Syracuse University Grad Session

November 24, 2022

Syracuse university graduate
student sitting on stairs in syracuse

You’ve busted your ass studying, staying focused, and on top of your shit for the last major part of you life to become something greater than your wildest dreams. You’re almost there – Graduation is right around the corner and you deserve to fucking celebrate! What better way to celebrate than to treat yourself to a unique photo session that perfectly defines your journey, success, and readiness for your next chapter in life!

Here is a list of MUST HAVE consideration for when you book your upcoming graduation session. This session booked by this BOSS of a woman was a declaration of where they’re going but also how far they’ve come. Lauryn is soon to graduate this winter but preferred to have a more Late Summer/Fall time vibe for her Syracuse University graduation session. No matter if you’re studying in Syracuse or any other city you can make your grad session truly special and of course, POP with these top 10 ideas.


Don’t wait for blistering hot summers or, in some cases, winter graduations dates to have your session. Grad dates shouldn’t dictate when you want to have your dream grad session. When it comes to any photo session, especially in a place like Syracuse, NY, weather may play a role in determining when and where you want to have your graduation session. Fall time in Syracuse is beyond gorgeous. The NY fall colors are unlike anything else and it was the perfect back drop for Lauryn’s Syracuse University grad celebration session. Lauryn herself officially graduates this winter and will have the best set of epic BOSS BITCH – I’m ready to take on the world – type of images to share with the world. Her friends and co students will say – DAMN that was such a good idea.

student walking by new Syracuse university sign, syracuse graduation session
student at syracuse posing in main campus of syracuse university
Newhouse Syracuse University student poses in front of main campus during grad session, wearing all ivory suit
Student at Syracuse university celebrated graduation with champagne, walking around with bottle

#2 – Travel to your college’s campus to utilize their epic architecture & luscious grounds! EVEN IF YOU’RE AN OUT OF STATE STUDENT – It’s so worth the trip!

Just like Lauryn, and many students around the world, I too attended a school that was not in the town I lived in for years. Lauryn and her mother flew to Syracuse to finally check out the SU campus, grab some SYRACUSE University gear, and visit Newhouse which is the college Lauryn attended for the last few years but has never stepped foot into. It’s incredible to finally take her first steps on such a “Hogwarts-esque” campus per Lauryn! Haha

We got to take in such a beautiful space and began our session by utilizing the inspiring architecture surrounded by the most beautiful florals and trees.

Syracuse university student pops bottle of champagne to celebrate
woman pops a bottle of champagne

#3 – Make your session POP by POPPING THE CHAMPAGNE!

Go for it – YOU’RE OVER 21 – and you deserve to celebrate a little. Grab a bottle that photographs well and tastes fucking amazing. My personal recommendation is Vueve Clicot which runs around $50 at any local liquor shop in Syracuse. Its bright orange which works perfectly with Syracuse University colors! There are bottle much more inexpensive but why not buy the shoes… I mean champagne hahaha… Speaking of shoes…

#4 – Include your school colors in your accessories!!!

In this case Lauryn chose an ivory suit and bright ORANGE heels. She was able to tie in a typical ORANGEMAN orange in those heels that POPPED so much!! It was Sexy, Sleek, Gorgeous, and Represented her SU school spirit. This not only screams PROFESSIONAL + but also subtly “Hey I’m a proud Syracuse University grad ready to take on the world with this bomb ass degree!”. These shoes tied in so perfectly with Lauryn’s well thought out wardrobe in order to stand out not only as a professional but to also elevate the entire photo session.

#5 – SO LETS TALK Wardrobe Selection!! Time to feel like a BABE.

When it comes to wardrobe – It’s most recommended that clients wear neutral tones, off white, soft textures, soft patterns, and pretty much anything that can be seen as more “timeless” – Literally. The goal is to always be able to look back at your photos and not be able to place the decade based off the clothes. Although sometimes it’s good to break rules.

Woman just took a sip of champagne from the bottle and is wipping of lips from excess champagne

#6 – NAILS NAILS NAILS – maybe this would surprise you but this could actually elevate your session to the next level!

Chances are your nails will very likely be front n’ center in a good chunk of close up photos! So it’s time to schedule your nail appointment before your upcoming session. To some people this will be a no brainer, while others may not think about this at all. It’s HONESTLY to your advantage to have fresh nails or MANI/PEDI done for timelessness and ALSO just to feel your best and have a high end look for such a huge celebration. There are a lot of times your hands will be photographed since there aren’t an incredible amount of things to hold. You deserve to be and FEEL stunning.

Things to avoid nail wise – Stick on nails (yes people still use these but unfortunately they dont photograph well), Older acrylic nails that havent been clean – it could show up in some photos and the non clean look can ulter the feel of your photos and overall vision, and lastly possibly avoid bright colors that clash with your accessories or vibe of the session. I adored the neutral gel nails Lauryn has but an SU orange could have been an amazing alternative!

girl walks around with a bottle of champagne around syracuse, NY
girl with hand on hip smiling with Syracuse university in background
woman soon to graduate takes photos in front of Newhouse in syracuse

#7 – POSING BOOT CAMP – Are you ready for some no brainer posing ideas?

Posing alone and without props can be intimidating. But watch how Lauryn killed it and came out with an abundance of photos for her collection. Would you believe it if I told you Lauryn was on the shy scale for the first half of the session? Not just a little shy but a lot of shy! I loved it – Lauryn is the most bubbly, beautiful, kindest person and I was beyond honored to help bring that out of her more to reflect in her photos so she could see her true self in these images.

First things first – WALKING – seems to easy but movement loosens us up. TRY IT

When you’re walking keep going. Walk away, walk towards, walk to the side, pivot back, looking at the camera, looking past the camera… Starting to see it?

CHANNEL YOUR INNER TYRA – move your hips from side to side like youre doing a small dance, play with your arms, shrug one shoulder into your chin with a cheeky smile, play with your hair with one hand, do a spin and giggle if it feels like you. For more serious editorial style photos – stand tall looking away from the camera, maybe cross your arms, try having your hand on your hip/waist, aim for a profile shot, maybe a straight on shot too. My favorite promt is when I have the client walk away then sneak a peek back at me like “WHOS BACK THERE, OH IT’S YOU HAHA”

woman poses for photos in front of Newhouse SU college
Syracuse, NY graduation photo session around SU campus
Woman sits on SU steps and looks right into the camera, wearing orange heels and an ivory suit


I’ll bring my changing tent and BAMMM new look – new you – new vibe!

Lauryn’s not from Syracuse so instead of going all the way back to their hotel to change into a new outfit – I brought my most beloved and always accessible changing tent that I pop out of my trunk and it opens into a portable tent. SO FREAKING EASY!! When people see the tent they are just blown away – it looks like a mini camping tent hahaha!

I love the second look option for all types of session. It’s a chance to keep the fun going with a totally different feel. Lauryn’s second look was a sleek black dress that hugged their every curve. Less boss and more “Im being honored at tonights event” vibe haha!

Student walks around SU campus

#9 – TAKE PHOTOS WITH YOUR SCHOOLS MASCOT! Syracuse University’s Otto celebrated with us!

This was a fun idea by Lauryns mom you can see in the background who walked all the way to Otto to ask if they would be in a photo with Lauryn. Watch as Otto comes flying down the hill to show all the love and support to one of their ambitious SU students on their way to graduate! It was so cute and made us all laugh till it hurt!

Student at SU takes a photo with Otto the mascot

#10 – TIME OF DAY is key!

This matters for the light (depending on location)

This determines the amount of people/students/visitors/etc who could possibly be in the areas you’re looking at being photographed in. The less busy the better. Early times are the best for softer creamier light and theres always less people.

It’s way easier to wait for one person to walk past than a large crowd at noon! It’s also so much easier to pose when you feel the atmosphere is a bit more intimate!

BONUS – If you truly want an elevated graduation session like this one at Syracuse University inquire with me and we will plan a gorgeous session that beautifully represents you

Girl sitting on stairs at syracuse university campus during graduation photo session
  1. Sophia Lehrer says:

    Hi, I was looking to inquire about Syracuse grad photos during the second week of May! Your photography is beautiful 🙂 Looking forward to hearing back!

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ABOUT Sara Marx

Spending most days watching TV dramas, editing with a glass of French Rose, watering my babies (PLANT MOM), and spending all of my free time with my adorable handsome husband, Stephen!

We dream of living an epically fulfilling life - to quit our 9-5 jobs and create a life full of adventure, meaningful memories, and an abundance of pure joy and laughter. Bringing an impact to the world!

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