Preparing for Your Senior Portraits!

September 5, 2017

It’s finally time for your senior portraits! Congratulations!

Taking senior photos should be a fun, relaxed way of expressing your unique personality. And you want them to be amazing, because SO many people will be seeing it in the yearbook!

I remember feeling very lost and nervous before my own senior photos, so here are a few main points or common concerns to think about before your session:

1. What comes with my portrait session?

With your half session, you can expect 14 edited images, and 30 for a full one-hour session. In your contract, you receive printing rights to those photographs, so you will be able to view all of the images and share them! You can also print them if desired.

I deliver your images within 4 weeks of our session date. After I post-process the images we take during our session, I will create a gallery website for you. Through your website, anyone who has the password can download the images to their personal computer. Easy peasy!

2. What do I wear?

I recommend wearing your primary outfit to start, and bringing a secondary outfit or two. One of your secondary outfits can include a jersey or a sports uniform, or a more casual outfit that you feel amazing wearing.

In particular, I always suggest wearing a dressy-casual outfit first. Examples of a dressy-casual outfit: a collared shirt– don’t forget an undershirt– and nice pants, or a cute dress or a nice blouse and black jeans or trousers).

Make sure you feel confident. I once had a client purchase a new trendy denim shirt to wear for her photos, but then realized she didn’t love the way that shirt looked on her. Luckily, she had a backup! My point is, make sure you like the way you FEEL in that outfit, and are not just excited to wear a new outfit.


Your shoes will be in a few shots, so please avoid flip-flops or gym sneakers. Casual sneakers are fine, and flats, boots, heels (be aware you will have to walk in them) and nice sandals are great!


Please avoid any large logos. Large patterns can be distracting. Stripes and plaid can be fine, but please bring an alternative outfit to change into. In general, dark greens, grays, and reds look great in photographs.

Feel free to bring trendier clothing (vests, hats, etc.) but please do bring some classic looks so that in 50 years when you see these, you won’t regret your faux fur feather vest.


Bring accessories, particularly scarves if it’s fall! Who doesn’t love a good infinity scarf?

Jewelry is great, and if you’re unsure, I always keep it simple. Coco Chanel always recommended removing one accessory before leaving the house. Simple and classic is always best, when in doubt!


Please make sure nails are neat and clean.

Make sure your makeup is not too heavy and that it’s blended in nicely. I have a few makeup artists I love, so if you need recommendations, don’t hesitate to let me know!

Tip: Moisturize your face/lips before your session! In close-ups, this will look really nice.

Facial Hair

I love a good beard. Please trim or sculpt it a day before your session so that you come looking your best!

3. What do I bring?

In addition to outfit changes, please bring any props you want to use, such as:

-sports equipment

-musical instruments

-a prop from anything you are passionate about. Do you dance? Bring your ballet shoes.

-sometimes people bring their dog!

4. So you woke up with a gigantic zit.

That still happens to me– I get it. I am mindful when I edit your images. I edit out large, distracting pimples in close-up portraits if there are any, and I tend to lightly smooth the skin. Just remember that it’s my job to make you look like your best self, so relax and definitely talk to me if you have any concerns.

Sunburns, on the other hand, are nearly impossible to retouch. If you get badly sunburned and you’re worried, let’s reschedule!

Please let me know ahead of time if you want anything in particular edited out. I may need to charge for the extra editing time. (Additionally, some folks like their teeth whitened slightly, so just let me know if this is the case for you.)

Other Notes


If you have a location in mind, great!! What I look for is a clean backdrop that is visually appealing and good lighting. Not all locations are possible for a nice portrait, so keep that in mind.

If you don’t have any preferences or want some ideas, I can pick the session location. It’s good to have an idea in mind for the vibe you’d like. For example, do you want architectural photos taken on a staircase, etc? Or more nature-oriented photos take in a field?

Ideas/Must-Have Shots

If you have any specific ideas or senior picture inspiration, please bring them or email them to me ahead of time!

Note to parents: Give your student space!

I love to take some pictures of the people who brought you to your session!

Parents/guardians: During the portrait session, please be aware that your student may not feel comfortable with you standing there watching them. It’s nothing personal– just something I have observed with some seniors. Consider taking a walk, or even running an errand for 20 minutes. Alternatively, students, if you feel nervous and want a parent or a buddy with you, by all means feel free to bring people! People who can make you laugh during portraits get an extra gold star from me. 🙂

Feel free to email me with any questions about your senior portraits! We’ll rock this, don’t worry.

#seniorpicture #seniorphotos #portraits

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

the free guide

the free guide —

send me the guide

Over the years, I was asked the same questions. “What do I wear?” “What colors look best on camera?” This FREE guide will tell you all you need to know about how to prepare for your session!

your couples session

FREE GUIDE: How to Prepare (and look your best) for