3 Posing Tips to Help You Look Great in Your Senior Pictures

How many of you are excited for senior portraits?  Go ahead, raise your hand, this is a big deal! 🙂  Now, how many of you are a bit nervous for your senior pictures because you don’t know how to pose?

Don’t worry!  I’m here to help.  As someone who gets so nervous in front of the camera, I completely understand where you’re coming from.  And as someone who spends so much time behind the camera, I have some super easy tips to help you relax and look great in your senior pictures.  For the guys or the gals, these posing tips are easy to practice in front of a mirror, adaptable to make them your own, and having this information will help you to feel better prepared and more relaxed for your session.

1. Say No to Statues

The first way to add interest and help you to relax while posing is through movement.  Posing for portraits does not mean standing still.  The days of standing stock still while waiting for the camera click are over.  Big movements or little movements can help in a couple of ways.  First, movement adds motion and interest to your images.  Second, when you are moving, you’re more relaxed and that will show in your portraits.

steps

twirls

jumps

 Movements like these add interest and energy to your images AND help you to relax, breathe, and to release that nervous energy and enjoy yourself.

collage of images of a senior girl twirling as she wears a gray flowered dress.  Images show examples of posing.

images of a senior girl posing for portraits in Sewickley.  She's walking and smiling and wearing a gray flowered dress.

2. Add a Little Asymmetry or If It Bends, Bend It

Our eyes get bored easily.  Patterns, symmetry (when things are the same or balanced around a center point) these things are predictable and put our minds to sleep.  Adding some asymmetry will not only help you to look better in your images but also make your portraits more interesting.  But how do we do this?  Movement and bending bits.  Taking a step adds asymmetry- one foot is forward, one is back.  Turning your body adds asymmetry too.  And if it bends, bend it.  Elbows, knees.  Use them to break up the balance.  If you have one hand on your hip, let the other hang.  Girls, pull your hair to one side.  Guys, put one hand in your pocket and let the other hang.

Moving like this will not only add interest to your portraits but will help you to stay energized during your session.

black and white image of a senior girl in North Park. She's wearing blue jeans and a black t-shirt and she's sitting in a field of tall grass.

images of a senior guy wearing a navy blue button down shirt, sitting on a railing by the river with a yellow bridge behind

3. Head Circles

This third posing tip might need a little practice just to get the feel for what looks good to you.  The idea is that by moving your head in different directions and pausing, you create different looks and expressions.  Once again, this adds variety to your portraits.  Now we’re not talking head circles you do in gym class to loosen your neck- think of it more like following a clock and pausing at 3 o’clock, 5 o’clock, 7 o’clock, and 9 o’clock.  Small circles can add just a subtle change, while larger circles can create more dramatic looks.  Vary your expressions between serious and smiling and change between looking at the camera or gazing off to the side.

images of a teen girl sitting in the grass with different expressions

black and white images of teen girl posing as she sits in the tall grass

black and white image of a teen girl sitting in tall grasses smiling

Smiles also work with head circles!

Try This to Practice Head Circles!

Use your phone to take a video practicing head circles.  When you’re recording remember to pause at 3, 5, 7, and 9 (the positions on a clock face). Then select the edit option and you’ll be able to view the still shots making up the video and see which images you like the best.

Hopefully, you’ve found some of these posing tips helpful.  Do you have to master them all for great portraits?  NO!  Give them a try in front of a mirror or with your phone and see what feels comfortable and looks good to you.  

And remember, your photographer is there to help.  I’ll always give you tips and suggestions for how to look your best in your portraits!

If you’re ready to start scheduling your senior portrait session, check out my page or contact me!

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Hi there, it's Jodi!

I hope you enjoy my work and please let me know if you have any questions about photography, art, or anything at all.

When it comes to portrait photography, there are a lot of options. It's important to me that I help my clients create the session and have the products that are the best fit for their family!

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portrait photographer for the Pittsburgh area including:

Cranberry, Fox Chapel, Mt Lebanon, Sewickley, Upper St Clair, and Wexford