Top 5 Poses for High School Seniors

Today's post comes from the book Master Guide for Photographing High School Seniors by Dave Wacker, Jean Wacker and J.D. Wacker. It is available from and other fine retailers.

Top-Five Senior Girl Poses

The Ski Slope. The ski-slope pose is an easy, sitting-on-the-ground pose with excellent balance. It provides a wide triangular base and long, dynamic diagonal lines.

The Standing S. With clear alternating posing lines, this classic female pose is slimming, yet it helps to define body curves.

The Lean. The lean is a very graphic and dynamic pose that will not work for every subject and every outfit. It exaggerates the feminine S curve and is very effective for posing a series of images: full-length, three-quarter-length, and even tight head-and-shoulders portraits.

Head and Shoulders. Depending upon the subject’s build, hair, and facial shape, several poses can be used for girls’ head-and-shoulders portraits. However, tipping the shoulders and tilting the head toward the higher shoulder is always the most feminine look.

Hands. In this crossed-arm pose, known as “The Butterfly,” the wrists are bent, the hands are shown at the edge, and the fingers are long and beautiful.

Top-Five Senior Boy Poses

The Mountain. The mountain pose is a very easy, ground-level pose for senior boys—especially if you show them how to position their legs. Tipping the head toward the raised knee forces all of the posing lines to converge, creating a very masculine C pose. This is a very comfortable pose and can yield several good images when photographed for different crops, at different angles, etc.

The Standing C. Start by turning the subject to the side and having him shift his weight to his back leg. This will tip most of the posing lines in one direction. Tip his head toward his lower shoulder to complete construction of an elongated C.

The Lean. This is probably our favorite, multifunctional pose for senior boys, because it works for almost everyone. Provide a three-foot wooden ladder for the boy to put his foot on, have him lean his arm on his leg, tip his head to his lower shoulder, and that’s about it. You can do several images with this pose, including an excellent head-and-shoulders portrait. Give your subject a ball and the same pose works great for sports portraits, as well.

Head and Shoulders. Depending upon the subject’s build, hair, and facial shape, several poses can be used for guys’ head-and-shoulders portraits.Just be sure to keep the head tipped toward the lower shoulder, which is masculine, not the higher shoulder, which is very feminine.

Hands. As when posing girls’ hands, try to show the edge of the hand and avoid too many prominent knuckles. A closed hand is good for boys, as long as they don’t close it too tightly, straining the knuckles and shortening the fingers.