Posing Senior Portraits with Friends

two high school seniors enjoy a senior photo session on a parking garage

Zora & Amelia!

Oh my goodness, these two were so fun together! Today on the blog, I’m taking you behind the scenes in Downtown Lafayette on a spring senior shoot with two friends, Zora and Amelia! I’ll also share a few tips for posing a senior friend group. To start, in their virtual consultation for their senior session, we designed their shoot and discussed outfits. Then the day of our photo shoot, we met at a local parking garage and had a lovely March night as our backdrop. Yay, sunshine and warmth!!

We started with their first outfits and posed with pillars and railings and worked our way around to courthouse views. That high up, we pretended like we were in Europe with the courthouse towering behind them – and they even had some wind for model hair – ha! 

With murals, stairwells, elevators, and pillars as our guide, we had lots of places to pose and plenty of variety. Towards the end, we found some perfect light in the stairwell that accentuated their outfit change and made them glow! 


Here are 3 tips:

Capture the joy.

When adding another person to a shoot, it definitely adds a different dynamic. What I’ve found photographing senior friend shoots is that joy is automatically infused into the session. Encouragement abounds and so do laughs! My job is to capture that joy. 

How do I do that? First, I watch my shutter speed. I make sure that it is high enough to freeze that wonderful head tilt with a big laugh or a spontaneous smile as they walk together. I don’t want any blur when I get home! 

Next, I plan poses and cues that set them up for genuine moments. Whether walking, spinning, dancing, or laughing together, I want to create moments that represent the friendship I am photographing. Give me all the belly laughs and hugs!

Lastly, I’m always ready to click even when they think the pose is done. Oftentimes the best interactions come when clients don’t think I am taking a photo anymore! So be ready!


Mix it up.

When I am photographing more than one person, I want to make sure I give everyone time individually, and I also want to get great group photos. I often ask in the virtual consultation or before the shoot what percentage of individual photos and of group photos they want. For me it’s important to get beautiful images of each person, ones that stand alone and make them feel good. Then I interchange those with the friend photos to keep things fresh and capture the group’s vibe. 


Create more variety.

When it comes to posing, I want variety, too. Different outfits and a plethora of poses will give you that. With Zora and Amelia we chatted about wardrobe during their consultation, and they also texted me pictures of their outfits. I always like to know what I am working with in terms of color and type of clothing before I start. Then during the shoot, I made sure we did different posing: sitting together in front of a mural, walking up the sloped parking garage, standing and looking out to the views, smiling close-up, staggered on the stairwell steps, etc. Another priority for posing was that I wanted to get close-up, medium range, and wide shots. That also gave a lot of choice when it came to their final galleries. 

So these are my 3 tips for now! Whether posing 1 senior or a group of 2 or 3, it’s always fun, but hearing Zora yell “Yes!” while Amelia was posing will forever make me smile. Friends encouraging other friends and celebrating their milestones together fuels me to keep doing this and to keep striving to give seniors the best experience I can! 

If you’d like to design a senior session with me or if you’re a photographer and want to schedule a coffee date for some help, contact me here. I’d love to chat!


Jen Ritchie

I'm a nature photographer who loves capturing beautiful landscapes and wildlife from our yearly trips out West and parks here closer to home.

Leave a Comment