What to wear to your senior pictures

As you prepare for your senior photo shoot, I wanted to give you a few tips on what to wear to your senior pictures. I cannot take credit for some of this as my good friend and photographer Mike Fulton of TriCoast Photography wrote most of it, but I have a few more to add as you prepare for these senior photo memories.

Arrive early for your photo shoot

If you are scheduled from 3:00 – 4:30 and show up late or not ready, you will have less time in the camera room. If you need to get ready here (hair, makeup, etc.) please arrive early enough to be ready by your start time.

Clothing ideas for your senior photos

what to wear to your senior pictures

First of all, when it comes to what to wear to your senior pictures, AVOID STRIPES AND PLAID!! Solids photograph much better! Also bring a variety of color, don’t bring 5 blue outfits even if it is your favorite color. Avoid clothing that has wording on it except for your own school logo. Vary the style, all one look (like tanks) gets boring. Vary the dress level, bring some dressy, some medium and some casual. Remember, it is best to do one or two outfits that mom will like, then we can do the stuff YOU like.

Our photo shoots let you do unlimited looks within your time period. This means if you change fast, you get more variety. Spend all day in the dressing room, you get less time in front of the camera. Most people can get 3-4 looks within the time allow for the photo shoot. More if you are quick and work easy. We suggest you bring double what you think we will do so we have more to pick from.

kincaid senior pictures

Some shots are close up, others are full length. Plan outfits completely. It is hard to do a full length formal in your suit if all you brought was big old tennis shoes.

Also remember, as a general rule, light clothes look better on lighter backgrounds and darker clothes look better on darker backgrounds. So if you prefer dark, bring dark, if you prefer some of both, bring some of both.

Group your outfits together ON HANGERS. It is amazing how many people come in with clothes stuffed in a plastic bag and wonder why they are wrinkled! Make sure they are ironed.

If you are doing an outdoor session, most locations do not have places to change. But if you wear a layered outfit, you can add or drop a piece for a different look.

Make sure the style works for YOU

downtown houston senior pictures

Make sure your clothing flatters you. If you think you have large arms, be careful of sleeveless styles, they can make your arms look fuller. Pinterest ideas are OK, but make sure it is a style you normally wear. Your senior pictures are not the time to experiment with a new clothing trend.

Wild to mild. We don’t really tell you what you can and can not wear. A little sexy is OK, but don’t make ALL of your outfits that way. We photograph everything from prom dresses to swimsuits. What one person likes may not be appropriate for the next person. Our philosophy is as long as it is rated PG, we don’t care.

Clothes for black and white pictures

The black and white glamour look that is so popular is best with black clothing. The contrast between the skin and black is what makes them so dramatic. So, if you want that look, bring some black, wild to mild. Dark bottoms are also in order.

Proper makeup for your photos

makeup for senior pictures

Makeup plays a big role for females when it comes to what to wear to your senior pictures and should only be slightly heavier than normal. About like you might wear in the evening. Mascara should be clean and contain no clumps. So if your mascara is old and clumpy, replace it first. Avoid makeup with sparkles in it. When you move, it makes a nice shimmer, but in a photo, where you are still, it creates a little white spot that almost looks like a zit. Also avoid makeup with an SPF in it. Although it is good for your skin in the sun, the SPF tends to create a shine. Summer shine can be controlled by using translucent powder that knocks out shine without adding additional color.

Boys and shaving

Please make sure you are clean shaven. Retouching stubble costs extra and still does not look as good as a clean shave. Boys, got a goatee that mom hates, but you love? Do your casual shots first with it on, then bring a razor and go to the restroom and shave it off for mom’s formals. Everyone is happy that way!

Hair care tips for Senior pictures

Avoid changing your hairstyle or cutting your hair right before your session. Let it be natural. Quick easy hairstyle changes during your session are OK, but make it quick or you loose camera time. One of the things I like to point out when to comes to what to wear to your senior pictures is that artificially bleached hair is often not best, in 10 years you might say What was I thinking?? Bring your hair care tools and products with you if need be. It IS ok to show up early in curlers if you need to. Remember, especially for longer hairstyles (on young men and young ladies), the slightest breeze on an outdoor photo shoot can cause fly aways that require a lot of editing do keep your hairbrush and/or hairspray nearby.

Although photographers will try to help with hair, it is hard to know what your hair is supposed to look like. So make sure you like the look or let the photographer know your preferences. Hair style is ultimately YOUR responsibility.

Jewelry and props

When thinking about what to wear for your senior pictures, jewelry matters. The best tip here, is to keep it simple. We want the attention on you. Big, shiny jewelry can distract from the real subject, YOU. If you have different jewelry for different outfits, you might put each set of jewelry in a plastic baggie and hang it on the hangar with that outfit.

When it comes to props, BRING THEM!! Bring props that help define who you are. Some popular choices are: Sports equipment (soccer ball, football, hockey stick, hurdle, whatever), sports uniforms, music instruments (from school tuba to rock guitar), activities (dance leotard and shoes, swimming, hobbies, you name it!), vehicles (motorcycles can come in the studio, cars must go to the park, we suggest more than an hour session for car shots).

Eyeglasses in photos

senior pictures with murals

Most glasses glare (those specs of light that hide your eyes in the photos)! Some prescriptions more than others. If you have transition lenses, then outside they will look like you are wearing shades. Your best bet is to check with your optometrist. Most will loan you an empty set of frames similar to yours for your photo session.

Sunburn and tanning for senior pictures

Tan lines are not attractive in portraits. We suggest you vary your swimsuit top or use a tanning bed to minimize any tan marks. Remember to not overdo your tanning, skin that looks like dark leather is not the most attractive.

AVOID SUNBURN! Sunburn and peeling skin DO NOT photograph well!! Tan, yes, burn, no. If you are a winter or spring session and your tan has faded, you might consider tanning. But don’t overdue it so you look too fake-and-bake. While we are on the subject, we retouch blemishes, so don’t worry about minor breakouts. We even now offer an inexpensive option to retouch your entire folio or album! but don’t do cosmetic surgery!

What about the family pet?

senior pictures with pets

Pets are OK as long as they are house broken. It is a good idea to have someone bring a pet, then leave with them after. Or bring a pet carrier to contain them while you are being photographed without them. Treats can be helpful to hold a dogs attention. Be mindful to bring something to pick up waste as most public spaces do not allow for it to be left on the grounds.

Can I bring my friends to the photo shoot?

Friends or parents are welcome. They can be a help. HOWEVER, if they distract you, it is best to send them pics “behind the scenes” from your phone. You can have a couple of shots with a boyfriend, girlfriend, best friend or sibling at no extra charge.

What about the weather for my photo shoot?

Let’s face it, we are at the mercy of mother nature. If it rains, no fretting will do anything about it, we simply have to reschedule. Don’t worry about clouds, they actually HELP! But rain falling IS a problem. In the Metro area, weather changes quickly, so, we try our best not to cancel a shoot. If it is a morning session, we will take your phone number home with us and call you if we need to cancel due to weather, otherwise, we are on! If it is a daytime and the weather is questionable, simply call to confirm.

Tattoos and scars in photos

Just let the photographer know if you want tattoos to show or not. It is that easy. Depending on where that are and they type of clothing you wear, they may not be visible anyway. Scars are not automatically retouched, but can be removed or softened at your request. Extensive work may have a slight extra charge.

Proper undergarments for senior photos

tips for good senior pictures

It is amazing how many times someone will come in wearing flowered underwear and not realize it is a problem until they go to put on their WHITE PANTS! Or come in wearing a white bra and put on a black sleeveless shirt. Please bring appropriate foundation wear for each outfit. Flesh colored is the best you can hope for. Also, if you need a strapless, bring one. Tucking the straps down usually shows and looks bad. With today’s thin fabrics, you might want to carefully select these pieces so they do not give unsightly lines.

Proper care for fingernails and toenails

Please get a manicure and/or pedicure the day before at the latest. NAILS SHOW! If they have the paint all chipped off, it will show. Sometimes, casual shots are done barefoot, or with sandals, so don’t forget about those toes! Avoid real bright colors. Natural or basic work best. We don’t want to draw attention to your neon orange toe nails. And they may look really bad with your next outfit!

These are just a few things to keep in mind when you think about what to wear to your senior pictures but, as always, please contact the office if you have any questions.

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