you located somewhere with nature nearby? Take your graduation photoshoot to the beautiful outdoors. Sometimes the best photo is the one that’s not posed so just have some fun outside and have your photographer snap away. You’re bound to find some great shots in the sequence.

Get an action shot of your hobby

You’ve spent the last however-many years studying books and developing your hobbies. Those count too. Go ahead and make your grad photos extra personal and special by showcasing one of your favorite extracurricular activities. 

Silly book photo

You’ve studied hard. It’s OK to get a little silly now that you’ve been serious enough to accomplish graduating. Use the same books that got you where you are today to take some photos. And feel free to have some fun with them. 

Use a chalkboard or whiteboard to doodle

While you still have access to a classroom with a chalkboard or whiteboard, use it to create some fun graduation photos. This is especially useful if you have impressive doodling skills.

Take a casual stroll through campus

Take a casual stroll through your campus with your photographer. You’ll love looking back at these nice photos and seeing yourself in the context of your school again. Your attire can be formal or casual (you may even consider bringing books).

Send unique graduation announcements in minutes. Postable will print, address, and mail them for you.

Graduation photo ideas with friends and family

You didn’t do this alone. Graduating takes a village and something tells us you had at least someone along for the ride with you. Graduation photos don’t have to be solitary. You can even include photos with your friends and family on your graduation announcements when you have more than one photo slot (like multi-photo templates or back of the card customizations). 

Here are some ideas of how to incorporate those who’ve been part of your journey into your graduation pictures. 

Circle up and high five!

Teamwork makes the dreamwork isn’t only a company cliche. It’s likely what has helped get you where you are today so why not take a grad photo with your team in a huddle. This kind of action shot will almost always produce more natural smiles and candid reactions that make the perfect graduation photo. 

Hat throw

The traditional hat throwing moment makes for the perfect photo. Making sure the camera is ready to get the hat throw will almost certainly result in a spectacular memory-capturing moment. However, don’t be afraid to recreate this if the camera wasn’t ready during the real deal.

Capture a hug!

Candid photos can be really telling. Have your friends and family (or your pro photographer) at the ready when you’re celebrating after the ceremony. Make sure they’re facing the camera directly at your face (as in the photo above) to capture the perfect hug moment and perfect grad photo.

Gazing back from the group

And last, but not least we have the group photo that’s not really a group photo. Have each graduate take a turn looking back at the camera to get a dramatic graduation photo. You’ll have the benefit of the other grads as the backdrop, but the focus will remain on each specific graduate for the perfect photo to use in an announcement. 

And speaking of announcements…

Use your graduationg photos in a graduation announcement!

You’ve made it to the finish line, holy moly! Congratulations. Making it to graduation is no easy feat, but you did it! All those late nights at the library, group projects, and final weeks are officially over. Seriously, how did you ever get through it all? If you’re anything like us, you’ll probably have an urge to run around screaming “I’m done!!” to anyone who’ll listen, but we’ve got a better idea. Let the people that love and care about you most know about your recent accomplishment with graduation announcements. What better way to share your big news other than in an official manner? 

For your convenience (because you deserve it), we’ve compiled 9 of our favorite photo graduation announcements — all of which you can have mailed without leaving your computer. You can click on the button below any of these card designs and play around with the templates with your own graduation photos and unique school information. Once you’ve landed on the perfect graduation announcement, simply enter mailing addresses and click send. Postable will mail your graduation announcements for you. Magic!

Send unique graduation announcements in minutes. Postable will print, address, and mail them for you.

The starry graduate

This design is the perfect combination of simplicity and flair. We love the thick brush stroke font as well as the ability to take up the whole card front for the photo.

Double photo graduation announcement

A graduation announcement with two photos is the perfect chance for a side-by-side comparison of then vs. now.

Signature grad photo announcement

This kind of graduation announcement is perfect for a photo that has a close up with plenty of empty space on the side. It’s a simple design perfect for the minimalist grad.

Simple and loopy grad announcement

In case you’re not interested in using your brand new graduation photos on your announcements, you can use a template like this one. It has a clean design with a bit of flair thanks to the loopy typography. 

The graduate announcement

If you’re looking for a modern and simple design, this announcement is the winner. Little frills and a whole lot of photo action.

The sunshine floral grad announcement

For the graduate who plays by their own rules and wants a little extra color in their life and on their grad announcement. We love the watercolor florals on this card! If your graduation photo matches the yellow and green theme of this announcement, it’ll make for the perfect completed design.

The leopard print announcement

Another pop-right-off-the-page announcement, this design features the same yellow and green color scheme with a slightly edgier tone than the previous floral design.

Graduation brush script

We love the fun brush script font at the bottom of this template. Use a vertical photo and make sure nothing important is at the bottom (or it will get blocked by the text).

The bella trio announcement

And finally, the triple decker of graduation announcements is this simple and modern template. Use three similar photos (as pictured in the default) or do something more creative (think timeline top to bottom). Use the three slots to highlight your best graduate self and you can’t go wrong! 

Did someone say graduation thank you notes?

Once you’ve clicked ‘send’ just sit back and relax. A lovely byproduct of mailing out graduation announcements is the flurry of graduation gifts you’ll likely receive. Certainly don’t mind if we do!

Send unique graduation thank you notes in minutes. Postable will print, address, and mail them for you.

And now that you’re a real adult and what not, you’ll need to send out thank you notes for all those graduation gifts. Don’t worry though, adulting doesn’t have to suck. You can mail your graduation thank you cards just as easily as you mailed out your announcements. Consider Postable your secret adulting hack!