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What To Know
Your Senior Session!

Congratulations on your upcoming graduation! The time has finally come! Freedom awaits….just some finals, graduation, and of course….your senior portraits.

Senior portraits can be an incredibly fun experience and not one to be missed. As much as some of us hate getting our picture taken, it’s important to capture this special time in your life. A senior portrait session isn’t complete without some laughter, getting to know each other, silly banter, and a bit of traditional senior portrait posing mockery. ;)

I’ve compiled a list of tips and advice for you to help make your session as fun and stress free as possible.

Bring all the things!

You should plan on bringing several outfits to your session. Your session allows for around 2 outfit changes depending on the shoot location and time frame. Be sure to bring a good variety of outfits that make sense for your session location. Your photographer can go through the options with you at the beginning of the session and help you coordinate what you’re wearing with the location and your desired ‘look’ for the shoot! 

Keep your clothing visually simple.

Don’t bring outfits with logos, crazy prints, words, stripes, or pictures. We want your face, eyes and expression to be the focus, not the logo on your shirt! 

Also make sure the color of your undershirt coordinate well with your outfits and don’t show through your clothing. If you need a strapless, please bring one to your session. Tucking or moving straps will not always work.

Color counts!

Solid colors or mellow patterns look great and are not too distracting. Colors that go well with a medium or dark background for close-ups include medium or dark tones of green, brown, rust, wine or blue.  Try not to wear flesh-tone or neutral colors such as beige, or tan as these can dominate the picture and make you look washed out.

For outdoor shoots, you want to dress based on where you’re shooting. For nature locations textured fabrics and seasonal colors work well. For urban/city locations, feel free to dress up a bit, layering always looks great and adds depth. Try to choose colors that will pop against the city scene.

If your session is an outdoor snow session, jewel colors are amazing.

Colorful, pop of color with the white background can make you stand out.

Go au-naturale with your makeup.

While you want to amp up the coverage a little bit, you want your makeup to look like it normally does day to day. Bring your makeup with you on the shoot and let your photographer know you have it just in case.  Natural lips tend to look the best, avoid crazy glossy coverage and deep or bright pinks and reds. Lastly, Bring Powder – You can get warm during your shoot changing and posing, you don’t want a shiny forehead in your final images!

Side note – Please don’t be concerned about minor breakouts. If your acne is more severe, you’re okay. Your photographer can take care of all of that during post editing.

No heavy tanning or spray tanning before the shoot!

Listen ya’ll, there’s only so much we can do with post editing if you look like a orange the day of the shoot. Tanning in excess can look unnatural and can throw your skin tone off.

Your hands will be in those close ups.

Your hands will end up in some of your favorite poses, so be sure to take the time to make them presentable – guys should trim their nails, and girls might need to touch up their manicure.


Go to the mirror and practice those facial expressions.

YES. Seriously! Before you go to the photo shoot, practice your facial expressions in front of a mirror at home. Try a variety of expressions to see what you like and don’t like. Figure out what expressions you like and don’t like so you feel more comfortable when you’re in front of the camera. 

​​Practice Posing.

Your photographer will give you plenty of direction with posing, but it will help if you to try out different stances and positions at home, in front of a mirror, or by asking for feedback from a friend or family member. The overall goal is to feel like yourself and not forced.

Personalize your photos with props.

Props are an awesome way to bring your personal style and interests into your shoot. Think sports equipment if you are a team player or fan, musical instruments, or hobby items. You can even bring a favorite portable piece of furniture, such as a lightweight chair or stool. Bring different outfits that you wear while doing those hobbies such as ballet shoes, yoga gear, football jerseys, baseball hats, etc. Think outside the box and bring sheets of music, your dog!, your favorite book, the sky’s the limit!

Bring a friend!

Most photographers welcome you to bring a friend if that person can help make you relax and take a natural picture. That person can also help with clothing changes and “double check” you while you’re being photographed to make sure your clothing hasn’t taken a turn for the worse or that your hair hasn’t come all undone. Friends can also bring up those funny inside joke moments and get you laughing with is always a great shot.

Speak up!

Communication is key! If you really don’t like a certain setting or pose, say so!  You should be 100% satisfied with your photos, and photographers are not mind readers, we need you to communicate with us. Help us help you! ;)

Some last words:

Other students who have had their pictures taken already can offer tips from their experience. The bottom line is that planning ahead will make you more relaxed and confident walking into your session.

Try on different  outfits at home before deciding which ones to take and do it ahead of time. Feel free to ask your photographer anything and everything, their number one goal is for you to feel prepared, comfortable, and have fun!

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