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Nine Ways to Add Personality and Personalization to Your Senior Photos

Tired of seeing the same old cookie-cutter senior photos? Then it’s time to add some personality and personalization to your senior pictures, and I’ve got tips and examples to get you inspired.

Personalizing your senior photos isn’t limited to sports, though that is fun. We can feature anything that you’re into. And don’t worry, the special interest photos won’t take over your shoot. We usually include your special interest for a few pictures and move on. Easy!

I’ve gathered some of my favorite senior personality photos as examples in this blog to get your wheels of inspiration turning for your senior session. Let’s take a look.

collage of 9 senior photos showing examples of how to add personality and personalization into senior photos

Best Friend Senior Sessions

Best friend sessions are a new offering I started this year, and honestly, they’ve been some of my client's favorites. Here’s why. When seniors bring a friend to their session, they feel more relaxed. They also have another set of eyes to make sure they look their best. They get silly, have fun, and celebrate their friendship (and senior year.) Whether you dress up or down, you can’t go wrong with a best friend session.

series of five photos of two girls who are best friends having their senior photos taken together in a best friends senior session in westerville, ohio

Showcasing Your Musical Talents in Your Senior Photos

Got rhythm? Show off your musical talent in your senior photos. Whether you're a singer, guitarist, or pianist, incorporating your love for music is a fun way to showcase your musical talents.

I worked with Abby for several sessions throughout her senior year. One day she mentioned how much she loves playing the piano. Since the piano couldn’t come to us, I went to her house and created these dramatic piano photos. I usually use off-camera flash for all my photos, but I wanted these to feel more dramatic and natural. So I decided to use the available light in the room. The results are beautiful in color and black and white (I always deliver both versions to clients.) Which is your favorite?

black and white senior photos of blonde haired girl playing piano in her home for her senior photos

side by side photo of a senior portrait of girl with her piano. one photo is black and white, the other is in full color

School Spirit: Incorporating Your High School or College Wear

Another fan fave is to show your school spirit, both high school and future college wear. This could be something as simple as a t-shirt, hoodie, or school jacket with your school name or mascot on it. These are all fun examples of just that.

three senior photos showing how to add school spirit wear into senior photos. Wearing school jackets, sports uniforms and school t-shirts

Highlighting Your Hobbies

It may seem like the most obvious choice, but many seniors don’t consider including their hobbies in their photos. To them, hobbies are just part of their everyday life. But here’s what I’ll say - if it’s something that brings you joy, and there’s a way to photograph it, let’s try!

Caroline was a student of mine who is a HUGE book reader. It was common for her to have class books on her desk while reading three others at the same time. So when it was time to do her senior photos, I encouraged her to bring some of her favorite books.

two photos of high school senior girl posing wiht books, as an avid book reader

Include Sentimental Touches in Your Photos

Olivia wanted to include the legacy of her father, a police officer, who passed away in the line of duty when she was a little girl. She and her mom brought an 8x10 photo of her father as a sentimental touch to her senior pictures.

The photo of her dad was sentimental, but it had quite a bit of damage. With their permission, I scanned the image and digitally touched up the damaged areas to restore their beloved portrait.

Adding sentimental touches can be anything that holds special meaning to you. Maybe it’s a family heirloom, a piece of jewelry, or a sentimental clothing item. If you have something of significance to you, bring it along. I’ll try my best to incorporate your items.

high school senior portrait of girl holding a photo of her dad, a police officer, who died in the line of service

Meaningful Locations

Locations are one of my favorites to pull off when we can.

For Evelyn’s session, we went back to her elementary school, where her school career began. Hearing some of her stories as we walked around the school was entertaining, and I could tell it was bringing up fun memories for her.

high school senior photos of a girl outside her elementary school

For Ally’s session, she wanted to include a rainbow bench for a few photos, and they turned out so fun. You can check out her whole session here!

two photos of LGBTQ identifying high school senior sitting on a rainbow painted bench for her senior portraits in worthington, ohio

Columbus, Ohio, is home to many unique locations to choose from. Some favorites of mine are the LeVeque Tower and the main library in downtown Columbus. Scioto Mile is gorgeous, and the Franklinton area is an artist’s dream.

two senior photos on top of the leveque tower garage in downtown columbus ohio

Sports and Athletics

Highlighting school sports and athletics is always a client favorite. I’m willing to bet you’ve spent long days, nights, and weekends dedicated to the sports of your choice. So bring along your favorite ball, sports uniform, and running shoes, and let’s capture your athletic school spirit!

two dramatic photos of female basketball player posing for senior photos with dramatic lighting

series of 3 photos of high school senior in their sports uniforms for senior photos

three senior photos showing how to incorporate personality into senior photos with athetic wear and school uniforms

Artistic Expressions: Showcasing Your Creative Side in Your Photos

Have a passion for the arts? Let’s incorporate that into your senior photos. Whether that’s photography (my fave), painting, dancing, or another form of artistic expression, these make fun and memorable senior pictures.

photos of senior girl wearing red shirt and jeans holding camera to personalize her senior photos to show her hobbies

two photos of high school seniors showcasing their hobbies for senior photos. One is a dancer, one is a skateboarder.

Include Family

And if you really want to add some meaningful photos to your senior session, include your family. These photos can be as simple as asking the parent who brings you to your session to be camera ready, and we snap a few pictures of you two together. Or you can invite your immediate family to join you toward the end of your session like Sadie did.

Trust me; mom will appreciate these photos right away. And once you’re living on your own, you’ll enjoy them too. So go ahead, and invite a parent to be in your senior photos.

senior photos with family members in columbus, ohio

Some final thoughts:

You might think you’re just an everyday student with nothing too meaningful to incorporate into your photos. But I’m willing to bet we can find a way to make your senior photos personalized and match your personality.

Maybe that’s bringing along a best friend, going to a place you love, or wearing your school uniform. But perhaps you have something else in mind that isn’t on my list. By all means, think outside the box and make your photos represent who you are.

If you’re in the Columbus, Ohio, area and want to chat about what a personalized senior session might look like for you, reach out here. You can schedule a free chat with me, and I’d be happy to help commemorate your final high school year!


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