DIY Graduation Portrait at Home

A graduation picture holds a memory, a milestone, and a reminder of a chapter in our lives.  Due to the current situation, getting your graduation photo is not as easy as before.  Maybe you can try to do it on your own and at the comfort of your own home.


Here is a simple guide for your DIY graduation portrait


  1. Background
  • Look for a plain background (I.E. White wall, grey wall) and avoid strong patterns or clutter behind you.


  1. Lighting
  • Face should be well-lit. Light may come from room light or window (natural light).
  • Do not stand directly under a light. Try to stand facing the light (as illustrated below).
  • Early morning and late afternoon are the best time to shoot using sunlight.


Window light




Ring light


  1. Camera
  • Camera height should be around chest level. Do not use your flash.
  • If you have a DSLR camera, it would be better. Set it to P mode then take a photo. If you have a kit lens, place the zoom at 55mm.
  • If you have a phone, it can also be nice. Just make sure to use the back camera. Hold the phone steady to make sure no shake and the image is sharp. Take a shot.  You should not be too close to the subject; camera phones tend to be on the wider side so move back a little and just crop the image to your preferred crop.
  • Remember that you must have enough light to make images look awesome. If you have a tripod, use it.


  1. Framing
  • Provide enough space on the side and above the head.


  1. Clothes
  • Clothes should be neatly pressed.
  • Make sure your top fits you well. A poor fitting top will be obvious in the photos (especially around the neck).


  1. General Grooming
  • Check for stray nose hairs – trim as needed.
  • Make-up should be clean and natural (Consult your school if make-up is allowed).
  • Avoid shimmers or products with lots of sparkle or shine.
  • Remove excess oil or shine by using a blotting paper (oil control film) or wash face prior to the shoot.
  • Keep your hair out of your face.


  1. Pose
  • Upper part of your body is turned two-thirds away from the camera.
  • For women, half turn to the camera and lower a shoulder a bit.


  1. Face
  • Camera is your friend. Imagine that your talking to your friend; to make your expression look natural and relaxed.


Hope this guide can help you have a decent graduation picture.  Even if you use your mobile phone, digital cam, DSLR or mirrorless camera, what matters most is the emotion you captured in those photos. Stay healthy and safe to all! Corporate Shoot

About a couple of months ago, me and my friend Bob Cristuta, COO/Co-founder of Timebox Consulting, KroniklrPH and SlowMoManila, got a chance to talk to Diego Ramos, Co-founder of  At that time, I was looking for new subjects to add to my portfolio.  Luckily, Diego allowed us to take some portraits for their team.  I started with one light and then added some more for the white background shots.  I used my Fujifilm X-pro1 for this shoot which was amazing as always. I had a nice conversation with each of the subject that made it easier to capture their best portrait. It was an amazing day of shoot with great people and an awesome company.

I think that every business should have great pictures not only for their products, but also for the team behind  the business.  It is always great to know who you are doing business with.  So it’s better to update the corporate portraits with a better one and drop those id pictures away.

By the way, is what we entrepreneurs, freelancers, and SMEs are waiting for.  Checkout their amazing website for more info and also checkout their team photos.  Click here for their site.

Here are some of the shots from our shoot.

Jojy Azurin - Co-Founder

Jojy Azurin – Co-Founder

Diego Jose Ramos - Co-Founder

Diego Jose Ramos – Co-Founder


Hannah Crisostomo - Co-Founder

Hannah Crisostomo – Co-Founder


The team of

The team of

a great candid moment captured during our shoot

a great candid moment captured during our shoot


And here are some BTS shots


Shooting and having a nice conversation with Diego

Shooting and having a nice conversation with Diego

Self branding through photographs workshop at Watson Institute Philippines

Just browsing though photos in Lightroom and came across a set of photographs I took for Watson Institute Philippines. Watson Institute Philippines is an eight-week long accelerator in Manila, Philippines for student innovators, leaders, and entrepreneurs.  I met Andy Rapista, Co-founder of Watson Institute Philippines,  during one of the dinner organized by the Diego Ramos, awesome guy and co-founder of  We talked about what Watson is and I also showed her some of my shots.  I was telling her that I coach my subjects so that they look their best in front of the camera. She asked me if I can do a workshop for the amazing students of Watson Institute.. I figured out my schedule and said yes. Glad I did the workshop for them.  It was an amazing experience for me and hopefully for them.  A decent portrait can improve your self confidence and maybe land more opportunities for you and your business.

I’ll just end this post with this line.

Everybody deserves to have a decent portrait.

Please checkout Watson Institute Philippines

Here are some of the photos I took after the workshop.