Senior Picture Ideas For Guys.

close up of high school swimmer while posing in pool for graduation photos with parents and danielle jacqueline in olive branch ms

Boys will be boys right? Who needs to have a theme or direction when taking pictures of boys right? Not so fast! There are plenty of reasons to create unique senior picture ideas for guys. First of all, while some young man are similar in nature (Galatians 5:13-15), they each have their own calling. So when you take the time to understand their skills, talents, gifts, pursuits and accomplishments, you can get a good sense for where they’re going.

Since there are plenty of ways to incorporate graduation memorabilia (the football jersey, letterman’s jacket, tux, cap and gown etc..), you’re going to want to focus on settings and location first. Until these are determined, it’s going to be difficult to come up with any sensible senior portrait ideas for guys.

Why Should Graduation Photo Ideas Make Sense?

With that said, try to identify the boy’s personality (or style) and think of backdrops that compliment it. For example, if he’s a lego-fanatic – why not photograph him next to a construction site, broken-down building, sky scraper or lego display? By the time you solidify props and understand the capabilities of the space(s), sensible picture ideas usually flow naturally.

Either way, here are some additional concepts that’ll enhance the “boys-only” shoot.

head cocked to left looking down at camera inside tunnel hands in pocket neat idea for boys by danielle jacqueline olive branch ms

Danielle’s 5 Senior Picture Ideas for Guys:

Before we get going on these boy-photo tips, I thought it would be a good idea to share some of the questions I ask senior guys before scheduling their photography in Olive Branch, MS. Even though I get a lot of blank stares, any insight on this kind of stuff always helps the flow of creative juices.

  1. How do you want to be remembered after your senior year?
  2. So far, what do you want to be remembered for?
  3. At some point, what do you want to be remembered by?
  4. What makes you memorable?

In photographs, especially of young people, posture and presentation can say 1,000 words. Unless my clients are completely comfortable with me, it’s really tough for me to truly capture their aura. Making sure the viewer of the photo can see who they’re admiring in a photo is important – to me at least. So keep this stuff in mind when you’re thinking of senior picture ideas for guys or looking for a graduation photographer.

1. A Tilted Walk for Senior Guys.

Some of my favorite photographs for young men are the “walk away” or “walking towards” shots at an angle. Slightly tilting the camera lens offsets the perspective of the photograph and causes viewers to focus on something in particular. Doing this can make a casual or nonchalant walk towards the camera look pretty sharp.

confident graduating senior walking poses with school information and formal attire for parents keepsake in desoto county ms
senior graduate walking out of educational building white t and jeans angled photograph for graduation portraits in memphis by danielle jacqueline

How to Go About Walking Towards the Camera.

While some prefer to look away (as if their mind is elsewhere), I prefer the guys keep their eyes on the camera. After high school, they’re venturing off into the world to make a name for themselves. Some may even be fathers soon. So I think capturing the determination in their eyes is one of the most important senior picture ideas for guys.

At the same time, this is the last time you’ll see them walking into manhood without much sense of what it really is. You can still see the curious and scared little boy behind those eyes. After this season is over, you’ll never really be able to capture their sense of innocence anymore. I usually do this by aiming between his shoulders and waistline while using his steps to carry the angle.

How to Go About Walking Away From the Camera.

When capturing a senior guy walking away from the camera, try not to focus on certain parts of the body. Find some detailed stitching on a shirt, hat or an object he’s holding. This adds sophisticated detail to the faceless portrait. Even though a creative setting or backdrop makes a big difference, the focus needs to remain on the subject as he’s walking away. 

senior boy ideas running away from photographer in open field in front of school jeans and flannel for graduation celebration in olive branch ms
What Can Guys Carry or Do While Walking Away?

Whether he’s carrying sports equipment, an instrument, a suitcase or a graduation cap, we’re trying to encompass that high school is behind him. At this point, they’re walking away towards some sort of independence. If he’s been a student athlete, consider having him drop his shoulder pads, helmet, cleats, glove, or tossing a basketball to the side.

If your son is done playing sports (or hanging up a high school hobby), it can be tempting to find senior picture ideas for guys that surround his pastime. But capturing his transition from a passion to something new is just as rewarding. Photograph him walking off the court (or field) in formal attire or sprinting towards a workplace or college admissions office in uniform.

college graduate walking away from desoto county photographer while carrying diploma and gown over right shoulder and tassel on cap in left formal attire
former high school student walking away from photographer during senior portrait session wearing diploma gown and barely holding cap in right hand tassel dangling olive branch ms
checkered white and red shirt with guitar slung over back of high school senior boy walking down path in autumn as leaves fall by mississippi photographer danielle jacqueline

Avoid Forcing Popular Graduation Concepts.

If the young man is unsure about his immediate future, that’s OK too! There are tons of ways to create the sense of imbalance that he’s probably experiencing at this stage in life. A tilted walk or a close up of him in thought can say a thousand words. Some of my best grad pictures have involved this concept. Most parents love these types of senior picture ideas for guys. 

It simply pauses the moment and doesn’t force the boy to make a decision he’s not ready for.

2. A Senior Guy's Scholastic Collage.

There’s no way graduation is the only achievement worth celebrating. If the student’s hard work has paid off, they ought to be bragging about it during their senior pictures! When you capture different pictures with relevant props it allows you to tell a story.

This is why capturing images for a scholastic collage is another one of my favorite senior picture ideas for guys. In other words, you’re taking photos for a larger design. Instead of posting artwork, awards, letterman patches or repot cards online, you can incorporate them in all of your pictures. 

Old instruments, little league gear and a runner-up trophies are a few examples that could create quite an interesting session. 

collage of high school senior guys with danielle jacqueline photography logo in the middle for graduation services pages in olive branch mississippi

Work With the Young Guys on a Design.

No matter how you go about photographing a collage for a senior boy, don’t be cheesy. Try to somehow capture the effort that was involved in certain achievements. If you take the time to brainstorm you’ll find tons of creative ways to take great pictures in front of the same backdrop. Whether you live near Memphis or not, I’m always free for suggestions!

Some parents like to work with a creative professional to design collages or posters. At the same time, most kids are tech savvy enough make something “cool” if you let them. You could even incorporate old high school photos for bigger projects. So if you have some ideas on a post product design, share them! It could end up being a lot of fun!

3. Senior Pictures With "The Guys".

What would high school be without the group of buddies that have been around? This is why some good ole pictures with “the boys” is one of my top senior picture ideas for guys. Before the young men change up their routines and possibly go different directions, they probably should be captured together.

Tell them to try on some of their old outfits if they can still fit in them. Watching young men reminisce and prance around in their “cool” attire from middle school is pretty entertaining to say the least. Quality time with the family also brings out some quality senior portrait ideas for boys. Pictures from a meal or simple table talk can be special. If your son is getting ready to move out, these moments with his “boys will fade into distant memories.

brothers during high school graduation photo session with danielle jacqueline for parents in desoto co ms

What Makes These Types of Photos Memorable?

Scripted photo shoots make it difficult for guys to relax, be themselves or laugh naturally. But when the boys are over for a regular afternoon, being the center of attention isn’t all that bad! Since everyone has to participate, nobody has to listen to any wise cracks either.

In my opinion, action shots and candid moments create the best photographs. Staging senior picture ideas for guys just doesn’t make sense to me. It’s fake. Nothing beats his genuine facial expression in the middle of a sentence; as well as the reactions he causes! It also helps the teen boy remember those conversations and interactions well.  

It’s a great way to end a senior year.

4. A Man’s Future in Senior Pictures.

If you’re taking the next step in your life, how would you want to be portrayed? What do you want to accomplish over the next 4-5 years? Are you pursuing a sports dream through a scholarship offer or are you planning a career path? Any way you can capture the ambition that a young man has for his future, do it.

Use props, attire or even pledges that encompass his future and remind him what he set out to accomplish and why. Whether the boy is going to school to become a paramedic, fireman, doctor, TV host, producer, architect, designer, videographer, lawyer, or even teacher – photographing him in his future element is one of the best senior picture ideas for guys.

strumming on the guitar on the back of his truck on the side of the road long haired boy in glasses and blue senior photos by danielle jacqueline mississippi memphis area

Senior Pictures Can Become Purposeful Prints.

When these types of photos are passed out to friends and family it allows them to remember the young man’s goals and know how to pray for him. Depending on how the photographs are taken, they might even give the boy some neat pictures for his bedroom or dorm room.

Photographing a Boy's Characteristics.

High school boys can also think of some ways their current talents can translate into future roles. For example, he might be able to play the guitar; but it doesn’t mean he’ll be in a rock band. Maybe he ends up teaching music or making Youtube videos for kids. Who knows! But breaking down a boy’s personality, ambition and desire is the best way to come up with unique senior picture ideas for guys. It helps you paint a real picture of the direction he’s heading.

Why wouldn’t you want to capture a young man’s creativity, leadership, work ethic or passion? In almost every case, these characteristics say a lot about who he will become down the road. It’s hard to communicate their identity when you’re focused on simple point and shoot sessions in their cap and gown!

Different Ways to Capture a Senior Boy’s Interests.

If he has an itch to become an astronaut after playing 4 years of college basketball – have him hold a globe in triple threat position. If he works with his hands, put a hard hat on him while he does math on a drafting table. If he wants to be a vet and plays second base then capture him feeding a goat while trying to hit a baseball! There are endless senior picture ideas for guys!

If you decide to utilize props and settings that surround a boy’s future (of becoming a man), you won’t be disappointed. 

5. Capturing A Senior Boy Reflect.

Reflecting on where a boy came from is another one of my favorite senior picture ideas for guys. While a majority of my graduates enjoy doing something with their parents or grandparents, this can involve the whole family if you’d like. Simply put, this concept focuses on the heritage and upbringing – or how they became who they are today.

When it comes to this type of photo, most guys immediately think of their mom. So if you’re able to at least get a few mother and son portraits, consider it a win.

proud mother with her son during high school senior portraits with danielle jacqueline spotlight black and white
green sweater over dress mother leaning to kiss son on cheek as he looks at camera wearing cap and gown for college graduation by danielle jacqueline bright colored bushes in back

There Are Other Ways a Guy Can Reflect.

Positioning your graduate in front of a mirror as they reflect can also develop some cool photographs. In fact,  a variety of settings and edits works well for these types of settings. At the same time, it’s the perspectives that makes the final product “pop”.

If you’re searching for more personal senior picture ideas for guys, I’ve found it rewarding to add an image of the boy from their childhood (or as an infant) somewhere in the background. Gazing into a mirror while reflecting on his younger years is pretty heart warming for parents.

If you’re using the bathroom as a staging area, have the senior lean on the sink as if they’re looking into a mirror with serious thought. You could even have them holding a toothbrush as if they stopped to reflect. Go outside and have him sit at edge of a pond with a fishing pole – or better yet, the pool. Simple things, like capturing his reflection in the water, make a big difference.

Enjoy the Photo Tips for Senior Boys.

Whether you’re a senior, parent or a photographer – capturing unique senior photo ideas for guys is a must. It can be so much fun if you want it to be! Forget all of the selfies and have someone hold the camera for you. But don’t settle for boring “point and shoot” photography! Engage yourself, have some fun and enjoy your surroundings.

Graduates only have one chance to do senior photos. So the best advice I can give you is to convey who they were, are and will be. That way, whether they stick around in Desoto County or leave Mississippi, they can look back at remember the moment-in-time.

In the meantime, let me know if I can be of any help.

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