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A Guide to Bringing Your Car for Senior Pictures

Tyler recently graduated from Desert Ridge High School in Mesa, AZ.  Moms, are you longing to have amazing senior pictures of your son but he's not quite as interested? Let's make you both happy and create an awesome senior portrait session...

As a professional senior portrait photographer, it’s my privilege to help seniors freeze these moments in time, creating stunning images that both parents and teens love. One incredible way to achieve this is by incorporating your cars into your senior year photo shoot. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had a senior guy arrive for his consultation, less than thrilled about taking senior pictures. But then we mention his car or truck, and he suddenly realizes this is not the what he was expecting! I grew up attending Formula 1 races with my dad, and even now I take my son to the Barrett-Jackson Auction in Scottsdale every year. I’ve photographed everything from a simple Toyota to a Lamborghini and everything in between, so if you need ideas for your senior pictures, I’m certain we can create a senior session your son will love! The following images show a variety of great outfits and locations for your senior pictures.


No, this is not Trevor’s car but we were able to borrow it from a friend just for his senior pictures. A jacket and tie paired with jeans was the perfect look for this sunset photo in the Arizona desert.

What to Wear Guys Senior Pictures Mesa AZ

Dodge Charger

While the weather didn’t want to cooperate at the beginning of Jack’s session, we still got incredible photos of this handsome senior and his car. Jack chose a more casual, button down shirt with jeans, which definitely fits his laid back personality.

Williams Field High School Senior Pictures Sports Cars

Rae-mah loves the car, but it definitely wasn’t a top priority. By dad’s request we still set up a few shots of her with his gorgeous lime green charger! This wasn’t planned, but her green formal looked beautiful as she casually posed against the spoiler. Remember, lighting is more important than location. The sun was setting faster than we’d planned, so we just stayed in the parking lot, and look at how gorgeous this turned out!

Primavera Online High School Senior Pictures AZ

Ford Mustang

We used Aidan’s white Mustang for two different looks. We did a few formals in Eastmark before heading out to the desert. This is one of those times when magic happens when clients trust me. We drove out to the desert, only about 5 minutes away, but I didn’t love the original spot I had planned. Amy and Aidan followed me to a different spot off the side of the road. Perfect lighting paired with a simple white t-shirt and light wash jeans resulted in some of our absolute favorite images of the day!

Senior Pictures with Mustang

Jeep Wrangler

Kate’s Jeep was the perfect addition to her senior session. It added a touch of adventure and a sense of freedom to her photoshoot, especially when combined with her graduation cap! Again, sometimes a special location really isn’t necessary. While my original plan was to shoot out in the desert for a more rustic vibe, we had so many plans for the day that we we just took a few in a parking lot. This one was published in Senior Year Magazine’s Grad Issue in May!

Jeep Senior Pictures


These images were taken quite a few years ago, literally in the middle of an intersection where 2 of roads hit a dead end. If you’re a car enthusiast, I don’t need to tell you that certain sports cars sit too low to the ground so a parking garage with speed humps can cause damage. We’ll definitely take that into consideration when choosing locations that are safe for high end vehicles.

Arizona Photographer Sports Cars

Shelby Cobra

This was an absolute dream!! We were lucky enough to have a local car enthusiast let us borrow his car for senior pictures! When we borrow vehicles, we never drive them. Instead, we have the owner meet us at the location and are extra careful not to scratch any surfaces.

Desert Ridge High School Senior Pictures Guys Outfits

Trevor chose two different looks, paired sunglasses with both outfits to bring his personality into his senior portrait session. The image below is his favorite, and we created a gorgeous metal print

AZ Photographer Cars Guys

VW Bug

Madie is so full of light and personality, adding her cute little convertible made her senior pictures even more amazing! With the bright blue car, Madie selected a simple black dress and trendy chunky boots, then added the heart sunglasses and black sun hat from the Style Closet to complete her look.

Dowtown Gilbert Senior Pictures Outfits Girls
  1. Choosing the Right Car: The first step in crafting remarkable senior pictures with cars is selecting the perfect vehicle. Whether it’s a vintage classic, a sleek sports car, a family heirloom, or a quirky favorite, the car should resonate with your personality and story. Be sure to choose a vehicle that holds sentimental value or represents a significant part of their life’s journey.
  2. Location Matters: Selecting the right location is crucial for achieving stunning results. Consider your interests and hobbies. The beautiful Arizona desert, an urban downtown setting, or even a parking garage can all provide unique backdrops that complement your car, but also suit your personality.
  3. Time of Day: The golden hours of early morning or late afternoon provide the most flattering natural light for photography. Plan your photoshoot during these times to capture warm, soft, and enchanting images. Additionally, dusk and twilight can create a captivating atmosphere when shooting with car headlights and city lights in the background.
  4. Posing and Composition: Seniors, having your car makes posing even easier! You’ll be able to interact with the vehicle naturally, leaning on it, sitting inside, or even driving it. We’ll use creative angles and perspectives to emphasize the car’s lines and details while keeping the focus on the grad.
  5. Storytelling: Every photo should tell a story, so please share stories and memories associated with the car. Is it your first car? Is it a graduation gift? Is it a car that your family has rebuilt? Telling stories allow candid moments with genuine emotions that will make the pictures come alive.
  6. Props and Accessories: Incorporate props and accessories that complement the car and the senior’s style. Sunglasses, hats, scarves, or even vintage props can add a touch of personality and uniqueness to your senior photos.
  7. Cleanliness Matters: Please be sure to give your car a bath before your session. You’ll want to clean up the inside a bit too, remove any distracting objects like parking passes or placards. Don’t stress to much if you have one stuck to the windshield. I’ll work my Photoshop magic for anything that must stay in place.
  8. Editing and Post-Processing: After the photoshoot, the magic continues in post-processing. I’ll be sure to provide the same special touch to your car as I do for my seniors! No need to stress about small scratches or even dents. I’ll take special care to enhance colors and contrast while maintaining a natural and timeless look.

I cannot stress this enough! Definitely, absolutely, 100% consider bringing your car for your senior portrait session! You bring the car and I’ll help by choosing the best location, lighting, and storytelling techniques to create amazing senior pictures that will be cherished for years to come. So, get behind the lens, unleash your creativity, and let the journey begin!

Senior Pictures for Guys

Most guys don’t really care about senior pictures…until they meet with me! Then they find out all the fun ways we can celebrate with them and they always love the results! So guys, I promise Mom wants these pictures of her son, so let’s start planning your grad session! Are you ready to sign up for one of Arizona’s best senior portrait experiences? You can start by grabbing your FREE download of the Senior Client Welcome Guide to learn how to have senior pictures that every guy will love!

If you’re stuck and need ideas for your senior photoshoot, check out some recent sessions on Pinterest, Instagram, and Facebook.