Senior photos are a lot of fun! This is the time to get creative and show off their personality. Sometimes starting a session with a senior guy can be a little intimidating. Senior boys seem to either care less about their photos or be excited. I’d always prefer the excitement! Senior year is a turning point in anyone’s life. It is full of excitement and a lot of big decisions. Posing should not be another hard decision! I am going to show you my top five favorite poses. Spoiler alert! These five poses can turn into an entire gallery full of images if you go with the flow and create your own routine as you continue to work with more and more seniors!
#1 UP CLOSE AND PERSONAL
Every senior session needs to have 3 types of shots; up close, mid-range, and full body. The best way to get an up-close shot is to make sure to focus on the eyes! Eyes are a mom’s favorite part. Show their kindness and show the depth they have to offer! I know, I know, kind of deep… but it's true! Make sure the senior is relaxed and comfortable with you as the photographer. I would recommend capturing this photo at the end of the shoot because you’ll have had a chance to create trust by that time.
#2 SERIOUS AND CALM
This is a pose my senior guys love! It is similar to pose #1 but with a flare! The key to this pose is to grab the shot in a moment of seriousness. Senior shoots are fun, but during every single one, there is a moment where everyone is in the mode and ready to take it seriously. Capture this shot right then and go back to having fun! From my experience, I have learned that guys either show up ready to be smiley or completely serious. Start with what they are comfortable with and then work up to the other style once they get more comfortable in front of the camera. Often this is the first time they have had professional photos done so they may be nervous! Hype them up and let them know the photos are turning out great. This is a shot where I would show them the screen of my camera because 99% of the time this is a pose they'll love!
Pro tip - bring a speaker with you and let them choose the playlist. Go with the flow of the music.
#3 LEAN INTO IT!
This is my go-to pose with senior guys! It can be tricky because they do not naturally go for this pose, but just say, “Bring your elbows closer to your knees!” Eventually, they will get right into position and you can snap away. This shot is great because it allows them to be comfortable without slouching. It also adds dynamic to your photos because triangles are created within the shot. This is a perfect pose to get all three of your distance shots. Don’t forget them! (Close up, mid-range, and full body)
#4 RELAXED STANCE, HANDS IN POCKETS WITH THUMBS OUT
All of my photo sessions include close-ups, middle-range shots, and full-body poses (in case you forgot *wink wink*). This is the most simple pose that I can get my seniors to start with while remaining comfortable. Most people like to be close and probably even touch something else like a tree or bridge. It makes us feel more comfortable and less exposed. My trick is to start with my seniors doing what feels natural and then progressing to more “exposed” poses. I always leave some type of set of fingers out of the pocket. My favorite is to say, “hands in pockets, thumbs out” because the result looks better when the viewer’s brain isn’t focusing on if the senior has fingers or not.
To add a different look to the same pose, ask them to leave the backhand where it is and the hand closest to you relaxed at their sides. I like to think of this as the "cool guy" shot.
#5 SIT DOWN AND RELAX
Notice how I use the words "relax" and "comfortable" a lot? I believe that is the key to truly capturing your portraits. When people feel like themselves, they will end up liking their photos more. Do what you can to make them feel good in front of the camera, but honestly, it may just take your confidence to get them to relax.
I love to do the sitting and relaxed pose in the middle of all of my sessions. It gives my seniors a chance to sit down, relax their faces, and breathe. Sometimes we all forget to just breathe during photo sessions and once we do just take a moment to relax the session can finish off so strong. I always like this pose to showcase their faces and be a little bit more mid-range/tight of a crop. This pose looks best in a relaxed position, such as arms crossed.
Well there you have it! The best 5 poses for senior guys. They are easy to communicate, fun to capture, and natural looking. Get out there and get some awesome senior photos!