I once had a senior guy write, “My mom wants pics and I’m down with it” on his inquiry form. I laughed because this is the sentiment I hear from a lot of guys and their dads. But sometimes I have a senior guy like Charlie that really gets into the process and helps me create a session that shows his unique style and is filled with genuine smiles and laughter. Here are some of my top tips for a senior guy session that he will actually enjoy!
Top Tips for a Senior Guy Session
Be Creative with Props
Props go a long way in a senior guy session. Let’s be honest- most of the time he doesn’t want to twirl and toss hair or swish a dress away. So adding props that show his interests and personality is always a great place to start. Examples of senior guy props I always ask about include: sports equipment and jerseys, a favorite hat (or 2), his vehicle, instruments, a pet.
Charlie knew he wanted to use his truck in some senior pictures. He is a football player at Darlington School in Rome, Georgia. Because he takes a LOT of pictures in uniform Charlie wanted to find use a purple dress shirt and his Darlington letterman jacket to represent his high school football career.
Location, location, location. As a senior photographer it’s my job to make any location photographic. I love finding unexpected spots and, of course, I have my favorite locations to hit if you are coming up empty. But choosing a location that fits the style of your senior guy or has sentimental meaning to him or your family will level up your senior pictures.
This senior session would have been great anywhere because Charlie has that kind of personality. But using a more exclusive location he was excited about really made a difference as he showed me around Big Cedar Ranch in Cave Spring, Georgia. Big Cedar Ranch is a gorgeous location that offered us so much variety from open fields to dirt roads to an old silo and bridge.
Adding movement is something I employ at all senior sessions. (No one wants to look stiff and posed in their senior portraits anymore. )
Movement can be trickier with a senior guy because if he feels cheesy you’re going to start losing the momentum of the senior session. Incorporating props into natural movement helps. Charlie is a very talented violinist in the ensemble at Darlington School. We used the violin as a static prop as well as had Charlie play the violin. He is also known for his hat collection and having Charlie take hats on and off allowed natural movement throughout the session and I was also able to pick up on those little signature moves that are all Charlie.
Include Important People
I joke with senior guy moms that her son may want to bring the girlfriend for the smiles. But we know it’s true. No one gets your senior guy’s best smile like his girlfriend. (And we can throw her in for a few captures if she is up for it!)
D you know who else gets the good smiles? Mom! A senior guy loves his mom even when he’s rolling his eyes.
I encourage my senior session clients to take FULL advantage of the session and join in for a few minutes of the session. Graduation is not just an accomplishment for your senior. They would not have made it this far without their family cheering them on.
I hope these tips for a senior guy session get your wheels spinning as you plan a session for the senior guy in your life. If there are any I’ve missed I am always looking for new tricks!
Kate Walton is a senior photographer and brand photographer in Rome, Georgia. Studio Kate serves seniors from Darlington School, Armuchee High School, Model High School, Pepperell High School, Rome High School and beyond.
Interested in booking a senior session with Studio Kate? Start here!