12 Tips: Getting The Best Senior Portraits

In my previous post I mentioned that it is that time of year again, Senior Portraits! 

If I am honest with myself, I dislike looking at my senior photos. I am not sure why but every time I look at them I don’t see myself. In a lot of ways I feel like I am looking at a stranger. 

The photos look as awkward as I felt. I am not blaming the photographer because she was definitely talented. 

The simple fact is that I am an artist and I am way to hard on myself. With that said, I like to make a point to give my HS Seniors memorable, classic, and lasting photos. Images that they can look back on and smile. Photographs that capture who they are. 

Here are my tips to help make your senior portraits amazing. 

  1. Be yourself: It is important that you wear clothing that is comfortable and your outfit selections should match your personality and your own personal style. No matter who you. Glamour girl, skater, jock etc.
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  3. Dress for the season: Try to stick to colors that work with the season. If it is winter time stick to warm clothes, bulky sweaters with leggings and boots, fun scarves  and hats etc. Same rules apply to summer, spring, and fall. DSC_0458-EditM Redo-1
  4. Don’t Go With What Is In Style:  Things that are in style do not necessarily always photograph well. Style’s come and go and the last thing you want to think when your looking back on these images is, “What the Nutcracker was I thinking!”
  5. Bring Options: I always tell my HS Seniors to bring quite a few options so I can help pick and choose what I think will work best based on our location. I would recommend bringing a monochromatic outfit because those always photograph well and they are completely timeless. I would also bring a quirky because if there was ever a time to be bold and express your unique self it would be during your senior photos. Lastly, I recommend that senior girls bring one outfit that is something they’d typically wear–something casual that makes them feel comfortable and like their “normal” self. But I would also suggest bringing an outfit that is a bit more special–something they pick out specifically for their portraits and that makes them feel FABULOUS.Dark Angel RegSelf-Portraits -1.jpgSelf-Portraits -5.jpg
  6. Solid Colors: I love solid colors, but prints can work great, too as long as they’re not too busy. Ben_Thompson_Grad14-8.jpgBen_Thompson_Grad14-64.jpgBen_Thompson_Grad14-113.jpgLuke 8-1.jpgLuke 9-1.jpg
  7. Props, Props, Props!!!!!: I can’t say that enough. Personally it is my favorite part of Senior Portraits. It is something that is uniquely you and who you are in that moment. I definitely encourage seniors to bring any props that help illustrate their hobbies, personality, or even future plans. Examples:
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  9. *This image was taken by my husband David Kadron*
  10. Zimmer-1Mariah-98Mariah-48Josh-106
            • Sports equipment if you are a team player or fan,
            • Musical instruments, 
            • Drawing supplies and sketch book
            • Skateboard
            • Books
            • You can even bring a favorite portable piece of furniture, such as a lightweight chair or stool.
            • Classic car or your vehicle in general. 
            • You can even bring your pet to appear in some of the shots with you. If you are taking the photographs with me I can always go to where you pets are to capture a few images. Horses, for example, can’t easily travel with you.
  1. Accentuate your best features: Girls may want to forego short sleeves or spaghetti straps if their arms are heavy, since these styles will only accentuate that feature. Turtleneck tops look best on people with long necks. Round and square faces look good in a square-neck top, while thin faces or pointed chins are attractive with rounded-neck tops. 
  2. Go easy on the jewelry: Avoid wearing attention-grabbing jewelry. Again, the photograph should accentuate your face, eyes and personality, not draw unwarranted attention to your jewelry. Also, jewelry can date a photograph very quickly. Classic jewelry pieces are best.
  3. Apply makeup normally: It’s tempting to get very “glam” when having pictures taken, but this could very well make you look like a stranger in your senior portrait. Apply your makeup as you normally look on a day-to-day basis, but bring your makeup with you and let the photographer know you have it. If the photographer feels you need a touch more blush or eyeshadow, he or she will let you know. Avoid glitter or sparkly anything (powder, eye shadow, blush) – it tends to reflect the flash and leaves white spots. Also avoid too much lip gloss. It can also leave white spots from the flash or make you look like you’re drooling. 
  4. Bring powder: If you have it, bring along some translucent powder. While in real life, a bit of shine to the face gives you that “dewy glow,” it unfortunately can look like “too much glow” in photos. Your photographer can direct you if you need to dab some powder on your forehead or nose..
  5. Bring someone with you: Most photographers welcome you to bring a friend if that person can help make you relax and take a natural picture. That person can also help with clothing changes and “double check” you while you’re being photographed to make sure your clothing hasn’t taken a turn for the worse or that your hair hasn’t come all undone.
  6. Friends
  7. This isn’t exactly what I had in mind when I said bring someone with you but it is a comical photo of friendship that I just had to include. 
  8. Go with practiced hair styles: Getting senior portraits done is not the time to leave your hair uncombed for that “natural” look. Also, avoid experimental hairstyles.  Don’t be afraid to play around with your hair before the session to get the desired look you want.

In general, friends and family prefer to remember you as you looked most of your senior year, not just during the period when you had your pictures taken. 

Lastly and most importantly have fun with and don’t stress. Ask your photographer if you have questions. They should be there for you no matter what. 

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