Create At Least One “Timeless” Senior Portrait

One of the benefits of DIY senior pictures is to experiment and do them your way.  If you have read anything on this website, you know that is our mantra!  Experiment and do things your way.   Although, in this post I think I will take another view.  I am taking the view of the future senior.  The future senior would want to look back on at least one “normal” picture of themselves.

What is normal?   I am not saying that you need to dress like everyone else or act like everyone else.  I would never tell you that.  What I recommend that you do is to take one decent portrait with good lighting  that shows your face really well.  You will want to look back at these and maybe even show your kids one day, “Hey Junior, this is what I look like when I was your age!”


Yikes! Who is that goofy teenager? That is what I looked like in 1989.  Luckily for me, I am wearing a somewhat neutral shirt.  That background???   Ughhhhh, I wish I just had a normal shot of my self in a nice outdoor portrait setting, but hey, that is what we all did back in that day.  We went to a studio and had a local photographer shoot us.  It was not as easy back then. It was all film and required a lot of equipment and chemicals to process the picture.

The difference now?   You have the opportunity to take at least one timeless portrait of yourself or your senior.  There are several timeless things we will go over in this picture in future posts.   Such as how to pose the face to get rid of shadows and how to pose the face to make the eyes look the best.  How to get great light in a timeless portrait, etc. You are living in an age where you have all of these great tools available to you that allow you to experiment, learn, and take great portraits.


Looking at my 1980s vintage portrait I can honestly say, you can’t make a portrait completely timeless, but you can create a more timeless feel by following a few of these steps.


  1. Pick a calm location that will provide a nice even background.
  2. Make sure you have about 20 feet between your senior and your background.
  3. Open up your aperture to blur out your background.  The distance in step two will help make this happen.
  4. Wear neutral clothing and shoot a shot from at least the waist up, or in closer.
  5. Don’t over process your portrait in Photoshop or Lightroom. You are going for a nice natural look.

DIY Senior Pictures in the park #2

Stay tuned as talk more about posing the face and getting great light for your timeless portrait.  After you get at least one timeless portrait for the future senior, go out and shoot your creative shots to your hearts content.  Most of all never stop shooting and learning!

What is your biggest barrier to shooting senior pictures?  Leave a comment below and let’s discuss it.  Want to learn more about photography?  Sign up for our email list in the right sidebar to be notified about new and exciting tutorials we release.

Thanks for being a part of DIY Senior Pictures.  Need more immediate help?  Need a step by step process?  Check out our latest Kindle books.  Why not check out our bonus video section too?  Leave a comment and let's discuss your photo concerns.  Talk to you soon.

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