How to Pose for Senior Pictures: The Basics

While I like meeting different clients of all ages and from all walks of life, making high school senior photography ideas come true is probably one of my favorite things to do.

Graduating from high school is such an exciting time for both high school seniors and their parents, and I love working with them because I can feel their thrill, melancholy, euphoria, fear, confusion, and hope for the future.

How else to capture that but through lifestyle photography?

Given how high of a sentimental value this moment holds, it’s only natural that high school seniors want to look good in their senior pictures.

So, to help you through this momentous time, I will walk you through the basics of how to pose for senior pictures without much sweat.

How should I pose for senior pictures?

1)   Start with a sitting pose.

Most of the clients I’ve worked with for photography for high school seniors usually begin our sessions looking a little nervous and just a tad bit awkward.

Either because they aren’t accustomed to standing in front of the camera, or it’s a reflection of how they feel in general, it’s a typical challenge that I face when doing high school senior photography.

To help them feel more comfortable, I usually ask my clients to sit first for their first pose. This helps in not only getting them to relax but also in getting them started with the easy poses.

You may start with there, too, for your senior photos.

2)   Get moving with action shots.

Once my clients feel a little more confident, I normally ask them to get moving.

Getting my clients to act helps me take senior portraits that capture some of their true emotions.

In your own high school senior photoshoots, you can try this by running through the water, walking leisurely by the marina, or jumping in sunflower fields.

3)   Lean over for that killer look.

This is actually one of my favorite poses not only for high school senior photography clients but in general.

Instead of just standing there and looking awkward with your hands, leaning poses give you something to do and make you feel just a bit more comfortable.

They are also great for capturing leading lines and getting all kinds of killer looks.

What should I wear for senior pictures?

In a session full of photography for high school seniors, I normally recommend wearing outfits that reflect your personality or the personality that you want to convey.

Here are a couple more suggestions:

1)   Wear something comfortable.

Wearing outfits that you’re comfortable in can help you relax more during the shoot.

Because this essentially gives you less time to worry about your clothes, you can then spend time doing a lot of at-ease poses that could potentially turn into your best shots.

2)   Wear clothes with neutral or soft colors.

This applies not only in lifestyle photography sessions but also in senior high school photoshoots.

Although bright and neon colors are perfect for stealing attention, I usually suggest to my clients that they wear neutral or soft colors. After all, we want your pictures to focus on you instead of on what you’re wearing.

3)   Be careful in choosing clothes with conspicuous designs.

The same goes for the design of your outfits, such as prints and patterns.

Putting on clothes with several immense prints will more likely have the viewers concentrate on the design of your clothes.

So, go for those with solid colors and with little to no patterns instead.

4)   Choose your accessories carefully.

If you want to wear pieces of jewelry or accessories for your high school senior photoshoots, you absolutely can.

Just avoid wearing those that would keep the focus away from your faces, such as huge hoop earrings, hats, massive necklaces, and chains. These accessories tend to take the limelight away from you.

Do I have to smile in senior photos?

Both high school senior photography and lifestyle family photography have a similar goal of capturing unforgettable events or milestone achievements that you will likely cherish for the rest of your life.

Consequently, you are free to choose as you see fit which facial expression you want to portray. Whether you want to smile or keep a straight face as your lifestyle photographer takes your senior portraits, it is totally up to you.

All in all

Technically speaking, graduation pictures are, in some way, part of lifestyle photography, so letting your personality and story seep through the photo works fine, too.

Before booking an appointment for high school senior photography, however, it is vital that you are physically and mentally prepared for the shoot. This is important if you want to take senior pictures that you can be proud of and will want to look back to in the years to come.

If you are ready to have your high school senior photography photoshoot soon, you can reach me at 636.795.ARTS. I can also help you with family lifestyle photography at home.