High School Senior Photo Session ~ Top 10 Prop Ideas

First in our series of “senior photo tips” is all about props.  Adding props to any session is never a bad idea – especially for your high school senior photo session.  Keep in mind that the session should be about you and not the props, but props help to tell YOUR STORY.  So while the entire session shouldn’t be filled with props, adding them to a few shots here and there will help tell your HIGH SCHOOL SENIOR story FOREVER! 

“Our things”, “our memorabilia,” tell who we are and where we’ve been and even gives a little glimpse to where we’re going.  So use props – use a few props or use a lot of them – the choice is yours.  Keep reading for my top 10 ideas on what to use for props and how to use them for your senior photo session …

1. WEAR THEM

Not all props fall into this category, but sometimes a prop (something we’ll use to tell your story of your high school senior year) is a “wearable”.  This might include:

  • A letter jacket
  • Graduation cap & gown
  • Your favorite college shirt
  • A prom dress
  • A sport, band, dance, or cheer uniform
  • Or just part of the uniform
  • Your favorite pair of shoes or favorite shirt
  • Accessories like a special necklace, bracelet, or ring (btw…did you know that the senior class ring is the #1 “I forgot it” item! It’s true…don’t forget that class ring!!!)

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#2 DISPLAY THEM

You don’t always have to wear your uniforms or other related high school paraphernalia.   Sometimes you can incorporate a special costume, uniform, or outfit into a certain shot by just having it in the shot.  Maybe you have several shirts for one sport, or maybe the special costume/uniform doesn’t fit you anymore. or maybe you just don’t want to wear it or can’t – no worries, there are still a ton of creative ways to use this type of prop in your senior photo session.

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#4 SURROUND YOURSELF

Do you have a ton of props that you’d like to use during your session, but are worried about the time it would take to get a picture with them all, or for that matter, do you really want one picture per prop?  Most don’t.  In this case, we can set up a display of sorts to showcase all your high school props in one shot. This might be medals, ribbons, or awards. It might be one item from all your extracurricular activities or hobbies. The more we add to this set up, the better.

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#4 ANYTHING SCHOOL RELATED

The whole idea behind a senior session is to tell the story of not just your senior year, but your entire high school “career” – think of “school props” with anything you associate with high school,  Anything goes … books, sports equipment, band instruments, etc.

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#5 YOUR FAVORITE THINGS

Think about all the things you love and your hobbies. Think about things the things you use every day and the things you LOVE. Any prop that says “Hey, this is me” falls into this category.

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#6 WHO YOU USED TO BE

You can also you can tell the story of your past high school years (or your entire childhood) by just adding in a few props. Any prop that says “Hey, this was me” helps to tell that story.

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#7 WHO YOU’RE GOING TO BE

Who you want to be or where you’re going – these types of props give a glimpse into your future.

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#8 The Fam

The human-kind or the furry ones – don’t forget about your family. I love it when I get the chance to photograph mom or dad during the senior session. This is just a snapshot and they don’t really need to be dressed up for the occasion. But this is one shot I’ll know you’ll be happy about in the future. Then of course your siblings (even if you don’t love them now, you will one day hopefully lol). This session won’t be a “group session” the entire time. But it’s perfectly okay to bring them and get a shot or two together. And last, but not least…your furry friends…MY FAVORITE! BRING THEM!!!

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#9 CARS & TRUCKS

It doesn’t matter if you have a new car, an old car, a big truck, or little truck. If it holds any special meaning to you, then by all means use it.

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#10 PERSONAILITY

And finally… Use your PERSONALITY as a prop to make your senior pictures 100% you. Don’t be shy and don’t hold back! You are unique and don’t be afraid to show it!

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So there you go – my top ten ideas for props and how to use them. Check out my Senior Portfolio and the Sheila Hebert Photography Pinterest board for more inspiration.

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