Are you looking to get into the field of senior portrait photography?
The world of portrait photography has numerous niches that require very specialized skills and tips.
This article features a few tips on helping you start your senior portrait photography career!
What is Senior Portrait Photography
Senior portrait photography is about capturing memorable images of high school seniors as a way to celebrate this important life stage. It can be thought of like a yearbook, but with a professional photographer and more fun themes. Senior portrait photography is also about celebrating a stage of life.
After all, the senior year of high school holds a place very close to heart for most people. Having a professional photographer catch an unforgettable photograph is an excellent way to relive these memories in the future!
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Best Tips for Senior Portrait Photography
1. Plan the Shooting Session With the Client
It is crucial that high school seniors look and feel confident when they are in front of the camera. Doing a little extra for hair and makeup can go a long way in creating a memorable photograph that your subjects will cherish forever.
For outfits, you can suggest having a few of them. One can be more casual and laid-back such as jeans and a t-shirt. Another can be dressy, such as a formal dress for the ladies and a suit for men. Finally, a fun outfit such as a band t-shirt or a sports uniform can really highlight and describe their final year. With these outfit choices, you can round up the perfect portrait session!
3. Tell the Subject How to Pose
High school seniors are in the awkward age where they want to look and be treated as adults. This dual dynamic is something you should be well aware of. When you suggest poses, be mindful to give them ones that make them feel like confident young adults, without making them look overly mature. You could suggest multiple poses, a few that are fun, a few that are professional, and a few that capture their personalities!
When you show a particular pose, be sure to physically show how you want your subjects to pose. Ensure that your instructions are easy to understand. Don’t use generic terms such as turn left or turn right, since it causes confusion.
3. Light and Camera Settings for Senior Portraits
Learning to use your camera in manual mode is a must, especially with professional photography. In order to get the best out of your camera, you must learn to control the ISO, shutter speed, and aperture as the situation demands.
Lighting: Natural light is ideal to take portrait photographs. A naturally well-lit shot wonderfully complements portrait shots of your subject. If the weather isn’t all that great, there’s no need to stress! Sometimes, cloud coverage can make for some amazing light.
Aperture: For a nice and blurred background, an aperture between f/1.8 and f/2.5 works quite well for most lenses. You will have a timeless and classic look. If you are going for a shot that has more of the background in focus, then use an aperture that is two or three stops higher than the minimum.
ISO: Lower ISOs are better, and offer a higher quality of images. Using a tripod and a low ISO is excellent to capture excellent looking portraits. When in natural light conditions an ISO of 100 or 200 is the highest that you should go.
Shutter Speed: A rule of thumb is keeping a shutter speed that is approximately two times the focal length of the lens being used. For instance, if you have a 50mm lens, then a shutter speed of around 1/100th of a second is ideal. This will help you avoid image blurring and camera shakes.
Related: The Best Lens For Portraits
4. How to Edit Senior Portraits
Keep the post-processing and editing classic and clean. Of course, you will have your own style and niche, and you will not need to change that. Edit your photos such that they stand the test of time.
Black and white photographs are always a hit, and can really give your photos character.
With these simple tips, you can take your first steps in the world of senior portrait photography. With some consistent practice, you can work your way towards becoming a professional in this field!