Photographing High School Seniors

with holli true

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february 6, 2017
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march 20, 2017
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Full Participation sold out.
Study Along seats available!

Photographing High School Seniors is a four week workshop created for intermediate to advanced photographers. Whether you’re looking for tips on how to photograph your teen, run an established business or simply learn more about this market, this workshop will give you the opportunity to explore what senior photography is all about. You will learn how to maximize your locations through posing, expression, lighting and moving around the space. You will also learn more about the business side of senior photography, including how to prepare for a shoot, creating a session workflow, working with a makeup artist, building a senior model program and utilizing social media to reach your ideal client. This workshop is loaded with written content, visual references to get you inspired to create and several videos that will take you both behind the scenes and directly through the viewfinder.

4 weeks


Weekly shooting required


4+ hours required per week


this course has prerequisites


All students should have a full understanding of how to use their camera. Full understanding of manual mode is highly recommended. A reflector, while not required, is recommended, especially with a handle. Holli suggests a 30” Lastolite TriGrip Silver/White reflector. Basic understanding of Photoshop and/or Lightroom is also recommended.



Holli True is a high school senior portrait photographer based in Eugene, Oregon. She has specialized in seniors for seven years, building a genuine brand on the foundation of Young & Free. As industry educator, Holli loves nothing more than connecting with other photographers from all over the world, sharing her passion and simplistic approach to senior photography. She’s a dreamer, a thinker, a chaser and a doer. When she isn’t exploring the Pacific Northwest with her camera, you’ll find her adventuring with her family of four in their RV. Her portfolio can be found here.


Shooting, Business
Intermediate, Advanced

• Printable PDF Lesson Downloads with Assignments (outlined in syllabus)
• 11 Videos (photo shoots, location scouting, posing, editing and more)
• Instructor-Led Online Q&A for Each Lesson
• Personal Video Critiques of Weekly Assignments by Instructor

Full Participation students engage in an interactive online classroom experience that includes instructor-led group discussions and detailed, personalized guidance for the duration of the workshop. Full participation students receive instructor critiques of the posted assignment each week.

Study Along students will have access to all materials and will be able to view all content and conversation in the main workshop forum and receive access to their own private subforum for peer study groups and image shares. Study along students will not be able to ask the instructor questions or request instructor feedback on their assignments.

Welcome & Preassignment

Week One

Reading:Location breakdown by type; choosing the right location and making the most of small spaces; defining your photographic style and how to prep for a session.
Assignment: Describe your photography style in one sentence or 4-6 words. Select a location (one you’ve been to before or a new one) and find 10 areas to shoot in, without getting into your car. Photograph each area, with or without a client/model, creating a Location Catalog. Submit a gallery with these 10 images.

Week Two

Reading: Working in a variety of lighting conditions; how to use a reflector; capturing bokeh, sunflare and backlighting; session workflow from start to finish.

Assignment: Photograph a senior/model outdoors in a variety of natural light conditions: full sun, shade and backlighting. Use a reflector, if you have one. Submit a gallery of 10 edited images for critique and share your experience working with the variations of light.

Week Three

Reading: Introduction to posing; keeping it age appropriate; angles and perspective; shooting for more than just your senior client.

Assignment: Photograph a senior/model and shoot five distinct poses, three different ways (make small adjustments, change the angle and crop, etc). Submit a gallery of 15 edited images for critique, showcasing the five poses, shot three ways.

Week Four

Reading: Bringing everything together to capture the essence of a high school senior; engagement and expression; observing and documenting the moments in-between; showcasing their personality; utilizing social media and how to start a senior model program.

Assignment: Photograph a senior/model, putting into action all of the tips given throughout the course. Choose a location with a variety of areas to work within, experiment with multiple lighting conditions. Focus on shooting each pose multiple ways, capturing a range of expressions. Submit a gallery of 20 edited images for critique.

The CMU workshop is a 100% online classroom experience. Once you sign up, you have access to a course forum that is open 24 hours a day so that you can learn and join discussions on your own schedule.

Each week students receive a set of course materials– these materials generally include a PDF and/or videos. Throughout the week, instructors and TAs are present in the forum every day to answer questions and offer encouragement. Students receive an assignment each week that pertains to the topics covered in the course materials and class discussion throughout the week.

Full Participation students engage in an interactive online classroom experience that includes instructor-led group discussions and detailed, personalized guidance for the duration of the workshop. Full participation students post their assignments in the forum and receive instructor critiques each week.

Study Along students have access to all materials and are able to view all content and conversation in the main workshop forum. They also receive access to their own private Study Along subforum for peer study groups and image shares. Study along students will not be able to ask the instructor questions or request instructor feedback on their assignments, but they can follow along with instructor critiques of the Full Participation assignments.

Whether you are a Full Participation student or a Study Along student, the course materials are yours to keep.


  • Holli is an amazing instructor. I have taken multiple workshops with her and have learned so much. She is such a genuine woman that truly wants to share and help all of us that want to learn. Her work is timeless and beautiful, as her branding states Young and Free! She doesn’t hold back, she shares with you everything including the marketing, business and the importance of branding. I recommend Holli to everyone I meet. Holli did a great job with this 4 week course, I love all the PDFs and videos, it is so helpful to have them to look back on. Thank Holli and thank you Clickinmoms for having such a great instructor for Senior High School Portraits!!

  • Stefania says:

    The amount of information Holli shared in this workshop was amazing. She has so much knowledge both of the photography side as well as the business of it all, and freely shared it all with us in this class. Her critiques were encouraging and thoughtful and super helpful too. We explored every facet of photographing seniors in 4 short weeks, from locations to lighting, posing and engaging your senior. I truly enjoyed this workshop and definitely recommend it to anyone looking to up their Senior photography game!

  • Krystal Brewer says:

    I just finished Photographing High School Seniors as a Study Along participant. I loved the class! The videos Holli included are excellent. I learned so much by watching her conduct actual senior sessions – listening to how she interacts and directs the models. She includes so much valuable information in this course – both shooting and marketing!

  • Lisa C Jones says:

    I cannot tell you how excited I was to log in to Clickin Moms on the day I decided to explore the world of Senior photography and saw that Holli’s class started the NEXT day! Coincidence? I think not. As a full time educator with no prospective models lined up, i knew I wasn’t going to be able to justify FP, so I decided to take the leap and do the SA. I cannot tell you how glad I am that I did! I learned so much in just the location scouting video that it pretty much made the whole course worth it. And reflector skills? I am now a believer! As a child photographer, so much of what I learned applies across genres that I was able to put it into practice right away. I cannot wait to work with Holli again! She truly holds nothing back and is such a sweet person with a giving spirit. <3 Worth every penny.

  • Tracey Brown says:

    If you photograph High School Seniors this class is a must! I have taken several CM classes and this has been my favorite. When I shoot a senior I now feel like I have so much more knowledge in posing and communicating with them. I have left this class with so much awesome information.

  • K. Davis says:

    This was a game changer on so many levels! Holli showed us how to use a location to its fullest potential and also showed us how to work a pose like crazy! In my sessions since beginning this class, my usable images have almost doubled simply because I’ve been able to use the knowledge she’s provided and flow from one pose to the next so easily. If you are considering taking the dive into Senior Photography, this is definitely the class for you. 100% worth it!

  • This class was incredible if you are looking to specialize in senior photography. There is so much information to dive into! Holli is an amazing teacher and really helps build confidence in posing, lighting, and locations. Highly recommend this class.

  • I just finished taking Holli True’s Photographing High School Seniors class and I can honestly say it went way beyond my highest expectations. She was so specific in her critiques and I came away with the information I had been looking for to take my business and photography to the next level. The weekly video critiques are spot on with what each individual needs to improve in lighting, location scouting, expressions, and especially posing. Holli is not only an incredible photographer she is also an incredibly knowledgeable and helpful teacher.

  • Nicole Barrett says:

    This workshop was amazing! I found Holli after my first senior shoot and fell in love with her work and style. When she offered the Photographing High School Seniors Workshop I was beside myself. I got so much out of it. She is so thorough and even though the workshop is over I’m still referring back to it often. Her videos were spot on and helped me build confidence in posing and all aspects of the business. I learned so much watching her critiques each week and am excited to put it all into my business. Take this class…you won’t regret it!

  • Julie says:

    What a great workshop!! I’m feeling sad that it’s over. I thoroughly enjoyed Holli’s amazing teaching style, her beautiful work and how open she is with every aspect of her business. The course included a lot of videos which fits my learning style just perfectly… gorgeous PDF’s were also provided:) I also enjoyed that she did video critiques of the weekly assignments. Holli was very present on the forums and was always very willing to answer questions and give assistance as needed. Highly recommend this course!

  • Jill Hogan says:

    I loved the Photographing High School Seniors workshop. Holli was very hands on and involved in the forums. My biggest takeaway was having systems in place to run an efficient business from the client experience workflow to simple changes in poses when photographing the senior. I can’t wait to implement what I’ve learned in this upcoming senior season!

  • Andrea Sitzman says:

    This workshop covered everything I had been struggling with. It was like Holli was in my head and knew all of the questions and issues I was needing help with and had them all wrapped up with a shiny bow! She was so responsive in the forums all the time and always took the time to answer all of my questions in a very detailed manner. And the video critiques….so very good! Not only did she offer helpful insight and where I could make some adjustments, but always offered additional ways to take things to the next level. Her passion for what she does is apparent throughout the class. I highly recommend this class as you will not find anything more comprehensive out there for Senior Portrait Photography.

  • Lori says:

    Holli really is a master at what she does! She brings out the individual beauty and personality in her “girls” so well. Her materials are very thorough and include numerous videos which are so valuable to learning the posing, lighting, use of reflector and how she uses locations. One of the most interesting parts of her course was how to scout for locations and how to use them efficiently and for variety. Holli is very present in the workshop and so willing to help and provide encouragement. She offers insight on the business side of Senior photography as well. I don’t plan on shooting for business, but I know all the learning I take from her can still be used for personal shooting of friends and family, even. If you are planning on shooting Highschool Seniors professionally, I would highly recommend taking Holli’s workshop. Her work is inspiring!

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