6 Secrets to Rock Your Senior Photo Session!

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1. Select 2-4 outfits that are different from each other.

Choose one outfit that has a pattern.

Your pattern should:

Reflect your personality.

Be made up of colors that compliment your skin tones.

Choose one outfit that has stronger contrast with your skin.

These images will end up looking a bit edgier when the editing process is complete.

Choose one set that makes you well-dressed, dressed-up or however you want to say it!

Guys: Dress shirt and tie

Ladies: Dress

Does it mean that it needs to be up-tight looking? No! Have fun with the idea and pair a dress shirt and loose tie with Chuck Taylors, etc.

Choose a shirt or layer with texture

Leather Jacket

Lace shirt

Knitted hat or shirt, scarf, etc.

Jean jacket

This is a good example of unobtrusive pattern.

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This is a good examle of an allover pattern that isn't too overwhelming.

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2.  Think about your accessories and details to go with the outfits

Lay out everything in advance.  




Layering a vest or two shirts, jacket, etc.



The earrings dont' become the subject here - she is! But details help to add depth and vitality.

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3.  Skin

High school years are typically when we struggle the most with our skin.

Plan for your photos in a season that isn’t so difficult (spring, summer, fall)

Moisturize your skin regularly before photos

See a dermatologist a few months prior to photos to get help as needed.

Make-up: Practice and try to find a balance between accentuating your best features and not having too much layered on that we see your make-up and not your face!

Editing:  Photographers can edit out acne, but its best to try to make it look its best to minimize editing. Many photographer charge for skin retouching.   

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4.  Reflecting You:

Do you have hobbies that have physical objects?

Bring them!

Examples (Camera, Tennis Racket and ball, Baseball and ball and mitt, Football, Flowers, Journal)

Maybe your hobbies don’t have objects!

Go somewhere that reflects your interests.

Examples (Like to go hiking? Go on a hike!)

What if my hobby has objects that are just too big?

Examples (I play the piano - I can’t bring that! No - but you could go to a cool location that has a piano and play there!

Or you could do a lifestyle segment and photograph you playing at home!

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5. Location, Location, Location!

If getting a head-shot is the most important thing to you and your family, then you can opt to go to a studio where everything is done in-house.

Some studios have a few outside spots on their studio location for you to be able to do both in-studio and outdoor lighting styled images.

If a unique location is important to reflect who you are, look for an on-site photographer who will go where you want!

Be willing to listen to the locations they are familiar with - they’ll know the best lighting to make you look your best.

If you choose a location, give the photographer a heads-up so he or she can scout it out ahead of time.

We did this shoot in her backyard! Special locations can be meaningful too.


6.  What are your plans for the photos afterwards?

Hand out wallets to friends?

Use the photos on Social Media?

Hang a canvas or a large print in your house?

Gift prints (sizes 5x7 or 8x10) to give to family?

Make an album of the images?

Let my digital negatives sit on my hard drive until the hard drive is broken and I panic about all of my lost images.

The reason this is important to think about BEFORE you get your portraits taken is because your outcome reflects who you will choose to hire. We as a society tend to gobble up digital files because they exist, but they sit on our hard drive and don’t get appreciated. So, I encourage you to consider it and DO something with the images.

What am I about?

My business is about providing art opportunities in the Altoona community as well as portraiture photography work. As a creative person, I like to dabble in other areas that allow me to bear witness to others' lives and explore what brings us all together. Though If you would like to follow along, you can check out my last blog article or join my newsletter!

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