High school senior portraits a few of the most exciting and gratifying projects for any photographer. Stress levels are low (compared to wedding photography, anyhow! ), and these young elderly people are happy, excited, and looking forward to the future.
You are photographing your subject at an unique stage in their lives, and even after achieving this for years, it’s still among my favorite types of photography. In case you have never done a high school senior photo session, or even you’re a seasoned photographer looking for some inspiration, here are 14 senior picture ideas to jumpstart your creativity and give you some new directions to try.
1 . Obtain the classic headshot
Creativity is always good, but I recommend ensuring your bases are covered before really cutting reduce.
Therefore start your session which includes classic headshots . This has several key benefits; first, it places your client at ease plus helps show them you are a serious professional who knows what you are doing. Additionally , headshots will help break the ice and serve as the jumping-off point for some more fun ideas later on.
Plus, a photograph of head gives the senior a nice photograph to use in the yearbook or even as a social media profile picture. Headshots won’t win awards for originality, but they provide a valuable purpose, and no senior high school senior photo session will be complete without a few!
2 . Use backlights to spice up your portraits
In a studio setting, it’s generally a good idea to position the main light source, also known as the key light, behind you so that it’s illuminating the face of your subject matter. However , it’s also great to have another light source behind your subject to provide a bit of backlighting and create an excellent effect around their head.
When you’re out in character, you can accomplish this by capturing late in the day plus positioning your subject so the sun is behind them. This creates a fun, dynamic appear that can really elevate your own portraits – and it’s an effect that can’t be easily faked with a social media filter.
a few. Involve the senior’s four-legged friends
When I’m carrying out portrait photography , I like to be in control of the situation, so including domestic pets always adds a bit of stress that I don’t really enjoy. However , high school senior images aren’t about me – they’re about the clients! And when you can learn to loosen up a bit and let these younger students bring their animals along for the shoot, you will get some great results.
After all, house animals put people at ease, and they also add a fun element of serendipity to the situation. You will not always get award-winning shots, especially if the pets aren’t cooperating, but you will get pictures your clients will love. Just make sure someone else is with you, like the senior’s parent or buddy, to help corral the pets and then take them home after their part in the photoshoot is over.
4. There’s no place like home
I almost always do senior high school senior pictures out on place, but you can also get great results in the senior’s backyard. In fact , you’ll often find several interesting options at their home for sitting, posing, or family member involvement that simply don’t materialize at recreational areas or on bridges.
I don’t suggest doing all the pictures in the senior’s home, but you might be surprised at the results you can find if you keep your eyes open up. Also, starting the photoshoot at the student’s house assists build a sense of believe in and can lead to some great discussions; this can be helpful down the line if you want things to talk about while shooting elsewhere.
5. Bring on the band
Many higher schoolers play instruments, which can easily be incorporated into a senior photo session. Several of my clients have told me that these shots ended up because their favorites, and I often have the same.
Therefore , when you sit down along with seniors to discuss the program and explain your procedure, let them know that they are welcome to bring their guitar, clarinet, trumpet, or even a drum set! It may add an unexpected challenge towards the session, but the results are worth it, and it’s a great way to develop a positive reputation among your clients and their close friends.
6. Get formal with a cap and gown
Much like headshots, cap-and-gown photos won’t win awards for creativity, but they’re classic images your clients will appreciate years down the line.
Therefore ask your client to bring graduation regalia to the photograph session and get a variety of photos with them all dressed up. The pictures will look great on invitations and announcements, and parents love to buy images and hang them to the wall.
7. Show some sibling really like
Perform your high school senior customers have brothers or sisters? If so, ask them to take part in the particular photoshoot! You probably won’t wish them for the whole session, but bring them in at the beginning or the end to add variety.
Get some pictures of your subject and their particular sibling hugging, joking, or just talking; this can add a lot of levity to what is sometimes a stressful situation, and you might also catch some candids that everyone really likes.
Plus, these cousin shots are always a favorite among parents, which will lead to more business for you down the line once the other children need photos as they grow up.
8. Invite their mothers and fathers
Lots of photographers focus solely on the high school seniors, when you’re looking for an added element to make memorable pictures, then ask the parents to create for a few shots, too!
You don’t have to visit overboard; just grab several shots at the beginning or end of the shoot, and mother and father will love it. After all, the particular adults in these students’ life always appreciate the chance to be involved. In a few short months, their own babies will be off to college, and these photos will develop some powerful memories which will be cherished for years.
Group photos furthermore help build a sense associated with trust between you and the parents and send the message that you know what you are doing and are seriously interested in your craft. That leads to repeat business and can assist generate some powerful word-of-mouth advertising, too.
9. Take a stroll for great shots
If you’ve run out associated with ideas and aren’t certain what to do with your high school senior citizens, here’s some simple guidance: just have them take a walk!
Find a place with good lighting – like an alley or covered pedestrian path – and also have your subject walk toward you while you capture a series of photos. This technique works great with a telephoto zoom; start by zooming in all the way after which slowly zoom out as your subject closes the space (you can slowly action backward if you need to).
You’ll end up getting a lot of pictures to wade through, but even if you only keep two percent from the walking-style shots, they’ll likely be extremely memorable.
10. Showcase the senior’s talents
Many high school senior citizens have special talents and skills they like to share with others, and these are great to keep in mind for photo sessions.
Invite your customer to bring their skateboard, mobility scooter, or unicycle to the shoot. Get some photos of them hitting a golf ball, swinging a tennis racket, or shooting a basketball.
Even if the talent does not involve a lot of physical movement – e. g., creating computer code – you can still find creative plus interesting ways to showcase it, and it’ll give the older some photos they’ll cherish years down the line.
11. Explore the downtown area
You may be surprised at how many great shots you can get by wandering through the downtown of any city. From small towns to suburbs to big metropolitan areas, downtowns are filled with brilliant colors, interesting backgrounds, and great light conditions (even in broad daylight).
You can usually find a creating or an awning that delivers plenty of shade; that way, you are able to shoot photos without your own subjects being blown out by harsh sunlight.
12. Visit the classic local spots
Where I live, there are a spot that’s always brought up when I’m discussing photograph sessions with clients: some metal steps next to a certain building downtown. Clients love to get their pictures taken on these steps, but when I 1st started out, I saw them as a crutch. A cliché. The relic of the past that should be forgotten. Why go to the down-town steps when there are so many some other interesting picture locations? However got over myself, accepted the idea, and my customers have loved the results.
There’s probably an identical spot where you do older portrait sessions, too: an overused location that makes you roll your eyes when it comes up in conversation. Make an effort to embrace the custom and just go there anyhow, at least for a few shots just before heading elsewhere. Even though you might not personally think it’s a great spot for senior photos, your work is to get the best possible pictures of your clients.
13. Explore an organic garden
Most urban areas have some type of public garden, and these always work great for senior high school senior photos.
Of course , don’t just take the same standing-in-front-of-flowers shots since everyone else. Get off the defeated path a bit and try to discover new ways of looking at familiar spots! Search for greens plus oranges that will make your client stand out, or work with the seniors beforehand to strategy their wardrobe accordingly.
Take a stroll by yourself or with a buddy before you do the photo session and look for interesting lighting situations or hidden locations that individuals normally ignore.
Finally, look upon social media for hashtags widely used at these locations for fun portrait ideas to try, or – better yet! – so you know the cliché shots to avoid.
14. Most of all, have fun!
When I first began doing high school senior photos, I was so focused on the particular images that I left out the particular element of enjoyment. I was the serious photographer with a serious job to do. I rapidly learned to loosen up, chuckle a lot, and have fun with my clients. These younger students are on the cusp of a very important time in their lives, and as a high college senior photographer, you have the particular incredible opportunity to catch this particular critical moment before it slips away.
So enjoy it! Laugh along with your clients, talk with them about college or other post-high school plans, and get to know them throughout the session. Your photos will look better, your own clients will enjoy their time with you, and you’ll get lots of referral business as a result. Studying techniques, locations, and posing tips is great, but if you and your clients aren’t having fun, then you’re doing something wrong.
Mature picture ideas: final words and phrases
These mature picture ideas are a good way to get inspired, but eventually the success of your photo periods is up to you. Use this write-up as a starting point but attempt your own ideas, find your own personal style, and do what works for you and your clients.
It also helps to look for a friend or family member who can help you practice so you’re better prepared during the actual photo periods, and this article should provide you with some good ideas to try!
Now I’d love to hear from you:
What suggestions have you found that work properly when you are photographing high school seniors? What pitfalls or errors have you made that you want other people to avoid? Share your thoughts within the comments below!
Senior picture FAQs
Don’t get too picky. Solid colors are great, but I have had the best results when my clients are relaxed and enjoying themselves. Instead of colours, think of styles: formal, casual, etc ., and have your clients dress appropriately or give them the opportunity to change outfits. As well as, make sure to have them bring their particular cap and gown if they have it!
This can depend on many factors, but in general, your own photo sessions should be approximately one hour. That’s almost always enough time to get the photos you’re after, however, you can take longer if you need to element in location changes, different clothes, etc . Just remember that the lengthier things go, the more likely your clients will become tired or bored, and you risk shedding the energy and excitement that occurs early in the session.
I like to shoot these types of pictures in the evening once the sun isn’t high over head. The lighting is usually much softer, and you will have an easier time finding locations that are evenly lit.
Should you be struggling to find new locations for your photo sessions, just get within your car and drive close to. Start with parks or other public spaces. Have you analyzed them from every angle? Are there new spots in these locations you haven’t considered? I have found some of my favorite photography spots completely by accident (all it took was a little driving around town). Just be sure photography isn’t prohibited, which you have permission before you start taking photos!