Senior Portrait Tips


Congratulations on reaching a huge milestone! Whether you're graduating from high school or from college, this is such an exciting time and well deserving of being captured in beautiful photographs for you and your loved ones to look back on. That is why I feel the need to share some tips that will have you looking your absolute best for your senior photo session.

1. Hair, Skin, & Nails

Makeup: You will not want to skip this part! Whether you are used to doing your own makeup everyday or not, trust me when I say that makeup is different when it comes to photos! If it's in the budget, have a professional do some natural looking makeup to accentuate your natural beauty. They will know just how to make you look photo-ready without overdoing it and you won't have to stress out wondering if your makeup looks right before your photo session. If you need a referral, Aesthetics Reimagined and Betsy's Pro Makeup Artistry both do a lovely job and they are local!

If you prefer to do your own makeup, then apply it a little bit heavier than you normally would. Try using foundation primer underneath your makeup! If you already have flawless skin, you don't want to go too heavy on the foundation. Just make sure you bring a little touch-up kit for your lips and something to blot any shiny areas on your skin.

Speaking of your skin, make sure you stay hydrated and don't stay out in the sun too long the week of your session. Sunburn and tan lines are hard to ignore in photos and you want your retouching to look as natural as possible. I would recommend sticking to your normal skincare routine until after your session.

Hair: Everyone's hair is different, but a couple of things you don't want to do is get a new haircut or try out a new color the week of your session. If you don't like how it turns out then you won't be completely satisfied with your photos either. Otherwise, if you just need your hair styled, I recommend setting up an appointment with your stylist for the day of our session if possible. If your hair poofs up in humidity and we're shooting outdoors on a warm day, then you may want to wear your hair pinned back or let your stylist know so that he/she can use the appropriate styling products to keep your hair tamed in the humidity.

Nails: This is one that almost everyone forgets about, but it's just as important as you will likely be posed in ways that will incorporate your hands, sometimes close up like the photo above. These days, you can get a manicure almost anywhere without breaking the bank, so it's worth it to make sure your hands look nice. Neutral colors like mauve, nude pink, or a french manicure look best if painting your nails. Again, if it's not in the budget, this is something you can do at home.

2. Wardrobe

This is definitely the most frequently asked question. What the heck do I wear? If I had to sum that up in one sentence, here it is: Wear something you will feel both comfortable and confident in! It's best to choose something flattering that you can move in, but also speaks to your personal style. If you're not into long dresses or high heels, don't try to pull it off for a photo shoot. You will feel awkward and self conscience, which is the last thing you want when you're trying to look your best. Portraits are about capturing your personality and that will be hard to do if you don't feel good about what you're wearing!

3. Layering

Sometimes just an extra layer that you can easily take off can be the perfect finishing touch to an ensemble. You can add layers to almost any outfit with scarves, jackets, or cardigans and end up with two looks in one. Denim is great for this! Check out my Pinterest board Senior Style Guide to see some examples of outfits and what you can do with layers.

4. Plan Ahead

Having your picture taken doesn't have to be nerve wracking. Make sure you plan your outfits ahead and get plenty of rest the night before. You want to look alert and well rested.

Try to avoid squeezing your photo session into an already tight schedule. If you can, choose a day that you don't already have school or work. Even take the day off if it's feasible so that you can take your time getting ready and as a result, feel more confident that you look your best.

Punctuality is important. Please understand that if you are running late, that doesn't mean that you can make up for lost time at the end of your session. Often times, we are shooting on location and have scheduled our session strategically for the best lighting conditions, so if we start super late, then we have lost shooting time.

5. Relax and Have Fun!

So, you have arrived on time looking fabulous, the weather is perfect, and everything seems to be going to plan. What now? Relax and let the fun begin! If you get nervous in front of the camera, don't worry. I'm going to tell you exactly what to do so that you don't look nervous or awkward in your photos. Remember, people have already seen what you look like in real life, so never worry that you won't look good in your photos! And a little secret...the camera doesn't add 10 lbs...that's a myth.

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