Los Angeles can be a photographers paradise; filled with famous stars, fabulous nightlife and beautiful people, but on graduation day the focal point is generally dressed in a black gown and wearing a funny hat.
Graduates are a breed on their own; most young adults think they know it all, to be given a cap and certificate that confirms they know it all generally leads to some badly thought out scenarios. As their photographer you want to get it right, give them chance to act out their great idea; we all know superman Y-fronts and academic regalia, but also make sure they have an album of shots that they can show their granny.
So where can you go in LA to get that one off shoot that will leave everyone talking about your Graduate, and his photographer?
Micheltorena stairs, Sunset Boulevard sum up today’s emoji loving colourful youth. Over 170 steps in total all rainbow coloured and adorned with hearts and symbols they’re a fun location and easily accessible.
For a more classic shot try Bunker Hill steps near Central Library. Surrounded by statues and bordered with foliage this double staircase is a visual delight.
There are a great number of locations that you can find large quantities of books in Los Angeles for your graduate to look scholarly, but none that would come close to The Last Bookstore on Spring Street. This is more of an interactive art gallery than a bookstore, with structures and tunnels created from books even the counters are made from books it is literary architecture! Tip- Lighting can be a challenge here in some of the nooks. Also, check with staff first as they have some strict rules regarding bags due to shoplifting.
Walt Disney’s Concert Hall on Grand Avenue overwhelms with photographic opportunity; light bouncing around on the shapely curves of the buildings exterior and shadows formed by the sharp angles as the building washes around like waves. The interior of the building offers yet more curves and white walls to help with lighting. The only problem with this location is choosing your spot, as there are so many to pick from.
There are many gardens in Los Angeles, the Getty Centre on Getty Centre Drive has a great interior should your shoot get rained indoors, but the maize in the gardens is the gem for photographs. The Los Angeles River Centre and Gardens, Avenue 26 is another firm favourite with its huge outdoor archway and intricate iron gates.
Griffith park Observatory, Griffith park road is popular location in the day, but come the night the building takes on a new persona, lighting floods up from the grounds on to the white walls dramatically and the building dark domes quietly frame it in front of the cities twinkling skyline.
The venue for your shoot will often depend on your Graduate and some of the best shots are in the least likely spot, for the Graduate that is known for drinking coffee and studying all night try one of Los Angeles oldest diners; Saugus Cafe, Railroad Avenue. Often fronted with a row of Harleys and many original interior features such as tills and swivel bar stools.