Tips for Great Graduating Senior Portraits
Arrive Early: Be sure to give yourself plenty of time to get here-you won't want to be rushed. Plan on arriving about 15 minutes before your scheduled session time so you can get your outfits and props unloaded and ready for your session.
Bring Examples: Bring photos you like from magazines, books, catalogs, and any other sources, to your session appointment. We will use these images to form an idea of the photographic styles and "looks" you like.
Invite a Friend: Bring someone with you to ease the "camera room jitters." Guests are invited to sit with you and watch through the camera, help with clothing, hair, etc.
Haircut - Hair Style: Schedule a haircut no sooner than five days before your session, to give it a chance to "fill in" a bit. And don't try a radically different haircut or style-your hair should be the way your friends and family are used to seeing it.
Makeup: Girls, apply makeup as if you were going out for the evening. Too little and you'll look pale and washed out; too much makes you look "painted." Pay special attention to your eyes; that's what everyone will see first in your portraits.
Glasses: If you wear glasses most of the time you'll want to wear them in your portraits. To eliminate distracting glare and reflections, call your optician and arrange to either borrow a pair of empty frames like yours or have the lenses removed from your own frames. Most opticians will gladly do this for free if you give them a few days notice. This is the most important way to improve your portraits if you wear glasses.
Types of Clothes
Traditional Styles: Traditional styles will stand the test of time and keep your portrait looking fresh for years to come.
Bring a Variety of Outfits: To assure a successful portrait, it's a good idea to bring both casual and more formal outfits to your session. Bring a variety of colors too.
Long Sleeves: Long sleeve dresses and shirts are MUCH better than short sleeves ESPECIALLY for your head and shoulder/traditional poses. Your face should be the focal point of your portraits. Long sleeve solids or very subtle prints are usually the most flattering in portraits.
Shoes and Socks: Some poses will show your shoes so don't forget to bring shoes and socks for each outfit that you plan to wear. Barefoot and sandals are no problem for your casual clothes. White socks don't photograph well, so bring darker ones too just in case they show.
Belts and Jewlery: Guys don't forget those belts and girls, don't forget your jewelry.
Clothing Changes: Senior portraits allow for some clothing changes. Bring something you like, something your parents like, sports jersey, school jacket, or uniform. Something casual and something dressy.
Colors and Patterns That Look Great
Darker Colors: Darker clothes minimize body size.
Medium to Dark: Medium to dark clothes look the best on dark backgrounds.
Medium to Light: Medium to light colors look the best on lighter colored backgounds.
Earth Tones: Earth tones are best for outdoor portraits.
Colors and Patterns to Avoid
No Stripes or Plaids: Stay away from small stripes and tight plaids.
For Outdoor Portraits: Be careful of bright greens as they often clash with the greens of the leaves and grass. Black, Khaki, pink, orange, navy, tan, gold, burgundy, dark yellow are good outdoors. We recommend staying away from very light/pale colors outdoors.
Avoid Loud Colors: Busy patterns and loud colors can be very distracting in your portraits. Avoid large & bold patterns that might tend to draw attention away from your face.
Don't Mix Lights and Darks: Keep the tonal range of clothing in the same group. Don't mix lights & darks in the same outfit.
Props can help to show your personality and record the types of activities you are involved in. Be sure to bring some of your own props to your portrait session. Here are some ideas:
-- Musical Instrument
-- Vehicle (car/truck/bike/cart). Let us know in advance for vehicle shoots. They often require we go to a nearby park.
-- Leather Jacket
-- Sports Equipment - Uniform/ball/helmet/shoes/stick/bat the more the better!
-- Pom Poms / Megaphone for Cheerleaders
Here are some final tips:
Pets: Pets require a handler/pet carrier to tend to your pet during the rest of your session.
Jewelry: Don't forget to bring your jewelry, especially your class ring.
Hair Style: Wear your hair in your regular style. Gals, don't get a new style or go to a new stylist that you've never used before. Guys should NOT have a fresh haircut. If you need a trim, have it done about a week before.
Fresh Shave: Guys should have a fresh shave. Five o'clock shadow will show and can't be touched up.
Visine: A little Visine will "get the red out" if you have allergies.
Good Fitting and Ironed Clothes: Having your clothes fit and ironed is very important.
Get Rest: Get a good night's rest, relax and be ready for a great portrait session.