SENIOR GUY STYLE – What Advice Would You Share For Photographing The Guys?

Entrepreneur magazine recently had a fantastic article titled “The Best Business Advice You’ll Ever Get”. It was filled with tips from ‘treps who had been thru the trenches and survived to tell about it. It was brilliant. {and if you’re not a subscriber of that magazine you should be!}  Anyway, it was so fantastic, I figured I would totally steal the concept!

I put a call out online for business advice from photographers who have photographed the guys and lived to tell about it. Between the Senior Style Guide Facebook page, the Senior Guy Style Forum, past blog posts and a few other groups that I’m active in, I’ve put together a great list of helpful advice from photographers all around the country who are successfully building their Senior Guy clientele. Everyone has something helpful to share!

So take a look thru these helpful tips and then be sure to leave a tip of your own!  Whether you have a sneaky way to get those natural smiles, or you know just what to say to get those parents to book, we want to hear YOUR words of wisdom!


“Find his nitch…cars, sports, hunting…just as easy as it feels with a female model, a male model should have the same relaxing conversation that leads to funny stories & a good time as well…definitely takes the edge off & makes for phenomenal photographs.”  – Jamie Ashley

“I think when it comes to photographing guys you have to just be yourself and make them feel as comfortable as possible. I love to photograph guys just to show them that I am not going to make them look all girly and stuff. I like to break their mindset of senior pictures being stupid and only for girls. When I am done with a boy session my guys have completely done a 360 on what they thought senior pictures are about!” – Carol Hoover Rogers

“I do my best to find out what makes my senior guy laugh. A lot of guys can’t smile on demand and asking them to “smile” results in an unnatural or forced grin. Talk to him about something he likes, say something humorous at just the right time, or enlist his family (or other entourage) to stand over your shoulder and act ridiculous to bring on the laughter. This is HIS senior session. Shouldn’t it be fun?!”  Immerse Photography


Immerse Photography


“I always try to incorporate an interest or hobby of theirs into the session. A musical instrument, team jersey, sports ball, skate board, car, motorcycle, etc. It really helps them relax and makes “posing” so much more natural. When I do have to pose, I try to use very simple, easy stances such as leaning against a wall, sitting on a step and leaning forward onto their legs, etc. Guys typically aren’t as flexible as the girls and sitting on flat ground can be a bit of a challenge to achieve a natural look, so I try to use steps or chairs to make it a bit easier for them. Oh, and I alway try to take a few images with my wide angle lens. Guys tend to really like that effect.” – Mary Solberg

“When it comes to working with senior guys, my mantra is simple: I laugh. A lot. I poke fun at myself. I goof around. I babble. 🙂  Of course at times I will be serious and I ask about their future plans, college, career, etc. Then it’s back to the laughter.  With regard to posing, what works best for me is to mimic a senior girl pose (typically it’s the hand on the hips with a leg out pose – think Angelina Jolie) and ask them to imitate me. They always laugh like crazy. Some are really good at it, which leads to even more chuckles. Then I tell them – Don’t do that! I ask that they simply “stand like a guy would” or “sit like you’re hanging out with friends.” I tell them that if they feel awkward it will look awkward. I have found that the guys are quick to say if they aren’t comfortable. When all else fails I will whip out my cellphone and show them a few images on Pinterest that I’ve saved to my camera roll. Actually seeing what I’m after helps. Men are, after all, very visual.  I also try to keep these sessions shorter while still varying locations. Friends and siblings are also welcome and encouraged to tag along.” – Tetongirl Photography


Tetongirl Photography

“I always always have one or two senior model reps that are boys. I want the guys to see from the start of the season that it’s important for them to have senior portraits too! I also provide styling for each client and make sure that they are arriving to their session with clothing that will photograph well and then show those images on my facebook and website. I’ve had so many senior boy clients say that they came to me because I made my guys look high fashion/model-like without looking stupid. (Their words, not mine! ha ha)” – Jessica VanDerMark


Jessica VanDerMark Seniors

“I take photos of most of my finished products and post them on all my accounts. I even do blog posts about my favorite products and why my clients love to have them. I’m letting potential clients know that the reason others book me is to have these beautiful products. It’s pre-educating them to how the entire experience works with my business. Products are the end result, not digital files.” – INSPIRED by christy


INSPIRED by christy


If you have a boy squat, make sure they do not look like they are going to the bathroom : )
Do NOT shoot into an open crotch of a boy (or a girl).
Learn about the feminine pose and don’t do it for boys. Never tip their heads to the high shoulder.  – Amy Doerring Photography

Make sure they take their phones out of their front pockets ~ those are buggers to remove in photoshop
Don’t smooth their faces much ~ they want to look like they need to shave, even if they really don’t! – Barb Hogan 

This is a great list to start us off with good advice for those Senior Guys…now be sure to add your best tips in the comments. Don’t forget…the guys need some photo love too!

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