High School Senior Photography

Convenient and Useful Tips for High School Senior Photography

Here we bring you a high school senior photography guide with tips for both high school seniors and photographers.
There's something magical about a camera. It has its own way of looking at the world. And that's what turns moments it captures into treasured memories. Photography is something that realizes a camera's dream to help us treasure all those little moments in life close to our heart. Photography for all those special occasions in life, if done following the right tips and techniques, can actually be the means to relive special moments. And it's not just the tips and techniques every time, you require the passion to photograph and the creativity to portray emotions in pictures. Here we will be looking at high school senior photography ideas. Continue reading.

Photography done in high school is something that remains stored in our yearbooks and etched in our memories for long. In fact, yearbooks are treasure-houses of memories; memories of school days - perhaps the most special time in everyone's lives. The 'enemies' we made in school, the fights we had, the pranks we played, the penalties that followed, the homework we never did, the classes we bunked, the subjects we never liked and... the lasting friendships that school gave us, the achievements, the rewards, the teachers we loved; just everything about school is worth treasuring for a lifetime.

Photography is the only means to treasure these moments forever. On moving out of high school, we go our own ways, begin a new journey on independent paths we choose. Life paces up and all those things that meant a lot to us in school days, blur. They begin to seem left far behind. There are times when we feel we should retrieve some of those moments and relive them.

Well, I needn't tell you the importance of high school senior photography if you are a high school senior yourself and if you have landed on this page in search of some photography tips. Being a high school senior, you know what it means to have beautiful pictures of yourself, that stand out. You know how important it is to look smart and stunning in your photos. You know it is this image of yours that you are going to leave behind after graduating from high school. It is this image of yours that's going to stay with you and your friends after finishing school. So getting a perfect picture taken in so important. The lighting, the location, the camera technique, the picture effects, what you wear, the way you pose, and most importantly how you feel while you are being photographed are some of the things influencing the quality of camera pictures. You might be expecting a lot from the photographs and you may have a lot of ideas in your mind, but no use if you aren't able to ensure good photography. The right photographer, the right technique and some cool picture ideas to add to it, and you can rest assured of what your photography session is going to give. It's bound to bring out the smart, confident, no-more-a-sophomore you!

high school senior girl
high school senior boy

Tips for You

It's you who is being photographed, so focus on the real YOU. Be your natural self in front of the camera; only that can bring out the best in you. What's more important than how you look is how you feel; your facial expressions matter more than your facial features; because ultimately, that's what is expressed in your photographs. A person with average looks can look stunning in a photograph, because that is how he portrays him/herself before the camera. That's what we call photogenic, don't we? So, here are some tips for you to look, nope, feel your best when facing the camera on the day of your photography session.
  • For the location, well, you may choose to be photographed on an exotic outdoor location like a beach or park or in the premises of your school; your classroom, or play area. They turn out to be some of the best locations for senior photography. Whichever location you choose, see that it serves the purpose of only a backdrop and does not become the main attraction in your pictures.
  • If you pick an outdoor location, nature will take care of the light and backdrop for your photographs. But if you go in for an indoor location, ensure good lighting and a good background setting for your pictures. A plain, soft-colored wall or a satin curtain or bedcover can make a very good background for your photographs. Just ensure that the colors around don't overshadow you.
  • Now for the attire and makeup. What to wear for senior pictures? Mostly, your photographer will suggest the colors that will suit you and help you choose a good background and setting. Go by his suggestions if you find yourself comfortable wearing what he asks you to. If not the photographer, at least listen to what the mirror tells you. Don't go overboard with the kind of attire and the makeup you wear. More than anything, you have to look your real self; that's how you want your fellowmates to remember you.
  • Wear dark colors if they suit your skin color, avoid gaudy designs. For a formal look, wear a simple shirt and pants. For a slightly casual look, a pair of jeans and t-shirt is the best choice. Flashy designs, t-shirts with bold pictures and lettering do not look good in senior pictures. Well, your school logo would be an exception. You can always sport something that symbolizes your school.
  • Girls, whatever anyone tells you to wear, you will make sure you wear what YOU want to. But here are some tips on the same. Do not go for anything too sexy, it's a serious photography session, not skin show. A black dress, a knee-length or long skirt paired with a chic top are among the choices girls can make. For a not-too-casual, not-too-formal look, go for skinny jeans teamed with a nice t-shirt or a fitting top. That figures in every list of girls' clothing options for the shoot. Girls, now's the chance; make the photography session a reason, rather an excuse, to go shopping. And pose with your brand new clothes complementing your brand new look.
  • Accessories? Choose something that goes well with what you are wearing. Just wanting an attractive look doesn't mean you are going to overdo the makeup or use bulky accessories and heavy jewelry. Rather, simpler the better. Pick accessories that complete your look.
  • For the props, you can choose anything that you would like to carry with you on camera. Not literally 'anything' though. Choose something that represents who you are. For example, if you are a sportsperson, wear your sports attire and carry a suitable play equipment; if you have been performing in your high school band, carry your musical instrument with you. Use props like books, flowers, plush toys; use your favorite possessions as props. You'll look good with them and they with you! What you wear goes hand in hand with what you carry. So choose a prop that complements your attire. That's something your photographer might tell you.
  • If not this, you always have the conventional things to pose against, like your bike or car, a tree, a building or just nothing, Stand the way you naturally would. Make sure that the props don't clutter the whole space. I repeat, the focus should be on you and not on the things around you.
  • Along with posing solo, also have some group photographs taken. A photograph with those who were in the school band with you, a picture with your close friends, a photograph in your hobby class with your classmates, a group photo standing in the locker room, against the school notice board, along the staircase that led to your class... these photographs will stay with you as reminders of all the little things in school life; all your precious belongings of those lovely years of high school.
  • Chin up, back straight, shoulders upright, that's how your posture should be. Drooping shoulders, hunched back or bent knees reflect badly in a photograph.
  • Wear a smile that brightens up your face. Smile, look confident, feel good about yourself as you face the camera.
high school seniors sports team
black and white photo of high school seniors
photo of two high school seniors

Tips for Photographers

Some schools have professional photographers who conduct photography sessions for high school seniors, while other schools have in-house studios where students are photographed. As a photographer, it's your responsibility to bring out the best in everyone being photographed. Also, photographs cannot be images portraying no emotion; I believe you know this. Photographs have to look natural, lively, and depict feelings of the person being photographed. Most importantly, you need to know your client; here it's high school seniors. As a high school senior photographer, you should know what they expect of their photographs. A little know-how of their hobbies and interests in and outside school will help you give them the right poses and props during photography. So, if you are the person behind the camera, here is something for you.
  • Choose a good theme, and then a suitable photography technique. For example, go for black and white photography if you want a nostalgic feel. Or if you want to highlight the subjects' facial expressions in the photographs and if detailing is important, opt for portrait photography.
  • Not all pictures need to be of the same type. Have a mix of both long shot and close up photos. Let some pictures have the senior looking into the camera, giving scope for highlighting facial expressions, while in other pictures; for instance, a portrait photograph, have him/her look away.
  • Try to interact with your client and make him/her comfortable. With this, the photographs will look more natural.
  • High school seniors will like it if you experiment with different camera techniques. They will surely like dressing and posing differently. So, don't go the usual way; try something new with your camera to expect some brilliant photography. Try to come up with some unique senior picture ideas for guys and girls; they'll love it.
  • Even though this photography is mostly done solo, you can recommend a few pictures with friends; photograph the seniors in pairs or groups. They won't mind to share the camera space with people they have shared so many years of their lives with! Also try to schedule friends in the same session; in the company of friends, even the camera-shy will find it easier to open up.
  • Do suggest your clients the kind of attire they should wear, the colors that would suit them and the way they should pose. But leave it to them as to how they want to appear in the photographs. Letting them decide will also help them feel comfortable.
After these tips for both high school seniors and their photographers, let's put a period to this long discussion and get ready for some picture-perfect pixels.
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