February 1, 2020
Today I am going to share my top 3 ways to pose seniors for senior photo sessions. Seniors have quickly become a favorite of mine and I honestly could photograph them every day. I love that I only have to worry about one person. I also hate that I only have to worry about one person. When I first started photography, specifically photographing seniors. I really struggled. I struggled with where to put their hands and how to create life in the images, beyond just the posed shots.
This is tough for a few reasons. One, seniors are alone typically so you need a plan for their hands. And two, because they are typically alone in their photos there is no one else for them to interact with and create emotion.
In the beginning, I posed and I took the photos and I waited and when nothing happened or they didn’t immediately smile and laugh I would wonder what I was doing wrong. They liked me, they booked me and wanted to work with me, but why weren’t we having any fun? I realized (thankfully fast) that I needed to get to know them and their style well before their session and that this information was information I could use during their session.
Below find my top tips for creating non posed fun senior shots. That make parent and senior happy.
2. Hands When I first began as a senior photographer I was so clueless. I didn’t really know where to have them put their hands and I didn’t know how to change it up. After LOTS of practice I have a few go to hand poses that I ask my seniors to do at sessions. At any time I am asking them to put their hands in their hair and play, at side and more casual, or above/next to their head for something a little more funky. We may cross our arms or go hand on hip sometimes, but it is important not to get stuck here.
3. Not looking but looking Okay truth, I didn’t really know what to call this. but I always do this at every session. I LOVE the shots where my senior is looking away from the camera, playing with their dress or shirt, or twirling around. I do this a few ways, my go to is to ask the senior to look at the ground. When they do I snap a shot and then I ask them to slowly look back up at me. These are usually my favorite sets of photos because they are real and in the moment (see below)
If they came to their session with someone this is also a good time to get their friend or parent involved! Have them do something silly so that they will look and laugh.