Outdoor or studio graduation photoshoot? Both have pros and cons - but which option is better?


Graduation photoshoot

So, final exams are done and dusted, and it’s time for your graduation photoshoot! Before you start googling ‘graduation photoshoot near me’, there’s one important graduation photography question you need to consider – will you have an outdoor graduation photoshoot, or will you be taking your portraits at a graduation photoshoot studio? Having an outdoor graduation portrait taken can look quite different to having one taken in a studio. 

To help you decide whether a studio graduation photoshoot or outdoor graduation photoshoot is right for you, this blog will look at:

    • Studio graduation photoshoot pros
    • Studio graduation photoshoot cons
    • Outdoor graduation photoshoot pros
    • Outdoor graduation photoshoot cons
    • Which is best?

Studio graduation photoshoot pros

    • Get traditional photos – Many graduates dream of the day where the traditional studio graduation photo hangs on their living room wall. You can get this traditional photo by having a studio photography session.
    • More control over lighting – Because studio photography sessions use studio lighting your photographer has complete control over the lighting conditions, ensuring that the light in your photographs will look perfect. 
    • Avoid the bad weather – In countries like the UK, where it rains all year round, the weather could interfere with your photoshoot. With a studio graduation photoshoot, you will be safe and dry, and your hair, makeup and clothing will remain untouched by the weather outside.
    • Comfortable and convenient – In a photography studio, you are not only sheltered from the elements, but it makes for a more comfortable and convenient shoot. You will have access to toilets, plug sockets for charging your phone, hair straighteners etc., and other amenities which make you feel at ease.
    • Utilise props/backdrops – In a studio photoshoot you have plenty of time to execute your studio graduation photoshoot ideas where you take fun photos by incorporating props and different studio backdrops.
    • Time-efficient – With outdoor studio photoshoots, clients will want to take photos in multiple settings which can be quite draining on time. With studio photoshoots, you are taking all of your pictures in one place, which requires less energy and time.
    • Privacy – Some people are shy, and don’t feel comfortable posing in the same space as strangers. If you prefer more privacy, a studio photography session is right for you. 

Graduation photo outdoors


Studio graduation photoshoot cons

    • Less variety – The main drawback of studio graduation photoshoots is the lack of variety in terms of location and background. The setting for your image has a big impact on the look and feel of a photo. If you like studio backgrounds, however, this isn’t as much of an issue.
    • Limited time – Because photography studios have busy schedules, it is likely that there will be some limits on time, preventing you from getting as many photos as you would like.

Outdoor graduation photoshoot pros

    • Utilise outdoor backgrounds – With outdoor graduation photoshoots, you have the huge advantage of using outdoor locations, which can greatly enhance your photos. There is no limit to your background options, unlike indoor photography.
    • Make the photoshoot yours – In an outdoor photoshoot you can utilise outdoor locations which have meaning to you; it can be difficult to achieve the same level of sentiment in an indoor graduation photoshoot. One of the most popular graduation photo ideas is to take photographs on campus, which of course, you cannot do in a studio.
    • Utilise natural lightingNatural lighting has an incomparably beautiful look which makes your graduation photos look wonderful and natural. Studio lights make you look undoubtedly polished – but some people prefer the look and atmosphere of natural lighting in their photographs.
    • Photographs feel less staged – With studio graduation photoshoots, because of the lighting and setting, it feels more formal and staged. Some people prefer the more natural, spontaneous vibe of outdoor photoshoots in more naturalistic locations.
    • Candid photos look better If you’re a candid photo lover, they tend to appear more natural in outdoor locations. 
    • No time limitations – With outdoor photography, you will be able to book your photographer for as long as your photographer is willing, whereas studio time is likely to be dictated by the studio’s schedule. 

Graduation photo indoors


Outdoor graduation photoshoot cons

    • Unpredictable weather – Shooting outdoors is amazing, but one of the biggest disadvantages is the unpredictable weather. It can be a game of chance, as the weather on the day of your shoot may turn out differently than expected.
    • Unpredictable lighting – While natural lighting is an advantage, it also presents us with challenges. It can be unpredictable and difficult to control. Optimal lighting is during golden hour, but this may be inconvenient for clients.
    • No privacy – One of the downsides of shooting outdoors is the lack of privacy. Some people find it difficult to pose comfortably in the presence of strangers, which can be an issue when shooting in public spaces. However, by scheduling your shoot for quieter times, you can avoid the crowds.
    • Inconvenient – One of the downsides of outdoor photoshoots is the inconvenience of not having easily accessible amenities.

Which is best?

Whether you go with a studio photoshoot or an outdoor photoshoot for your graduation photography session is up to you! This is rather subjective, as different people are looking for different things from their photo sessions. 

If you’re someone who doesn’t like to take a chance on the weather and lighting conditions, likes the comfort and convenience of shooting indoors, prefers privacy, and prefers a more traditional approach to photography, a studio session is perfect for you! You have control over the lighting and privacy. The main disadvantage is the lack of variety in your background.

If you like utilising outdoor places, natural lighting, and prefer a more creative and custom approach to photography, then an outdoor shoot is perfect for your graduation photography. Your photos will look unique and wonderful if you shoot outdoors, but the main disadvantage is the unpredictable weather and lighting. 

Whichever way you go, when you are working with an excellent photographer you are guaranteed to get graduation photos that will make you smile – it’s about weighing up what you value most in photography and the photoshoot experience.


We hope this article helped you to decide between an outdoor graduation photoshoot and a studio graduation photoshoot!


If you require a graduation photographer, book with Splento for a reliable, on-demand photographer of the highest quality, at an affordable price to get graduation photos worth sharing. Get in touch with a member of the team today so we can help you arrange the perfect graduation photoshoot.

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