my favorite senior photo poses

I have wanted to get into photography for a while now and since I still don’t have a working photography website, I think it’s safe to say it’s been a tedious process. I’ve always been a perfectionist and I also¬†have a tendency to compare myself to others, so when I don’t think my photos are good enough, doubt bubbles in the back of my mind. I understand the importance of engagement, newborn and family photo sessions and before I take anyone’s money, I want to have mastered every setting on my Nikon, every photography tip and trick in the book, and I need to be confident in my abilities. Therein lies the problem because photography is a constant work in progress.

And you know what’s funny? I completely understand the technical stuff but posing makes me nervous. Posing is hard! I consider myself a creative person and I’ve been a dancer all my life so you would think posing subjects wouldn’t be this intimidating — but it is.

I plan on writing a post regarding posing tips because man is it awkward, but for now, here are some of my favorite senior photo poses. I used my sister as a guinea pig to create photographs that looked natural because my senior photos involved a lot of hay… yes, hay. I hope these ideas will help other budding photographers!

Senior Photos
Senior Photos
Senior Photos
Senior Photos
Senior Photos
Senior Photos
Senior Photos
Senior Photos
Senior Photos
Senior Photos
Senior Photos
Senior Photos
Senior Photos
Senior Photos

Do you have any photography tips?


Filed Under: Photography51 Comments
  • Brittany Ruth

    Great photos and it seems like you have good poses down too! I think the general rule is if it feels awkward it looks awesome haha (don’t take my advice too serious)

  • Chelsea @ Lost in Travels

    i love these photos! such natural and beautiful poses, so i’d say based on these pics, you’re doing great! posing is definitely one of the most important and one of the most difficult things there is!

    • Rachel

      Aw, thank you! Posing is definitely the hardest!

  • Amanda

    Beautiful! I love the colors in these photos, and your sister is so gorgeous! Great job with the posing! I have an eye for it if im on the photographers side of the lens…but if I get on the other side…I freeze! :) Love this post!

    • Rachel

      Thank you, friend!

  • Bailie @ The Hemborg Wife

    I wish I had senior photos like this! My high school had a set up with a local studio and the guy had me doing such awkward poses and at one point I actually fell out of the chair!

    • Rachel

      Ha! Sounds like an awkward pose if you fell out of the chair! I wish I had photos like this too. :)

  • Hallie Oceanside

    These are amazing! I am doing my first engagement shoot next weekend, and I am slightly nervous! I hope they turn out this good!

    • Rachel

      Ooh, good luck! I’m sure you’ll do great. Let me know how they turn out!

  • Melanie Fontaine

    Great photos! Your sister is beautiful and the pictures are wonderfully natural. It must be great for her to have a member in her family that’s so passionate about photography! :)

  • Lisette

    Your sister is gorgeous. As is your photography. Good job friend!

    • Rachel

      I’ll have to show her this post. She’ll love the compliments. :)

  • Breenah

    Those are some great pictures! The backgrounds are gorgeous too.

    • Rachel

      Thank you. The beach was gorgeous that evening!

  • Jenna

    These turned out incredible! If only you were around when I was getting my senior photos taken… ha! They were not nearly as awesome. I think you’re an amazing photographer and you really have an eye for the camera. Time to take the next step girl :) xxx

  • Amy | Club Narwhal

    First of all–your sister is such a babe! She looks like a total natural out there, which is super hard for awkward klutzes like myself :) My senior photo was a horrendous affair, complete with poufy hair and a super dazed expression. I love how natural and fun these poses are–plus that lighting does wonders (much better than that canned studio lighting I had). You are awesome!

    • Rachel

      She was a natural! Unlike me. ;) Thank you for the sweet compliment.

  • Stephanie

    These are BEAUTIFUL photos! You are very, very talented lady!

    • Rachel

      Aw, thank you! I always get nervous to post photos I’ve taken!

  • Niki Caron

    Beautiful! I wish I had known you when it was time for my senior portraits! Your sister is gorgeous and you did a great job!

    • Rachel

      Thanks so much!!

  • Charlotte

    What a pretty sister! We don’t have the culture of senior pictures in the UK. I think it’s a really nice thing to do though.

  • Yolennie

    I love the profile one :) You have a gorgeous smile!


  • Sarah @ The Wanderblogger

    Your sister is adorable! You did such a great job with these! I love the two B&Ws best!

    For the record, my senior pictures included hay as well. And the wagon wheel I was leaning against was an excellent touch. ;o)

    • Rachel

      Now I’m jealous I didn’t have a wagon wheel in mine! ;)

  • Lix Hewett

    Lovely photos! This one is my favorite. I want to get into portraiture as well but I don’t even know where to start, sigh.

    • Rachel

      Start practicing on your sister! They’re the best models. :)

      • Lix Hewett

        Oh my god, don’t even suggest that. She has the attention span of a gnat. It makes me furious. /o I’m thinking about practicing on her friends, though. ;p

  • Kayli Schattner

    Fabulous photos, Rachel! I love the mystique they all seem to carry- and you had a beautiful model! You are so extremely talented, call yourself a newbie all you want- but this one is in the bag!

  • Dee

    Lovely photographs! And you have such a pretty sissie, just like you. :)

    • Rachel

      Aww, thank you!!

  • Danielle

    Oh my gosh posing is the hardest part for me! Your sister was a lovely model, kudos to her. My favourite is the first picture on the railroad tracks – beautiful composition with drawing the viewer’s line of sight and I love the bokeh in the background too :)

    • Rachel

      Thanks! I love the railroad one too.

  • Amanda

    Okay these photos are gorgeous!!!

  • Sarah Lauren

    Your photos are great and your sister is beautiful!
    I’d love to see more photos and more of you progress (I’m a lover for any read that involves photography)

    -sarah xo

    • Rachel

      I’m hoping they’ll continue to get better. :)

  • Rebekah Johnson

    These are so pretty and you did a fabulous job!

  • LB

    Love all of these pics!! Your sister looks so much like you! :) Let’s go galvant around the garden soon, k?

    • Rachel

      Yes, I need to take photos of you and your man!

  • Kristin

    these are really good!

  • Debbie @ Buisson International

    They all look great! I don’t understand why back in the day, photographers were so unimaginative! My senior pics were in front of fake backgrounds. I call that lazy! Them, not me. :)

    • Rachel

      Ha, I had fake backgrounds too! And farm stuff. Gasp.

  • Jamie

    Makes me want to get mine redone! Seriously, if I could go back 10 years! Great shots :)

    • Rachel

      I would get mine redone too. :)

  • Elle

    Great poses! I always have such a hard time posing when photos are taken of me and I end up looking awkward, but these poses are all natural!

    • Rachel

      Thank you! And I have the same problem. My engagement photos were the worst because I felt awkward!

  • Z K

    Gorgeous! I love the way you posed her :] The woman who did my senior portraits was AMAZING, be sure to check her out:

  • Jane

    These are so lovely! I think you’re rocking posing!

  • Erica @ thebartlettsabroad

    I love these! What a lucky sister you have, and the poses you used were great! For our wedding we did no engagement photos or anything and I was SUPER nervous about looking awkward and all that, but our photographer was so lovely and was so clear about the poses but also just let us be, that I’m really happy with them :)

  • Megan C. Stroup

    How fun! I bet your sister is so grateful to have all those pretty pictures of herself now. :)

  • Rambo Ruiz

    Your shots are amazing I love the bokeh