Being well prepared for your senior pictures can turn an average portraits into something AMAZING! This guide is designed to help you prepare for your senior portraits in every way, from your mindset down to your shoes!
M I N D
The most important thing I strive to portray in your session is your personality! That is what makes you so unique and that is what will make your portraits different from everyone else’s. I don’t want you to force an image of something you are not. It is most important that you are comfortable and relaxed in what you are doing and wearing. The days before your session, steer clear of stressors and do things that make you happy. Focus on creating an energy that will bring out the best of your personality. We require a parent to be present but if it would help you loosen up, bring a friend along to make you laugh and cheer you on! Relax and have fun and you will do GREAT!
B O D Y & S K I N
In the week before your session I recommend getting a full night's sleep as regularly as possible and staying hydrated. These two things can do miracles to your skin! I also suggest making sure to avoid too much sun before your session. Although a little color is always nice, lobster-red skin and tan lines are not photo-friendly! If you have to be in the sun, lather up with a good sunscreen and make sure to reapply as needed and if you find that you did get too much sun close to your session date, hydrate your skin with a good moisturizer and exfoliate when you shower. Getting a facial or doing one yourself at home can also aide is making your skin look and feel healthier for your session.
S M I L E
Now this is an important part of your senior portraits! We all know everyone has two different smiles, the one you give when you “have” to and then there is the REAL smile that exudes your true personality – I want that true smile! To achieve that smile, I may do and say some crazy things, but if you don’t think we can bring it out in you – bring a friend that can really make you smile! If you have braces, we suggest scheduling your session after they are off if possible but if it isn't, let me know and there are some tips to make them less noticeable in your portraits!
H A I R
No one stresses more about their hair than I do and one thing I know for sure is not to make any bold changes to your hair in the weeks before your session. Your portraits should reflect your day-to-day style but a little more polished so I suggest wearing your hair in a style that you would normally. Don’t be afraid of hair accessories—there are some really cool trends that look great in photographs. If you are comfortable playing around with hats, headbands, and even a flower crown, go for it! Another option is to have your hair done professionally before your session - just keep the above tips in mind. You can use your regular stylist or I have a list of stylists available to you upon request. I also recommend bringing along a comb/brush, some bobby pins, and your desired styling products to keep your style in place throughout your session.
M A K E - U P
Like your hair, we suggest keeping it to something you would do on a daily basis. Clean, simple, and matte looks photograph best. Use a foundation that is light and will not create lines on your face. If blemishes are a concern for you, do not worry about excessively covering then with concealer, we smooth and enhance the skin of all of our seniors. Choose earth tones for your eyes that compliment your skin tone and iris. Your lip color can be dependent on your outfit and the look you are going for. For your more down-to earth looks, choose a more natural to nude lip and for your bolder looks, try deep reds and plums. Cheeks should appear fresh and young – use blush to just highlight your natural beauty. Bronzer should only be used again to highlight your feature and to even your tone where needed. Make sure to bring your make-up with you for touch-ups along the way. If you to have your make-up done by a professional, I have a list of make-up artists available upon request.
N A I L S
Nails may not be something you think too much about when planning your senior portraits but they are something that will be seen indirectly and we don’t want them looking bad! I suggest that your nails be filed, shaped, and painted in a neutral color or clear. If you are a little more daring (which I also love!) pick a color that is a bold as you but will still complement your outfit choices. One thing that I suggest staying away from is any sort of design on your nails – they will be too small to see and may come off in your portraits as messy. To have your nails looking their best, do them the day before your session. All this applies to your toes too...should they be seen!
A P P A R E L
It is important that your outfits reflects your personal style so pick out items that you love and what is naturally flattering on you. We recommend planning a variety of outfits in terms of style and color – bring some classic styles as well as the trends you currently love! Plan some dressier looks as well as some more relaxed. Wear colors that compliment your skin tone and avoid those that resemble your skin tones too closely such as nudes and beiges because they don't always photograph well. If choosing an item with a pattern, stripe, or plaid, look at it from up close and far away – make sure that you like how it looks from all angles so you do not limit the poses you can do in that article of clothing. Layering is a great way to add dimension to your looks. Jackets, sweaters, and scarves are great things that can be thrown on and off to change up an outfit. Your shoes should complement your outfit and should be able to be worn at ease. It would be best to bring a pair of comfortable shoes to move from one location to the other. Like shoes, accessories should complement your outfit and can be added and subtracted to change up your look quickly. Some great accessories are trendy necklaces, bracelets, headbands, and even hats!
Be sure to try on your outfits beforehand making certain they fit properly and allow you to maneuver around in freely. You don't want to be fidgeting too much with the clothes during the session. Take into consideration the length of skirts and dresses for different poses you may want to achieve. Strapless dresses and tops are very popular and look nice in photographs, however tops with spaghetti straps do not photograph well. It would also be wise to consider the neckline of your tops – we will be photographing you from many angles, including from above, so make sure that the neckline of your top is properly fitted. Although it may not seem important, your undergarments can affect how your portraits turn out. We suggest wearing nude colored undergarments and have both a regular bra and a strapless bra if needed for your different looks.
Lastly, please insure that all of you clothing is clean and wrinkle free. Have several options planned out and bring everything with you for your session. This will be helpful in case something isn't photographing well or something gets dirty (especially if we are working with animals).
P R O P S
Props are great way to add style to your session and show off the things that you love. Feel free to bring anything along that you would like to include in your senior portraits! If you are involved in sports, consider bringing your uniform and apparel for the sports you play as well as the equipment used to play them. Musical instruments, books, and art supplies are also fun ways to show off your talents in your session. My most worked with prop is animals! When working with animals, we do ask that you have someone there that is capable of handling the animal while we are maneuvering around and when we are not using them. If you want pictures done in an area that your animal is not familiar with, I ask that you practice with them beforehand to ease the process at the time of your session. Also, make sure you have permission to have your animal in the location of your desire. If you plan on using props in your session, please let us know what you would like to use and how so we can best prepare ourselves creatively for you.