Senior Portrait Ideas for Dancers

September 28, 2021  •  Leave a Comment

Standout in the yearbook by showcasing your stunning artistry

It is finally here, the long-awaited senior year and before you know it, graduation will be upon you. There are a lot of boxes to check as you near your graduation date, from applying to college and ordering your cap and gown, to staying on top of your schoolwork as you near the end of your primary education.

One such box to check is your senior portrait! These pictures are used in the yearbook, your graduation announcements, and as a family, heirloom showcasing your amazing achievement. Often, senior portraits all follow the same uniform look, typically using the same background, the same poses, and sometimes…even the same photographer.

These senior portraits get the job done but let’s be honest…many don’t remember them long after graduation has passed. For dancers, you may feel the pull to do something more dramatic for your senior portrait. Here are a few suggestions for Senior Portraits for dancers:

Demonstrate your Artistry

dance portrait by Mark SteelmanMark Steelman Senior Portrait ExperienceStunning dance portrait by Mark Steelman, the exclusive dance photographer in Wilmington, NC.

Dancers often spend years in the studio, training and honing their craft, sometimes in more than one style of dance. May it be Classical Ballet, Modern Ballet, Contemporary, Jazz, Tap, or Hip-Hop, you have worked hard to evolve into the artist you have become. Your senior portrait is the perfect medium to showcase all of your hard work to your fellow classmates, friends, & family.

Imagine this, your fellow graduates are flipping through the yearbook, turn the page, and what do they see? Do they see you with the same backdrop as everyone else, the same pose, possibly even similar outfits. Or…do they see your stunning mastery of movement?

Integrating your artistry into your senior portrait showcases the time and dedication you spent outside of the classroom, mastering your craft. It cements your artistry and it is sure to be remembered for years to come.


Highlight your unique style

As a performer, you have had the opportunity to wear many costumes, may that be as the Corps de Ballet or as a soloist. However, these costumes are usually decided for you by the show director. It is rare for you to become the creative director and decide for yourself the character your wish to display to your audience.

For your senior portrait, you could showcase some of your favorite costumes from performances past or bring a new character to life. The choice is yours!

Showcase your personality with props

Including props in your senior portraits is a common practice for upcoming high school graduates.
These props can range from small flowers to using your car as a backdrop. When deciding what props to bring to your senior portrait session, think about your many hobbies, interests, or passions that you have explored throughout high school, what stands out to you?

Keep in mind, that any props you use as a dancer for your senior portrait will have to integrate with your movement. For example, you could pose with a guitar (see below), but it would be difficult to perform a leap while holding the guitar.

Be as creative as you can when picking out your props and don’t worry, the photographer will assist you in incorporating the props into your poses!


Illustrate your love for adventure (or drama)

When you see your dream senior portrait in your mind, do you see an image with dramatic lighting and shadows? Or do you perhaps see a beach as your backdrop?

The beauty of senior portraits is they can range from studio portraits to senior portraits shot on location, like the beach! It just depends on what element of your personality or artistry you wish to showcase in your high school graduation pictures.

If you wish to illustrate your sense of adventure, you could do an on-location shoot where you use the beauty of nature as your backdrop.

Or you could desire to show your artistry with a dramatic flair, harnessing the power of lighting equipment in a professional studio to contour your movement.


Work with a professional dance photographer

Not all photographers are created equal. There is a major difference between a photographer
who specializes in portraits and a photographer who specializes in dance photography.

Dance photographers have a wealth of experience in capturing detailed movement and a deep understanding of how to use elements such as light, shutter speed, and unique editing to bring your artistry to life. Choosing to work with an expert dance photographer turns what would have been a normal, average senior portrait into a true work of art!

One such photographer in the Wilmington, NC area, is none other than Mark Steelman Photography. As the exclusive dance photographer in the area, he has worked not only with local dance studios but with professional dance companies as well, such as the International Ballet.


Right now, Mark Steelman is offering up to 75% off your senior portrait experience, which includes your own dressing room, qualified dance instructor for posing feedback, and of course, a masterpiece sure to stun with shock and awe!

Reach out to Mark today and start working on your masterpiece!



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