Senior Pictures: Top 10 Tips for Great Photos!

For some people, taking senior pictures is one of the most fun things about being a senior.  For others, it’s pretty close to an arcane form of torture.  If you fall in the latter group, don’t worry!  Just follow these tips for a fun and stress-free senior portrait session!

1.) Wear at least 1 classic, timeless outfit.
Yes, senior pictures are all about you, & you want to show off your own unique fashion sense.  On the other hand, you don’t want to look back in 10 years and wonder, “What in the world was I thinking?”.  So go ahead and choose a timeless outfit.  A white or black shirt with jeans is a good look for anybody.  Girls, simple solid-color dresses look great.  Guys, pair a solid color polo shirt with jeans or khakis, or wear slacks with a nice button-down shirt.  Remember, solid colors tend to photograph better than loud patterns.  You want the focus to be on you, after all!

2.) Feel free to dress up a classic outfit with trendy accessories or shoes, etc.
Maybe you feel solid colors are just too plain.  That’s just not your style.  Feel free to make a classic outfit “more you” with accessories.  Maybe you have a favorite pair of funky shoes or a trendy jacket or sunglasses.  Adding elements like these to a classic outfit can allow you to still get that classic photograph, then add in those elements that are more trendy.

3.) After you take your classic photos, feel free to choose a more trendy, “all you” outfit.
The good thing about our Level 1 and 2 senior sessions is you can choose multiple outfits!  Wear one or two classic outfits to please Mom, then choose something that’s really trendy right now and totally your style.  It’s the best of both worlds!  Here’s where you can throw all the rules out the window.  Is your favorite shirt a tri-color bold pattern?  Wear it anyways!  To be happiest with your pictures, make sure you wear at least one outfit you really love….no matter what anyone else thinks!
**BONUS TIP** No matter what kind of clothes you decide to wear, make sure they fit correctly!  If you’re buying new clothes for your session, move in them a bit.  Sit, stand, shrug your shoulders.  Make sure they fit, because ill-fitting clothes make for unflattering pictures.

4.) Girls: Wear your hair and makeup naturally.
Fix your hair and makeup the same way you would if you were getting dressed up.  Many girls think they should get salon hair and makeup before taking pictures, but they often end up disappointed with their pictures, because the fancy hair and makeup is just not them.  We recommend styling your hair and applying your makeup the same way you would if you were getting dressed up.  If you don’t normally wear a lot of (or any) makeup, this is not the time to try out bold colors.  You may want to consider a little nude or or sheer pink lip gloss or nude eyeshadow.  If you are considering changing how you wear your hair or makeup, do a trial before your photo session.  Take a snapshot and see how you look in pictures.  The same thing goes for salon hair and makeup.  If you do want professional hair and makeup, schedule a trial appointment a week or more before your photo session.  This way you can be sure you are happy with your look before it’s time to take pictures.

5.) Guys: Make sure you are clean-shaven (or with freshly-groomed facial hair)
This may go without saying, but we’ll say it anyways.  Even if you have to shave right before your photo session, do it!  Your mom does not want you to have 5 o’clock shadow in your pictures, and it is very expensive to digitally re-touch.  If you normally sport facial hair, make sure it is freshly trimmed and groomed.

6.) If you have a letterman’s jacket and/or senior ring, bring them!
Letterman’s jackets and senior rings are the trademarks of senior year!  Or course you’ll want at least a few photos with them.  Make a checklist of things to bring with you for your photo session, and don’t forget these!

7.) Bring personal “props” to make pictures all about you
Here’s where it gets fun.  Everyone always says senior pictures are all about you, well let’s make your photo session REALLY all about you!  Do you play a sport or an instrument?  Are you an artist or a hunter?  Do you have a car or a pet?  Bring the things that are special to you for photographs of what you love at this moment in your life.

8.) Don’t be afraid to tell us what you want.
Did you really like a friend’s picture & want to take a similar one?  Maybe you saw something in a magazine or online that you’d like to try.  Don’t be afraid to ask!  If your photo idea involves a particular prop, it’s a good idea to call us first to make sure it is something we can re-create.  Our photographers are trained to know which poses and settings make each person look best, but they are always open to what you want.  If you really don’t like a certain setting, say so!  We want you to be 100% satisfied with your photos, and we’ll do what we can to make sure you get what you want.  For example, this girl brought in pictures of a model in a waterfall, & we did our best to re-create the look in our pond.  It was a super-fun photo session, & she loved her pictures!

Baton Rouge Senior Portraits
9.) Be comfortable in your setting: Location shoots!
Sometimes a few props are not enough to really show off your individuality.  Don’t forget that we love to take on-location senior sessions!  We can go to your home, a plantation, downtown Baton Rouge or New Orleans, out in the woods, or wherever you can imagine!  Our on-location sessions can be just what you need to have truly unique senior pictures.

10.) Bring mom!
Of course every family is different, but most often Mom is the one most concerned with senior pictures.  In all the years of experience we’ve had, we have learned that if Mom is not happy with the pictures, you will come back for retakes.  So save yourself the trouble and bring Mom with you the first time.  This way she gets to see how and where we pose you, how your hair (and makeup) look, and she’s able to make any adjustments she wants.

BONUS TIP: Remember, these are all just suggestions.  Above all, be yourself & have fun!  Follow this advice, and your senior picture session will be an event to remember!