3 Senior Poses That Sell Themselves

3 Senior Poses That Sell Themselves

After eight years of photographing high school seniors, I have learned (and unlearned) so much.

However, there is one techinique that has always stood out above the rest. You must shoot with the end in mind.

The end for me is the ordering appointment when I meet with my clients and help them select the images they want to order. Of course, I want them to purchase every single photo, but after eight years, I've come to learn the three images that they are most likely to buy. I can even tell you on which product they are most likely to print each pose. It blew my mind when I realized this pattern. Now, when I walk into a shoot I know the three primary shots I have to nail.

If you’re photographing graduates, test these poses out and let me know if they’re a hit with your clients!

The Mid-Length, High Angle Shot

The high angle shot is a go-to for all photographers because it’s fool-proof, flattering, and makes everybody happy. This is the shot that my clients tend to choose for their big canvas. It’s a great option because close-up portraits are generally too large when blown up. I think that’s one of the reasons clients will gravitate toward this pose for their canvas prints. Another thing I’ve noticed is that they typically choose a soft smile (a.k.a. "the smize") for the canvas image. It feels a little more classic and traditional like a work of art, instead of the big cheesey smile.

The Close-up Smile 

The close-up shots are always mom’s favorite. As professional photographers, sometimes it's easy to forget those classic mom-pleasing shots when we’re hired to do something artsy and special. We want to break the mold and wow them with our skills, but every person who has walked through my doors purchases the classic, close-up smiling shot. It might not be your favorite to shoot, but it’s a pose your clients are expecting. Even more, they expect it to be perfect because just about anybody can attempt this pose. It takes a photographer with a special kind of skill to make this basic pose something memorable.


The Eyelash Shot

The eyelash shot is a favorite with my seniors because they don’t typically share many close-up smiling shots on their social media. They prefer posting poses that feel more editorial and moody. They want to feel like a model, and this pose gives them that. Plus, you’re creating something that other people can’t emulate. This is a pose that they’re not taking with their phones every day. It makes it feel more exclusive and model-esque.

Shooting these three poses has made me more confident during my photo shoots because I know I’m shooting poses they will end up ordering as prints. Shooting with the end in mind is crucial to business success! 

If you’re interested in learning more about poses that sell, sign up for Sarah’s FREE 5-day course here.

Are there certain senior poses that sell best for your business? What techniques have you used to capture poses that sell? Let us know in the comments!


About Sarah McAffry

Sarah McAffry is a Knoxville-based portrait and commercial photographer. She started working as a full time photographer in 2009 after leaving her teaching career. She has since retired her husband with her successful 6-figure photography business. Sarah’s passion is photographing teens and women and the best part is seeing their eyes light up when they see their photos. For some, it’s the very first time they have thought of themselves as beautiful. We hear from teens and women that their photo shoot gave them a boost of confidence they will never forget. Sarah has been published in national print and online publications such as Senior Style Guide, Wedding Chicks, Weddings Unveiled,
Debut Magazine, and more.