Preparing for senior photos

High school senior girl, standing with her legs crossed, on the Nashville Pedestrian Bridge in Downtown Nashville, TN

Having your senior pictures taken is a BIG DEAL! This is the last year of high school before you make your way to college, vocational school, travel, or start working. You want to make the most of your session. Don’t let your images fall short of your expectations by not coming prepared. Here are a […]

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August 24, 2023

Neely Roberts

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Having your senior pictures taken is a BIG DEAL! This is the last year of high school before you make your way to college, vocational school, travel, or start working. You want to make the most of your session. Don’t let your images fall short of your expectations by not coming prepared.

Here are a few tips when you are preparing to have your senior photos taken:


1. Skip the spray tan

No matter how professional the spray tan is, it can settle around ankles, in the creases of fingers and wrists, and on the back of the neck. If we get a few sprinkles or you sweat a bit, spray tans will streak. You don’t want this look. Natural skin photographs beautifully! Let’s celebrate it & show it off! And by ALL means, avoid tanning beds altogether!!

2. Changing your hair

Trimming your ends always imparts a fresh look to your hair. However, opting for a cut and chopping off several inches to go for a bob or pixie cut, constitutes a drastic change that you might later regret. If you have naturally dark brown hair & want to go blonde for your images, that process takes several steps, and as a result of it being rushed, you may not like the outcome. If you do want a slight change, speak to your stylist about a gradual change, such as highlights and/or lowlights.

3. Make-up

Getting ready for your senior portrait session can bring about its share of stress. Attempting to handle your hair and makeup solo can escalate the challenge. Professional camera equipment captures even the minute details in an image (including those unseen by the naked eye). That’s why opting for a professional makeup artist is the optimal approach. If getting professional makeup is not an option, magnetic lashes are easy to wear and affordable. Be sure to add a lip color a bit bolder than you normally wear. The goal is to enhance your natural beauty and create a timeless look that will shine through in your senior pictures.

4. Have a good attitude

Believe it or not, your attitude can impact the outcome of your photos. Everyone has a little anxiety beforehand; that’s normal. If you approach your session with a positive, and confident attitude, it will shine through in your images. If a pop-up shower shows up during your session, it will be just fine. They typically don’t stick around long, and they can add vibrancy to the colors around you.

Nashville senior girl photos with Cherry Blossom Trees.

5. Don’t start a new skincare routine

Your skin takes time to adjust to a new routine, no matter how gentle. This could leave you with dry or bumpy skin. Additionally, getting a treatment like a chemical peel or laser treatment can result in your skin being red and even slightly puffy. Even over exfoliation could leave you with uneven patches. If you worry about your skin’s appearance, ensure you stay hydrated and steer clear of salty or overly processed foods leading up to your session. Moreover, if a pimple or two emerges on the day, discuss it with your photographer—they can easily remove them in editing.

6. Try on all of your outfits beforehand

Your once-favorite T-shirt might have faded and started pilling, which doesn’t look flattering on camera. Your favorite dress looks great on you; however, when you are sitting, it is bunched up and tight. Try on all of your outfits and outfit combos before your session to see what looks best. Make sure you try on undergarments with your outfits as well, as they may show through on camera.

And finally…

7. Add layers & accessories

During the colder months, incorporating layers into your outfits can yield stunning results! Pairing a sweater with a flannel underneath and adding statement earrings, or a scarf introduces remarkable depth to your images and opens up exciting posing possibilities. Even in the warmer seasons you can achieve this layered look and dimension by donning a tank top with a chic sheer cardigan or draping a denim jacket over a dress. Textures like feathers, and multidimensional florals that might seem excessive elsewhere actually thrive in portraits. Introducing texture to your ensemble can wield a significant impact. Another exciting aspect is capturing movement: think long, flowy dresses with striking trains or playful feathers that dance as you twirl. This lends a dynamic and enjoyable dimension to your photographs. Incorporating accessories such as jewelry, hats, and stylish shoes into your outfits truly infuses them with your personality. This addition introduces an entirely new level of detail to your senior gallery, bringing your unique style to the forefront. And who doesn’t want to wear a pair of fun shoes in their senior photos?!

You want your senior session to be fun and memorable. You don’t want to look back at your images and wish you would have waited on starting a new skin care routine, or getting a big chop. Follow these tips as you prepare to have your senior photos taken.

Want my FREE GUIDE to make your senior session stress-free?

Click HERE to snag it!

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