Yearbook Pictures: Props for Awesome Senior Portraits

Summertime is when students relax from an intense year in the classroom, hang out with their friends, and enjoy some of the better weather of the year. It’s also when the older kids at your school get their senior portraits taken! For many of the students on your campus, their senior portraits are the first time they’re getting their own professional shots done. You can help them come up with fun and unique ways to showcase their personality within these images by offering some cute prop ideas for their photoshoot. Below, I’ll share a few of my own favorite ideas with you. Then you can create your own list to email out to your students (or their parents) before June is through!

Chalkboard Quotes

Super popular for maternity and engagement photo shoots right now, chalkboards offer a little something extra for a photo shoot. Encourage your students to find a small, framed chalkboard that they can write one of their favorite quotes or their graduation date on. If they’re so inclined, they can even make their own DIY chalkboard to really reflect their own personal flair! Within the email you send out to the senior class, give them some ideas for quotes they could use on their chalkboard art. For example:

  • “Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you’ve imagined.” -Thoreau
  • “How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.” -Winnie the Pooh
  • “Oh, the places you’ll go! – Dr. Seuss

Handmade Banners

Senior portraits celebrate the graduating students at your school. Encourage them to make these fun yearbook pictures all about their final year before they become true adults! A homemade banner that features their graduating year or their senior status is the perfect way to commemorate the end of an era with a unique prop. Plus, this kind of idea makes their photos super memorable. Depending on the size of the banner they create, they can hold it up themselves or it can hang in the background of their photos. Within your email, offer a few different design ideas, such as:

  • A cute group shot that features a few graduating seniors holding up a senior year banner. This option could include painted graduation year numbers strung on a pretty piece of ribbon. It’s a quick and simple prop to make!
  • A fun magazine-style banner that acts as the backdrop for their photos, with printed and laminated cardstock for the backdrop of each of the letters. It really adds some color to the portrait!
  • A homemade banner that’s made from cutout sections of burlap, which are painted and hung on a long piece of string with clothespins. This would be the perfect prop to hang between two trees in the background of an outdoor shot!

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Vintage Furniture

A super hot trend in the world of photography is bringing a vintage-looking chair or couch into the middle of an outdoor setting. The contrast between the shabby chic piece of furniture and the natural background is absolutely stunning. To get the look, your students can go shopping around some local antique stores to find a classic piece. Encourage them to look for a small couch or chair that has a wooden frame, and colorful fabric. This will add depth and interest to their images. Most photographers will have some textured blankets or rugs that can complete the shot. The result is a modern, colorful photo that will look like a shot out of a magazine!

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Memorable Yearbook Pictures Start With Great Props

To make their senior yearbook pictures extra memorable, your students should take a thoughtful approach to the backdrop and props they incorporate into their shots. Personal items, like the antique car they’ve restored or the instrument they’ve striven to master can really capture that specific time in their life. You can also push them to be a little creative with their selections. This way, you won’t have dozens of yearbook photos that all look the same! By sending out some ideas early on in the summer, you give each senior ample time to think about where they want to take their photos, and prep the props they want to incorporate. And that results in an even better senior section for your book next year!


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