The Most Important Tips For Your Next Senior Session!

Senior Pictures Tips & Ideas

Are you out of ideas for your next graduation photos? We all are at some point but don’t worry. We finally collected the most important tips & ideas to make the most out of your next session with some of the best senior photographers from our community. Besides that, check our “Photographers Near Me” list if you are looking for a senior photographer near you!

Don’t be a stranger

Banish any intimidation they may have from the start by showing some vulnerability. During the shoot, don’t just ask them questions about themselves. Open up about yourself, your funny stories and your struggles in particular. They are always a lot more comfortable in front of the camera when you keep the conversation on a steady, fun, and friendly level. – Alexa Diserio

Senior Pictures

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Ask for a questionnaire

Have your seniors answer a questionnaire before their session to help get to know them better. For example, what kind of music do you like? What are your hobbies? Which kind of images are your drawn to? How does your ideal session look like? – Caroline Fisher

Send them a little questionnaire to help guide them on a location that they might like for their shoot and would fit their personality. – Ashley Johnson

Graduation Photos of a girl in a sunflower field

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Look for their personality

After you find out a bit about them, encourage them to bring a bit of their personality through in the images. This senior had a huge passion for cars and wanted to incorporate his Mustang into the session. This helps set them apart from everyone else graduation photos in the end! – Caroline Fisher

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Don’t be afraid to play around

Experiment and have fun with it! I always get the smiling money shots that I know the parents want, but more often than not the images my seniors love best are the ones that are a bit more creative specifically. – Caroline Fisher

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Time for some special effects

Bring some kind of fun prop that describes the senior! Guitar/musical instrument, books, hats/fashion, sports, etc. In this case, she was a girly-girl, so she brought a confetti cannon (which we picked up and disposed of). We have a shot of the confetti cannon going off, her throwing some in the air, and then a couple of shots like this.

Make sure you clean up after yourself if using stuff like confetti/glitter or anything else that leaves a trace – Sarah Monroe Rodgers

Confetti Canon Senior Pictures

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Respecting the heritage

Including a tribute to family and culture is so special ~ in this case my senior girl wore her grandmother’s attire. Lighting is critical ~ my favorite time to shoot is after sunset for seniors and catching the last light of day on their face. In this case, some additional was necessary as it was just about dark. – Aly Whitney-Plaut

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Bring in some spontaneity

Try to be spontaneous; if you see a cool spot along the side of the road pull over and use it, seniors seem to dig it when I keep it fun and carefree. – Diana Christine Riley

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Find their biggest passion

Ask them about their passions and find a way to include them during your senior pictures! In this session it was art. – Melina McGrew McConnaughy

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Think about the future

Have them incorporate fun things from the college they’ll be attending if they have one! – Jackie McGinnis

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All the memories

Ask them about their favorite memory from high school. Let them relive some of their nostalgia, especially if mom is with them. – Jackie McGinnis

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Show the “real” them

Let them be themselves. This beauty was scared cuz she’s not “like a model,” so I told her good because we wanna see you not a model! – Jackie McGinnis

Showing off themselves for who they truly are. Whether that is wearing your favorite dress, bring your fur baby, or dancing around in the rain. Whatever it is that screams “this is so me!” That is what makes a session genuinely come to life! – Wesley Harden

Senior pictures in the middle of a street

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More options to choose from

Tell them to bring a laundry basket full of clothes they love so you can help pick and choose what outfits go best with the surroundings. It helps alleviate the pressure on them about what to wear and helps your creative vision come alive. Win-win. – Breanna Rein

Senior pictures in a barn

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What to wear first for senior pictures?

Don’t have them wear their favorite outfit first. The first 10-15 minutes are always the most uncomfortable for the senior. I make it a point just to chat, ask about them and keep the focus on the things they enjoy. As we all know, being a senior can be tough, such an unusual, unknown time! – Caitlin Renner Trainer

Senior Pictures of a girl in a greenhouse

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Iron before your graduation photos

Please tell them to iron their clothes! A Silly tip, but please have them do it. – Caitlin Renner Trainer

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That one friend

Whenever I get senior sessions, I suggest they bring a best friend that they know will make them laugh. We all have that ONE friend that says or does the ridiculous things, and we can’t help but laugh! – Sarah Monroe Rodgers

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All the compliments

I give my seniors all the compliments! Remind them of their beauty. Ask them about what they love, what their plans are. Be silly and get them to relax and have fun! – Kelcie Jean Ragsdale

Compliment the crap out of them. Tell them they’re workin’ it. Their face will immediately start beaming. – Shelby Fitzpatrick

Pretty young girl smiling to the camera in a yellow dress

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Graduation Photos of a girl in a dress in the desert

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Let them think

Tell them to look the other direction and think hard about their future for a moment. I tend to like this strong look better than just looking off. When you tell them to think about something, it shows the concentration in the senior pictures. – Lindsey Willis

A boy posing in front of an old school bus in the forest

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The right location

Get to know your seniors to begin with! Then choose a place, which suits their personality, and style. Location is crucial to delivering photographs that are an accurate reflection of this chapter in their life.

Do they love nature or would rather be in the city? Don’t be afraid to experiment, and get creative in new locations in particular.

Having the right spot is essential to inspire, and develop the mood you are aiming for with them. (This person had a very edgy vibe, so we decided to shoot through the glass bus stop) – Aimee Mackenzie

cool young girl with sunglasses sitting inside a cafe

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The power of social media

Have your seniors take over your Snapchat account or Instagram stories account for the day. Have them post to their friends to follow them on your account and grow your following. – Ari Dorfman

young girl sitting in a back alley

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Creating confidence

I recommend that my seniors stick with clothing they already own and love. What outfit makes them feel competent and confident that’s the go-to casual outfit that they love to wear. – Andrea Snyder Martin

Wear or bring something that embodies your personality and does not feel like you can’t help ask for wardrobe help when trying to coordinate clothes for your senior pictures. – Victoria Lynn

a young girl standing on a road

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a cool teenager leaning back to a wall

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Turn on the speakers for your graduation photos

Take your phone and blast Pandora the entire session for example. I find out beforehand their favorite genre of music. It keeps them relaxed, and you get great smiles, laughs and sometimes dancing. – Lindsey Willis

Graduation photos

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Girls & Boys

For girls: Ask them to pretend they are on the runway and work it. Hair movement, skirt/dress movement and all! – Christa Kendall Paustenbaugh

photo of a senior in a dress on a street

For boys: Ask them to give me that smile when they know we are done with all the senior pictures for mama! – Christa Kendall Paustenbaugh

senior pictures

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