6 Senior Photography Tips – learn to shoot senior portraits outdoors, pose senior guys or senior girls and tips for what to wear for senior portraits
It’s the time of year where my email begins to buzz with bookings for senior portraits. I know I’m not the only photographer who experiences this season so I wanted to share my top tips with you on how to photograph senior portraits.
Senior Photography Tips
1- Look for interesting and unique photo locations.
No senior wants to have their pictures taken in the exact same location as their friend and last senior portrait session you had. So begin to get creative, drive around your area and scope out locations. Remember with a senior you only have one subject in the frame, so your locations don’t have to be perfect all around you, just enough space for one subject/senior/person. Make sense? The whole entire building doesn’t have to be perfect, it maybe just an archway at that building or a set of doors you can use. Take time and scope your locations carefully.
2- Use the right lens for Senior Pictures
Be sure to use a good portrait lens and choose a lens no less than 50mm as to not cause distortion on your close-up head shots. Consider a 50mm or 85mm as your go to lens for a senior portrait session. As Click it Up a Notch says “The longer the length lens, the more compressed your background will look, which creates that soft, creamy look behind your subject that we all love!”
3- Incorporate a Hobby into Senior Pictures
Some parents would love to be able to look back on a photo and remember how excited their son was about football…or maybe that one photo can take them back to remembering their daughter’s cello concert or how well she did on her piano recital. I personally LOVE it when my seniors incorporate a sport/hobby into their session! And seniors love it when you let them:)
4- Senior Portrait Poses
You don’t want all of your photos to look exactly the same…nor do you want to do the exact same pose with your senior at each location/new outfit! So keep track of what pose has already been done and be creative! If you need inspiration or tips on posing we’ve got that covered…there is no need to cover that in depth here when we’ve already done that with these posts below.
5- Communicate Clearly
Consider having a meeting prior to the senior session or even a phone consultation. Consider going over:
- Clothing – ask them if they have any questions on what to wear for their senior photo session.
- Locations – ask if they have any preference on style of location i.e. urban, green space, textures etc.
- Flow of the Session – Give them a feel of the flow of your senior sessions and how you’ll step through each location and outfit.
- Set your time – If you are doing an outdoor session your time and lighting plays a huge part into your session. The average client doesn’t know that – so communicate this as to the importance that they aren’t running late to the session etc. If you are trying to hit the golden hour this is important as well, just always communicate these tips to your client – remember they aren’t a photographer, they don’t know but you have to educate them so your session will be even better.
6- Move Around
Fall and Spring are so different- in the Spring, you have dresses and skirts and shorts, but in the Fall, your senior will be pretty well covered from head to toe. Encourage them to use layers, like dresses with tights, kimonos over t-shirt dresses, etc. so that your girls can still spin and show movement with their outfits! I love to capture movement and who doesn’t love the freedom of dancing in a field or spinning their skirt around?!
Hi I’m Erin a Southern mama from South Mississippi, owner and chief editor of Sixth Bloom a blog helping mom-tographers capture their kiddos and life, talking all things home, parenting and how we navigate through life. You will find me living life to the fullest with my mister (aka husband) and our little three year old preschooler, Miss E, in our 500+ sq foot cottage as we build our dream house on our two acres! We are blessed beyond measure, love to travel, involved in ministry at our church and in between all of that I run three successful businesses! Follow me at: WEBSITE | FACEBOOK | INSTAGRAM | PINTEREST