Hawaiian Shirts and Senior Guy Portraits Tips
I don’t take senior guy portraits often, but when I do, their style is on point! (Insert praise hands emoji here!) Between the Hawaiian shirt, distressed denim, and untied converse, I’m loving all the Zack Morris and Saved by the Bell vibes I’m getting from this outfit! Sam recently graduated from my alma mater, CVCA, where he ran cross country and track. I had so much fun hanging out with Sam and his mom for this shoot. Sam had me cracking up the entire time, and he had no shame about changing outfits out in the open! Haha! Guys will be guys!
When I first started photography, I was always intimidated by photographing senior guys. In my experience, it seems that more often than not, guys don’t enjoy the portrait experience quite as much as my senior girls do. I struggled with posing and styling guys, simply because I am naturally more passionate about fashion, and styling for teen girls and women. So, I wanted to share some tips for posing and photographing senior guy portraits that has made working with them so much more fun and natural.
Tips for Photographing Senior Guys
- Keep it simple and short. In my experience, I’ve found that a full 2-3 hour portrait session is way too much time for most senior guy portraits. Additionally, I’d consider myself a pretty quick photographer, as in, I can usually get through enough poses to fill an entire gallery in 30 minutes. However, even if you aren’t as quick, I believe 30 minutes is more than enough time to photograph a senior guy. In this particular 30 minute portrait session, we fit in four outfits, and several locations within walking distance in a park.
- Pants with pockets. I always recommend guys wear pants or denim with front pockets. Giving them something to do with their hands makes it less awkward for them. Plus, it makes for a really cool, laid back vibe.
- It’s all in the details. While guys don’t typically have as many opportunities to accessorize as girls do, a nice watch and sneakers will do the trick! I also recommend putting emphasis on hair styling. Just a little bit of styling can completely change the look of their portraits! Even though these are small details, they can really bring an outfit together for a polished look.
- Cracking jokes. I’m a bit of a goofball anyway, but my style of photography tends to be very natural, and laid back. In order to achieve the natural, laid back look, I have to get them to laugh naturally, or the pose could look too stiff and forced. My trick for making my clients laugh is the most simple thing ever! Ya ready? I tell them to look off to the side or into the distance, and fake laugh. I show them what I mean first. Awkwardly, I say out loud, “HA. HA. HA.” and add emphasis on the syllables. If my imitation doesn’t make them laugh out of pure awkwardness, their imitation usually makes them laugh for real. 😉
- It’s all about the GQ gaze. Some of my favorite shots of senior guys are where they’re not looking at the camera; but they’re naturally posed giving what I like to call, “The GQ Gaze”. Look at any GQ Magazine cover, and you’ll know what I mean. If that’s totally not them, and they feel super uncomfortable, that’s fine! Keep your camera up in the shooting position, and chances are, you’ll get some natural laughter out of that awkwardness!
Here are some of my favorites from Sam’s senior session!