Specializing in capturing memories of families, high school seniors, children, and pets.

How to prepare for your Senior Session

Graduating from High School is a huge milestone – getting your Senior portrait done is a memorable way to capture this important time in your life. Below is some advice as well as some tips and tricks in order to get the most out of your Senior session:


GIRLS. How to look for your session.  Even though clothing selection is important, first and foremost what should stand out in your portraits is your face and expressions.  Everything else comes secondary.  Don’t be afraid to practice smiling in a mirror!  With that consideration, makeup is one of the most important elements you can prep for your shoot.  Good makeup will ultimately help even out your skin tones, and give you that extra “omph” for your portraits.  Even if you do not normally wear makeup or tend to wear very little, it is recommended that on the day of your shoot that it is worn slightly heavier than normal.  Think about how you might wear your makeup to prom or homecoming – but of course not so over-the-top as you still want to look like you. Ultimately, this will help bring out your best features and make your images go from nice to fabulous.  Avoid makeup with SPF as it tends to create shine (this can also be controlled by using translucent powder that removes shine) and wear mascara that doesn’t clump when applied.  Your Senior session is a special day, so another great option is to pamper yourself and have your make-up professionally done with professional quality make-up to help make you look your best!

Hair being done by a stylist is also a great option that will take your session a step above, but don’t stray too far from your normal hair-do so that you still look like “you”.  Bring a comb, small mirror, and even hair spray with you for quick hair touch-ups.  It would also be good to be prepared with clips or pins in case it happens to be windy on the day of your shoot.


BOYS. How to look for your session.  Again as said with the girls, what should stand out is you.  I recommend preparing both casual and semi-formal attire.  If highlighting a particular hobby or sport, plan to start off casual with a dark wash of jeans and a nice tee or button-down shirt.  Please avoid wearing shorts and graphic tees as this sometimes becomes too casual! Later on if desired, switch into a pair of khaki’s and different top/sneakers. Most importantly wear clothes you feel comfortable in.

Look the part.  Come prepared with a few different outfit options to select from as some outfits may fit better with the location than others.  Think from head to toe what you want to wear, including shoes and accessories that will complete the outfit.  Also think variety to change up your style during the shoot – something dressy, something semi-dressy, and some casual outfits that are a reflection of your style.  Darker shades tend to be more slimming, so when wearing  jeans it is recommended to wear a darker wash.  Ladies, adding a dress into the mix is also great for summer shoots.  Feel free to take photos of your outfits prior to the shoot and email me them for my opinion/suggestions.  I am happy to help!

Other things to avoid…

– using the same color for all outfits, or larger, contrasty patterns that are overly distracting that will lead us away from looking at you.

– wrinkled and linty clothing. Please iron out wrinkles prior to the shoot as wrinkles will show in images! Try using a lint roller, especially on darker clothing, to remove any stray lint or hair.

– colors that may be too similar to your skin tone (ie: beige, pale peach, pale gray, tan, etc.) as you do not want to look washed out in your images.

– flip flops – we will be taking photos close up, full-length, and everything in between.  Flip flops at times can be too casual.

– baggy, oversized clothes. Clothes that pull away too loosely from the body will make you appear bigger than you really are.  Girls, if you have a loose, trendy top or dress you’d love to wear, accessorize with a belt to make it more form-flattering.

– chipped nail polish.  If planning to wear nail polish on your fingers and toes, avoid bright, distracting colors.  Basic or more natural colors that complement multiple outfits works best.

– showing undergarments.  Make sure you have the appropriate undergarments for each outfit so we don’t have to “tuck” or hide anything away.

– putting together your outfit last minute.  Once your session is scheduled, start the planning process.  Start laying your outfits out and see what each outfit may need to make it feel “complete”, whether it’s adding accessories or swapping shoes.

Get inspiration GIRLS. If you’re totally stuck on what you should wear, magazines and the internet is a great resource for inspiration.  Pinterest is great for both finding and creating a “mood board” for ideas on what you may like for your session.  Feel free to share it with me too!  Simply search keywords such as “senior portraits”, “senior pictures”, “senior girls”, and so forth for ideas.  You can also start by checking out the Senior Style board I have created here:  http://pinterest.com/esheehanphoto/senior-style-inspiration/

Get inspiration BOYS.  Stuck on what to wear or what direction you should go for your photos? Below is some inspiration to get some ideas rolling. Here is the boys Senior Style Pinterest board: http://www.pinterest.com/esheehanphoto/senior-style-inspiration-boys/

Come with an open mind and relax.  Getting your portrait taken can be sometimes nerve-wracking and intimidating, but that’s why I’m there to help.  This is a great opportunity to show off who you are and have fun!  Let’s make your portrait session relaxing and fun and your photos will benefit as a result!

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