The Inside ‘Scoop’: The Blog of a Northern Ireland Portrait Photographer

Skip the Queue: 5 Better Things To Do than Queuing for Your Graduation Photos

You’ve worked hard, and spending your graduation day queueing to have a rushed photograph taken probably isn’t high on your list of things you want to do! We’ve created this list of five alternative things you can do and skip the queues and get amazing graduation photos on the day!

1. Skip the queues entirely… giving you more time to do stuff that actually matters to you!

University graduation photography and long queues go hand in hand. Did you know, there is an alternative to standing in the university queue to have your “official” photos taken? You could stand in the long queue at your uni in the heat and wait for your two minutes in front of the “photographer” (who may or may not be an actual photographer, who has been briefed to get you out the door as quickly as they can and won’t be taking the time to make sure you look your best)… or you could book your graduation session with us and then you’ll have loads of time to do other things on the day too! We’ve taken over 4000+ graduation photos and know what we are doing. In fact, we are Northern Ireland’s most experienced independent graduation photography studio. You can book your session with us at a time that suits YOU and your family. We don’t do queues. Your time with us is all about you and making sure we get it right. Forget the rushed pictures at the uni where your gown isn’t sitting properly, let us make sure you look your best! We also have Northern Ireland’s largest collection of the same accurate gowns used by both Ulster University & Queen’s University – we keep these in pristine condition.

Keep reading and find out at the end of the article why you’ll want to skip having your “official” photos taken at the uni! In the meantime, here are some ideas for other things you could be using your time on your graduation day to do:

2 Take Time to take it all in

Professional photograph, taken by Northern Ireland's top photographer in Belfast of Queens University Belfast

Photo Copyright (c) Graham Crichton – Queens University Belfast


Your graduation is likely the last time you’ll be on campus. It’s a sad day, but also a really exciting one, as it is the beginning of a brand new chapter. I really enjoyed my time at uni, and given the chance would do it all over again! So, don’t spend your graduation day queuing in a hall – instead spend your time with your friends and family. Take your time to show them where you studied… and where you partied. I wish I could have shown my folks around where I went. Don’t forget, it’s also a rite of passge to get your non-professional photo taken in front of the university with your friends! You know the ones, where the wind is blowing your gown all about you! Don’t forget when you come to us before or after and we’ll make sure you look your best… and we can even now “Photoshop” you in front of Queen’s University, so that way, you look your best and get your “official” photo taken outside the uni – just without the wind, rain or otther people being about! All from the comfort of our private, comfortable and easy to get to studio just minutes drive from Queen’s University itself.

3 Pop over to the Parlour

The parlour bar Belfast

Photo: The Parlour

Graduation day is usually a hot one and each year it seems to get hotter! We’ve all got our favourite places for a wee light libation and one of my personal favourites near Queen’s University is The Parlour. It is a great retreat from the chaos that is graduation day with thousands of others all trying to get their photos done. The Parlour isn’t going to be as busy as the Union and it is a great place to catch your breath on graduation day. Their pizzas are also fab and will keep you going all day! Don’t forget to mention you’ve just graduated… you never know!

Check them out here (if you don’t already know the place!):

4 Ditch the cheap Prosecco for something fancier

A Peculiar Tea afternoon tea set up

Photo – A Peculiar Tea

You’ve spent £9,000  a year and the best the uni will stump up will be a cheap glass of warm Prosecco. Ditch it and arrange something special for you and your folks. A Peculiar Tea isn’t far from Queen’s and is a must on graduation day, and the perfect place to treat your parents for all their support on graduation day… and let’s face it, all those years before! They do a blinder of an Afternoon Tea that you’ll want to skip breakfast for! Gemma the owner and chef is a legend and will make you feel right at home. PS: Bring a doggy bag!

Check it out:

5 Make a Night of it!

The Flint Hotel Belfast lobby

Photo: The Flint

It’s your graduation day from midnight to midnight, so why not make a real day and night of it and stay over in the city? You’ve most definitely been out on the town while at uni, but this time treat yourself and your family to a night in the city. That way you get to spend time with your family and go out with your friends. Plus you’ll get a great night’s sleep… that is if you make it to bed!

Belfast has made leaps and bounds with luxury hotels lately and these two are right at the top of our list for a comfy and cosy stay – right in the heart of the city:

So how does that sound? If you’d rather have your day, your way – then skip the queues and let us do your graduation photos for you – properly. That way, you can spend your day celebrating how you want, not what the university wants.

Book your graduation photos now – we’ve got the gowns!

You don’t even need a gown or hood to get your graduation photos taken with us. We’ve got ALL of the QUB gowns & hoods and most for the Ulster University and Open University.

Here are some reasons why you may want to skip the uni photographers altogether:

  • Skip the queue! You can book a time with us that suits you and your family
  • It’s all about  you – we only photograph one graduate an hour, giving you plenty of time and making sure your session is all about you
  • Graham is Northern Ireland’s most experienced independent professional graduation photographer – having photographed over 4500+ graduates
  • We’ve got all the gowns for QUB and most for UU and the OU. Our gowns are ALL in excellent condition, so you don’t have to worry about being handed a tatty gown by the university
  • We’ll make sure you look your best in your gown and hood – and make sure we fix it before taking a single photograph
  • We’ll show you your pictures on our large screen, as they’re being taken – we want to make sure you are happy with how you look
  • Family, friends and even pets are welcome to be included in your photographs – it’s your day, not your university!
  • In a hurry? We can even print your graduation photos the same day for you to take away!

To find out more and to book your session just click the button below or give us a call on 02890 99 77 98.

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