One way to break the mold of one old-fashioned pose after another is to mix it up with fresh yearbook photo ideas.
If you don’t have many of these in your back pocket, don’t worry: We scrubbed the depths of Pinterest to find the best. In this blog post, we’re bringing you some of our favorites. From individual shots and duos to group shots with five+ people, we covered scenarios where you’ll need new poses for yearbook features.
Yearbook Photo Ideas for Posing Individuals
Taking a person’s picture can be awkward when your subject isn’t sure what to do. As the photographer, they’re looking to you for direction. These five poses are quick to explain and easy to execute.
Easy Lean: If a wall is nearby, ask the student to lean against it to create a relaxed vibe.
Perch: It’s not standing or sitting but somewhere in between. Find a desk, table, ledge, or bench to keep it casual and make the shot feel natural.
Over the Shoulder: Add a little 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 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 comfortable. If they’re camera shy, pull out one of these to make your shot a winner:
Piggyback: This classic pose is playful and almost guaranteed to create 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 frame the shot so you can see faces. You don’t need to hit expert status to make this work—a simple link of the arms with hands on hips also works.
Upside Down: This is one of those poses made for duos. Flip the script – literally – and see what happens.
Body Shift: Easy, yet 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. 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 it makes for an interesting 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 freedom to try some things that would be too complicated with a larger group.
Human Frame: Have two people create a diamond with their arms to frame the other person in the photo. This pose is so darling that we’re surprised we don’t see it more.
Pyramid: Creating a complex human pyramid can get a little rough. This mini-version is the perfect way to create interest without the hassle.
Band Shot: Perfected by every band, 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 their mouth. These three monkeys do not see, hear, or speak any evil.
Peek Around: Small groups are perfect for the peek, whether they’re hiding behind a wall, door, or 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 is easy. A little bit of symmetry—whether a clean line that gives direction or a circular pose that radiates outwards—can go a long way. These ideas will help:
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. You can easily adjust the composition by asking people to move up or down to get the best shot.
Sync Up: A large group of people doing the same thing will always be impactful. Experts can try to catch the group mid-jump.
Head Circle: Exactly as it sounds: you’re trying to create a ring of heads. You can ask your subjects to lie down with their heads in a circle. Or, if you’re feeling scrappy, lie down 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 needed. You’ll have fantastic photos that pop by taking a few seconds to compose the shot beforehand. Excellent photography always makes the yearbook more fun to explore.