If you’re looking for ways to elevate and personalize your senior photos, one way to do that is with accessories and props. The main thing to remember when choosing accessories is that they should elevate your senior photos and showcase your interests. They should NOT be the center of attention.
Not only do accessories add personality to your senior photos, but they’re also great for getting your mind off of posing. Because, let’s face it - posing can feel a little awkward for anyone. But with my help and the right accessories, posing is a breeze!
Now, let’s dive into a list of accessories that work great for senior photos. This list should get your wheels turning, but I’m always able to give advice along the way if you’re stuck on what to bring.
First up, we’ll look at the main wardrobe items that can elevate your photos and serve as props for posing your hands.
Wardrobe Accessories to Wear in Senior Photos
1. Jackets: Whether you're rocking a jean jacket, a letterman jacket, or a favorite trenchcoat, they all add character to your senior photos. They also make the perfect item to pose your hands with. We can pose your hands holding the jacket opening, put your hands into pockets, or even drape the jacket over a shoulder. The options are endless, so I always suggest bringing a jacket - even when it’s unnecessary for warmth.
2. Layering Shirts and Cardigans: This goes hand in hand with the same reasons to bring a jacket. Layered shirts add dimension to your outfit and give us additional places to pose your hands. A good base layer shirt can be styled with multiple outer layered shirts, sweaters, or jackets to pull off different looks.
3. Jeans: There’s nothing better than a great pair of jeans to use as an accessory and placeholder for your hands. You can put your thumbs around your belt loops or place your hands in the pockets. Back pockets are great for hand placements in an over-the-shoulder look. So, grab your favorite jeans, jean shorts, or jean skirt for your senior photos.
4. Statement Shoes or Boots: This is one of the often overlooked accessories. But when done well, a pair of statement shoes or boots can elevate your complete outfit.
5. Hats: Hats are the ultimate accessory for adding flair. From cowboy hats to beanies, they frame your face, show off your style, and are great for posing your hands, too.
6. Sports Gear: Show off your love for sports by bringing your favorite jersey, basketball, tennis racket, or any other sports equipment that shows your enthusiasm for your favorite sport.
7. School Uniforms: While school uniforms are mainly for games, they also represent your dedication to something you enjoy. Some ideas for these are band uniforms, cheerleading outfits, track outfit, basketball/football uniforms, and even swimsuits if you’re on a swim team. One day, you’ll look back at these photos with a sense of nostalgia for your high school experience.
8. College Merch: This has been a fun addition for several senior clients over the past few years. Many colleges post introductions of incoming freshmen on their websites and social media. And what better way to get ready for your own personalized post than by representing your future alma mater in college merch?! Showcase your excitement for the next chapter of your life!
9. Cap and Gown: This one doesn’t require a lot of explanation, but if you can get your cap and gown (or borrow one from a previous graduate), these make great photos to send in graduation announcements.
Smaller Wardrobe Accessories to Bring for Senior Photos
Now that we’ve covered the larger clothing accessories for your senior photos, we’re going over the smaller accessories. These items can pull your outfit all together to look polished and elevated.
10. Jewelry: From statement necklaces to minimalist earrings, jewelry can add a touch of elegance to your senior photos. Don’t forget that your hands will be shown in photos too. So, if you have a class ring, bracelet, or watch that will tie your look together, bring them to your shoot. Sentimental jewelry that’s been passed down to you can also be a great way to pay homage to your loved ones.
11. Belts: A well-chosen belt or belted jewelry can really emphasize your waist and create a polished look for any outfit.
12. Scarves and Headscarves: Scarves and headscarves are a great way to add texture and color to your senior photos. They also create dimension and visual interest. So don’t rule out scarves just because it’s warm outside. They’re a year-round accessory option.
13. Ties: Need a professional-looking headshot photo? Bring a nice shirt (or suit) and tie. We’ll create a great photo for your LinkedIn profile as you begin your transition from high school to networking for college and your future career. Ties aren’t just for formal occasions. They add a level of sophistication and charm to transform your look from casual to classy.
14. Sunglasses: Ahhh, this is always a fun accessory to bring along - if it fits your personality and style. Whether your photos are outside on a sunny day or in my portrait studio, sunglasses add an instant “cool factor” to your senior pictures.
Miscellaneous Accessories and Props to Consider for Senior Photos
15. Flowers: If you love a specific flower or just want to add a touch of color to your senior photos, bring flowers. They can be real or fake - both look great. The photos below were taken in the winter. The bouquet of flowers was fake, but they still looked awesome and added a colorful pop in her photos.
Sidenote: Evelyn almost didn’t bring these flowers because she didn’t think they’d look good. But once she shared the idea with me, I talked her into including them…and we were all happy with the final results.
The Takeaway: SHARE YOUR IDEAS WITH ME! Don’t worry about asking questions - that’s what I’m here for as your senior photographer.
16. Personalized Items: Showcase your hobbies with personalized items like cameras, books, and art supplies. Whatever interests you and tells a story about who you are, I’d suggest bringing it to your session. Some examples of personalized items are below. If you need more direction or inspiration, just let me know. I’m happy to give you some more tips and pointers. I’ve also written a blog post all about ways to add personalization to your senior photos here.
17. Skateboards and Snowboards: For the adventurous seniors who enjoy the thrill of skateboarding or snowboarding, bring your gear to your photoshoot. It’ll add an element of energy to your photos and capture the love you have for the sport.
18. Family Pet: Pets are more than just animals. For many of us, they’re just as beloved as family members. Don’t be afraid to bring along your pet to your session. The only tip I’d give here is to make sure you have someone to take care of the pet when it’s not in photos with you. I’ve really enjoyed photographing pets with seniors lately. I know these photos will be cherished possessions for my clients, and I’m usually able to get a few genuine (and funny) smiles from seniors when they’re with their favorite furry friends.
And if your favorite pet happens to be on the larger size, like Addison's horse, we can arrange a time for me to visit your place for a few photos.
19. Musical Instrument: Instruments add an artistic touch to your senior photos. While some instruments are easy to transport, like guitars or violins, others may require a bit of extra planning.
For the photos of Abby below, she wanted photos of her playing the piano. Since we couldn’t easily move her piano around, we scheduled these photos on a day I was able to come to her home. It required some planning, but it was really great to capture her in her element (home) doing something she loves.
20. Other Meaningful Props: Have an idea for a meaningful prop to add interest to your photos? Let’s plan it! Some fun props include smoke bombs, your baby or sentimental photo, or evan a flag to show your country's pride. I'm game for whatever will make you laugh and have a good time.
Senior photos shouldn’t be a boring experience. I want to create a fun day for you, so share any ideas with me - even if you think it’s too far-fetched.
Final Thoughts on Accessories for Senior Photos
As you can see from this list of accessories, they all revolve around showing who you are and what you love doing. We want accessories to bring your photos to life - without taking center stage.
So, let's show off your unique style, hobbies, and interests and have some fun while we’re at it!