One way to break the mold of one old-fashioned pose after another is to mix it up with a bunch of fresh yearbook photo ideas.
If you don’t have a bunch of these in your back pocket, don’t worry: We scrubbed the depths of Pinterest to find the best. And, in this blog post, we’re bringing you some of our favorites — from individual shots, to duos, to group shots with five people or more, we pretty much covered every possible scenario where you’ll find yourself needing a new way to pose people for a feature photo in the yearbook.
Yearbook Photo Ideas for Posing Individuals
Taking a person’s picture can be a little awkward when your subject isn’t sure what to do. Remember that, as the photographer, they’re looking to you for direction. These five poses are quick to explain and easy to execute.
Easy Lean: If there’s a wall close by, ask the student to lean against it. This is a quick and easy way to create a relaxed vibe.
Perch: It’s not standing or sitting but somewhere in between. If you can find a desk, table, ledge, or bench, the perch keeps it casual and makes the shot feel natural.
Over the Shoulder: Add a little bit of style to your shot by asking your subject to turn their body away from you and flash a smile over the shoulder.
Action Jackson: This one’s perfect for the kids who can’t sit still. Creating an action shot is as simple as starting them off a little further away from you and asking them to take a few steps forward.
Crouch: Ask the student to crouch in profile — this is a great way to get a full-body shot but still fill the frame.
Yearbook Photo Ideas for Posing a Duo
First, give your duo a chance to pose themselves. If they’re close friends, chances are they’ll feel totally comfortable. Just ask them to be themselves. If they’re camera shy or get stumped, pull out one of these to make your shot a winner.
Piggyback: This classic pose is playful and almost guaranteed to create some authentic giggles.
Make a Shape: This one’s oh so very insta. Have your subjects make a heart or a diamond with their arms (or legs, if you’re feeling ambitious). This pose can be a little tricky, so be sure to frame the shot so that you can see your subjects’ faces. And you don’t need to hit expert status to make this work—a simple link of the arms with the hands on the hip works as well.
Upside Down: This is one of those poses that is made for duos (it’s too weird alone and too complicated with a gaggle of people). Flip the script, literally, and see what happens.
Body Shift: So easy, but this one’s impactful. With your subjects sitting, ask one person to turn sideways so there’s a simple contrast in body positions.
Perspective Play: Line your duo up so one is in the foreground and another in the background, and then play around with the foreground person “holding” the background person in the palm of their hand. You may have to try this a few times to get it right, but in the end, the push/pull makes an amazing shot.
Yearbook Photo Ideas for Posing 3 or 4 People
As soon as you have three people, you’ve got a group shot on your hands. With only three or four people, you still have a little bit of freedom to try some things that would be too complicated with a larger group. Keep it fresh and give them something to do.
Human Frame: Have two people create a diamond with their arms to frame the other person in the photo. So darling, we’re surprised we haven’t seen it more often.
Pyramid: Creating a larger human pyramid can get a little rough. This mini-version is the perfect way to create the same interest without the hassle.
Band Shot: Perfected by every band ever in existence, this is simply taking the initiative to stagger the subjects and shoot from a lower angle.
Wise Monkeys: This one is a classic pose with a mischievous wink. Have one student cover their eyes, another their ears, and the third covers their mouth. The three monkeys do not see, hear, or speak any evil.
Peek Around: Small groups are ripe for the peek, whether they’re hiding behind a wall, a door, or a tree. Why do these always look so cute?
Yearbook Photo Ideas for Posing a Group of 5 or More
Creating a great composition with a larger group isn’t hard when you’re armed with some ideas. A little bit of symmetry—whether it’s a clean line that gives direction or a circular pose that radiates outwards—can go a long way. These ideas are easy to remember and to execute.
Oscillate: By alternating back and forth between the way each subject is facing, everything fits together in a perfect line.
Head Stack: Start with one person sitting on the ground. Have each person place their head on top of the previous person, and let the bodies fall where they may.
Stairs: Let a staircase do the heavy lifting. Ask the group to stand or sit on a staircase. This will make it easy for you to adjust the composition by asking people to move up or down a couple of steps to get the best shot.
Sync Up: A large group of people doing the same thing will always have an impactful effect. Experts can try to catch the group mid-jump.
Head Circle: Exactly as is sounds, you are trying to create a circle of heads. You can ask your subjects to lie down with their heads in a circle. But if you’re feeling scrappy, lie down yourself and ask them to make a huddle above you.
Take some time to research different posing ideas before you hit the campus. That way, you’ll be ready to direct the perfect composition when the need arises. By taking a few seconds to compose the shot beforehand, you’ll have some amazing photos that will pop on your spreads. And we all know that excellent photography makes the yearbook more fun to explore.