11 tips for photographing high school senior portraits

Searching for some senior portrait tricks to take your pictures to the subsequent degree?

On this article, I’m going to offer you loads of useful tips, strategies, and recommendation – so you’ll be able to seize gorgeous portraits, persistently. Particularly, I’ll share:

  • A helpful trick that ensures you by no means run out of poses
  • A couple of simple methods to get seniors feeling snug in entrance of the digicam
  • A step-by-step course of for producing loads of satisfaction and free promoting after your session
  • A lot, rather more!

Sound good? Let’s get began.

What to do earlier than the senior portrait session

With regards to planning for periods, seniors are a few of my favourite folks to work with. Don’t get me mistaken, I like households, youngsters, engaged {couples}, and marriage ceremony ceremonies, however seniors are near the highest of my record.

senior portrait tipssenior portrait tips

Why, you might ask? It’s easy: seniors are excited to mannequin, seniors are a few of my greatest advertising instruments, and seniors know what they need. Additionally they have a fantastic sense of favor, which interprets nicely of their images.

When a highschool senior books a session with me, I get began instantly. I don’t look forward to the precise photoshoot; as a substitute, I take a number of steps immediately to let my shopper know I’m enthusiastic about working with them. I’ve discovered that in the event you do this stuff, your session is not going to solely run easily, however you should have a shopper who loves to refer you to their associates.

So listed here are the important thing objects to do previous to the photoshoot:

1. Talk your pleasure

First issues first, earlier than doing something else:

Let the senior understand how excited you’re about working with them. Since seniors are all about social media, I ship out a tweet explaining how excited I’m to work with them and to plan their session – and I be certain to do that inside a number of days of the reserving.

senior with guitar in woodssenior with guitar in woods

2. Actually get to know your shopper

After sending out the tweet (above), I give the senior a tailor-made questionnaire so I can get to know them higher.

Among the questions discovered within the questionnaire embody:

  • What are a few of your favourite options about your self?
  • What do you need to keep in mind most about this time in your life?
  • Are there any particular areas you bear in mind in your shoot?
  • How would you spend your best Saturday?
  • How would you describe your private type?

This helps me tailor the photoshoot to their character, pursuits, and desires.

3. Give clothes options on a Pinterest board

Although seniors are on high of the newest types, they typically need assistance deciding what to put on to their session.

So per week earlier than the session, I ship them a hyperlink to a Pinterest board – one which’s stuffed with clothes and prop examples. This provides the senior particular concepts of what to carry. It helps your shopper, and it additionally helps you obtain the look you need in your individual portfolio.

senior portrait tips black and whitesenior portrait tips black and white

What to do throughout the senior portrait session

On this part, I clarify my session workflow – what I do to make the hours I’ve with my senior memorable and stress-free (and enjoyable!).

You possibly can have a fantastic expertise by following the following pointers:

1. Have an actual dialog

Many seniors don’t really feel completely snug in entrance of the digicam. So to interrupt the ice, discuss to them, ask them questions, and discover out what their plans for the longer term are.

Seniors are at an superior stage of their lives; they’ve their entire future forward of them. So encourage them and spend money on them when you might have the possibility.

They are going to really feel appreciated, valued, and assured after listening to reassuring phrases from an grownup who isn’t their dad or mum.

senior portrait girl laughingsenior portrait girl laughing

2. Reward your shopper (and present them pictures)

Most seniors have by no means been in entrance of knowledgeable photographer aside from for the tacky photos their mother and father had them take once they had been youthful. So make them really feel snug.

Reward them once they look good in entrance of the digicam. I like to show my digicam round and present them some little peeks of how nicely they’re doing. They love this! It is going to encourage them to maintain up the nice work, and it’ll give them confidence of their look.

3. Preserve loads of posing examples readily available

You could have some go-to poses you utilize in your seniors. However since every individual is completely different, it’s essential have a number of tips up your sleeve.

Enter the smartphone.

Earlier than your session, merely browse the net and take screenshots of poses you want.

Then, if you hit a rut throughout your senior portrait shoot, simply whip out your telephone and take a look at your saved poses.

It would really feel like dishonest at first, however seniors love this method. They assume it’s so cool that you just’re invested sufficient that you just deliberate for his or her poses. It makes them really feel valued.

senior portrait tipssenior portrait tips

4. Ensure that to carry props

I like to carry small props for my seniors to carry or sit on in the course of the photoshoot. This may very well be an previous folding chair, a cute seaside hat, an previous quilt, and even some books.

Props are a good way to boost your senior portraits. Plus, some folks really feel actually awkward in entrance of the digicam at first, so little props will give them one thing to do with their palms whereas they alter to your presence.

What to do after the senior portrait session

After a session, you’ll be able to hold your shoppers excited, happy, and able to suggest your providers with these senior portrait suggestions:

1. Submit a teaser

The day after a senior portrait session, I put up a “teaser” or “sneak peek” picture from their session on Fb.

Your senior will share that teaser with all of their associates by social media, which implies extra publicity for you and your corporation. (That’s another excuse why I like seniors!)

2. Ship out a handful of pictures prematurely

The next week, after I’ve edited the entire photos, I’ll ship ten recordsdata to them by PASS.

The senior may also share these photos by Fb, and it’ll assist them perceive why they need to buy a disc with all of their high-resolution photos.

3. Give the senior a fantastic present bag

As quickly as I’ve the entire photos edited, I’ll order a customized ebook and ship it to the senior – together with a very interesting package deal.

The package deal features a handwritten word, enterprise playing cards, and different little goodies. My seniors all the time love how private I make the present bag for every of them (one other nice cause to ship them a questionnaire and to get to know them nicely in the course of the session).

4. Submit in your weblog

After you’ve delivered all the ultimate photos, weblog concerning the session, together with photos you didn’t embody within the unique ten.

This weblog put up may also be shared on social media with their family and friends (extra free promoting!).

senior by the oceansenior by the ocean

Bonus tip: Edit for longevity

When post-processing senior pictures, all the time keep in mind that you’re photographing for the mother and father as a lot as you’re photographing for the senior shopper. I hold “fad” kind modifying out of the equation as a result of I do know ten years from now the mother and father will desire a strong (i.e., not overly processed) picture on the wall.

As an alternative of utilizing “fad” modifying strategies, I all the time let type come from the areas I select. You are able to do this by selecting previous brick buildings, deserted farmhouses, fields of cotton, and so on. The seniors love this, and their mother and father will admire the timelessness of the images they obtain.

senior portrait tips girl in forestsenior portrait tips girl in forest

Senior portrait suggestions: last phrases

It isn’t arduous to rock a session along with your seniors. It simply takes some further issues to go above and past – so the seniors know you admire them.

All of those further issues will make your shopper really feel particular and can translate into these coveted word-of-mouth referrals for you!

Now over to you:

Which of those senior portrait suggestions do you want most? Which is able to you strive the subsequent time you’re doing senior portraits? Share your ideas (and pictures) within the feedback beneath!

This put up was written by visitor contributor Meghan Newsom. Meghan is a life-style and marriage ceremony photographer positioned in northern Alabama. When she’s not writing for her way of life weblog, cooking up gluten-free recipes, or taking photos, you could find her exploring outdoors along with her husband and pup.


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