Preparing for Your Senior Portrait Session

September 5, 2017






Your senior portrait session will be a total breeze! Senior portraits are one of my favorite types of photography. 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 do I wear?


Bring a few options. If you have a one-hour session, I would recommend 3 outfit changes. One of those can include a jersey or a sports uniform. If you have a half-hour session, please bring two outfits.

In particular, bring a nice, but casual outfit (sweater and jeans, for example) and a dressy-casual outfit. Examples of a dressy-casual outfit: a collared shirt– don’t forget an undershirt– and slack or nice jeans, or a cute dress or a nice blouse and dark jeans or trousers).

*Hot tip* Make sure to take your ponytail holder off of your wrist before your session.


Make sure you feel confident. It’s tempting to go out and buy a new amazing outfit for your photos, but if you already have a dress that makes you feel hella good, why not wear that? ๐Ÿ™‚






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– keep it simple, or bring a variety of stuff to try.



If you paint your nails, please make sure they look nice and clean.

Make sure your makeup is not too heavy and that it’s blended in nicely.

*Hot tip* Moisturize your 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!



A glare from glasses is sometimes impossible to edit out without looking distracting. If you wear glasses, perhaps consider bringing contacts if you have them for a few photos.


2.  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!


3.  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 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.


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!



Give your student space/Don’t be afraid to ask for 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. ๐Ÿ™‚



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





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