When it comes to senior picture outfits for guys, there are plenty of options to work with. No matter how you like to dress, the goal is to showcase who you are right now in this year of your life.
In this post, we’ll dive into my three go-to options for guys' senior photos, explore examples of each style, and give you ideas of what to wear for your senior photos.
If you’re a senior guy reading this, I’ll go ahead and tell you that we DO have fun at sessions. Even if you’re just doing photos because mom wants them, I collaborate with YOU, so you also get photos that you love!
And if you’re a parent reading this, the biggest piece of advice I can give is to be patient. Most guys don’t think they’ll enjoy the senior photo process, but with wardrobe and location options, they end up having a great time.
Okay, let’s dive into some senior picture outfit ideas for guys.
What to Wear for Senior Pictures
Whether you’re a guy or girl or identify as gender fluid, there are a few basic guidelines I give everyone when it comes to picking outfits for senior photos.
Formal: Wear something formal or a little more dressy than usual.
Casual: Include casual wear or items you wear on a day-to-day basis.
Personality: Show off your interests and hobbies!
For guys, it’s all about balance. When they choose outfits they’re comfortable in and shoot in a location they like, they start to get excited about the process!
Formal Looks for Guys
Over the years, I’ve found that some guys love wearing suits and dressing up, while others would prefer to be in jeans and a t-shirt. Both are great choices as long as it fits who you are.
Some guys, like Oliver here, felt most confident in a suit and tie… and I have to say, it suits him. (Pun intended.)
But other guys may only wear a suit or dress up when it’s absolutely necessary. For these guys, I suggest at least bringing a nice button-up shirt to have variety in your final images.
Sometimes school yearbooks require a more formal headshot, and if you have grandparents, chances are the formal looks will probably be their favorites.
So be comfortable, of course. But also bring at least one outfit that feels a little more elevated than your daily wear.
Examples of Formal Looks:
Suit and tie with dress shoes
Button-up shirt (optional tie and jacket), dark slacks, and dress shoes
Crew neck sweater
Casual Looks for Guys
Casual looks are the most popular for my senior clients across the board. Since senior pictures should reflect your personality and style, casual looks seem to be everyone's favorite.
The most popular casual look is the classic jeans and t-shirt combo. It’s relaxed, comfortable, and generally what we all wear on a day-to-day basis.
Examples of Casual Looks:
Open flannel shirt with a favorite t-shirt and jeans
Hoodie and joggers
Graphic t-shirt and jeans
Polo and shorts
Sweater with jeans and tennis shoes
Quarter-zip shirt and khakis
Personality Looks for Guys
Showing off your interests is a great way to commemorate this time in your life and celebrate what you love. By personalizing your senior photos, they become a reminder of the unique person you are right now, so you’ll have the memories for later. Trust me, the later part comes sooner than you think.
Examples of Personality Looks:
Sports outfit or uniform
High school or college apparel
Cap & Gown
Bring a Pet
Bring a Friend
The possibilities to achieve a personality look are endless and are so much fun.
If you have something that’s unique to you, include it!
Beyond Wardrobe: Variety in Photo Locations
Another way to personalize your senior photos is to shoot in a variety of photo locations. When possible, I like to include studio and outdoor locations for my senior clients.
Some guys love the look and vibe of studio shots, while others relax and feel more comfortable shooting outdoors. When you choose both indoor and outdoor locations, you’ll find out what you love the most without accidentally limiting yourself.
You can choose locations that have special significance to you, from your favorite park to your high school or a spot where you love hanging out with friends. With the right location, your senior photos will be one of a kind, just like you.
I wrote a series on my favorite places around Columbus, Ohio, to photograph. But I’m always up for an adventure. So if you have something else in mind, by all means, let’s explore it!
Let’s Look at Examples - Senior Picture Outfits for Guys
Let’s take a look at examples, so you can see why certain outfits and locations worked for a few of my recent senior guy sessions.
First up, we have Andrew! He’s laid back, casual and sporty and didn’t want a focus on formal senior photos. His button-up shirt and khakis worked perfectly for his version of a formal look.
For his casual look, we did a mix of studio and outdoor shots of him rockin’ his cross-country shirt. And finally, for his personality and location shots, we had fun shooting at his school track in a couple of different looks. I’m still a sucker for school jackets. They’re timeless and still look so cool!
Next, we have Colin. He was so much fun to work with, but I’ll let you in on a little secret. He was 100% doing senior photos for his mom and didn’t want a big production at all.
We started his session at Highbanks Metro Park, where he dressed casually in a nice sweater, dark jeans, and tennis shoes. Colin thought the outdoor photos felt a bit cliche to him, but he was a great sport about it. After these photos, we went back to the studio, and that’s where things changed for him.
At the studio, he put on his formal look, and I could tell right away that he felt more confident and relaxed. This was the sweet spot for him. He began having more fun, and left saying he had a great time!
This is a perfect example of why I tell clients to bring different outfits and shoot in different locations. Once the session gets moving, there’s a moment where they feel good, feel confident, they’re comfortable posing, and they begin enjoying the experience. That’s what happened when we did Colin’s studio photos, and I was so excited when that moment came together the way it did. His whole personality changed, and I could see he was having a great time.
Last up, we have Oliver. He’s more of a formal guy, so he really gave his best expressions when he wore his blue suit and red tie. I mean, he looks amazing!
For his more casual looks, he wore a light blue button-up (top unbuttoned for a casual feel) and a quarter zip shirt. Oliver was recovering from an injury and couldn’t do outdoor photos due to mobility issues, but we were able to capture three very distinct looks in the studio.
What to Expect During Your Senior Session
Generally, parents take the lead in scheduling senior sessions and going over the details of the day. This means I’m usually meeting the senior for the first time when they arrive for their session. So I always spend the first few minutes of a session making small talk with everyone and getting to know the senior in particular.
After that, we’ll look through your outfits and begin your session. Once we begin shooting, I’ll put myself in each pose, so you can follow my lead. Easy!
Because I provide posing direction and work quickly, clients don’t have time to get nervous. By the end of sessions, most clients tell me they thought they’d be nervous, but with my posing help, they weren’t nervous at all. And that’s my goal - to create a great experience and give you great portraits of yourself.
And to put your mind at ease, I do know how to pose guys too. I say this jokingly because a lot of what you see on my website are photos of females, but I work with everyone. Even if you’re a female who wants more traditionally-masculine posing, I can do that too!
Will you show off your unique style with my selection of senior picture outfits for guys?
If you’re interested in chatting about a senior session, I’m based in Columbus, Ohio, and work with seniors from all over the state!