Lori Pickens

Outdoor Senior Photography in Parkersburg, WV with Lori Pickens Photography

How to Make a Senior Photography Session Fun for Your Hesitant Teen

If you’re a parent of a senior teen who may be feeling hesitant about arranging a senior photography session. You might be concerned that your teen won’t like the idea of having their photos taken and that they won’t cooperate. However, with some planning and understanding, you can make the process an enjoyable one! In the featured senior session, this Parkersburg teen was having the same feelings towards his session and I’ll let you in on how we worked through everything to make it enjoyable for him! Let’s explore how to plan a senior photography session that your teen will love.

Choose A Photographer That Fits Your Style & Values

The first step in planning a successful senior photography session is to choose the right photographer. It’s important to find someone who understands your style and values and will help create images that reflect those qualities. When I am working with my clients, I always make sure to provide a blend of natural poses and candid shots. I also talk with my families to see if they have any specific poses in mind and make prop suggestions when applicable. When you schedule your session with me, we will cover all of this prior to the session to make sure I can accommodate your requests.

You might also be interested in this: Gabe’s Senior Session

Plan Ahead & Make It Fun

Planning ahead is key when it comes to taking great photos. Make sure to book your at least two weeks before the actual shoot date so there’s plenty of time to prepare. NOTE: Availability is not guaranteed. The sooner you book your session, the better! It is okay to book your session a couple months ahead of time to ensure that you get the date and time you are needing. Talk with your teen about what type of outfits they would like to wear for the session, and keep their personality in mind when making selections. This is also an opportunity to let them pick out any props or accessories they want included in their photos. The more involved they are in this part of the process, the more excited they’ll be about participating!

Relax & Have Fun!

Finally, on the day of the shoot, try to relax and enjoy yourself! This should be an experience filled with good memories rather than nerves and stress. Encourage your teen to take breaks as needed during the session and remind them how amazing they look every step of the way—even if it takes longer than expected! With patience, understanding, and lots of fun props (think balloons or signs!), you can make sure that everyone has an amazing experience during their senior photoshoot! Having their favorite people there can make the event more enjoyable too. You can also look into doing a mini session vs a full session. This keep the session short and sweet, while providing Mom and Dad images they can show off!

Check out this Senior Session for Inspiration: Alayna’s Senior Session

Featured Senior Session

Like lots of the senior guys, Mike originally did not even want to do senior pictures, but after assuring his mom that I could make a mini session as quick and painless as possible, we were able to get him on board. There is a lot you can do in a short amount of time, if you have a photographer that knows how to choose locations with variety, and the ability to change up a look and pose quickly.

I was also lucky that his sweet, big sis talked him into doing a quick outfit change for an extra mix of looks. I had lots of fun getting to know this fellow Parkersburg South grad, and I know that the session and photos mean a lot to his mom. If you have a senior that is less than enthused about a full photo session, let’s talk about how a quick and easy mini session might be the perfect fit for capturing this milestone.

This session was also super special because we were able to do the whole session on my farm (in Washington, WV)! This is a hidden gem that only my clients have the opportunity to use.

Senior Photography Mini Session Parkersburg, WV Silhouette

Taking professional photos is an important milestone for high school seniors—it marks their transition from childhood into adulthood! As such, it’s important that both parents and teens feel comfortable with taking these pictures together. With proper planning ahead of time and lots of fun activities during the photoshoot itself (like picking out special outfits!), you can make sure that everyone enjoys themselves on this special occasion! And most importantly—you’ll have beautiful memories captured forever through photographs!


I have a few tools in my toolbelt that will help you grow into the photographer you’ve always wanted to be!  Whether you are prepping to be a Click Pro Elite or you are just ready to start leveling up and making new goals check out these resources to help you grow!

DOORS NOW OPEN: Becoming A Click Pro

The Click Community

Must Have Tools for your Photography Business

What’s in my Bag – Cameras, Lenses, and More

Fearless Indoor Light – a Self-Paced course

Indoor Light Challenge

Film Challenge
(for the challenges, you must be in the Click Community)

Be sure to follow me on InstagramFacebook, and Pinterest for more tips, tricks, and resources for photographers!


Lori Pickens is a Mother, Wife, and Tech Geek from Parkersburg, WV. She is a true lifelong local and has been photographing in the area for over a decade. Lori is also a Click Pro Elite and Click Community Mentor. When she’s not capturing pictures or spending time with her kids, she enjoys organizing her lists and spending time on her family farm!

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