I LOVE everything about photographing your high school senior! Our time with our children is fleeting, we capture hundreds if not thousandes of images while they are little; but, this time in their lives is just as important and as fleeting! I love this age, they have their whole lives ahead of them! They love to dress up, feel beautiful, and show the world who they are!! I help them see that - see who they are, and who they are becoming!! Helping with how to prepare for your senior session can make or break the whole experience! It is my job as the photographer to make the process as stress-free as possible! The best way for me to do that is to help my seniors prepare for their session with me. My Senior Style Guide is so helpful with this. However, there are still a bunch of other ways that you can prep in order to make it the BEST possible experience!
Once we have established our vison board for the afternoon and are finding dates to work together - its time to start preparing for the day. Here are some things to consider before the session.
Choosing what you will wear for your photo shoot is a huge decision that should be well thought out! Once we have a clear vison of what we want to achieve, we can start finding the correct clothing choices to best suit and fit the location, mood and feel of the session. If you end up wearing something that isn’t flattering or something that you don’t feel confident in…it can create unnecessary stress for you! So, here are some tips on choosing outfits:
1. First and formost- think COMFORT:
If you do not like fitted clothing, don’t bring it! If it is going to make you feel self-conscious then it probably isn’t the best choice. Additionally, there are times we will be laying down, sitting on the ground, leaning, walking, and maybe even dancing so you want to be comfortable.
I have a selection of clothing girls can use - however I like girls to also use some of their own outfits to fit their unique style and personality!
2. Think light and Bright:
Consider bold - bright colors that compliment your skin tones. Black + white can sometimes make skin tones look very washed out and unflattering on camera. Think of crisp clean, bright pastel colours, for a fresh look. Great colors to consider are shades of pink, emerald green, blues, yellow, purples, and any other colors that are bold!
3. Add LAYERS:
In the fall it is always great to think about layers! A sweater or a jean jacket over a cute top or sweater can really add dimension and also makes for fun posing possibilities.
Changing and adding accessories can totally change the look of an outfit without changing your whole outfit! Think about flower crowns, hats, scarves, statement earrings, statement necklaces, hair accessories/ scarves, and bracelets! Bring MORE than you think you will need, your photographer can help you put it all together!
Make sure that you have a variety of looks! Think about these categories: casual, dressy, formal, dreamy, location-related (ie Beach), sports-related, music related. My seniors typically choose 4-6 outfits and choose from these categories.
HAIR + MAKEUP:
Ladies, if you’re planning to bare your underarms or legs, make sure they’re shaved to your preference. And everyone, don’t go near those tanning beds, products, or sunbathing – we want you to look natural.
For the boys....Shave at an appropriate time before your shoot. Gentlemen, if you’re usually clean-shaven, go ahead and shave that morning. If you’re rocking facial hair, clean it up, so it’s not unkempt
If you want to get a haircut before your session, make sure to do it at least one week out. The last thing you need is a new ‘do to turn out poorly or require a new way of styling it right before your shoot. If you want to have it professionally styled the day of, try to use someone you trust who knows your hair. Also, don’t feel like you need to go super formal – it’s nice to show off your usual style.
This is another big part of a senior session is your make-up! Things to consider: will you do your hair and make up yourself or have it done by a professional?
Just like clothes and hairstyles, try not to overdo your makeup. While you might want to slightly amp up your normal look, you also don’t want to go overboard and end up not looking like yourself. It’s best to avoid super sparkly or shiny eyeshadow and lip gloss. Go ahead and bring your makeup (especially powder) to the shoot so you can touch it up as needed.
If you will be having a professional do your hair and make up make sure you make those appointments early and book a time slot early enough to give you some wiggle room if the appointment goes a bit long!
*If professional hair + makeup is simply not in your budget, that is ok! I do recommend doing your makeup slightly heavier than normal, and using fake lashes if possible!
Don’t Forget the Nails!
I know it’s one more thing but its important! Don’t forget your nails (fingers and toes)! A lot of the poses we do will have your hands close to your face and in the frame, so make sure that your nails look just how you want! White/ light nails or a french manicure will photograph best!!
Think About Props
Do you have a sport, hobby, or club that was a big part of your high school experience? Consider bringing something to represent your passions, whether it’s a soccer ball, instrament, or dance shoes.