Ready, Set, PLAY! Tips to Include Your Favorite Sport in Your Senior Pictures

Specializing in senior pictures allows me to really keep up on trends and help you prepare for your senior sports portraits! For athletes, that means including their sport in their senior photo session.

You’ve worked hard…and you’ve played just as hard! So why not make athletic photos part of your senior portrait package? It’s a great way to show off a sport you’ve spent years practicing and dedicating your time to…plus it’s a good way to share your interests with friends and family members as you graduate!

When we think of senior pictures, it’s easy to think of dressy outfits, on-trend styles, and glam accessories. But what if your favorite accessory is a basketball, a football, a soccer ball, tennis ball, or other sports equipment? If it’s something you love to do, then we’ll find fun and creative ways to include your favorite sports activity in your portrait package…simple as that.

Athletic Senior Pictures Sports Gilbert AZ

I want your senior pictures to truly reflect you and your personality, and if you’ve spent every weekday for the past several years on the practice field, it’s a great idea to include sports photos in your professional senior picture package.

As a parent, you’ve driven hundreds of miles and carpooled plenty of kids—and it may feel like your child will be playing their sport forever. But believe it or not, those memories fly by really fast, too. Whether you’ve been cheering for touchdowns, goals, home runs, or perfect 10s, you know how hard your child has worked and how much they love their sport. Be sure to capture those moments as your kiddo gets ready to graduate, because before long, they’ll be off to new and different adventures!

Florence High School Football Senior Pictures

I specialize in senior pictures, which means I work really hard to keep up with trends and help my clients prepare for their sessions. When I’m working with athletes, whether they play club sports or school sports, I make sure I understand the nuances of their sport so that I can include both still shots and action shots. Remember, after high school, your child may not go on to complete in their sport, so be sure to let Magical Memories by Michelle help you create lasting keepsake portraits that will forever remind you of their high school days.

How to Prepare for Your Senior Sports Photos

There are a few things you can do to get ready for your session, especially if it includes athletic photos of you practicing your favorite sport. Here are FOUR valuable tips to help you get sporty senior pictures:

1. Bring Your Gear

Load up on accessories like cleats, balls, and sports jerseys! We may not use everything you bring, but it’s much better to be prepared than to leave anything to chance.

You might think bringing your gear sounds obvious…but believe it or not, things like socks, pants, bats, balls, and other integral items to the sport being photographed are often forgotten. Getting ready for your senior pictures can seem overwhelming, but you can take a lot of the stress out of planning if you start off by making a list of everything you want to bring with you. That way, you’ll arrive at your session location completely prepared and ready to pose!

Ideas Basketball Senior Pictures Gilbert AZ

By planning ahead, you’ll be less likely to forget all the accessories, outfits, and shoes you need to create the perfect look. Think about it like you’re getting ready for a game and grab everything you would normally take with you. Everything you bring—from uniforms, balls, t-shirts, and jerseys to letter jackets, warm-ups, and socks—adds style and authenticity to your professional photos.

2. Be Ready to Play

I love getting action shots of seniors doing all the things they love! So be ready to run, jump, cheer, kick, and more during your session. Why? Because your personality is a huge part of your photos, and when you’re focused on your sport, I can get tons of candid shots that recreate all the game-day action.

It’s often difficult to get perfect pictures when you’re at a game or event, and that’s why it’s so important to recreate those moments in artistic, sporty poses you’ll be able to look back on for years to come and relive the glory days of your senior year. Of course, when we meet and chat about your portrait package, I’ll have lots of great ideas for you, but don’t be shy! Be sure to let me know if you have specific poses you want to include in your session.

Chandler Senior Pictures Soccer

Student athletes are some of the most talented people around, so get ready to show off your skills. I love it when athletes are excited to share their success in their senior pictures!

3. Go All-Out

Even though the stands aren’t full for your photo shoot, don’t hold back! (I’ll be there to cheer you on the entire time.) So wear your uniform, and run, jump, and kick just like it’s game time.

I was recently reminded of the importance of going all out when I photographed Aaron in action. I asked him to run for me, and he sure did! His track & field photos are action-packed, full of energy, and a reminder of the sport he loved so much during high school. We were able to recreate his intense expressions and emotion as he ran—just like at a live meet. Luckily, the coaches at Mesquite High School were more than happy to let us borrow a small section of the track for a short time to get this great photo.

Ideas for Track Senior Pictures

Whether it’s a cheerleading jump, a volleyball serve, or a lap around the track, when you put everything you’ve got into your athletic pictures, you’re sure to fall in love with every image. You’ve worked hard to become a well-rounded student athlete, so put it all out there when it’s senior picture time!

Outdoor Senior Pictures Sports

4. Be Flexible With Locations

Your school is a great place to pose for sports pictures, but we won’t always be able to get access to the athletic areas because of games or practices that might be going on. Also, it’s important that if we’re going to take photos at your school, we ask permission first. Not only is it a courtesy to let the school know who will be on the property and what we’ll be doing, but it’s also a great way to ensure we coordinate our calendars and avoid game or practice days. Keep in mind that, the more crowded a location is, the more difficult it may be to find the perfect spot without a crowd of people in the background.

Luckily, we live where it’s sunny year-round, and there are tons of parks, rec facilities, and club practice spots where we can get equally gorgeous senior pictures that highlight the sport you love. While your school may be an option, don’t discount other places around town that might work even better!

We’ve used grassy areas, urban streets, neighborhood courts, and even other schools’ fields (again, with permission!) and much to my surprise, the alternative locations have been far better than we’d imagined!

This urban area provided the perfect backdrop for Nicholas’ wrestling pictures! Mom loved the blue color, and the metal grid wall behind him adds the perfect texture. Nicholas arrived with every single piece of his wrestling uniform…as if he were ready for a wrestling match. Check out the socks, that’s the best part!

This particular day, Perry had either baseball practice or a game, but another local high school’s baseball field was completely empty! It made this the perfect night for taking our time and capturing exactly what we wanted without having other people around. I love the way this photo shows off the athlete’s sport and also artistically focuses on his bright blue eyes. The dark background just adds to the dramatic effect, and with the chain link fencing behind him, it’s almost like we’re watching a real game!

Baseball Senior Pictures Chandler Arizona

Sometimes we get lucky, and the timing just falls into place to shoot at your school—and if that’s the case, go us! But don’t be disappointed if we end up looking at alternative locations, because sometimes those are the BEST places of all for great photos!

Want to see more more senior sports portraits or other senior photography ideas? Here are a few posts you might enjoy!
Matthew, club soccer
Jalen, high school football
Connor, high school baseball
Trevor, high school basketball

I love working with seniors and getting wrapped up in the excitement of their upcoming graduation. When we’re at your photo session, I’m right there celebrating with you, and I’ll make sure you have senior pictures you’ll love and be proud of.

Senior Picture Ideas Football Guys Suit Mesa AZ

If you’re a 2024 senior, it’s time to start thinking about your dream photo session! What will you wear? Where will you pose? What activities will you highlight?

You don’t have to do a lot to get started. Just contact me, and I’ll get you on the schedule (yes, it’s already filling up!). And keep following the blog for great inspiration and ideas that will help us create your unique session. You can also find me on Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram where I’m always posting the latest and greatest photos, ideas, and more.

Ready, grad? It’s your time to shine!

  • Michelle, your sports portraits are amazing you are so talented. Love how you captured the athletes in action. The baseball one being my absolute favorite.

  • Great sports portraits. I appreciate the tips on how to be prepared for a photo session. How helpful for seniors! Great work!

  • Great tips! My son just love soccer and I will definitely will do such kind of session for him!

  • These are such great tips for getting your sport in to your senior photos! They spend so much time dedicating years to these sports, what better way to celebrate then with amazing photos for Arizona seniors!

    • I know we both appreciate our high school athletes, Kelly! They are so talented and dedicated, thanks for reading about these amazing grads!

  • You are so incredibly creative with your senior sports pictures! Seniors spend so much time dedicated to their sport that it only makes sense that they would include them into their senior photo session!

    • Brandi, I really appreciate your kind words and support! Thanks for taking the time to read about my athletes!

  • Sports are often one of the first life-defining things in seniors lives. You honor that impact so well for high school senior pictures.

    • That’s so true, Jody! Many of my seniors have been training at their sport since elementary school, and it’s so rewarding to watch them succeed!

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