How to prep for your Senior Session

I am so excited about senior photography. I have such a blast with my clients and their parents. The end result is always so much fun. I never thought it would be my niche, but it is something that I have absolutely LOVED since my first session. Part of my job as your photographer is to relieve as much stress as possible before your session.  Speaking with us candidly during your pre-shoot consult can helps dramatically. However, there are still TONS of other ways that you can prep before your senior session in order to make it the BEST possible experience!


Choosing what you will wear for your photo shoot is a huge decision that can make or break your senior portrait session! I know that sounds drastic…but, if you accidentally wear something that isn’t flattering on camera or something that you don’t feel confident in…it can ruin the experience for you! So, here are some of the best ways to choose what to wear:


If you do not like fitted clothing (super tight dresses or pieces that fit awkwardly) then leave them at home! Personally, I try to steer clear of items that are fitted in the tummy area (don’t we all?) just because it makes us self-conscious and I’m constantly wondering if it looks bad. So, if there are pieces in your closet that make you feel self-conscious or uncomfortable, don’t include them in your senior portrait wardrobe! Additionally, we will most likely be sitting on the ground, laying down, walking and doing other things that could be difficult if your clothing is uncomfortable! 


On camera, solid black + white can make skin tones look very washed out and unflattering. So, when choosing outfits for your senior session, try to choose colors that POP and that compliment your hair + skin colors! Primary colors like red, royal blue and yellow photograph beautifully as well as emerald green, bright purples, pinks, oranges and any other colors that really POP! Sometimes, color combos that may seem odd in-person end up photographing BEAUTIFULLY on camera! Here, Sara paired a vibrant red leather skirt with a Black tank and sweater and it looked AMAZING! We put her in some contrasting backgrounds and she popped right of the page!

3. Add LAYERS:

In the cold months (fall + winter), adding layers to your outfits always looks STUNNING in portraits! A sweater with a flannel underneath paired with a vest + statement necklace or scarf adds so much dimension to your images and makes for super fun posing options! Even in the warmer months (spring + summer) you can add these layers + dimension by wearing a tank top with a cute sheer cardigan or by throwing a denim vest over a dress! 

4. Play with TEXTURES

Makenzie Smith - Senior 2018

Makenzie Smith - Senior 2018

Sometimes textures like sequins, furs and sparkles can be considered “daring” or “over the top” but, in portraits, they are the BEST! Adding texture to your outfit makes the biggest difference, and it prevents the images from looking dull! Combining textures that you may not normally use together like sequins + cable knit sweaters or leather + fur make GREAT pairs! Makenzie rocked this tip on location! She chose a burgundy mini dress paired with a cable-knit scarf to play up her beautiful features! (Although, I may be a little biased, she is my youngest)

5. MIX it up:

When planning your outfits, make sure that you have a VARIETY of looks! I tell all of my seniors to choose from these categories: casual, cozy, dressy, school-related, sports-related, preppy or edgy. I always recommend choosing 2-3 of those categories and finding outfits accordingly. This provides a beautiful array of looks during your senior portrait session, so each outfit looks dramatically different! Emily was a MASTER of this! Her first outfit was “casual” followed by something “dressy”. Then, she got cozy in an adorable off the shoulder top with cut-off blue jean shorts! All of her looks photographed beautifully, but they were completely different from each other!


Huge thanks to North Virgina Photographer, Hope Taylor for the awesome ideas and amazing inspiration! 

Donnie SmithComment