12 Tips for Senior Photographers

This week marks a year of having my professional photography business.  I have learned so much this past year!  I wanted to do a few posts this month giving advice to other photographers/senior photographers out there starting.  The business can be so intimidating at times, but especially when you are in your first year.  Here a 12 simple tips for senior or portrait photographers:

ONE: LOCATIONS ALWAYS CHANGE HOW THEY LOOK

I’m a huge fan on blonde tall winter grass, but unfortunately that only is around for a few frigid months in Texas and then it turns into overgrown snake-filled scariness.  Likewise, there is short window where the wildflowers are gorgeous and gardens look their best.  Take advantage of the beautiful benefits EACH season offers.

TWO: HAVE STANDARD POSES

I offer my female seniors 70+ images.  There is no way I could come up with completely unique poses for all 70 images.  However, every girl is different and the pose becomes there own without it looking exactly like their best friend’s session I did the week before.  One of the poses I like to use is where the girl simply looks over her shoulder.  Could be either shoulder, close up or full body, laughing or serious, but either way it gives me a go to starting point to creating a beautiful image.

THREE: BE BOLD IN YOUR REQUESTS

These girls are in the top shape of their life in most instances and have looked forward to their senior session with much anticipation.  They are hiring you for your ideas and creativity.  Don’t be afraid to ask them to do something crazy {obviously keep it safe and appropriate}.  They love it and you will love the boldness of the images for years to come.

FOUR: LIGHT IS YOUR NEW LOVER

Can we please talk about how much of a difference amazing light makes for a session?!?!  Backlight is your friend.  The limits are endless in what you can do, but do practice using it.

FIVE: KNOW YOUR CLIENTS

Not everyone is into running through a field with their hair down fake laughing.  Take time to invest in getting to know your client, so their session most appropriately matches them and their style and likes.  The two images below go with this tip below.  The mom of the color image actually said to me, you aren’t going to make my son jump in the air like Dalton are you (the bottom image)?  Catering your session to your clients will take you sooooo far.  They will appreciate your thoughtfulness and time.

SIX: FAKE SKY IT!

The common eye usually won’t catch that the image below has a fake sky edited in it.  I feel like it adds so much to an already gorgeous image.  Without the added sunset it would be a blown out white sky blaaaaaaa.  Practice though!!!

SEVEN: DIG FOR CREATIVITY

Whether it’s a flower crown, bold eye lashes, a funky dress, bring up creative ideas that you have to see if it is something your client is dying to try.  Be careful not to over do it at one session though.  Usually these things are trendy and will be dated in five to ten years which is the last thing you want for all of your senior images.

EIGHT: FIND NEW LOCATIONS

Everyone wants their session to be unique and they should!  Challenge yourself to find new locations every once in awhile.  People continuously ask me how in the world I have so many favorite locations.  I’m not sure to be honest, but I know it makes my life a lot easier to be able to offer a variety of looks.  Check out my favorite locations post HERE.

NINE: ADD BFFS AND SISTERS

This picture was from when I very first was using my professional gear and editing programs.  I honestly hate how I edited it.  Fortunately, I have learned and grown over the past year.  The point is…..this images has been repined over 3000 times just from my board on Pinterest.  Most high school seniors love the idea of having a gorgeous image with their childhood BFF or sister when they look their best at their senior session.  I always encourage these additions to my senior session.

TEN: UTILIZE PINTEREST

Utilize pinterest not only to advertise and put your name out there, but to get ideas.  Obviously, don’t be dependent on others’ ideas for your creativity though.  This pose was a pinterest inspired pose that I made my own and it is one of my favorites I have taken although it looks very different than the inspiration.

ELEVEN: PARTNER WITH AN AMAZING MAKE UP ARTIST

You have to find one that knows how to do make up for photography and is top notch. Your images will instantly improve.  I’m so lucky to have found mine! 

TWELVE: THE FAKE LAUGH

Know not everyone will feel comfortable fake laughing.  Actually, I’m pretty sure almost everyone feels uncomfortable fake laughing.  BUT I find that fake laughing can give you some amazing beautiful portraits.  Moms will gush over seeing their baby just they know them.  Reassure your client it is uncomfortable, but very beneficial.

I would love to hear your comments!  Thanks for stopping by!

 

Bryan Grayson - June 5, 2014 - 8:37 pm

Just an awesome post!

Irene Roberts - December 5, 2014 - 6:47 pm

Wonderful post with excellent tips! Thank you

Christine Potter - May 17, 2015 - 2:01 am

I love this. Thank you! I love the results of fake laughing. And I have noticed that if I laugh with them just after they start, that their smile will be much more natural and less poses looking for a few seconds after. Also, I would be very curious to know what you would have changed on the edit of the best friends. I’m just starting out and would love to hear what you would have done differently, as I feel that is similar to how my edits are.

Tricia Blazosky - September 24, 2015 - 7:45 pm

Do you have any tutorials on how you did the fake sky? I’m pretty comfortable with Photoshop, but I love to see tutorials before I try something that bold!

Emma Gerber - September 27, 2015 - 6:43 pm

What do you use to edit your photos? They are beautiful!

Eric Rehbien - November 14, 2015 - 2:05 pm

Guess I was having a senior moment and thought you meant senior as in senior citizen. Glad I stumbled into your site, the photos are absolutely beautiful. A long was from the senior yearbook pictures of 1968.