Look no further, I have your Senior Photo Prep Guide right here. All your most asked questions answered, style guide, do’s and don’ts, and location suggestions in one spot. I photograph a ton of seniors so I am excited to dive into this.
A quick note: (As with many of my blogs) these answers, suggestions, and tips are specific to my clients. If you are using a different photographer- they may have a different style, preference, or process, so always check with them before your session as well.
Q: What should I wear for senior portraits?
A: My advice for outfits is to keep it neutral, wear something you feel comfortable and confident in, and avoid bright colors, loud patterns, or graphic T-shirts. For more in depth tips, check here for a quick list on some helpful advice when choosing your attire.
Q: How many outfits can I bring?
A: I recommend 3-4. Bring 1-2 dressy and 1-2 casual outfits. This will give you a variety of shots but not be too overwhelming and take up too much time with changing outfits. Have each outfit ready to go and any accessories needed with it. If possible, let them be outfits that can be easily changed into and out of. Always arrive in your dressiest outfit.
Q: What time of day is best for senior photos?
A: Plan on about 2 hours prior to sunset. You can type “Sunset (location) (date)” into google to see when that is. More on that here.
Q: What time of year is best for senior photos?
A: After many years of photographing seniors, the summer/early fall seems to be the most popular. Many schools require senior photos in by Dec 1st of your graduating year. However, this can vary. Check with your school to see when they are due. Then, try to book with your photographer at least 4-6 months prior to that.
Q: Do you have any locations suggestions for senior photos?
A: YES! I’ve photographed tons of seniors and have used a variety of locations. Think about what vibe you wanting: Mountain views, wildflower fields, fall foliage, rustic barn, downtown city-like, etc . . . I can give you a few suggestions based on your preference. More on this down below.
Q: How many images will I receive?
A: I do not guarantee any specific number of photos for my clients. There are tons of variables involved in each photo session. I will tell you, I always over deliver. You will have plenty of images to choose from and use for all the things.
Q: Do you give prints?
A: I do not. Your images will arrive in a digital password protect gallery where you can download your images. Read this for more details. Your gallery is connected to a Professional Printing Store, which i absolutely love and highly recommend. Prints are at your cost and you are welcome to print however many, in whatever size, whenever, and as often as you’d like as long as they are for personal use. That is the beauty of digital images. You can check out all my printing recommendations here and why I only give digital images here.
Q: Can I bring props?
A: Sure, if you want to bring a football, varsity jacket, ice skates, helmet, guitar, etc . . . that is awesome. Also, if you want to go a soccer field and take action shots or get on your horse in a corral? I’m down! Let’s chat and make it happen.
Q: What is your turn around time?
A: I will post a preview of my favorite images from your session the next business day. Next, you will receive your full gallery 2 weeks after your session date via e-mail.
Q: Can mom jump in one?
A: Absolutely. I’m happy to grab one of mom/dad/sister/whoever and the star senior. If you are looking for more than a couple photos of the fam, lets set up a family session and get a whole bunch before your senior goes off into the world!
Refer back to one of the previous FAQ’s where I mentioned thinking about the Vibe you are wanting. One of my favorite suggestions is to think of anyone you may know that has the view you are wanting. The San Juan’s are a popular mountain range that I get requests for often as a backdrop. If you have a family/friend with a view that is willing to let us use their property let’s do it! Same with any scenery requests. I have a friend with beautiful trees and a river flowing through their property that I have access to, if that is your jam. Think of local parks, main street, and even local wineries and farms that may have what you are looking for.
•Arrive 10 minutes early to your session
•Wear something you feel comfortable and confident in
•Treat yourself: new outfit, hair, nails, whatever makes you feel like your best self
•Come with a parent/friend/family member- They can be super helpful when it comes to carrying outfits, helping change, encouraging you, etc . . .
•Remember that standing in front of a camera posing is not typically the ‘norm’ so it can feel weird at first. Just know, that is okay and normal! I’ll pose you and it will get easier as the session carries on. Promise
•Plan something fun after: Something to look forward to after your session is always a good idea. Grab dinner, go out for ice cream, whatever makes ya happy!
•Plan something directly before your session. If you are feeling rushed, sweaty, or not put together, the experience and images will show that.
•Wear something just because it’s trendy or some one else likes it. You be you. If trendy is your jam cool, if it’s not cool. Enough said.
•Stress out: Again, I got this. I’m not expecting you to know how to stand and what to do next. I’ll direct you, that’s part of my job. No worries
•Expect perfection: Social media is wonderful, but it can also be damaging. When you see ‘perfect’ images on Insta with 12 filters layered on, remember that is not real life. Your images will look stunning, because they look like you. They will not have cat ears on them or fake stars around your head, however. And that is a good thing.
•Come hungry. For real. We’ve all been hangry. Sorry to sound like a total mom here but: Eat a clean, nutritious snack or meal before your session. Be hydrated. We will all be happier for it. Don’t underestimate this one!
Well, I hope that was helpful for your Senior Photo Prep Guide! Have any more questions? Just comment here or shoot me an e-mail! Can’t wait to capture all you beautiful seniors! Congrats to all my graduating seniors and keep on keepin’ on for those that are working towards it!