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A Photographer's Guide to Senior Picture Poses

Senior Picture Poses | Chattanooga Photographer

Graduating - whether it be from high school or college - is a HUGE accomplishment that deserves to be celebrated, and senior photos are a great way to capture memories of this special chapter of life that you can look back on with pride for years to come. Traditional senior photos can be super rigid, posed, and downright uncomfortable, so I'm a huge believer in breaking the norm and taking photos that reflect your unique personality! These are some of my favorite senior picture poses to shake things up and keep your photos effortlessly fun and relaxed.

Jumping for Joy

The first senior picture pose I love to incorporate into my sessions is something I like to call Jumping for Joy. I love getting my seniors to let loose and jump around during their session because it always brings a genuine smile to their face (and to mine)! The Jumping for Joy pose is especially fun if the senior has a sentimental prop - like Hallie's pom-poms or Abigail's cap - that they can incorporate. Having the seniors jump also adds some playful movement to the photos that really livens things up. If you're in a posing slump, just jump!

Take a Walk

I love incorporating walking shots into senior photos because it's a super easy way to add some playfulness and sass. Chloe was an absolute queen strutting her stuff through downtown Fairhope, and incorporating some walking shots into the session really highlighted her confidence and natural beauty. I'm also obsessed with this walking photo of Caris because the background is almost as stunning as she is! Walking directly towards the camera can also be a great way to subtly highlight your surroundings if you're shooting somewhere especially picturesque or with personal significance.

Play With Your Hair

There's no doubt posing can be uncomfortable and a little intimidating if you're not used to being in front of the camera. One of my favorite ways to encourage seniors to loosen up a bit is to have them play with their hair. You can have them tuck some hair behind their ear, run their fingers through their hair, or even fluff and tousle it a bit! Not only is playing with your hair a great distraction to take some of the posing pressure off, but it always guarantees effortlessly beautiful photos.

Prop Your Head

Ok, so propping your head up on your hand might not be a revolutionary pose, but it's one of my go-to's for a reason! I personally love this pose for senior photos because it transforms what could be a very stiff and unnatural portrait into a much more relaxed and flattering photo. This pose is super easy and straightforward but always delivers beautiful results.

Frame Your Face

I love this pose not only because it gives seniors something to do with their hands, but it also offers a more editorial spin to your senior's photos. I like to suggest they start with one arm over their head and then caress their cheek with the other hand, sort of like they're framing their face using just their arms and hands. This pose might seem a bit awkward at first, but that can also lead to some giggles! I also like to switch hands so they can go back and forth with one hand over their head and vice versa. Movement always makes for some of the most natural looking poses!

Look Into the Distance

Last but certainly not least, I often incorporate poses where the seniors are looking off into the distance rather than straight into the camera. I find that having my seniors look away from the camera creates a more authentic feeling, like I've captured a genuine moment of joy rather than something staged. As a bonus, I love having the senior look off camera to make eye contact with a friend, significant other, or family member!

I hope this photographer's guide to senior picture poses is helpful as you prepare for your own session! For more posing inspiration, check out Chloe's Senior Adventure Session, and check back next week for a guide on male senior posing!

And to all my seniors out there - take some time to stop and enjoy this chapter of life. As crazy and stressful as it might feel, it's also a super exciting time that will fly by faster than you think!



If you're interested in booking a senior photo session for yourself or a loved one, I'd love to work with you! Please give me a shout, and let's make it happen: https://www.casaraphoto.

(c) Jessi Casara Photography

Jessi is a lifestyle documentary photographer based in southern Alabama, serving the Gulf Coast from Mobile, AL to Pensacola, FL, along with the Nashville, Chattanooga, and Atlanta areas. She specializes in couple, wedding, maternity, newborn and family photography, and also enjoys commercial and creative portraiture. Available for travel worldwide. Find out more at




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