We have been planning this post for a long time now, and we are super excited to finally share it with you all! We are so passionate about high school senior photography, and it is something that we have absolutely LOVED since day one of our business. Part of our job as photographers is to relieve as much stress as possible before the day of the session arrives, so that our clients can fully enjoy their senior portraits with no worries. The addition of our senior styling consultation has helped with this so much, because it relieves some stress regarding wardrobe choices and styling issues. However, there are still tons of other ways that you can prep before your senior portrait session in order to make it the best possible experience!
Choosing what you will wear for your portrait session is a huge decision that can make or break your senior portraits. We know that sounds dramatic… but, if you accidentally wear something that isn’t flattering on camera or something that you don’t feel confident in… it can ruin the experience for you! So, here are some of the best ways to choose what to wear:
If you do not like fitted clothing (super tight dresses or pieces that fit awkwardly) then leave them at home. If there are pieces in your closet that make you feel self-conscious or uncomfortable, don’t include them in your senior portrait wardrobe! Additionally, we will most likely be sitting on the ground, laying down, walking and doing other things that could be difficult if your clothing is uncomfortable.
On camera, solid black and white can make skin tones look very washed out and unflattering. So, when choosing outfits for your senior session, try to choose colors that pop and that compliment your hair and skin colors. Primary colors like red, royal blue and yellow photograph beautifully as well as emerald green, bright purples, pinks, oranges and any other colors that really POP! Sometimes, color combos that may seem odd in-person end up photographing beautifully on camera.
In the cooler months, adding layers to your outfits always looks stunning in portraits. A sweater with a flannel underneath paired with a vest and statement necklace or scarf adds so much dimension to your images and makes for super fun posing options. Even in the warmer months you can add these layers and dimension by wearing a tank top with a cute sheer cardigan or by throwing a denim vest over a dress. Adding layers also means that we can remove layers to create multiple different looks with just one outfit.
Sometimes textures like sequins, furs and sparkles can be considered “daring” or “over the top” but, in portraits, they are the best! Adding texture to your outfit makes the biggest difference, and it prevents the images from looking dull. Combining textures that you may not normally use together like sequins and cable knit sweaters or leather and fur make great pairs.
During a senior session, or any photo shoot, the more the merrier! When planning your outfits, don’t forget to plan accessories. Stacks of bangles, long necklaces, statement pieces, scarves, hats, bright shoes and other add-ons can make or break an outfit. Don’t be afraid to over-accessorize, either… it’s always better to have more than not enough. Going above and beyond to customize your senior portrait session makes all the difference!
When planning your outfits, make sure that you have a variety of looks. We tell all of our seniors to choose from these categories: casual, cozy, dressy, school-related, sports-related, preppy or edgy. We always recommend choosing 2-3 of those categories and finding outfits accordingly. This provides a beautiful array of looks during your senior portrait session, so each outfit looks dramatically different.
This is another huge part of a senior session that can completely alter the overall outcome of your images. We highly recommend professional hair and makeup to all of our clients for so many reasons. We promise we’re not just saying it to get you to spend more money. It really does make all of the difference.
When you are investing in a professional photographer, you want to make sure that the images look their absolute best. Professional hair and makeup artists are trained to do hair and makeup so that they photograph well. While your makeup may look amazing in person, it will look completely different on-camera, and these professionals are trained to know the difference. They will conceal spots you don’t like, contour your face so it looks the best in every light, use colors that compliment your skin to make it look flawless, make your eyes pop with false lashes and shadows, manicure your eyebrows to perfection and more. Some may think that there isn’t a difference… but we PROMISE you, the difference is big!
Preparing for a senior portrait session is stressful in and of itself. Trying to do your hair and makeup by yourself can make things ever harder. Professional camera equipment is designed to pick up every little detail in an image (even details that the eye can’t see) so hiring a professional makeup artist is the best way to go.
We don’t ever want our seniors to feel like their portrait session is just simply “taking pictures”, we want it to be an EXPERIENCE. So, if our seniors arrive after an hour of being pampered and beautified, the entire experience has already started on a good note. If a senior arrives frustrated or stressed, it can affect the entire experience, including the way you look in photographs.
*If professional hair and makeup is simply not in your budget, that is okay, too! We just recommend doing your makeup slightly heavier than normal, making sure to add a pop of color on your lips and using fake lashes if possible. Those little details will make the biggest difference!
And, one last tip! In all of the chaos of senior session preparation… don’t forget to pamper your nails! During your session, a lot of the poses we do will have your hands close to your face and in the frame, so make sure that your nails look just how you want! Try to avoid any chipped polish or crazy patterns. French manicures, light/natural colors and even nails with no color at all photograph best!
Creative. Clean. Different. We are a team of creatives in Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky specializing in high school senior photography. Senior portraits are an important commemoration and milestone that should be treated as a momentous occasion. We’d love to show you our studio and walk you through our albums, canvases and other print photography products. We can also provide more information on our collections and introduce you to our team! We’d love to help, connect with us now.