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Welcome to the OBP blog, where I share my favorite images, memories from shooting, and whatever else can't fit into a 140 character Twitter post.

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I'm Olivia B.

My Favorite ‘Props’ for Grad Sessions!

Tips from Olivia B.

February 11, 2021

One of the first (and most exciting!) questions I ask my grads at their senior portrait session is, “What have you brought with you?” While I’m excited when grads come with their caps, gowns, cords and stoles in tow, I know we are in for a super fun session when they have a few extra items with them!

I have been shooting graduation portraits at The University of Alabama for five years, and sometimes I forget that most of my seniors have never done this before! That being said, I completely understand if you find yourself at a loss for what extras to bring to your session.


My number one favorite item grads bring to their session! Confetti is such a fun way to bring some color and extra excitement to your graduation portrait session. I suggest seniors look for confetti poppers (check out this pack from Target) or loose, chunky confetti. I caution my grads to stay away from fine glitter and confetti cannons, as the glitter can look dusty and hazy on camera, and confetti cannons can be a bit unpredictable!

Want to be a bit more eco-friendly? Popcorn is another cute option to toss as confetti!

The University of Alabama
Props for graduation sessions
UA Graduation Portrait Photographer


Or another bubbly drink of your choice 😉 I have seen everything from Champagne to Diet Coke to sparkling water being sprayed as the grand finale for graduation portrait sessions! Whether you are spraying your bubbles alone or with friends, these shots are always some of my grads (and my own!) favorites. What’s more celebratory than having your own dramatic champagne-spray moment?!


Shakers are a fun way to incorporate even more university-pride in your portraits! Most university campuses are neutrally colored in nature, so having a pop of your school colors to hold onto in some of your portraits always looks great. Did you miss grabbing a shaker the last time you attended a football game? You can find collegiate shakers in most schools’ bookstores– like the Ferguson Center at UA!

Bonus for the UA Grads…

I LOVE when my seniors have snagged a ‘Roll Tide’/’Where Legends Are Made’ sign and bring it along to their portrait session! Thanks to it being double-sided, this prop is essentially a two-in-one. Show off what a ‘Legend’ you have become at UA– or give passersby a reason to stick their heads out of their cars and yell, ‘ROLL TIDE’!

That’s me on the right! Will shot my graduation portrait sessions back in December of 2019. The ‘Where Legends Are Made’ sign was a must-have in my own portrait session!
  1. […] sure, you definitely can plan to pack some hand and foot warmers along with the props I’ll encourage you to bring along to your session, but I would encourage you to consider the forecast when making an outfit choice. If you have been […]

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