Tips for Senior Portraits
Plan several outfits to bring.
You should arrange to bring several outfits to your photo session in a variety of colors, not just your favorite hue. Include different styles, such as casual, semiformal, formal or outdoors, so you can take several pictures and get your best shots.
Remember to bring accessories for all outfits, from footwear to jewelry and hair accents. Since several full-body shots are also taken for purchase, check shoes to be sure they are clean and that both socks match – that full-body shot could end up being your favorite pose.
Check your clothing ahead of time to make sure it isn’t spotted or faded, and transport your outfits (you can wear one when you arrive) on hangers to prevent wrinkles.
Keep your clothing visually simple.
Don’t bring outfits with words or designs, stripes or pictures, except possibly your school logo. You want your face, eyes and expression to command attention, not the words on your shirt.
Give consideration to color.
Solid colors are recommended for most or all outfits. 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.
Darker shades tend to make people look slimmer. Try not to wear flesh-tone or neutral colors such as white, beige, tan, pale peach or pink, or gray, as these can dominate the picture and make you look washed out.
For outside pictures, I recommend spring and summer colors of sky blue, pale green, watermelon and dark peach to complement the outdoor setting. For fall, consider wearing red, gold, deep orange, emerald green and dark green.
Use clothing to accentuate your best features.
Girls may want to forego short sleeves or spaghetti straps if their arms are heavy, since these styles will only accentuate that feature.
Turtleneck tops look best on people with long necks. Round and square faces look good in a square-neck top, while thin faces or pointed chins are attractive with rounded-neck tops.
Go easy on the jewelry.
Avoid wearing attention-grabbing jewelry. Again, the photograph should accentuate your face, eyes and personality, not draw unwarranted attention to your jewelry.
Also, jewelry can date a photograph very quickly. Classic jewelry pieces are best.
Apply makeup normally.
It’s tempting to get very “glam” when having pictures taken, but this could very well make you look like a stranger in your senior portrait.
Apply your makeup as you normally look on a day-to-day basis, but bring your makeup with you.
If I feel you need a touch more blush or eyeshadow, I will let you know.
Avoid glitter or sparkly anything (powder, eye shadow, blush) – it tends to reflect the flash and leaves white spots.
Also avoid too much lip gloss. It can also leave white spots from the flash or make you look like you’re drooling.
If you have it, bring along some translucent powder. While in real life, a bit of shine to the face gives you that “dewy glow,” it unfortunately can look like “too much glow” in photos.
I can direct you if you need to dab some powder on your forehead or nose.
Go with practiced hair styles.
Getting senior portraits done is not the time to leave your hair uncombed for that “natural” look. Also, avoid experimental hairstyles.
In general, friends and family prefer to remember you as you looked most of your senior year, not just during the period when you had your pictures taken.
I suggest working with your desired hairstyles a few days before the photo shoot to get the look you want in advance.
If you need a haircut , get it at least a week in advance to give your hair a chance to adjust and look natural. Girls having their hair styled for a formal picture can, of course, wait until the photo session day to get their hair done, but they should practice with their hair stylist beforehand so there are no surprises on picture day.
Guys need a fresh shave.
A fresh shave for guys is recommended, and moustaches or beards should be neatly trimmed.
Don’t worry about blemishes.
Don’t worry about a blemish or bruise. These are easily retouched.
Stay away from tans.
Don’t overdo the tanned look. For one thing, it looks unnatural. For another, your pictures could reveal peeling skin or a cherry-red nose.
Help your glasses avoid glare.
Either buy or borrow a pair of suitable frames without lenses to prevent glare and reflections from the glass.
Or you can ask your optician to remove the lenses from your frames for the photo session. Most will do this for you at no charge, but give them plenty of notice so there is no rush.
Make sure your hands are presentable.
Like shoes, hands can show 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.
Personalize your photos with props.
Bring favorite props to the shoot, such as 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.
Usually you can even bring your pet to appear in some of the shots with you.