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Formal Senior Portraits – Poses for Boys

Formal Senior Portraits – The Classic Head & Shoulders Pose

Formal senior portraits of boys will likely always be a bigger seller than formals of girls; which may have something to do with the mother’s of high school senior boys.;-)

Moms like to see their sons dressed up and looking sharp and who can blame them. Senior girls – on average – like to dress up and look nice as a matter of course. For the most part, guys would just rather be comfortable. 

Formal portrait poses and lighting form the basis of all other types of portraiture. Master it and you’ve mastered the required skills to create most any type of portrait.

Head-shots are always in demand, be it for actresses and actors, Realtors, attorneys, doctors, professional salespeople, dentists, chiropractors, business owners, teachers, or anyone and everyone needing an image for their resume.

Will you have as much fun creating formal senior portraits as you would capturing a senior guy in mid-soccer ball kick? Nope. Can creating formal portraits compare to photographing a senior girl twirling in her prom dress? Doubtful. But becoming an accomplished formal head & shoulder portrait photographer – for someone interested in earning a living from their photography – is like money in the bank.


Formal Senior Portraits History

Pre-turn-of-the-century and just after, every high school senior girl had at least one formal pose with the “black drape.”  If you’re not familiar the drape was a piece of black crushed velvet with short sleeves and a couple of strings to tie in the back; like a formal hospital gown.

There’s never been a standard outfit for senior guys – at least not in my market. Of the hundreds and hundreds of high school seniors I’ve photographed, I can count on one hand the number of guys that have worn tuxedos. A sport coat and tie, a suit and tie or just a shirt and tie or a nice sweater were all common and of course acceptable.

No matter what’s typical in your market – with respect to guys and their formal senior portraits – mastering this pose and lighting is definitely something to add to your skill-set.


Want to Learn More About Formal Senior Portraits?

Posing and Lighting Formal Senior Portraits is an in-depth post with everything you need to know to learn this pose and lighting.

What Can I Help You With?

Do you have questions? Do you need help with posing or lighting or equipment? That’s what I’m here for so please just ask. Shoot me an email and I’ll get back to you as soon as I’m able.

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Formal Poses and Lighting – Videos & Articles

Formal Head & Shoulder Portraits

Is this extensive guide you’ll learn everything you need to know to create beautiful, well posed and expertly lit formal head and shoulder portraits. And it’s not only for high school seniors. READ IT HERE.


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