a headshot of a girl for her senior portrait

Making Senior Portraits Stand Out

Senior Portrait Season is one of my favorite times of the year. Here are my top tips on how to make your senior portraits unique.

Coming up to senior year? If so, you’re probably starting to think about having your senior photos taken. Your senior portraits will be more than some ink on a bit of paper. They represent a milestone. A moment in your life to look back on and cherish.

And if they’re going into your yearbook, you want them to be something special. It’s easy to get caught up in trends, or simply follow a tradition and have a ‘cap and gown’ portrait done. But this is one of the few times when a photo shoot is all about you, and you alone. So make your senior photos the chance to really show off who YOU are.

If you’re looking for ways to make your senior pictures unique, read on for some top tips on creating memorable photos.

Poses for Senior Portraits

A big worry with seniors is that their photo shoots will be awkward. I get it. Having a stranger shove a camera in your face and telling you to strike a pose, well that kind of is awkward. But don’t worry – if you get a photographer that’s been doing this for a long time they’ll know how to make you feel relaxed.

I like to photograph seniors as they are, naturally. Whether that’s fun, sassy, cheeky, energetic, or intense (Dwayne Johnson smolder anyone?). My sessions focus on movement, and being “unposed.” This gives a great natural feeling to the photos and creates a relaxing, even fun, atmosphere.

By the end of the sessions, the seniors I photograph could feel confident enough to stride into Vogue Magazine and show the pros how it’s done.

Bringing Props to Senior Photographs

What better way to make a senior portrait stand out than bringing a prop with you? Props are the chance to truly show your personality and your passions. Maybe you’re captain of the football team and want to bring your ball to the shoot? Do it! Or if you’re into music, you could pose with your guitar. Whatever it is that you enjoy, you should look to incorporate into your senior photographs. They’ll be the things that people most remember you for when they look back at them!

A nice little bonus of bringing props is that your photographs might be used later on for branding. If you end up pursuing your passion for your career, they can make a great starting point for your marketing.

A boy poses with his skis for his senior portrait
a girl poses with her camera for her senior portrait

What to Wear for a Senior Photograph

Everyone has their own sense of style, so why not use this in your senior portraits? You probably don’t often go around wearing a cap and gown, or suit and tie, so using them on your senior pictures just won’t really be you.

I’d recommend that you choose something that you like, but feel comfortable in. There’s no point in a stunning outfit that leads to an awkward photograph! You could even bring an outfit change, to capture something more formal and casual or fun.

The options you have for your clothing are almost endless, so your outfit choice gives you the chance to really make your senior portraits stand out.

A girl poses in casual clothing for her senior portrait
a boy poses in his football jersey, with a ball, for his senior portraits

Senior Portrait Locations

Choosing a location can lead to some really interesting and unique senior photographs. A place that it is special to you is an easy way to make your portrait stand out from the crowd. Maybe you enjoy long walks in the woods, or spend a lot of time out on the lakes? You could use this as a gorgeous backdrop for your photographs. For sports stars, you could use a football field or running track. Perhaps you just love the city? You can incorporate great cityscapes in your portraits too!

If you’re in the Central Wisconsin area, I have a few locations that are personal favorites. The “Wakeley House” at Historic Pointe Basse provides some great backdrops and scenery. There are also some amazing locations around Lake Mississippi, and the beaches at Petenwell Lake make for some really fun and unique photograph opportunities.

A girl poses outdoors for her senior portrait
a girl poses in front of a door for her senior portrait

Booking a Photographer

Hopefully you’ve seen this and had a few ideas for your senior portraits. If you’re in the Central Wisconsin area, why not get in touch and we can plan out your perfect senior photo shoot.