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How to Prepare For Senior Pictures – 5 Easy Tips

December 2, 2023

If your senior portrait session is right around the corner, it’s likely you are wondering how to best prep for your senior pictures. You’ve done all the work to find the perfect photographer, choose a date, plan your outfits, and even know who will be joining you. But following a few easy tips can help ensure you have the most amazing photo shoot possible.

how to prep for senior pictures seattle

#1 Organize your outfits

This may seem obvious, but it really helps to get organized!

  • Start by laying out each wardrobe choice from top to bottom.
  • Include accessories, undergarments, and shoes.
  • Decide which order you would rank your outfits from favorite to least.
  • Add props, if you would like, and plan which outfits they can be used with.
  • Don’t forget to steam or iron your outfits so they are wrinkle free!

When my seniors arrive at their photo shoot I like to go over our outfit and location plan. We will take a look at their wardrobe choices and decide where we should photograph each one. Likely, I will have you start in your least favorite outfit. The light is a little harsher, you aren’t as relaxed yet, so it’s a great way to get started. That way, by the time we get to your absolute favorite outfit choice, you are more relaxed, the lighting is at it’s best, and the most amazing photos tend to happen.

#2 Create a senior session “emergency kit”

A photo shoot “emergency kit” is a fantastic way to make sure you keep looking your best for your entire photo shoot. Some items you may like to include:

  • Makeup for touchups – You don’t need a ton, just enough to freshen things up.
  • Hairspray
  • Brush or comb
  • Water and snacks – Especially if you have a longer session.
  • Allergy medication if needed – If you have a photo shoot in a location that might get your eyes watering and nose running, make sure you take it before or bring it along.
  • Comfortable shoes – If the shoes you are wearing for photos are not comfortable to walk in, bring something super comfy to wear as you walk from location to location. We often do a lot of it!
  • Lint roller – These come in handy if you will be wearing a dark solid color. Or give those outfits a good once over before your session

#3 Hair, skin, and nails

I always take a combination of close up and distance photos. Closer images are a wonderful way to show off your personality and expression. It helps to attend to a few details before your senior session to make sure you are looking your best.

  • Girls – Shave underarm and leg hair if you will be wearing an outfit that will show and you do not want to see it in your photos.
  • Guys – Shave if you like a clean look or trim up facial hair.
  • Make sure nails are trimmed and clean
  • Girls may like a fresh manicure/pedicure.
  • Moisturize the day before rather than the day of.
  • Use plenty of lip balm to avoid flaky lips.

4. Don’t fret over a few blemishes

If you have some facial blemishes it’s okay! I repeat, it’s okay! Don’t spend any time worrying over them. Picking at your face and applying drying, irritating products, is the worst thing to do. That just causes red, blotchy, flaky skin. And that is much harder to remove in post processing. I always discuss with my seniors their concerns. Most often it is worry over blemishes. I will always ask first, but part of my editing process is to pay attention to those details and remove them if wanted, since they are a temporary addition to your looks. So relax and show up to your session with confidence.

5. Pay attention to self care

I know this one sounds a little bit cliche, but self care is so important. It not only contributes to a healthy look. Arriving at your senior session feeling your best will make the day of your photo shoot so much more fun. And a big part of senior portrait sessions is having fun and enjoying the day.

  • Get plenty of sleep.
  • Load up on healthy food
  • Wear sunscreen if you will be out in the sun in the days before your photos
  • Drink lots of water

Your senior photo shoot should be a ton of fun! Following a few simple tips can help make sure you arrive prepared, relaxed, and ready to take amazing pictures that show off your natural beauty and unique personality. To learn more about my Senior Experience, book, or inquire, click the buttons below. I love helping seniors plan their dream photo shoot.

Thanks for reading!

XO, Janelle

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From fun, confidence building senior sessions to gorgeous, memorable weddings; I can't wait to see how we can work together!

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Nationally featured and published senior photographer.... AND families, weddings, and events. I love all things photography. Taking pictures of people and helping them feel absolutely stunning is my favorite thing! I'm a fun, adventurous, romantic at heart. Equal parts introvert and extrovert. And always excited to truly get to know the people I work with.

Meet Janelle