Help! How Do We Pose? Senior Picture Poses

Any person that is going to attempt to DIY a senior picture is almost always scared when it comes to posing.  “I am not a professional photographer, I have no idea how to pose my senior!”  You actually have a bigger advantage in your situation as a DIY photographer than a professional photographer does.  Why is that?  Because you know your senior better than that pro photog.


The best thing you can do for your senior when it comes to posing is to make them feel comfortable.  Since you know your senior so well, this should be easy!  There is not much worse than looking at a picture of someone that is in a forced pose.  It looks really unnatural and fake.  Avoid this by first having fun while shooting your pictures.   Sure, you need a great outcome for all of your photos, but since you are a DIY type person, take your time and enjoy the process.  When you do it yourself, there is no timeline but your own.


Now here are some great ideas to get you started with posing for senior pictures.

1) You need a basic straight on portrait from the shoulders up.  Find one of your favorite spots with some great background details and take a straight on shot.  Like this one…

Male Senior Picture

A normal male senior picture.


Nothing too fancy here, just a normal shot.  This is a good one to get you started.  The above photo was taken under an old railway bridge in downtown Cincinnati, OH.  I love the old limestone blocks in the background.  You can take yours next to brick buildings or any other background that you may find pleasing.  Don’t forget to use your reflector to bring in some extra light to your senior’s face!


2) Get a picture of your senior sitting.  This may involve a background like this city behind her, or you may choose to eliminate the background and put your senior as the main focus.  Hey, I have a great idea, since you are doing this DIY, do both!  What have you got to lose?


A Sitting Pose

A Sitting Pose


3) Get a picture of your senior laughing!  This will probably end up being one of the best pictures you take.  People actually look more natural when they are laughing.

DIY Senior Laughing




4) Use some props.  Here we decide to pick a dandelion and blow the seeds off just like she used to do when she was a little girl.  Bring props that will enhance your senior’s interests. Wow, I need to spray my yard for weeds!

DIY Senior Pictures, Props



5) Lying down.  This is a tough one. People just generally have a tough time relaxing when they are lying down to get a picture taken.  Now give them something to do when they are lying down and everything changes!

Diy Senior Pictures, Lying down

Lying down is scary! Give them something to do!

6) Leaning sideways or up against a wall.  Just chillin’!  Am I showing my age by saying chillin’?  Again, help them to relax so that they look natural. These are my favorites, when they are relaxed and look natural.


DIY Senior Picture Relax



7) Get a creative picture of your senior.  Don’t be afraid to try new things. Go to a favorite place, have fun and try something.  Maybe it won’t be exactly what you are looking for, but it will be fun!

Try something different, DIY Senior Picture

Have some fun!

There you go, seven posing ideas to get you started.  Now one more tip.  As you are setting up your shoot and poses, take some candids of your senior.  You can get some great shots when your senior is not aware you are going to hit that shutter button.  Need more senior photography related information?  Sign up for our email updates and for a limited time, get our eBook, DIY Senior Portraits: An Introductory Guide for free. Just fill out the email you will be sent a link to download our eBook.

What is your biggest barrier when it comes to taking your senior pictures?  What is holding you back?  Drop it in the comments below and let’s talk about it!





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