HOW TO PREP FOR YOUR

SENIOR SESSION


We understand that preparing for a portrait session takes a lot of work!  Part of our job as your photographers is to relieve as much stress as possible before your session, so you can enjoy your experience without worries.  We want to help you look awesome in your photos, so they best represent your personality and style.

To make preparing for your portrait session a little less stressful, we have compiled a list of some helpful recommendations below.  Keep in mind that the recommendations are simply that, recommendations. It’s your portrait session, so feel free to fully incorporate your own unique style.  If you still feel lost after reading this, or if you are unsure about an outfit/prop you would like to bring, or just need some advice - please don't hesitate to contact us for help. 

 

WHAT TO WEAR

The most important factor in deciding what to wear is whether or not you are comfortable.  Comfort is key - if you don't feel great in what you are wearing, it will show in your images.  Choose items that reflect you, and that you'd be seen wearing any other day.  Also consider that you'll be moving around a lot during your session -  sitting, laying down, walking, dancing - whatever suits you!  You may not want to wear something too restrictive or that could be easily damaged, unless it's a special item of clothing you want to showcase in your session.  Are you a visual person?  Check out our ever-growing Senior Pinterest Board for some more inspo!

Mix It Up

Consider mixing up your colors and prints.  Complementary or analogous colors and patterns are great.    Avoid solid blacks and whites, as they can wash out skin tones.  We adore bright colors that compliment your hair, skin, and eyes, and add 'pop' to your photos.  

We are also fans of mixed patterns, despite the rules against them that you may have heard in the past ;)   If it suits you, mix those prints!  Mixing patterns/prints can add a lot of fun to your images; just be careful not to overdo it, and feel free to ask us for assistance if mixing patterns completely baffles you.  And can we talk about TEXTURES for a minute?!  Maybe mixing patterns isn't your thing, but mixing textures should be everyone's thing.  A denim shirt paired with a sequin skirt, or a knit sweater with a leather jacket - yes please!  Varying textures of clothing look fantastic in pictures!  On the other hand, avoid clothing with obvious/large logos or words.  The pictures should showcase you, not your clothing, and loud clothing or patterns could distract from the star of the show (you!)

All About Those Layers

 

Layers are fantastic for quick outfit changes or adjusting your comfort level depending on the weather.  In fact, clothes often look better in photographs when they are layered.  During the summer months this may be more difficult to accomplish; but, consider adding some sort of cardigan, blazer or jacket to finish your look.  Layering can also be done with accessories like a vest or belt (it's amazing how the little details can change a photo!)  Again, be sure to choose clothing that is comfortable and fits properly when layered.

The Change Up


We feel that creating a variety of images is essential for a successful portrait session.  A great way to do this is by making simple wardrobe changes.  We won't force you to bring a change of clothes if that's not your thing, but consider bringing additional outfits to your session to switch things up.  We suggest having options such as a dressy look (a nice dress/a suit or some slacks and a jacket), a casual look (jeans and a vintage tee) and maybe something in between ( jeans with high heels/leather jacket and some dress shoes).  ​

IT'S THE LITTLE THINGS

 

Accessorizing is another great way to mix it up or layer it up!  Bring some options for yourself (e.g. scarves, hats, ties, hair accessories, belts, jewelry, etc.)  They will add a lot to your images, but if you don't like them, you can always take them off!

 

The Bling

Wearing jewelry is also a great way to insert your personal style into your portraits, but any jewelry you choose to wear should be kept simple and to a minimum.  Too much 'bling' can be a big distraction ;)

If You Wear Glasses 

Most people tend to remove their glasses when it’s time to take pictures, but if you wear glasses most of the time and that's how your friends and family are used to seeing you, you’ll want to keep them on during your session. Unfortunately, lenses can create hard reflections that make it difficult to see your eyes through the camera, so we recommend requesting that your optometrist temporarily remove your lenses for your photos.  You may also consider purchasing a cheap pair for your session (www.zennioptical.com has some great options) or borrowing a frame from your optometrist.  If any of these options are not possible for you, no worries!  We will still get great photos, and we'll work with you on finding the appropriate lighting and setting.

 

HAIR AND MAKEUP

Even if you have your own YouTube channel for beauty demos, we recommend getting your hair or makeup done professionally, if it fits into your budget.  It is one less thing you will have to worry about when preparing for your session, and professionals know what will look best in pictures.  Besides, isn't your senior session a great excuse for some pampering?!  If that isn't affordable for you, or you would just prefer to spiff yourself up, here are some tips:

Ladies

Makeup is a good thing – just make sure you have even coverage.  Use a good mascara or eyeliner that goes on evenly and without clumping.  Close-up portraits will easily pick up uneven makeup.  We get that blemishes happen; but, if it's going to take a lot of concealer to cover a blemish, it is often better to allow us to remove it for you during editing instead of trying to correct extra cover-up.  Use your normal amount of makeup.  Bring your eyeliner, lip gloss or lipstick, and a powder along to touch-up, as needed.

For your hair, it's best to go with a style that is comfortable and flexible - something that is easy to put up or take down without too much work or product.  You may want the option of wearing your hair down in some photos, so we don't recommend any fancy up-dos unless you are alright with that style in all of your images.  Remember to bring hair ties, bobby pins, clips, etc. so you can easily change your look through out your session.

Guys

This section isn't just for the ladies!  You will likely fix your hair as you normally do, but bring some extra hair product and a comb with you, if applicable.  This will keep you looking fresh throughout your session.  Shave the night before your session, not the day of, and be sure to moisturize well if you tend towards razor burn.  And just like the ladies, don't fret too much over blemishes - we can remove them during editing, if desired.  

For everyone, make sure your nails and cuticles look nice!  Give them a good trim and buff, or take your bestie for a mani before your session (it's totally cool for guys to do that, too).  MOISTURIZE.  Dry skin can really detract from a great photo.  Pay special attention to your arms, shoulders, neck, face, hands, and legs.  Bring chapstick or lip gloss, too!

B.Y.O.P


Props are the best!  We love props!  Can you sense our excitement?!  Adding props to your session is what can turn an already awesome photo into something that us uniquely YOU.  This session is about showing off who you are and what you love.  We love to capture your favorite activities, sports, hobbies, or accomplishments.  Here are some ideas for things you may wish to bring along:

Sports: Team uniform/jersey, cleats, ball, bat/stick/racquet/Quiddich broom, Pom-Poms, trophy

Hobbies: Books, skateboard, cool suitcase, signs/quotes, hula hoops

Music: Instruments, sheet music, music stand

CONSIDER THE DETAILS (you'll want to read this)
Just before your senior photo session is probably not the best time to try something totally new (unless you're the brave, roll-with-it-type, then GO FOR IT and we'll have a blast with your new look!)  If that's not you, then avoid any major hair cut or color changes right before your session. If you are uncomfortable with your new look still, it will show.
If you're bringing along some dress shoes, take a moment to make sure they're clean and polished.  Lay your outfits out the night before, and take care to prevent wrinkles as much as possible.  If it looks a little wrinkled in person, it will look extremely wrinkled on camera.  Wrinkles cast shadows that are very obvious in photos.  If you’re wearing something that wrinkles easily, don’t wear it in the car on the way to your session – just change at your session location.  Typically, our senior clients make at least one wardrobe change during their session, but no pressure.
The most important thing to remember about preparing for your portrait session is that it’s YOUR session. Be yourself!  We will work to keep you cool and collected in front of the camera, and we will interact with you to help you smile, laugh, goof off, have fun!  Focus on doing your thing, relax and have fun - we will capture the best of you.  
Remember: Consultations are free!  If this list has left you scratching your head at how to make this an amazing session that shows off your unique personality, email us or give us a call with any questions or further ideas. 
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