How to Prepare For Your Senior Photo Portrait Shoot

  • Select two to three outfits, or dress in layers to change up your look throughout the shoot. Aim for one casual and one dressy and definitively “you” outfit that says something about your personality. Choose suitable jewelry, accessories, socks, stockings, shoes and underwear for each. Avoid bright colors and busy patterns — which are distracting in photos — and sleeveless tops, which can make arms look big. Iron in advance, bring all attire on hangers and bring an iron for emergency touch-ups.
  • Choose props like fresh-cut flowers, stuffed animals, musical instruments, skateboards or other hobby equipment — even a friend or pet.
  • Plan your hairstyle or haircut and schedule a hair appointment a week before the shoot. Being photographed too soon after getting a fresh style can prevent you from looking like yourself.
  • Visit your eye doctor, if you wear glasses. Have your lenses removed, or borrow a pair of similar frames without lenses. Even glare-resistant lenses reflect light, and removing distortions is costly when possible at all.
  • Brainstorm locations. Visit your photographer’s studio to view available interior and exterior backgrounds, or choose a special place elsewhere that better defines you.
  • Practice posing. The more natural your shoot feels for you, the better your pictures will turn out.
  • Perfect your face. Ladies — wear make-up, even if you don’t usually. Keep coverage natural, decide your look before the day of your shoot, and bring make-up along for touch-ups. Stay away from glitter — which may show up as white spots — and SPF products, which can make you look shiny.Guys — you should also consider wearing powder to keep your skin from looking shiny. Give yourself a clean shave, neatly trim facial hair or bring a razor to shave before formal pictures if you want facial hair in the others.
  • Have a manicure on the day of or before the shoot. Chipped polish will show, so clear polish or French manicures are ideal.
  • Avoid over-exposure to sun. Redness can be difficult and expensive to retouch.
  • Get everything together no later than the day before your shoot. Plan a music playlist to set the mood for a fun shoot, and invite a friend or two to join.
  • Get good nights’ sleep for at least the two days before your shoot to look well-rested and stress-free in your photos.

Tips & Warnings

  • Think about what makes you “you,” and how you want to be remembered by the buddies you’re leaving behind.
  • Look at senior portraits from previous years — of older friends or in your photographer’s portfolio — for ideas and inspiration to personalize your own shoot.

Article By W.D. Johnson

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