18 Senior Photo Ideas to Capture What's Unique About You

Get ideas on choosing outfits, poses, backgrounds, and meaningful additions that show what makes you unique.

Published March 11, 2023

Don't stress about the perfect poses and outfits. When it comes to what makes a good senior picture, it's all about showing your personality. Everything else is easy to learn, and your photographer can take lots of shots to try different senior picture ideas. These are a few of the best ways to make sure your pics turn out perfectly.

Incorporate What You Love in Your Pictures


If you have a hobby or sport you really love, try bringing it into your pictures. You don't have to include your basketball, surfboard, or violin in every shot, but having it in some of them lets you really show off your personality.

Need to Know

Although you can take your senior pictures any time, it's usually good to have them by the deadline for the high school yearbook (usually winter of your senior year). Photographers can be pretty busy during this season, so as soon as you know when you plan to take your senior photos, get them scheduled.

Start With Seated Poses for Senior Pictures


To feel at-ease when you're doing your senior pictures, try starting with seated poses. You won't have to worry about how you're standing, so it's a little more relaxing - especially at the beginning of a shoot.

Move on to Standing Poses


Standing poses can feel really powerful and help you look confident in your senior pictures. Ask your photographer to shoot from a little below eye level to make you look strong. You can also pose with your hands in your pockets or on your hips and your weight slightly tipped on to your heels.

Include Some Action Shots


If you love being active, make sure you include some senior pictures with action shots. Ask your photographer to use a really fast shutter speed that will capture the action. They'll need to take a ton of pictures to get the perfect one. Also, don't forget to look at the camera if you can - that almost always makes a better senior photo.

Do Some Head and Shoulders Portraits


While seated and standing photos are always great choices, make sure you include some shots that are only head and shoulders too. Keep your shoulders angled away from the camera and your head turned toward it for a pose that's always flattering.

Stay Relaxed With Simple Tips for Flattering Photo Poses


One of the best ways to make sure your senior photos turn out well is to stay relaxed in your poses. Keep your shoulders loose and bend your arms slightly if they'll be showing in the photo. If you're standing, keep one foot in front of the other with your weight on your back foot.

Think About What Makes You Happy in Your Photos


As the camera shutter is clicking, think about what makes you super happy. If there's a person or moment that makes you smile every time, that's the perfect thing to keep in mind. You can also bring along a friend who always makes you laugh so you can make sure your smiles are all the real deal.

Embrace the Prettiest Outdoor Backgrounds for Your Senior Pics


If the season is right, there are so many outdoor senior picture ideas to try. Flowering bushes or fields of wildflowers add a fun pop of color, and trees or hiking trails can show everyone that you feel at home in nature. Don't forget about the beach for soft blues and greys and fall foliage for bright warm tones. There's really no end to the possibilities.

Try Some Indoor Environmental Portraits


There are lots of fun indoor senior photo ideas (downtown buildings with lots of light, great studios, historic architecture, just to name a few), but one of the most fun is doing an environmental portrait in your own space. If you have a table where you create art or a chair where you sit to play guitar, take some photos there.

Make sure the space has plenty of natural light and the background isn't too cluttered. Then ask your photographer to shoot with a wide angle lens to show all the interesting details in your environment.

Show Off Your City


A city street makes an incredible senior portrait location, especially if you pick a time when it's not too crowded with people (you don't want a random dude walking through the background).

The buildings and lines will help frame you, especially if you're in the middle of the shot. You can even try some walking toward the camera.

Rock Neutral Colors for Classic Senior Photos


When it comes to colors that look best for senior pictures, you really can't beat neutrals. If you stick to tans, greys, and beige tones, your outfit won't detract from the point of the picture (that's you). As an added bonus, neutral-colored senior picture outfits are less likely to feel dated in five or 10 years when you're looking back at these shots.

Let the Season Set the Mood for Your Senior Picture


The season can inspire your photos - from what you wear to the activities you choose to include. In the fall, dress to complement the fall foliage with shades of blue to play off of the orange and yellow leaves.

For winter senior pictures, use neutral colors and lots of texture (woolen knits, fur, and fluffy scarves) to add lots of coziness to an otherwise chilly scene.

Play Up Color and Texture for Unique Photos


One great way to make senior pictures unique is playing up color and texture - both in the background and on you. If you have a fun color in your hair or love to wear funky prints, don't hide that for your portraits. Look for a location with just as much texture and color too. Think weathered wood, chippy paint, textured walls, and bold colors.

Bring Your Pets Into the Picture


Pets or favorite animals can be the ultimate way to show your personality in your pics. Make sure you discuss this with your photographer ahead of time, since shooting with animals can be challenging. You'll also want to take some without your furry friend because it's good to have options (and no matter how well-trained they are, animals don't always cooperate for photos).

Include Friends and Family


While you definitely need some senior pictures with just you, it's a fun idea to bring friends or family into some of your shots. Do some with your bestie to have a memento of your high school years or include your sister if the two of you have a special bond. It's a great way to honor someone important in your life.

Use the Sky as a Background


Want a senior picture that's totally not like everyone else's? Ask your photographer to use the sky as a background. This is a tricky lighting situation, so it's something you definitely need to think about ahead of time. You'll also want to pick a day with an interesting sky (blue is beautiful, but a few clouds make a way cooler picture).

Go for Casual Confidence in Your Senior Pics


Posed photos definitely have their place, but you can get some casual, candid shots too. Pick a situation that's just everyday you and do some of your photo session with that. You'll feel relaxed and confident, and the photos will have a chill vibe that will set them apart from everyone else's shots.

Capture Your Sense of Adventure


If your photographer is up for it, go on a hike or adventure that shows who you really are. You can do this if you have a friend take your senior pictures too. Think photos by a campfire, hiking on a favorite trail, surfing, or doing anything else that's really your jam.

Show Your True Colors


No matter what you choose to wear in your senior pictures or which background you pick, the most important thing is letting your true colors shine. Show off who you are and be confident, and you'll love these pictures for years to come.

18 Senior Photo Ideas to Capture What's Unique About You