When my nephew Christian needed his senior pictures taken, I jumped at the chance to take them for him. Although I am far from a professional, I have dabbled in photography since high school and have always loved the art form.
My niece was planning on joining us with her digital SLR camera, so I left my fancy camera at home and used my iPhone exclusively. I understand that the quality may not be quite as high, but I can work an iPhone camera!!!
Getting pictures taken is so far out of Christian's comfort zone, but he was a good sport and begrudgingly went along with everything we asked of him.
First, we had him bring a variety of outfits to the park with us so that we could have some costume changes. We focused primarily on having an assortment of shirts that he could easily swap out. We had him bring a couple solid t-shirts, a Butler shirt (since that is where he is going to school) and a button down shirt. He also brought a pair of shorts and a pair of jeans.
There is a wonderful local park that has walking trails, a creek, a bridge and several other prime photo locations. We started off having him sit on a swing to get comfortable. While he sat there, we chatted with him about random stuff that had nothing to do with the pictures. By not forcing any specific pose, I was able to capture a genuine smile.
One of my main pieces of advice is to take as many pictures as you can! I would rather sift through 1,000 pictures to find the hidden gem than to only have a few that are just okay. I took 34 pictures of him on the swing and this is the only one that I LOVE.
After he seemed to be a little less nervous, we changed it up. We had him swap into his Butler shirt and took him over to a pretty tree. It looked great, but his nerves started coming back as soon as he felt like he was having to pose. By having him put on a pair of sunglasses, Chris started looking a lot more natural. I love this pose of him leaning against the tree with his hands in his pockets.
Also, pay attention to unplanned photo opportunities. While walking toward the bridge, I had him turn to face me and managed to get a great shot in front of the creek.
Next was the bridge. When it comes to taking pictures at this specific park, the textured wall on the side of the bridge is my absolute favorite spot. I love almost every picture that I take in front of it. We had Chris change into one of his favorite super hero shirts and sit down against it. Similar to what we had done on the swing, we started chatting with him about random things. Every once in awhile we would ask him to look at us, or off to the side. I got several from this pose that I really liked!
We had him pose on the bridge in a button down shirt next. He went to the middle of the bridge and crouched down. I tried to use the edges of the bridge to frame the shot.
Christian also braved a massive amount of spider webs to accommodate us by leaning against the side of the bridge.
Our next stop was an awesome wooden staircase that takes you to the playground. We also had him change shirts and switch from his jeans to shorts. He sat on one of the bottom steps and I took the picture from below looking up the staircase.
Then, we had him lay back on the stairs and I took a picture of him from above.
The playground at the park has a really cool giant rock, so we had him switch back into his Butler shirt and lay down on the rock. We had him stare off into space and look like he was thinking deep philosophical thoughts!
The last spot we used at the park is a really cool brick fireplace. We sat him down and got him laughing again to get this next picture.
As a joke, I asked him to do the thinking man pose and snapped a couple pictures. When I went to edit my pics, I realized that I had actually captured a really good one of this pose.
All in all, we had a blast taking Christian's senior pictures. I think the the most important things for taking a guy's senior pictures is to have several outfits, a variety of backdrops at your location and make sure to help him feel comfortable so that the pictures look natural.