Tips for your Senior Photo Shoot
1. Plan several outfits to bring.
You should arrange to bring two additional outfits to your photo session in a variety of colors,
not just your favorite hue. Include different styles, such as casual, semiformal, formal or
outdoors, so you can take several pictures and get your best shots.
Remember to bring accessories for all outfits, from footwear to jewelry and hair accents. Since
several full-body shots are also taken for purchase, check shoes to be sure they are clean and
that both socks match – that full-body shot could end up being your favorite pose. Check your
clothing ahead of time to make sure it isn’t spotted or faded, and transport your outfits on
hangers to prevent wrinkles.
2. Keep your clothing visually simple.
Don’t bring outfits with words or designs, stripes or pictures, except possibly your school logo.
You want your face, eyes and expression to command attention, not the words on your shirt.
3. Give consideration to color.
Solid colors are recommended for most or all outfits. Colors that go well with a medium or dark
background for close-ups, include medium or dark tones of green, brown, rust, wine or blue.
Darker shades tend to make people look slimmer. Try not to wear flesh-tone or neutral colors
such as white, beige, tan, pale peach or pink, or gray, as these can dominate the picture and
make you look washed out.
For outside pictures, I recommend spring and summer colors of sky blue, pale green,
watermelon and dark peach to complement the outdoor setting. For fall, consider wearing red,
gold, deep orange, emerald green and dark green.
4. Use clothing to 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.
5. 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.
6. 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 eye shadow, 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.
7. 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.
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. 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
I suggest working with your desired hairstyles a few days before the photo shoot to get the look
you want in advance.
Get a haircut at least a week in advance to give your hair a chance to adjust and look natural.
Girls having their hair styled for a formal picture can, of course, wait until the photo session day
to get their hair done, but they should practice with their hair stylist beforehand so there are no
surprises on picture day.
9. Guys need a fresh shave.
A fresh shave for guys is recommended, and moustaches or beards should be neatly trimmed.
10. Don’t worry about blemishes.
Don’t worry about a blemish or bruise. Small blemishes are removed on final portraits. Keep in
mind that major retouching may incur an additional fee.
11. Stay away from tans.
Don’t overdo the tanned look. For one thing, it looks unnatural. For another, your pictures could
reveal peeling skin or a cherry-red nose.
12. Help your glasses avoid glare.
Senior picture advice from Seniorpix.com includes a tip for those who wear glasses: Either buy
or borrow a pair of suitable frames without lenses to prevent glare and reflections from the
glass. Or you can ask your optician to remove the lenses from your frames for the photo session.
Most will do this for you at no charge, but give them plenty of notice so there is no rush.
13. Make sure your hands are presentable.
Like shoes, hands can show up in some of your favorite poses, so be sure to take the time to
make them presentable – guys should trim their nails, and girls might need to touch up their
14. Practice your facial expressions.
Before you go to the photo shoot, practice your facial expressions in front of a mirror at home.
You can try various smiles, serious but relaxed looks, and animated expressions for action shots
(with sports gear, for example).
15. Work on your poses.
Although the photographer will arrange your standing and sitting positions for a variety of
shots, you can try out different stances and positions at home, in front of a mirror, or by asking
for feedback from a friend or family member. The overall goal is to appear natural and upbeat.
Popular poses include a seated shot that highlights your face. A recent adaptation to this style is
to depict the face as half in light and half in shadow.
Full body pictures are taken, as well, showing a person standing, sitting, or crouching in a
relaxed manner. Outdoor shots typically make use of background fences, trees, and attractive or
interesting doorways. Black and white, color, and sepia are also traditional options for your
16. Personalize your photos with props.
You are more than welcome to bring favorite props to the shoot, such as sports equipment if you
are a team player or fan, musical instruments, or hobby items. You can even bring a favorite
portable piece of furniture, such as a lightweight chair or stool. Pets and other animals can be
used in location or outdoor shoots.
17. Bring someone with you.
You are encouraged to bring a family member or 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.
18. Only take the photo if you’re feeling your best.
When the big day comes, if you’re not feeling your best due to a bad cold or too little sleep, call
and cancel your photo appointment. We understand how important it is to look your best and
will simply set up a follow-up time.