Here, we have the absolutely STUNNING Eva featured. This Class of 2017 high school senior owned every pose as her own – I find that if I encourage seniors to “own it,” they suddenly sink into the pose I want naturally. The same pose will match each senior perfectly, and no two “same poses” will be the same if they are putting their own spin on it. As long as we’re watching out for angles, light, a good shadow under the chin and a few other basics, we’re good to go. Here are some examples of poses I had Eva do for our photo shoot.
With accessories, really use them as props to help the senior know what to do with her hands. With Eva, this cute felt hat was just the right accessory to bring out a touch of fun in her photo shoot. Hands near the hat and face make them intimate, joyful, and naturally fun.
Speaking of hands, soft hands near the face will ALWAYS please mom. Soft fingers make for a truly stunning senior portrait and can help her relax into a natural “serious” expression that doesn’t seem forced or stern. With this type of pose, stick with natural light to avoid distracting shadows by the hands. Unless you’re going for a more magazine look, and if you’ve got a mom and senior who want that – congratulations, haha! Most moms love the softer, flat light with this type of pose. Take close-up horizontals AND verticals of the same pose to sell two images. Add a bit of fan to the hair, and you’ve got a selling portrait.
Use a stool or tall chair. During the “magazine-inspired” studio portion of our senior shoots, I normally break out a simple stool with a footrest (apple box). Suddenly they turn into GAP models, and the seniors LOVE these portraits. With solid, professionally placed lights, a plain white or light gray backdrop, and a simple outfit, portraits on a stool are sure-sellers. Make sure to get some smiling ones, AND some more serious shots. With the non-smiling shots in this set, I make sure that there is always a warmth in the expression.
I find that standing, full body poses can be a bit awkward. I don’t generally like to “over-pose,” and want most poses to feel quite natural to each senior. Against a wall, a simple heel up on the wall can make a world of difference. The arms need a touch of movement so they don’t feel nervous as well. If you find an artistic enough wall, moms and seniors will ALWAYS buy a full-body shot if they feel beautiful in it.
When your senior girl is sitting on a stair, a chair, or another prop where her feet easily touch the ground, give her legs angles. She will look (and feel) absolutely exquisite. This girl’s senior portrait pose idea works for most body types.
My last thought for today is to spend some time in “candid mode” with your camera on multiple shutters per click. Tossed hair and genuine laughs come out and mom will thank you for these treasured images.
Eldeen Annette is a portrait photographer in Erie CO, specializing in high school senior portraits and professional head shots.