6 Tips on How To Pose For Your Senior Portraits

One of the main concerns I get as a Senior Portrait Photographer is “I’m awkward in front of a camera/I don’t know how to pose… how should I stand?”

One of my absolute favorite things about being a professional photographer is making sure my clients feel comfortable and look great, because ultimately when you are relaxed and happy YOU WILL LOOK GREAT. Here are some shots and tips I’ve gained over the years to help you look best in front of the lens!

Lacey M. Carroll Photography

Pictured Above is Macen, Class of 2016. I remember him specifically saying, I’m not good in front of the camera. Macen… I beg to differ. After 5 minutes of chatting, he started to relax and I began shooting. If you’re feeling particularly nervous, I always recommend thinking about things that make you feel calm, and happy like your pet, favorite food or a favorite memory, more importantly, it will transform your smile! In this shot, Macen and I had just been talking about his dog GiGi.

Danielle, Class of 2015 was a basketball star and self-professed tomboy. She did not want the typical ‘girly’ poses you see in a lot of my work. No problem! There is a way to be feminine, without being too girly. Her gorgeous locks with her jersey draped over her shoulder was the perfect way to show off her interest and her style. This remains one of my favorite shots of my class of 2015 season.

Nadia who is Class of 2020 and an aspiring model was definitely comfortable in her skin, but we shot this photo with dozens of other people in the sprinkle pool which can be daunting. I told her to act like she was on a beach in Hawaii with no one around, the results were fantastic!

1. Add Movement

Lacey M. Carroll Photography

Lacey M. Carroll Photography

At some point during our session, you may hear me say ‘do the hokey pokey’ or ‘shimmy-shimmy shake’. I have signature ‘moves’ that 1. Get you to laugh and 2. Make you look great. And if I really want to loosen you up, I have a pretty amazing Spotify playlist that is guaranteed to get you moving!

 

2. Practice in the Mirror

Class of 2018 Senior Portraits

Lacey M. Carroll Photography

It’s good to ‘know your best angles’. It’s certainly not the ‘end all, be all’ but if you know of a few angles that work for you, it can really improve your confidence during our shoot! Besides that, it definitely cuts down on time I am giving you directions, which makes for more photo options! Check out Class of 2018 girls Grace, Ashlyn, and Haley! These gorgeous girls WORKED those angles!

3. Wear Clothing That Fits and Doesn’t Restrict

Lacey M. Carroll Photography

You can look FABULOUS and still be comfortable. Comfort isn’t restricted to sweatpants and a t-shirt. Soon after you book, and before your shoot we will schedule your fashion consult, we will try on outfits and complete overall looks. It’s important to me as a photographer that you are as comfortable as possible and you look amazing. Therefore a fashion consult is KEY! Which includes bringing those flip-flops along with you so you can slide out of those heels the second we are done shooting that look!

4. Wearing Accessories Helps You Pose

Lacey M. Carroll Photography

Lacey M. Carroll Photography

Typically the follow-up question to ‘How should I pose?’ is ‘What should I do with my hands?’ Let’s face it, after an hour or two of shooting, eventually, you’ve hit every pose known to mankind! That’s why I love accessorizing my clients. Not only does it complete a look, it gives you something to do. Whether it’s twirling a necklace, fiddling with a bracelet or grabbing those sunglasses, accessories can really help give your portraits a wide variety of organic poses.

5. Lean Forward, Lean Back

Lacey M. Carroll Photography

You’ll hear me say this phrase a lot. With every snap of the shutter (unless I say otherwise) I want my client to move. Whether it’s a micro-movement or a full-on twirl. These two shots of gorgeous 2018 Senior Client Julia were taken seconds apart. I believe my exact words to her were “Every time you hear my cameras shutter click do a different pose. Lean forward, lean back, move your hands, move your feet, just go for it”. Needless to say, I was super happy with the results and so was she!

6. Be Yourself & Have Fun

Lacey M. Carroll Photography

Lacey M. Carroll Photography

It’s so important to me that your senior portrait experience is a positive one. I want you to look back on that day and your photos with a smile. Above all, if you’re goofy LET’S BE GOOFY, if you’re quiet and more laid back, then let’s hang out at a coffee shop and sip coffee while we shoot (or tea if coffee isn’t your thing).

I want you to be authentically you. Afterall, this is the culmination of your childhood and your last step before adulthood! Let’s capture you at this moment as you truly are!

Lacey M. Carroll Photography

I hope you enjoyed these 6 tips on How To Pose For Your Senior Portraits.

First of all, remember this will be all about you.

Secondly, fun and comfort create the perfect session. I would rather you be comfortable and confident in what you’re wearing feeling miserable and unhappy! So let’s find the perfect outfits for you!

And thirdly and above all communication is key. If you have any questions about your session I would love to hear from you. Feel free to email, text, DM or call me with any questions.

Also, please take a look at past blog posts for more examples on posing and check out my youtube channel for some Behind The Scenes videos of past photoshoots!

XoXo,

Lacey

3 Comments
  • Angie Church
    Posted at 03:05h, 03 July Reply

    Great topic with lots of great suggestions! Beautiful photos!

  • Brea Graves
    Posted at 12:29h, 11 July Reply

    You have inspired me Lacey! Thank you so much! I’m a portrait photographer in Montana and these are great tips for me to carry into my future shoots 🙂 Thank you, keep sharing that awesome wisdom and capturing incredible work!

  • Jennie Harless
    Posted at 21:51h, 18 July Reply

    Great tips, Lacey!

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