How to Prepare for Your Senior Portrait Session |
Las Vegas Senior Photographer
Hi! I am so excited to meet you and I am really looking forward to your senior session! My aim for your photos is a look that is timeless and natural and that shows and celebrates the real you! I want to preserve this moment in time for you and your family, so that when you look back at these photos years from now, it'll take you right back to this day, and to the excitement that comes with graduating!
Here are some tips to guide you in preparing for your photo session with me!
Time & location
Together, we will pick a location that best suits your style and personality. Maybe you want somewhere with greenery in the background, or maybe somewhere that features the area's natural desert landscape. Or maybe you want a colorful or urban look to your pictures?
We will schedule your session for 1-1.5 hours before sunset, depending on the location. This time of day provides the best light to illuminate skin and hair, and creates that kind of magical, golden atmosphere in photos.
We will start the session on time to maximize this beautiful light, so please take traffic and parking time into consideration.
What to wear
Remember, the most important thing is that you feel comfortable, confident and beautiful in what you wear. Just look like your best you! Below are just some tips and ideas to help you look your best in photos. Implement only as you see fit and always look through your own closet first, which probably has some of your favorite pieces!
Colors, patterns, textures & movement
Choose colors that compliment your hair and skin, while also considering the location (you don't want to blend in or clash with the colors there) and the season. Consider
neutral colors (e.g. grey, cream, brown, tan, off-white)
softer, lighter tones (e.g. soft pinks, blue, purple, yellow and other pastel colors, especially for spring and summer) and
muted/subdued shades (e.g. burnt orange, emerald green, maroon, navy and other jewel tones, particularly for fall and winter).
Solid colors work best, but if you love patterns, go for it! Just choose one that is not too busy or distracting. Florals, polka dot and plaid can look great in pictures. Avoid pinstripes.
Textures add interest to photos, so feel free to incorporate them (think lace, wool, satin, silk, croquet, faux fur or leather, pleats, tulle, chiffon, sparkles and sequins).
When you can, choose clothing that adds movement in photos. A sense of movement brings a photo to life, and adds interesting detail and even a bit of romance. It really can give a photo that extra bit of oomph. I'm talking about flowy fabrics in dresses, kimonos or dusters that swish when you walk. Fringe, ribbon and tassel details can also create movement.
Having more than one outfit can add some fun and variety to your photos! For example, you can have one set of casual, dressy clothes, and one set that is more formal to change into. Other outfit categories include cozy, school-related, sports-related, preppy, bohemian and edgy. Consider different colors for the outfits and even different necklines to change things up. Please note though, you might have to change in your car if there aren't any public washrooms nearby.
For the ladies
Dresses and skirts are the most flattering. Check the length of short skirts and cocktail dresses while walking and sitting to see if it is too short. Clothes that flatter your silhouette (e.g. defines your waist). 3/4 length sleeves. Rompers. In the warmer months, a tank top with a pretty, sheer cardigan and jeans can look cute. A nice jacket; blazer; open, slouchy, knit sweater or cozy cardigan for layering, if you would like or if it is cold. Heels, cute sandals and nice boots photograph well.
A LITTLE TIP: Bring flats, flip flops or other comfortable shoes for travel between shoot locations! :)
A note about undergarments: be sure that they don't show their outline either under or around clothing, and it is best if the color blends in with your outfit (e.g. the same color or dark for a dark outfit, light for a light outfit). Consider strapless options if there is a chance that straps will show. Sometimes they can peek out around outfits when we're moving around, and we don't want this to potentially detract from a photo.
For the guys
Collared, button-up shirts by itself, with a sweater over top or worn open with a t-shirt inside. Knit crewneck pullover. Fitted suit/sport jacket or blazer. Nice jeans, fitted slacks, chinos or pants. Closed-toe dress shoes.
A LITTLE TIP: Avoid keeping your phone or wallet in your pocket during the shoot, as it is distracting in photos. Also, try to avoid wearing pants with wallet or phone outlines worn in.
For outdoor photoshoots during the summer months, choose outfits that will help you stay cooler and sweat less. Certain materials are more breathable, like cotton, bamboo and linen. For ladies, consider outfits or dresses with off-the-shoulder or sleeveless tops, or wider, looser sleeves. For men, consider shirts in these colors: black, charcoal, white, navy blue and pale pink. Undershirts can help as well with sweat marks, as will antiperspirant.
Regarding oil/shine on the face, consider applying powder or using oil-absorbing sheets. If you're not wearing makeup, you might consider washing your face or using a baby wipe before the photoshoot.
During the colder months, layers are the secret to staying warm in style! Think undershirts and long undies. Think big, cozy knit sweaters and scarves (yay, added texture!). Beanies or toques can be cute if anybody would like a hat. Another idea is to bring a complementary colored blanket to cuddle in!
A few well-chosen accessories can really complete an outfit, add a bit of glamour and take it to the next level!
For the guys, consider belts, watches, ties, bow ties, pocket squares, tie clips, suspenders and/or socks in a fun pattern. For the gals, consider bracelets, stacks of bangles, rings, earrings, statement necklaces/barrettes, long necklaces, floral crowns, pretty headbands or hair bows, ribbons in the hair and scarves. You can also bring a hat to wear or as a prop, but be mindful of how it might affect your hair. We can also just do shots with the hat on at the end of the session.
What to avoid
I want your photos to be timeless, and I want the main focus of your photos to be your face and expression. Here are some things that can work against those goals and that are best to avoid...
Baggy or skin-tight clothing. Words, logos or graphics of any size (distracting, even on shoes). Trendy/fad clothing. Sport watches (e.g. Fitbit). Hair ties on wrists. Pinstripes. Overly revealing tops or too short bottoms. Skinny shoulder straps. Turtlenecks (hides the neck). Any outfits that make you feel self-conscious, uncomfortable or that don't fit properly. Cargo shorts or pants. Flip flops. Running shoes. Neon/florescent colours (these colors can reflect back onto your skin and face or onto others). Chipped nail polish or dirty nails.
If you would like to view some examples, I created a Pinterest board for SENIOR GIRLS and for SENIOR GUYS. Feel free to do your own searches on the site to look for inspiration!
Hair & makeup
Treat yourself and use a professional if you can, but it's definitely not required! Hair that looks like it can move when you move look great and natural. Be aware of flyaways - flexible hold hairspray can help.
Use makeup to add some color (20% darker than normal), concealer as needed, and powder to help prevent shine. Bring makeup for touch-ups. For timeless photos, the goal is fresh and natural. False lashes photograph well. Painted nails (toes, too, if you're wearing sandals!) and French manicures add the perfect detail.
A fresh haircut for the males looks best.
What to bring
Water, tissues, makeup for touch-ups, hairbrush, comfortable shoes for travel between locations and, if you'd like, a blanket with neutral or complementary colors to your outfits for sitting and lying down poses.
PROPS: Optional, but you can bring another item to add some of your personality to your shoot. Ideas include a favorite hat, purse, complementary bouquet of flowers, balloons, sports item, instrument that you play, book, headphones, sunglasses, skateboard, a peacock chair or even your car.
Prepare outfits ahead of time to reduce stress and ensure proper sizing. Get ready 30-60 minutes earlier than you think you should.
Get a good night's sleep!
Moisturize hands and apply lip balm in the week leading up to the session. Dry skin is no joke in the desert(!), so this will help with photos. I recommend Vaseline Intensive Care Advanced Repair Lotion.
Bring a blanket that has neutral or complementary colours, if you would like, for sitting and lying down photos.
Ensure that your shoes look clean, soles included.
Iron out wrinkles in your outfits, as needed, and remove any loose strings and pet hair.
Take one last look in a mirror just before the shoot. Check your teeth for food and straighten any necklaces or headbands. Remove oil/shine with an oil-absorbing sheet. Address any flyaways in your hair.
I can't wait to work with you to create beautiful keepsakes and to help you commemorate your graduation! I want this to be an easy-going session for you, so just bring a lighthearted attitude and plan to have fun! 🙂 Please feel free to contact me with any questions related to your session. Take care and see you soon!