Make your launch photos stand out with these nifty tricks

With Commencement 2022 fast approaching, we’ve compiled a list of nifty tips and tricks to improve all your graduation photos.

Congratulations, #BU2022! You did it.

The “rule of thirds”:

Have you ever used the grid lines on your phone camera to get a better shot? Then you have already used the “rule of thirds”. The rule is a principle of composition that suggests that an image should be separated into thirds, both vertically and horizontally, making nine different parts. The idea behind it is that by placing the object or person of interest in these sections, your photo will be more balanced and easily catch the eye.

Trying to figure out how to activate your camera grid? Here’s how:

  • iPhone: Go to “Settings” → “Photos & Camera” and turn on “Grid”.
  • Android: Launch the Camera app, go to “Settings”, scroll down and set the “Grid” option to “On”.

Use negative space to your advantage:

Photo by Dan Aguirre

“Negative space” is defined as the space around the subjects in your photo; using it correctly can really make an image shine. By playing with negative or “white” space in your image, your grad photos will get your followers to hit the “like” button faster. Looking for good examples of spaces on or near campus with lots of negative space? Stop at the Esplanade, BU Beach, Nickerson Field, Marsh Chapel or Bay State Road. Not near any of these places? Carefree. Just point your camera at the sky.

Psst…find more Instagrammable spots around campus here.

Enable front camera mirroring:

Photo by Dave Green Photography

Have you ever taken a selfie and the photo looks a little different than how you see yourself in your front camera? This is probably because most cell phone cameras will take a mirror image of you by default. By activating front camera mirroring, your photos will appear exactly as you see them before you press the shutter button.

Trying to figure out how to do this? Here’s how:

  • iPhone: Go to Settings → Camera → Enable “Mirror Front Camera”.
  • Android: Tap the Tools option at the bottom of the screen, then select Rotate from the menu that appears. At the bottom of the screen, you’ll see an icon with two arrows pointing at each other, with a dotted vertical line between them. Tap it and you should see your image return to a normal orientation.

Avoid zooming while taking your photos:

Many cell phone cameras have default zoom options of 0.5x, 1x, and 3x. Stick to these if you want a good photo, zooming beyond these settings will reduce the quality of your photo. Instead, take your photo using one of the presets and then zoom in during the editing process. If the zoom options aren’t enough, try getting closer to the subject in the photo. Your friends will thank you later when you tag them in a crisp, high-res launch photo.

Take a few candids… or “plandids”:

Photo by Cydney Scott

Posed photos are great and all, but capturing a smiling grad cuddling with friends or jumping on the BU seal is way cooler. What’s the best way to do it? Just take as many pictures as possible. Having more options will make it easier to find the best shot among the “OKs”. Candids don’t cut it? Take a “plandid” instead. When taking photos, ask your friends to pretend to laugh or plan an action to take. Trust us, those viewing your social media posts probably won’t notice the difference.

Download a highly rated photo editing app:

While most smartphones provide filters in their camera app, editing apps like Adobe Lightroom offer users a more complex and wider range of effects and techniques. Using Adobe Lightroom, users can choose from a wide selection of filters or import their own. Additionally, users can create their own presets and filters and save them in the app for later use.

Other great editing apps include:

Boston University’s Kickoff Weekend 2022 runs from May 19-22. Be sure to use #BU2022 on all your launch photos for a chance to be featured on the Jumbotron during Sunday’s main event at Nickerson Field.

Explore related topics: