I think you’d agree; every senior portrait photographer is always in need of new poses for girls. Whether you shoot in a studio or on location, you can always use new ideas for natural poses for photography. 

Here you’ll find more than 40 examples of in-studio high school senior sitting poses for girls. When it comes to natural and relaxed – you won’t go wrong duplicating these highly saleable poses. 


Chairs are the Perfect Prop

A permanent studio gives you the ability to create a collection of chairs you’ll use again and again. But don’t think you have to invest a ton of money to build your collection. Two of my most often used chair props came straight out of the garbage.

I had an office full of attorneys right next door to my studio. One day they had a dumpster parked in the alley. They were filling it with general junk from the attic of their building. On my way home that evening I noticed the brown café chair you see in the image on the left, sticking out of the piles of garbage.

Redoing their interior, a local Pizza Hut down the street had piled up all their old chairs by their dumpster. My sister took notice, stopped by after closing time and helped them reduce their garbage bill. A little spray paint and new vinyl and we had bright red and all-white cafe chairs.

So keep your eyes open. Garage sales, Craigslist, estate sales. You don’t want clean and pretty. Old and grungy if better for senior portraits.

Without question, the best chair investment I ever made is the padded club chair you see in images 208 and 209. It’s sold by IKEA – $125 – and comes in the off-white color you see in image 208. IKEA also sells separate covers and we bought a blue cover and a brick orange cover. The cover also comes in the ugliest friggin’ red, green and white plaid pattern you’ve ever seen. I bought it but I’m not sure why. Never used it.

That same IKEA chair is used to create the poses in images 194, 201, 208, 209, 213, 216 and 224. (Hover your cursor over the image to see the number) Seven different poses using one chair with two different covers. But notice the chair is secondary to the image – as it should be. It’s a natural looking prop you use to build your natural poses for photography.


No Studio No Problem

So you don’t have a studio and work only on location? No problem. I carry the brown café chair and a posing stool to every location session. Those two chairs meet the majority of my posing needs. But I also use what I find in the client’s home, pulling living and dining room chairs and footstools to use as props.

Twelve of the images in this gallery are using a café chair, either brown, black or white. Can you find all 12? Is there any reason to believe you couldn’t find a suitable chair in your client’s home to create these same poses? If your goal is to improve the natural poses for your photography open your eyes. Options are all around you.

A couple years ago, doing senior images in a client’s home, I noticed their beautiful maple cabinetry. The guy was wearing a deep forest green crewneck sweater that went perfectly with the warm maple color of the cabinets. Pushing the kitchen table out of the way I sat him on the floor crossed legged in front of the base cabinets. I got down low, used a long lens for the compression, and created a nice image with a maple cabinet backdrop.


Tips on Sitting Poses for Girls

Take More Than One Image.

Look at the poses in images 194, 213 and 216. While I don’t recall exactly, I would bet I took all three of those poses – of each of those girls. You have them in the chair, you have your lights set up and dialed in, don’t waste the time for one snap of the shutter.

“Wrap your hands around your knee.” Click. “Awesome.”

“Now switch your legs around and wrap your hands around the underside of your thigh.” Click. “Perfect.”

“Now just let both legs hand over the arm of the chair.” Click. “Really nice.”

That easy. That quick.

Images 196, 197, 210, 214 and 222 use the same thought process. The lights are ready to go and she’s on the couch. Now imagine how many different ways a high school kid might sit, lay, slouch, droop, loaf, lounge or recline on a couch.

I think you’ll agree – especially if you have teenagers of your own – it’s pretty damn hard for a teenager not to look natural posed on a couch.


Poses for Girls Should be Three-Quarters to the Camera

Posing your subject at a three-quarter view to the camera is a small trick that makes a big difference. And believe me, I don’t always do this as I should. Yes, a beautiful smile or expression can – in Mom’s eyes – overcome your posing problems, but it’s no reason not to make every effort.

For example, look at 208 and 209. Both in the IKEA chair, both with their arms on their knees kind of leaning forward. But the girl in image 208 is straight onto the camera. (In my defense she brought in a magazine image with this pose so I tried to duplicate it as best I could.)

Regardless, notice how wide her shoulders look – and she was a tiny little thing. Posing her three-quarters to the camera would have made her look narrower through the shoulders. It would have also shown off her legs more attractively.

There’s not an image to compare it to but look at 215 – the girl in the white window set. Her shoulders and upper body are straight into the camera making her look wider than she really is.

Or look at the difference between 224 and 225. Same girl, different outfit and different background, but she definitely looks wider in 225. It’s not a bad image, but it would have been better turning her more to camera left.

That’s a Wrap

What can I help you with? I certainly don’t know everything (just ask my wife;-) but I know quite a bit. If you have questions shoot me an email RIGHT HERE. I’m happy to help if I can. 

Go take great pictures.

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