3 Secrets to Getting Natural Senior Photos

3 Secrets to Getting Natural Senior Photos

Senior photos are best when they reflect the personality and interests of the senior.  My goal is for seniors to look their best, but to also look as natural and authentic as possible.  Below are a few things that help make portraits look natural and NOT posed.

Smizing a.k.a. Smiling in the Eyes

Nothing makes a portrait look forced and unnatural like a fake smile.  I explain to my clients that if the expression in your eyes doesn’t match the smile on your face, the smile looks fake.  When people are smiling with their eyes, there is little “sparkle” in their eyes.  You can see in the example below that the smile on the right looks much more natural than the smile on the left.  So, when I am working with seniors, I joke around with them to get them to laugh a bit and have fun.  The moments following a laugh often yield the most authentic looking smiles.  If someone is a ham, I’ll have them make a ridiculous face and then switch over to a smile right afterward.  This can give them some comic relief and the smiles right afterward are usually awesome.

Raleigh Senior Photographer

Using Poses that Incorporate Natural Body Language

When you ask people to sit or stand in a way that they would in everyday life, they are likely to feel more relaxed and natural.  I love fashion inspired senior photos, but I find that those poses work best with seniors who are super confident and really identify themselves as fashionistas. Otherwise, I like to stick to relaxed poses that would feel comfortable for most people.

Raleigh Senior Photographer_0124

Your Outfits Should Reflect Your Personal Style

It’s great to have a mixture of dressy and casual clothing in a senior photo shoot, but above all, the clothing should suit YOU!  For some general guidelines on what outfits photograph best, check out my blog post on tips for picture perfect senior outfits.