Having a photoshoot with your best friends is a great way to create a really fun memory of different times in your life. Being able to take photographs of groups of friends is a great thing to add to your resume and can really boost your photography business.
The best way to make sure that your photographs of best friends and friendship groups turn out in the best possible way, you need to have some good ideas and tricks up your sleeve.
In this article, we are going to look at some best friend photoshoot ideas to help inspire your work. You can use these ideas to form the basis of your photoshoots, or you can use them as suggestions to get your subjects to loosen up for the rest of the shoot.
1. Hold Them Close
Sometimes the simplest ideas are the best ideas. Getting your subjects to pose with their arms around each other is a great way to start off the shoot. It is an incredibly simple pose that everyone can do.
The pose can help to relax your models if they are nervous and remind them that they are in good company. The best thing about this pose is that it works in every location and it provides the perfect symbol of a strong bond between best friends.
2. Goofing Around
When your models are a bit more relaxed, you can encourage them to goof around together and make each other laugh. This is a great way to capture some beautiful and genuine candid moments.
With amateur models, this is often the best way to capture truly stunning, authentic photographs. It can also be the perfect way to warm up the group and get them ready for some slightly more structured poses.
This is another idea that can work in almost any setting or location.
3. Sunset Hangouts
Taking photographs in a studio is the simplest and easiest way to get your work done. However, studios often aren’t the most inspiring of places to shoot, especially when you aren’t working with professionals.
Taking your photoshoot outside to a beautiful location can help to create beautiful shots effortlessly. Hanging out on the beach, by a lake, or on a hill at sunset is the perfect backdrop for some beautiful, meaningful best friend photos.
Shooting on location can also make amateur models feel like they are on equal ground with the photographer.
There are many friendships that are built on adventure. These types of friendships can be immortalized through the art of best friend photography.
Taking shots of groups of best friends in beautiful locations can be a wonderful way to capture the adventurous spirit of the group.
This is an idea for best friend photography that requires a little bit of physical effort from you as a photographer as you will also have to complete the hike or expedition with the models.
However, the shots that you can get with this type of photography are worth it for your portfolio.
5. Finger Shapes
For a sweet and fun photograph with a group of best friends, you can get them to create shapes with their fingers. The bigger the group of friends, the more creative you can get with the shapes that they make.
However, this can also work in a photo shoot with only two best friends. You can begin with simple shapes like hand hearts and move on to more complex, group shapes such as stars.
You can also experiment with the angle from which you shoot the finger shapes. For example, shots from below with larger groups can work really well.
6. Creative Unity
The beautiful thing about group shoots such as best friend photoshoots is that you can get incredibly creative with the poses and shots that you want to take.
A great idea for a group best friend photo shoot is to create some poses that show unity between the models. This can be a really lovely way to symbolize friendship.
There are many different ways that you can create unity through poses but the key is to try and incorporate symmetry into the pose.
7. A Favorite Hobby
One of the most common ways that people develop friendships is through a shared love of a particular activity or hobby. If your models have a friendship that is based on a mutual hobby, this can make a great theme for your photo shoot.
You can get your models to strike relatively simple poses and use an item that is recognizable to the hobby as a prop. For example, for skating, they can hold their boards or even do tricks, for reading, they can be holding their favorite books.
8. Hanging At A Coffee Shop
Sometimes, it is nice for best friend photoshoots to provide a group of friends with photographs that look completely natural, candid, and unstaged. This type of photo will never work if it is shot in a studio.
Instead, you can take your models to a coffee shop or a cafe where they can hang out and behave naturally.
This can produce some really beautiful photographs with genuine emotions and snapshots of moments between friends that might otherwise be forgotten.
9. Fashion Icons
If your models are looking for some photographs that they can use to spruce up their social media feeds, putting fashion front and center can be a great idea.
If the models are into fashion themselves, you can incorporate multiple outfit changes into the shoot to give them the most freedom to express themselves. While this kind of shoot can work in a studio, it can easily feel like a catalog shoot.
Therefore, finding an interesting location such as an urban backdrop or even a field or meadow can bring life to the images.
Creating a best friend photoshoot around a picnic can be the perfect way to get some fun and wholesome pictures of a group of friends.
If the models are all from the same town and have grown up together, setting the photoshoot in a park or field where they spent a lot of their time and made memories can be a great way to personalize the shoot.
You can ask the models to bring along some of their favorite treats and snack foods to create the perfect picnic setting.
11. Fun Errands
Being a great photographer means mastering the art of finding beauty in the mundane. Things that are so regular and boring in our lives really can make the best photoshoot opportunity.
Simple errands can make the perfect backdrop for some fun and carefree photos with a group of friends. A trip to the grocery store is an easy way to have lots of props at hand such as items from the shelves.
For this idea, make sure that you are respectful of the items for sale and other people in the store.
12. Pool Party
If the aim of the best friend photoshoot is to capture the fun and carefree times that can be had throughout the summer months, a pool party shoot could be just what you need.
This type of shoot works best in a private pool where your models can let loose and have a good time. This is something that you may have to source yourself. Sites such as Airbnb can be useful for this.
Add some fun inflatables to the mix and you can have a really fun photoshoot that captures the magic of summer at any age.
13. Cozy Winter Hangout
If summer vibes aren’t the type of shoot that your models want, another idea is a cozy winter hangout. This is another shoot setting that provides plenty of opportunity for candid shots of friends interacting with each other.
These kinds of photoshoots are great to have in your arsenal for groups of friends who are more nervous or camera-shy and aren’t completely comfortable posing for photos.
There are also certain shots that you can orchestrate within this setting such as roasting marshmallows over the fire or getting the group to line their feet up next to the fire pit.
14. Visiting A Meadow
Whether the group of friends are teenagers, college students, or fully grown adults, there is likely to be a time in their life when they socialized in a field or meadow.
Returning to the exact field can be a beautiful setting to create memories immortalized in photo form. With that being said, any field or meadow will work for this shoot.
Using a meadow as a backdrop gives your models free rein to be goofy and have fun with each other.
We have already mentioned travel photoshoots where photographs are taken at the destination. However, when you travel, you have to get there somehow.
Taking photographs at the start of a road trip or during a road trip can be the perfect way to document some lifelong memories and have some fun. The best thing about these types of photoshoots is that the shots don’t have to be overly polished.
In fact, they may not need a lot of editing at all. The more raw and candid the photos are, the more realistic and full of life they will be.
16. All Fun And Games
There is no such thing as being too old to play games. This is something that is especially applied to a guys’ night in. There are many groups of friends that have bonded over a love of gaming and this can make the perfect setting for a best friend photoshoot.
If your models are up for it, you can just get them to hold the controllers and pretend to play. However, if you want more genuine reactions and expressions, you can have them play their favorite head-to-head game.
17. Landmark Trip
If the group of friends that you are photographing are all from the same town and are going to be moving away to college, it can be a wonderful idea to take the photoshoot to a local landmark.
This can tie together the group of friends and the place where they met or grew up. In some towns and cities, the landmark will be something big or instantly recognizable around the world. In other places, it could be the local diner that everyone in town knows.
18. Laying Around
Sometimes, the best photos aren’t overly contrived or posed. This is especially true when you are working with amateur models. Therefore, it can be a great idea to get the group of friends to lie on the ground together and get comfy like they are hanging out together.
This is a photoshoot idea that can work in almost any location whether you are in a studio, a field, or a skate park. This can also work as a way to warm up the models at the start of the shoot.
19. A Toast To Friendship
Friendship is always something worth celebrating. If you are staging a best friend photoshoot around food or a restaurant, you can incorporate a toast to friendship.
This is a pose that can be recreated with any kind of beverage so it works for friendship groups of any age, background, and beliefs. This can also be a great option for photoshoots that are for groups of friends that are at significant milestones in their lives.
20. Jumping For Joy
When you are working with amateur models, strict, static poses don’t always translate well through the lens. Until they loosen up, the group of friends that you are shooting may look tense and unnatural on film.
Therefore, you can get better shots and help them to relax and loosen up by getting them to be active in the photos. Getting the group of friends to jump in unison can be a great way to capture genuine smiles and the personalities of the models.
21. Head For The Horizon
Sometimes, a best friend photoshoot is going to be about sentimental memories rather than capturing the biggest smiles and laughs.
If you are tasked with creating some beautiful, artistic, memories for a group of best friends it is all about natural moments in time captured forever.
For these kinds of shots, having the friends walk away from the camera with the glow of a sunset or sunrise is a great idea.
22. Get Wet
If you want to create a fun and carefree photoshoot for best friends, getting water involved can be the perfect way to take stunning photos.
Setting up a photoshoot where your models can let loose and have a great time with water pistols, water bombs, and hoses is the perfect way to create some wonderful summer memories.
This is an idea that can be paired well with a pool party photoshoot(see also: Family Photoshoot Ideas) theme.
23. Looking Down
Playing with angles is a great way to get some really interesting and unique photographs of groups of friends. It is very common for people to take photographs of themselves and their friends from a high angle, especially when they are taking selfies.
However, taking a photo from below with the models looking down into the lens can make a refreshing shot. It can also give the models a chance to express their true personalities through poses and expressions.
You may need to play around with the lighting to avoid creating silhouettes.
24. Up Top
Another great pose suggestion is high fives. This provides movement and is a common action among friends so it should help to get your models to relax a bit. You can get really creative with it if you have a larger group of friends.
You can have a hand closer to the camera that the other friends are reaching up to, trying to high-five the fingertips. These are photographs that work well in all different types of situations and settings.
25. Dance It Out
We have mentioned a few times in this article that movement is the key to creating beautiful and effortless photographs of friends. There is no better way to showcase this than by getting the group of best friends that you are photographing to dance together.
Get them to play their favorite music to get them in the mood. This idea can work in the studio or out on location and it can even work in all kinds of weather conditions.
Remember that these photos are likely to be blurred and less polished than posed shots but that is the beauty of them.
26. Create A Best Friend Stack
If you are looking to create some posed photos that capture the fun and personality of the group of friends that you are photographing, this could be the perfect pose. There are many ways that you can get the group to create a stack.
Having one sitting, one crouching, and one standing is the simplest way. However, if the group is more athletic, you can get them to balance on one another. Getting each model to pull a different face can be the perfect way to add fun to the picture.
27. Parking Lot Adventure
This is a shoot idea that may require getting prior permission to make sure that you and your models don’t get into any trouble.
However, once you have gotten permission from the appropriate people, staging a best friend photoshoot in a parking lot can garner some incredible results.
The photos will show the models being carefree and having a great time goofing around in an empty parking lot. The photographs can end up being very edgy.
28. Fun In The Snow
This is an idea that is completely dependent on the weather. However, if you have access to beautiful snowy weather, this can be the perfect backdrop for a friendship photoshoot.
There are so many possibilities for a best friend photoshoot that takes place in the snow. You can encourage the models to have a snowball fight or to make angels in the snow. Snow-covered trees can also make a great backdrop for more simple poses.
29. Get Acrobatic
If you are lucky enough to be photographing a group of best friends that are into fitness and acrobatics, you can use that to take some incredible and unique photos.
The types of poses and acrobatics that you get the models to perform should be well within their skill set to help avoid injury but you can get some cool shots this way. This idea also offers the opportunity to get some beautiful candid shots between poses.
This is a classic photoshoot idea and no list of ideas would be complete without it. There are many ways that you can create a silhouette. It is possible to create silhouettes in the studio with clever positioning of lights.
However, you can get the best photos using the sun and the sunset. There is no end to the types of poses that the models can do with this type of shoot. You can also get them to spell things out if you want to.
There are so many different ways that you can make a best friend photoshoot to help your models to create fun and lasting memories of incredible moments in their lives.
Using these ideas can help to boost your resume and help you to keep creating beautiful photography.
Frequently Asked Question
This is a difficult question to give a straight answer to. There is a time and place for both studio shoots and shoots on location.
Depending on the type of shoot that your clients are looking for, you can decide whether you would get better results from a controlled environment like a studio or whether the unpredictable nature of a location shoot would be best.