Photo Graduation Announcements A Modern Choice

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A traditional graduation announcement includes a greeting card, usually embellished with the mascot and colors of your school, a tissue insert, an inner envelope and an outer envelope. Oh, and plenty of stuffiness. Traditional graduation announcements are totally lacking in originality and personality. They also tend to be time consuming to assemble and address, and expensive to purchase and mail.

Photo graduation announcements in postcard format are a modern alternative to a traditional boring announcement card. Not only are they more colorful and customizable, they also feature your graduation portrait on the front. They’re a lasting keepsake rather than an expensive piece of stationary that will likely end up in your relatives’ trashcans. Even better, the money you save when you purchase photo graduation announcements in postcard format can go towards that fabulous graduation party you’ve been planning.

Before beginning the process of selecting a photo graduation announcement, you need to determine how many you need to order. Class sizes at schools and colleges have grown to such an extent that many now limit the number of individuals any graduate may invite to the commencement ceremony. If your school has set a limit, you may want to send a separate commencement ceremony invitation to the select few you are able to invite and keep your graduation announcement postcard more generic.

When creating your mailing list for the photo graduation announcements, it can be helpful to consult your parents. They will likely have all the names and address you will require. As far as who you should send announcements to, the answer is basically anyone who you think will care about the news. These people generally include your parents, grandparents, siblings (if no longer at home), aunts and uncles, cousins (if grown), godparents, friends of the family, mentors, favorite teachers and religious leaders. There’s a good chance your doctor, dentist and the guy at the drive through do not care about your graduation, so you can leave them off the list.

It is appropriate to send photo graduation announcements to out of town friends and relatives who are unable to attend the festivities. They should still be presented with this opportunity to share in your accomplishment. They will likely send you a nice graduation card (maybe even stuffed with cash!) as a result.

As a graduation announcement is generally a rather formal mail piece, you’ll want to address it in a formal manner, even if you’re sending photo graduation announcements in postcard format. Basically, this means including Mr., Mrs., Miss and avoiding abbreviations within the mailing address. For example:

Mr. Robert Johnson
2156 East Wallace Way
Boulder, Colorado 80303

Miss Adele Smith
21 Boss Court, Apartment 302
Louisville, Kentucky 12938

Mr. and Mrs. John Livingston
3829 Walter Road Northeast
Boston, Massachusetts 28282

Your next step before ordering your photo graduation announcements is to gather the information you’ll want to include. Your name is necessary, of course. You should also include the name of the school you are graduating from and the year of your graduating class. If you’re using your announcements as party invitations, you should include the location, date and time of your party as well. Some graduates like to include their favorite quote or an inspirational saying (such as “The Class of 1990 Rocks!”) on their photo graduation announcements.

Graduation announcements should be mailed two weeks before your commencement or up to two weeks after. Obviously, you’ll want to send them out before the ceremony if you want the recipients to attend that day’s events. Keep this timeline in mind when ordering your photo graduation announcements. Some print houses can take up to six weeks to run your order. However, if you want your announcements fast, consider a vendor such as They will print, address, stamp and mail your announcements within one business day of your order.

If you plan to send photo graduation announcements, you obviously need a fabulous graduation photo before you can place an order. Unfortunately, graduation portraits are often (at best) boring or (at worst) downright cheesy. If you want to ensure that your graduation photo truly captures your personality, you need to choose the right photographer, put some thought into what makes you unique, and don’t be afraid to tell your photographer if you don’t like something about the proposed shot.

My graduation photo is a perfect example of what would happen if boring and cheesy married and had a baby named nothing-like-me. In this portrait, I appear to be a horse-loving cowgirl. One would think I loved nothing more than the Wild West and country western music. One would never know that I was an honor student, newspaper editor and hater of twangy guitar. My younger sister’s graduation photo was even worse. Thanks to the checkerboard tile backdrop and diaphanous white curtain the photographer used as a prop, she appears to be posing in a bathroom. Perhaps this photo was rather prophetic (she has spent much of her adult life in a bathroom potty training her numerous children), but it was disappointing nonetheless. Don’t let a bad graduation portrait happen to you.

Choose the right photographer
Most of us are a little (or a lot) uncomfortable when someone points a camera lens at us. This leads to awkward, unflattering portraits. The right photographer is going to be the one who knows how to put you at ease. Interview a few, preferably in person. Ask them to describe their portrait methods and how they handle nervous clients. If you meet one who makes you laugh, or with whom you feel a connection, this is likely the photographer for you.

What makes you unique?
The “leaning against the wall” shot or “sitting against the tree” shot are a dime a dozen. You don’t want to look like just any reasonably groomed young person in your graduation photo. Spend some time making a list of the things that are special about you. Do you rock at football? Did you lead every pep rally with your cheer? Did you revolutionize the marching band? Did you capture the hearts of the audience in every school play? Do you know every corner of the library like the back of your hand? Give this list to your photographer. He or she should be able to use it to come up with a few unique and interesting ideas for both portrait location and style.

Speak up.
These days, many photographers are able to show you their shots instantly by shooting tethered to a laptop or monitor. Ask your photographer if he or she is willing to do this. If so, you’ll be able to give immediate feedback as far as where the shoot is going. If you don’t like what you see, say so. You don’t want to end up with a graduation photo you hate just because you failed to ask for another take.

If you’re ready to create the perfect photo graduation announcements to showcase your fabulous graduation photo, visit, a new online retailer blending mailing expertise with great graphic design, powerful customization tools and astonishing service.

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