Senior Portrait Photography: 5 Jaw-Dropping Hints

Senior Portrait Photography - Senior Pictures Erie Pa - Senior Portrait Photographer near me

How to Get Ready for Senior Portrait Photography

Senior year is an exciting time for any high-schooler. With the prospect of early adulthood in front of you and your childhood behind, you truly feel as though you’re standing on a precipice. But it means so much more than moving on to things beyond.

There are a lot of things that happen senior year, too! In addition to student-made trends like first-last day photos, decorating lockers, and social media comparisons to your younger self, there are also timeless traditions like homecoming and prom.

And then, there’s the high school senior portrait photography session.

With all that’s going on senior year, you might have thought much about high school senior portrait photography. However, the fact of the matter is, your high school senior portrait will wind up in your yearbook.

Whether you’re a traditional high school lover or a teenage rebel, you’re going to want to have a nice picture to look at years later and remember this time in your life.

But what do you do? How do you plan for your Senior Portrait Photography? What are you supposed to wear?

A senior year already presents you with enough questions. The last thing you want to stress out about is your high school portrait. This article will walk you through all you need to know about your senior photoshoot.

Senior Portrait Photography - Senior Pictures Erie Pa - Senior Portrait Photographer Near Me

What to Wear

Before we get into any clever high school senior portrait photography ideas, you probably have one burning question — what should I wear? We can’t blame you; clothing is one of the most important aspects of portraiture photography, so we’ll cover it first.

The rule of thumb for senior portrait photography is to think of the nicest outfit you’d wear to something you’d consider a “casual” occasion. You don’t want to dress too casually, because you won’t look your best in the picture. You don’t want to dress too formally, or you’ll lose the individuality and energy that makes you, you. 

So think of your favorite outfit to wear on occasions that are “casual”. What would you wear on your first day of school? What would you wear on a casual date to the movies?Popular options include unique rompers, casual dresses, jeans and a button-down, and Henley’s. If you have a signature piece of jewelry or wear your hair a certain way, be sure to bring it to the photography section. Our senior year photography shoots allow you to make up to two outfit changes, so you can bring up to three distinct outfits and see what works best. The location, lighting, and general mood of the day may change the clothing that works best for you.

Check out more: What to Wear for Senior Pictures

Time of Day

As you’ve probably guessed by now, most Senior Portrait Photography sessions are taken outside. Natural lighting is key in making your senior photograph shine. You don’t want that bland, washed-out look of the paint-by-numbers photos that the schools take for you.

Plan your time of day with your photographer based on your location, outfit, and personality. A good photographer should be able to make any lighting beautiful, so don’t worry about picking the “wrong” time for the photographer’s sake. Instead, think about which time of day will make you look best, as lighting can drastically change the way your face looks.

Some of the most distinct times for senior year photographs are the morning before the sun has reached its peak, and the golden hour right before sundown. These times of day are cool and comfortable and provide many interesting options for shadows and lighting.

The way your face looks can also be influenced by your pose.

Senior Portrait Photography - Senior Pictures Erie Pa - Senior Portrait Photographer Near Me
Senior Portrait Photography - Senior Pictures Erie Pa - Senior Portrait Photographer Near Me


The importance of a good pose goes beyond just figuring out a way to stand or sit. There’s a whole level of psychology that goes into the way you position yourself, and what you look like.

If there’s something to sit on in your location, sitting can be a wonderful option. Sitting is comfortable, and a sense of relaxation is important to getting quality Senior Portrait Photography. It also allows you to bend at the waist and lean forward if you want.

If there’s something to lean on, that can be a good option, too. Leaning creates a distinct, angular look that will surely turn heads and make the picture memorable.

You can also get a lot of mileage out of the types of poses that you see models do. If you want, you can go for the over-the-shoulder photo from behind, or the hand on the waist.

It’s also important to remember that your photographer will be well versed in many different sorts of model poses. If you can’t think of those ideas, don’t fret too much.

Odds & Ends

When you’re going to a senior portrait photography session, remember that you’re going to do a lot of posing in place. Contrary to what you might think, staying in the same position is difficult. You might work up a sweat, so bring along a lot of water.

(The above tip is extra helpful because Senior Portrait Photography Sessions are taken in the spring/summer).

Prepare for the photograph with any makeup-skin cream that you want, and make sure you shave, but don’t go overboard. Getting a haircut for your senior photo, or trying to get a tan, means getting photographed with a look you’re not entirely comfortable with yet.

Senior Portrait Photography - Senior Pictures Erie Pa - Senior Portrait Photographer Near Me
Senior Portrait Photography - Senior Pictures Erie Pa - Senior Portrait Photographer Near Me

Find a Pro

All of the advice above won’t help you very much if you don’t find yourself a good photographer. You can have the best pose, outfit, and preparation in the world, but that will all fall apart if the picture is not captured the right way.

Now, a photographer costs money. (How Much Do Senior Photos Cost?) You may be thinking — hey, it’s the 21st century, I have a camera on my phone, everyone has cameras these days. Why can’t I just get my friend/cousin/dad to take the picture? 

You can do that, but it will have a severe effect on the quality of the picture. While, yes, everyone has a camera these days, hiring a professional photographer for your high school senior photos means hiring someone who knows how to frame your writing. They’ll be able to account for the light, the wind, and what things will look like after they’ve been edited.

Think of it as a Hollywood film. They’ve got the best actors in the world of all ages; everyone from Robert De Niro down to Millie Bobby Brown. It’s written by some of the best screenwriters in the world and has a world-famous director.

And who’s the cinematographer? Who’s the guy standing behind the camera to make sure all of the shots come out right? Your Dad. 

Doesn’t sound too appetizing, does it? Make sure you hire a professional to capture this incredible moment of your life the way it deserves to be captured.

Senior year is an exciting time in the life of almost every teen. There are so many things to think about like school, college admissions, prom, and extracurricular activities that the high school senior portrait often falls into the back of people’s minds. This is a shame because a senior photo is a perfect way to capture this time in your life.

Hey know this means a Graduation Party is in your future so we just wanna throw this out for you. We’ve got an awesome Photo Booth for we partner with a DJ & Catering Company. Check them out: 

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