How to Make Your Senior’s Portrait Session AWESOME

So, you’ve just booked your son or daughter’s professional Senior Portrait Session, and now it’s time to get everything ready for the big day! 

Here are 5 things EVERY Senior Portrait Shoot needs to have in place, to allow your Senior’s photographer to make them look their BEST! 

1- THEIR Personality

As your Senior considers where to shoot his or her Senior photos, and what they will wear, encourage them to consider the places that have brought  joy throughout life. Is it possible to shoot there, or to create the feel of that place locally? How about hobbies, sports, and other interests? Do they love a certain art, excel at a sport, or love city life? Be sure part of their shoot reflects something that will make them smile as they look back at these photos one day. Is your Senior a more formal or casual person? Senior portraits can be shot anywhere from a roller rink to a clubhouse, so let your creative juices flow! 


2- Fitted Clothing and Stand-Out Shoes

People don’t often realize this, but photos add a layer of clothing! For real! Ok, not an actual layer. But seriously, that favorite denim jacket your daughter loves to wear with a t-shirt and white jeans, may resemble a winter parka in portraits! (I don’t know why, I just know it’s true. I even have examples, in which I am the subject- but no one wants to see that.)

So…. for the ladies…instead of reaching for that layered look to show some style, consider something more form fitting and solid in color. If the weather allows, even let some skin show somewhere- showing arms and/or legs is actually slimming in photos! Then, let your style shine through your choice of shoes!  Wedges or flats? Wedges! White tennis shoes or silver Converse? Definitely go for the color. Boots with jeans or dresses are always fun, and any animal print is welcome..on your shoes! 

As for the guys, an exception to this rule would be a nice blazer or favorite jacket- guys can often pose in such a way where these accessories flatter their build.

3- Hair and Makeup On Point (for the ladies)

Moms, you are making a significant investment in these photos. It is worth it in the long run to hire a professional to style your daughter’s hair and apply her makeup! Communicate with the stylists about what she’ll be wearing, and they will know just what to do to compliment those outfits!


4- Variety

If your Senior loves dressing up, definitely include those shots in your portfolio- maybe even formal wear! But don’t forget to include a super cute casual outfit and setting as well. It will be fun to look back and see what was a popular “typical day” outfit their Senior Year (they will actually be SHOCKED by how styles will change in 5-10 years!) The same thing applies to locations- if they begin at a downtown building with white pillars, they should end at a driftwood beach or a nature trail! 🙂




5- Attend the Shoot as an Observer and Helper, NOT a Critic

This may be the most important thing to keep in mind as your Senior’s shoot is taking place! Your son or daughter is nervous, insecure, and unsure of this person behind the camera (weren’t we all at 17?) Hearing from their Mom that their smile looks fake, or their curls are falling in the heat, or maybe they should change location plans last minute…may just send them into “Frozen Smile Zone.” There’s not much a photographer can do if this happens- even my bad jokes may not break their icy grins! Rest assured, the photographer is watching to see if their shoulders look tense, if a hair is out of place, or if that pose works or not. We may be snapping to build confidence, knowing full well that something isn’t working, but on our way to an unforgettable shot! Epic portraits take a comfort level, so Moms, be sure to quietly allow your photographer to work the magic, while you enjoy the process of this super special memory!

Now, go out there and prepare for an amazing Senior Portrait Shoot!

Julie’s Blog