Senior photos can be a huge investment if you hire someone else to take the photos. This post will give you several senior photo tips that will allow you to take your own child’s photos.
Don’t have a senior? No problem. These tips are also great for taking portraits of any one in your family or taking senior portraits for a friend or family member.
Actionable senior photography tips
Start with sitting
Everyone’s a little nervous when they are on the spot unless they have had photos taken of them often. Starting in a sitting position is much less vulnerable and allows your model to get comfortable. Find a few locations on the shoot that make for an easy place to sit, such as stairs, a bench, or the ground and take several shots before moving to a new position. Coach your model into moving arms, legs, and their head to get a variety of photos in this position. This will not only ease the pressure for your model, but it will also give you a chance to see what the best angles and perspectives are for this particular subject.
Try every angle
When you’re photographing g one person there are only so many positions you can do. Use different angles and perspectives to change your photos. Get above your subject, get on their level, shoot from the side, have your subject look back at you, etc. play around with all different angles to get the best senior photos.
Get to know your senior as you shoot. Ask questions about what they like, what they don’t like, their favorite features of themselves, and more. As you start to know your model more, you will be able to take photos that showcase them. Are they silly? Do they like to pose and enjoy the camera? Are they shy or thoughtful? Take these character traits and and use them in your photographs.
Experiment with a reflector
A reflector can be a great way to cast even light on your subjects face in the shade or a backlit situation. You can purchase a reflector for pretty cheap or you can look for natural reflectors in the landscape such as a white wall, concrete, or light colored rocks or sand. The goal is to place your subject in a position that will allow the light from the sun to bounce off this reflector onto their face. You may want to bring along a second person to assist you if you bring a handheld reflector.
Use the location
Use the features you see naturally in the environment and pose your senior around these things. Because you only have one person to photograph you can use these elements to add interest, frame your subject, and add depth or character to your photograph. Use fences, trees, walls, colors, landscape, and more. There are always great features in every location you just have to be creative. It’s okay not to get it right. If you take a photo you hate, you don’t have to use it. Practice and play with the location and you will come away with unique and creative photographs.
Get them laughing
You’ve got to get your model laughing. This is key to showing personality in your photos. Not every photo needs to be them laughing, but if you get them comfortable enough to laugh, you will find even the smiling images will be brighter. Their eyes will be more alive and their comfort level will show in all your photographs. Use the mom or dad to tell stories in the background, tell silly jokes, dance around and goof off yourself, and just have some fun.
Use the bodies natural movement
You don’t want your model to just stand there still and rigid. Bend arms up towards the face, bend legs so they look more natural. Use the bodies natural bends to get more candid, genuine looking photos.
Whether or not you have your own photography business or side gig, use these senior photo tips to help you capture beautiful portraits of your senior or someone else’s.
What to do now:
Find a few models to practice on. Choose at least one to of the tips above to focus on and apply to your photographs. Tag me on Instagram (@athomewithkidsblog) and show me your favorite photos.
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