How to Nail Your Yearbook Photos

senior portraits maine

You’ve made the commitment. You’ve booked your senior portraits, we’ve met at the pre-shoot consultation, and the photo session is right around the corner.

Of course you want your shoot to be perfect, so you’ve prepared everything to make that happen. Outfit? Check. Backup outfit? Check. Makeup? We’ve got that covered.

The only thing left is to prepare yourself.

Rest assured, the key to stunning and personalized yearbook photos isn’t complicated.

It all comes down to this: If you’re comfortable with yourself, it will show in your photos. For some specific tips on connecting with your inner confidence, here’s my list of five steps to nailing your yearbook photos.

1. Have faith in your natural smile. It can be tempting to force a overzealous smile for a photo shoot (especially if you’re nervous) but your natural smile will really make the photos shine. When the smile isn’t genuine, it shows—and when it is genuine, it lights up the photo.

2. Laugh. No, really… just try it. You might want to practice laughing out loud at nothing. Laughing for no reason will definitely feel awkward, but once you get going, the natural laughter will follow. Laughter will brighten up your photo, and it’s amazing how much it can transform your eyes!

3. Bring props. The best prop available to you is your outfit. It can be wacky, urban, high glam, whatever you feel comfortable with! If you’re thinking about bringing a prop to your portrait session, we should talk about it during our pre-shoot consult. I love hearing the story behind why a particular item means so much to you and using my creative expertise to find a non-gimmicky way of showing off who you are. (Did you notice the ballet points in the photo above?)

4. Get up and move! Don’t be afraid to move your body! Walk around, jump up and down, and literally shake off your nerves. When you’re nervous, chances are your body language shows it. Getting up and moving around before (and during) a shoot will help you look and feel more relaxed. Don’t worry, I’ll walk you through a series of movements so you’re not standing still like a statue, and we’ll get some fun in-between shots, too!

5. Finally, just breathe. This is your photoshoot. There’s no reason for you to hold a pose for uncomfortable periods of time or work hard to force a look. The best photos are the ones that look natural. Take a deep breath, be yourself, enjoy the process, and trust me to guide you.

It sounds simple, but the truth is that all you need to get amazing senior photos is comfort and confidence. Just relax, be yourself, and have fun with it. Your natural personality will show and that will make for some killer photos.