The Savvy Girl's Guide to Nailing your Graduation Photo Shoot!

The Savvy Girl Success Team is so pleased to share our first guest blog by Ryn Photography founder, Katy Sartain! Katy is a senior at Florida State University, where she studies Digital Media Production. Her photography hobby quickly became a lucrative opportunity this spring, as she helped dozens of new grads capture fabulous images this commencement season. We are excited to share her words of wisdom with our savvy girl readers!

Hey Savvy Girls! My name is Katy and I am the "savvy girl" behind Ryn Photography, where, among other video and photography work, I am known for my beautiful graduation portraits. In recent years, grad photos went from something your mom took on her iPhone to a full blown Gigi Hadid-esque photoshoot. After completing 32 sessions in a little over two weeks, I definitely have a few tips and tricks to make sure your grad photos come out as gorgeous and as magical as you are...

1. The Big Picture

Cyber-stalk your photographer to make sure you like their vibe. Each photographer has a different style, with preferences for lighting, colors, backgrounds, and posing the shoot. The photographer’s style may gel with your Instagram feed and your own personal aesthetic, while others may not. Be sure you know what you’re signing up for so that you are pleased with the final product.

Make sure to book your shoot in advance to get the ideal time for outdoor shots. Check your calendar to avoid exam day or other conflicting commitments. Once you have booked your time, make sure you inform your sorority big/little, boyfriend, and besties that you may want in a few shots so that they are available during that time as well.

Once you have confirmed your shooting date and coordinated with your entourage, it’s time to prepare yourself for the shoot. Do you need someone else to do your hair and makeup? The day of the shoot is not the day to experiment with a new hairstyle or to practice your first attempt at contouring. Instead, do your signature look or head over to MAC and a blowout bar and have a professional work their magic.

2. The Happiest of Hours

My happy hours are not the ones with fruity drinks, but the hour before sunset and the hour after sunrise! Photographers call this "magic hour" or "golden hour". I can’t even tell you how important lighting is - it is easily 50% of constructing a beautiful image. This is one of the reasons to book your shoot early--so that you can capitalize on these preferred times for outdoor shoots.

*SAVVY GIRL TIP: Do NOT shoot at noon.*

3. Dress to Impress

You might want to bring more than one outfit in case something happens. Know your body and what color and cut is flattering on you. I’ve had quite a few photography subjects with great bodies who didn’t like how their arms looked in sleeveless outfits after seeing a few test shots. Make sure you have both sleeved and sleeveless choices and different necklines and flattering colors so that you have options on the day of the shoot.

You already look stunning, so bring a blazer and grab a picture to update your LinkedIn! What better way to commemorate success while charging toward your future?

4. Stand Out

You are uniquely you! And as a photographer, I love to celebrate that. If there is a unique spot on campus that is important to you and your journey, let your photographer know. Some of my favorite photos are the ones that are special to the girl.

Finally, it’s time to think about props. Glitter, balloons, champagne, football jerseys, and maps are all fun things I’ve used to get personalized shots that show my graduates’ extraordinary traits.

And those are my tips to make sure your shoot goes smoothly! Once you’re there, have fun, and move around. Relax and let your true spirit translate through the lens. You can tell if someone is having fun in photos, so now is the time to celebrate your accomplishments, bring out the smize, and live out your America’s Next Top Model dreams.

Congratulations grads!!



Follow Ryn Photography on instagram: @rynphotos

You can contact Katy through her email:

P.S. Sign up today to join the Savvy Girl Insider's Club and be entered to win

FREE access to the Savvy Girl's Guide to Post-Grad Success Program!

This is a $297 Value!!!!

Winner will be chosen randomly on May 30th!

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