Senior Photo Session Tips: A Pro Guide on BEING YOURSELF

by | Sep 5, 2023 | Family Photography, Kiddos, Senior Photos, Sessions

Nervous for your senior photos?

So you’ve got a senior photo session coming up. You’re excited, because it’s exciting, but… maybe you’re a little nervous about being in front of someone ELSE’s camera, instead of your iPhone.

I get it. In those situations, I get nervous too – I definitely don’t love having my photo taken by anyone other than me. Having creative control is something I’m pretty obsessed with, and with a selfie… you’ve got ALL the creative control. I get it, I like that vibe too.

But, your Minneapolis senior photo session is all about YOU. It’s about everything that makes you unique, and so one of our biggest goals for your session? Having. Fun. That way, you can be YOU. Really, truly you.

So if you’re finding yourself a little nervous before your session, I’ve collected a few pro tips/things you can keep in mind that way during your session, you can be yourself!

1. Remember, this is about YOU.

The biggest thing I want you to remember about your session, is that it’s about you. Like, you are the WHOLE point of the session. And I know it can be weird to be the center of attention (unless that’s your thing, no judgment!) but if you’re feeling nervous about it… remember that’s the goal. The goal is to focus on YOU.

I mean, the photos we’re getting are for YOU to remember the cool things you’ve been doing for the last four years. They were hard years, there was drama (don’t lie, I remember high school. There WAS drama.) but you got through it, and you’re here! And that’s worth celebrating.

And so are the things you do – whether it’s debate team or the jazz ensemble. If you want to memorialize it through your session, we’re going to make that happen. So if you’re feeling nervous, remember: it’s normal to feel that way when you’re going to be the center of attention.

brothers in matching navy polo shirts during Minneapolis Fall Mini Sessions

2. Check out inspiration on Pinterest!

One of the things that can help bring you down to earth if you’re feeling a little nervous about your senior photo session, is looking at inspiration! You can always check out my personal portfolio, but you can also find pretty badass inspiration places like Instagram or Pinterest. Or TikTok, if that’s more your speed. That works too! Just search “Senior Photography” or “Senior Photos” and you’ll get to scroll through tons of inspiration from sessions like yours.

Why does this help you be yourself in your session? Well, when we feel prepared, we feel less nervous. And looking at inspo before your session? It’s a magical way to get extra prepared! Having a plan means you get to focus on being you, instead of worrying about what your images are going to look like.

A mom hugging her two daughters during a Minneapolis Fall Mini Session

3. Remember it’s literally my job to make you feel like yourself.

This might sound like a cop-out but I promise it’s not. I need you to remember that as a photographer, it’s literally my whole job to make people feel like themselves in front of the camera. It’s my job to make sure that it’s FUN. Which means while we’re working together, I’ve got a ton of tricks up my sleeve to tease out a genuine smile and a laugh.

Are they usually at my own expense? YES. Is that a part of the gig? Also yes. It’s part of my job to be a little cringe at Senior Photo Sessions. Your little brother might smile when I pull out a plastic dinosaur during a family session, but I’ve got to be a liiiitle more creative than that for Senior Sessions. And trust me, I am.

Who knows, maybe we’ll spend some of your session time teaching me TikTok. (I’m only half joking, someone PLEASE teach me how to use it. I want to be cool, and I’m not like… old… but I just don’t get it.)

4. Bring *cool* props that help make you feel comfy!

The whole “prop” conversation comes with a caveat, because props are a topic in and of themselves. In fact, we’re going to talk more about props later, because they’re a super important concept for senior sessions!

But one of the things that can help you feel more like yourself during your Senior Photo Session, is bringing props that you love. There’s a fine line between classy and cliché that we have to toe when it comes to what props SPECIFICALLY will work well in a session, but we can make it happen, I believe in us. So when we’re planning your session, let’s talk props! What would YOU like to bring with you?

a sleeping baby wearing all white in a Minneapolis photography studio

5. Let’s go cool places.

There are lots of options for WHERE we can have your senior session, from in-studio here in Minneapolis, to traveling anywhere in the surrounding area. Like, sky’s the limit, the world is our oyster, yada yada. But we don’t have to think about local gardens and general session locations that I use. We *can* – but I’m aaaalllways open to suggestions! Where do YOU hang out? What do YOU love?

Spending some time during your session in your favorite places is a great way to help settle into being comfortable in front of the camera. After all, you’re there in your everyday life, and we’re at your session to capture who you are IN your everyday life. What makes you YOU. And those places, they’re a part of that!

So, when we talk about your session, let’s also talk about places around Minneapolis you’d like to go during your senior session. Where do you want to remember? A favorite coffee shop? A record store? A park? A mural? The options are endless, and if you want to include it in your session, I’m going to do everything in my power to make it happen. And including places you love mean that you get to be yourself in front of the camera even quicker!

6. Talk to your photographer (me?) before your senior session.

I saved the most important one for last. The best way to calm your nerves before your senior session (or really ANY professional photography session) is to get to know your photographer beforehand. I’m not saying we have to be besties, but get to know me a little bit. Honestly I like to think I’m at least sort of cool, and I’m pretty easy to talk to. So send me a message, or follow me on Instagram, or Facebook (do people under 25 even USE Facebook anymore?) and take a look at my stuff. I post a lot about sessions, so you can see examples of OTHER cool people having fun in front of the camera, but I also talk about my real life!

Getting to know your photographer, even a little bit, before your session can help you feel comfy when your session time arrives. And if that means we need to have a few chats first, then that’s what it means!

a sleeping baby wearing all white in a Minneapolis photography studio

Hopefully this has helped!

Hopefully, this has helped you feel a bit more comfy ahead of your senior photography session, but like I mentioned in the last part of this… reach out to me! Let’s talk. I want to get to know you, that way we can celebrate all of your badass achievements, in a senior session designed just for you.

Jessica Strobel holding multi-colored doughnuts over her eyes, smiling wide

Hey! I'm Jessie - 

And I'm so glad you're here!



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