Senior Portrait Session Prep: 6 Tips for Stunning Photos

Your senior portrait session is a big deal and a fun way to capture your uniqueness. Here are six friendly tips to help you get ready to create some stunning senior portraits.

Senior portrait of a girl sitting on stone stairs


Choose Your Outfits

Picking your favorite clothes is key to your senior portrait session prep. Go for a few different looks that you feel comfortable in. Think about mixing casual and dressy outfits to give yourself some variety. Here are some things to keep in mind:

Show off your style: Wear clothes that reflect who you are. So if you rock the Doc Martens with jeans and a flannel, my 90’s self will give you a high five.

Keep it simple: Solid colors or simple patterns work best so the focus stays on you. 

Match the season and location: This will help you stay comfortable during your session. 

Coordinate without matching too much: If you’re bringing multiple outfits, try to choose ones that are different, but still reflect your personality. 

**Tip**: Set out your outfits the night before to be sure they’re clean and wrinkle-free. If you have furry family members, bring a lint roller just in case. 

If you borrow a cap and gown, make sure it is free of stains and wrinkles. I recommend hanging it up because they wrinkle easily.


Get Plenty of Rest

Just like going to school every day, you want to get a good night’s rest before your session. Make sure that you’re hydrated. Try to get at least 7-8 hours of sleep. 

Avoid caffeine and screens: Try to turn screens off at least an hour before bedtime, and stay away from caffeine at least 5 hours before bed.

Have a bedtime routine: Be consistent with your sleep habits. Fun fact: LeBron James shoots for 9-10 hours of sleep a night! 

**Tip**: Relax before bed by doing calming activities like a bath, meditation, yoga, or reading.

Girl reading a book under a tree


Practice Posing

If you’re not used to having your photo taken, practicing posing can help you feel more confident and have more fun with your session. Find some poses you like online and try them out in the mirror. If you think it’s ridiculous. . . well I got you to smile without even taking a picture!

Focus on:

Finding your best angles: Try different tilts and smiles. Do you prefer one side more? I like my left side!

Practicing natural smiles: Natural smiles are the best, think of something funny, nobody has to know!

Experimenting with hand placements: Thumbs or fingers in pockets, never whole hands. Keep your hands from mirroring each other.

**Tip**: Make your hands into fists and then relax them. This makes your hands look and feel more natural.


Bring Any Props or Accessories

These sessions are all about you and what you like. Bring the things that show off what you’re into:

Sports equipment: Helmets, sticks, shoes. . . bring it all!

Musical instruments: The louder the better, and be prepared to rock out a little. I may have bought a guitarlele after seeing one for the first time. 

Hobby-related items: Anything that represents your hobbies, like books, cameras, knitting, or even cosplay!

Accesorize: Hats, scarves, jewlery and lightsabers.

**Tip**: Lay out your props and accessories when you do your outfits, this will make your senior portrait session prep a little easier.


Relax and Have Fun

This is your session! Take a breath, relax and embrace being awesome. There’s no pressure, we’re just hanging out and I happen to be taking a few pictures. I’ll bring a speaker if you bring your favorite playlist!

Be yourself: Be unapologetically authentic.

Take breaks if needed: If you need a moment, that’s ok! Cheeks cramping up a bit? We can chill for a minute.

Focus on:

Enjoy the experience: Have fun with it, you’re celebrating a milestone!

**Tip**: Bring a friend or a puppy. 


Communicate with Your Photographer

Making your session about YOU is the most important thing to me. The last thing this should feel like is the 12 other school photos you’ve had taken. Let’s jump on a call and talk about your session and what you’re looking forward to most about it.

Share your vision: What’s the look you’re going for?

Discuss locations: Is there a place that is important to you?

Review the portfolio: Are there poses, locations or styles that you like.

**Tip**: Feel free to share a Pinterest mood board with me, I’d love to see what inspires you.

Adventurous high school senior with ATVs

Ready to book your session? Fill out the form below, and I’ll be in touch soon!