How do I Prepare for Senior Portraits?

In general, loved ones want to remember you as you looked most of your senior year, not just the day when you had your pictures taken, so now is not the time to try something drastically new! A little preparation will help you envision how you should look and dress on the day of your senior portrait.

  • Girls: Practice hairstyles in advance, but avoid experimental hairstyles. Work with your desired hairstyles a few days before your senior portrait photography session to narrow down to the look you want.
  • Guys: Get a haircut a week in advance to give your haircut a chance to relax and look natural.
  • Girls: Get your nails the night before to reduce the chance of chips or nicks before the photo session. Nails will be visible in close up shots!
  • Guys: Get a fresh shave, but do it the night before so that any redness has a chance to calm down.
  • Practice your facial expressions in front of a mirror at home before your photo session. You can try various smiles, serious and relaxed looks, and animated expressions.
  • Work on your poses in front of a mirror. Try out different stances and positions, remembering that the overall goal is to appear natural and pleasant.
  • Try on several outfits beforehand to make sure the outfit will work for your senior portrait.

What Should you not Wear for Senior Pictures?

For your senior portrait, the goal is for your face, eyes, and expression to command attention and let your personality shine through. What you’re wearing in your senior portrait photograph should not distract from you. With that in mind:

  • Don’t wear outfits with words, designs, stripes, or pictures, with the exception of your school logo. Keep your clothing visually simple with solid colors that accentuate your best features. Avoid flesh-tone or neutral colors such as white, beige, or gray, because they may end up making you look washed out.
  • Avoid wearing big bulky jewelry that may draw attention away from you. Stick with classic jewelry pieces and avoid fad jewelry that may quickly go out of style.
  • Apply your makeup as you normally do on a day-to-day basis. Avoid glitter or sparkly powder, eye shadow, or blush because it reflects the flash. Also avoid too much lip gloss for this same reason.

Are Trends like Flower Crowns for Senior Portraits still in or have Face Masks for COVID-19 Taken Over?

Covid-19 props such as face masks, gloves, toilet paper, and hand sanitizer seem to be more popular than flower crowns this year. Examples of Covid-19 props in senior portraits are showing up all over the internet. There are so many options for props relating to the pandemic that can add personality to your senior portrait. This will make your senior portrait photograph a time capsule that reflects the times.

Should you Change your Senior Portrait Theme to include Something about COVID-19?

The pandemic has inspired many seniors to commemorate high school graduation with some outside-the-box creativity in their senior portrait photography. Many see it as their chance to capture this moment in history. Many seniors are trying to see the bright side, and crafting senior portraits that they will one day look back with a laugh as they remember 2020.

While the Covid-19 pandemic is a sign of the times, if the coronavirus has brought hardship and loss to your life, or if you feel it’s something you’re not going to let define you, then it’s not something you’ll want to choose as the theme for your senior portrait. There are plenty of other options. But if you want to capture what’s going on in the world in 2020, a Covid-19 theme is certainly appropriate.

How can you make Senior Portraits Capture what you want and also Look Good?

To capture the look you want for your senior portrait photographs, it’s important to shop around for the right photographer. Get a feel for each photographer’s work by visiting their websites for examples of their work and to find one you can be sure you will be comfortable with. Some photographers will invite you to discuss senior portrait ideas before scheduling a shoot. Don’t be shy about asking questions and describing what you want. Make sure you and the photographer are on the same page about what your senior portrait photograph should look like before the shoot.
During the session, speak up if you don’t feel comfortable with a pose. To bring out your personality and to keep you looking your best, bring a friend to your senior portrait shoot. This will create a relaxed atmosphere and help your true natural smile shine through for your senior portrait.