When it comes to taking senior portraits, it is completely normal to feel a little awkward. Many seniors are self-conscious of how they will appear because taking pictures solo can feel uncomfortable. Here are top five things you need to know in order to nail your senior portrait with grace and confidence. Put these tips to practice and you can rest assured that you will love your portrait for years to come.
1. Use your eyes
Avoid awkward photos by using your eyes to express emotion. When a natural smile occurs your whole face lights up and your eyes look bright and awake. You can practice smiling in the mirror and working different expressions. You want the muscles in your face to contract and change the shape of your eyes to ensure your smile looks natural.
The best photos take place when you’re relaxed and confident. Let the excitement of what this pictures means translate through the lens by taking a moment to relax, breathe, and have fun with it. You may feel silly and believe me I understand; but I’m used to this and will help you feel comfortable.
This may sound like an obvious one, but breathing is a key aspect in capturing a natural look. You can practice taking a big breath while smiling in front of a mirror. Slowly release the air while holding the smile and notice how your face and eyes settle into a natural and relaxed expression. When in doubt, just breathe.
Staying stationary can often times produce a very staged and cheesy look. Just because you are still does not mean that you can’t change your angles to create a fresh and inspired look. Try leaning into the camera slightly to appear more engaged, shifting your weight from left to right, or simply moving your chin slightly up and down for different shots to get a variety of facial expressions to choose from. And I always suggest spinning or running; especially with a flowy dress or skirt. The movement between your hair and clothes will be stunning!
This goes for everyone. Ladies, this is why I include professional hair and make-up for every senior session! Spending the extra time getting your hair blown out or styled and getting your makeup done makes you look and feel your best. Fellas, take a shower and shave. If you look your best, you feel your best, and when you feel your best, you act more confidently. Go the extra mile to walk into your senior session feeling confident, attractive, prepared, and inspired.
Christine Lee Photography is a high school senior and family photographer; specializing in senior portraits, maternity, and family photography in Plant City, Lakeland, Riverview, Apollo Beach, and Tampa, Florida.