Senior Session Guide

Stuck on what to wear? I’m here to help! Here are some of my favorite tips and tricks to help you guide your outfit choices. Choosing what you will wear for your photo shoot is a huge decision that can make or break your senior portrait session! I know that sounds dramatic, but if you wear something that isn’t flattering on camera or something that you don’t feel confident in…it can ruin the experience for you!

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Deciding what to wear for your senior session:

1. Be COMFORTABLE:

If you do not like fitted clothing (super tight dresses or pieces that fit awkwardly) then leave them at home! Personally, I try to steer clear of items that are fitted in the tummy area (don’t we all?) just because it makes me self-conscious and I’m constantly wondering if it looks bad. So, if there are pieces in your closet that make you feel self-conscious or uncomfortable, don’t include them in your senior portrait wardrobe! Additionally, we will most likely be sitting on the ground, laying down, walking and doing other things that could be difficult if your clothing is uncomfortable!

2. Add LAYERS:

In the cold months (fall + winter), adding layers to your outfits always looks STUNNING in portraits! A sweater with a flannel underneath paired with a vest + statement necklace or scarf adds so much dimension to your images and makes for super fun posing options! Even in the warmer months (spring + summer) you can add these layers + dimension by wearing a tank top with a cute sheer cardigan or by throwing a denim vest over a dress!

3. MIX it up:

When planning your outfits, make sure that you have a VARIETY of looks! I tell all of my seniors to choose from these categories: casual, cozy, dressy, school-related, sports-related, preppy or edgy. I always recommend choosing 2-3 of those categories and finding outfits accordingly. This provides a beautiful array of looks during your senior portrait session, so each outfit looks dramatically different!

Outfit Tips:

What to Wear

  • Nude and appropriate undergarments - if you wear a strapless top or dress, be sure to bring a strapless bra option!

  • Clean shoes that go with each outfit

  • Complimentary layers

  • Outfits that make sense for the season

  • Functional clothing - if you want to get the most out of your poses, you need to be able to sit, squat, stand, etc.

  • A variety of outfits that show off your true personality - not ALL shorts, or dresses, or pants, etc. Mix it up!

  • Clothing that fits you well and accentuates your best assets - make sure to try every single piece of clothing on before bringing it to your session!

What NOT to Wear

  • Wrinkled clothing - make sure to iron or steam everything and bring it all on hangers

  • Undergarments that don't match or bra straps that show

  • Dirty or worn out shoes

  • Dresses, skirts or shorts that reveal too much when moving/posing

  • Crop tops - they look cute in person but are not flattering on most people in photos!

  • Tight or ill-fitted outfits that accentuate problem areas

  • Too many outfits of the same type or color


Style Breakdown:

Start With Neutrals

  • When planning your outfits, you can never go wrong with neutrals. Start with these neutrals: black, white, grey or denim. When choosing whites - the brighter the white, the more contrast it will give with your skin which will pop. Add color from there!

Bold + Warm Colors

  • On camera, colors that are neon or bland can make skin tones look very washed out and unflattering. Try to avoid these colors. Warm and rich tones end up photographing beautifully on camera and will really compliment your hair + skin colors. Think of colors that are BRIGHT, RICH or BOLD.

Patterns + Textures

  • When looking for patterns, again - think BOLD. Stripes, gingham, big floral or leaf prints, etc. Adding texture to your outfit makes the biggest difference, and it prevents the images from looking dull. Combining textures that you may not normally use together like sequins + cable knit sweaters or leather + fur make great pairs!

Accesorize

  • When planning your outfits, don’t forget to plan accessories. Stacks of bangles, long necklaces, statement pieces, scarves, hats, bright shoes and other add-ons can make an outfit REALLY stand out! These items not only help your outfit look better and more put together, but it helps you with posing as well - it will give your photos more variety and interest.


Checklist:

Use this checklist as a guideline to make sure you have everything ready for your session so you can feel confident and excited coming in without worrying about forgetting anything! 

 

TWO DAYS BEFORE SESSION:

  • All outfit options purchased/picked out

  • All clothing ironed or steamed and put onto hangers

  • Undergarments for each outfit cleaned and packed in your bag

  • Accessories and shoes for each outfit packed in your bag

  • Haircut/color completed

  • Nail appointment completed or happening soon

DAY BEFORE SESSION:

  • Drink plenty of water - this helps keep your skin clear

  • Get at least 7-8 hours of sleep

DAY OF SESSION:

  • Make sure to grab all clothes, shoes, accessories and undergarments that you packed.

  • Leave with plenty of time to get to our meeting location, get all your stuff inside, and get settled in before your session time begins.


...and that's a wrap!

You're ready for your session. You've made all the preparations, followed this guide step-by-step, and now you're ready to show up and blow this session out of the water! I can't wait to create beautiful images and have a blast with you!