Senior Tips

Posted in by jeremy on the February 1st, 2006

General Tips

Special Considerations For Guys

Special Concerns For Girls

General Tips


First of all AVOID STRIPES AND PLAID!! Solids photograph much better! Also bring a variety of colors, 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.

We 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 4-5 looks per hour. 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.

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 HANGARS. 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.


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. 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 have curlers in your hair before hand if you need to.

Although we 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.


Best tip here, 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.


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, cars at an outside location, we suggest more than an hour session for car shots).


Most glasses glare! Some prescriptions more than others. 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.


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.


We retouch blemishes, so don’t worry about minor breakouts. We even now offer an inexpensive option to retouch your entire folio or album!


Pets are OK. Treats can be helpful to hold a dogs attention.

Friends & Parents

Friends or parents are welcome. They can be a help. HOWEVER, if they distract you, it is best to have them wait somewhere besides the shooting location. You can have a couple of shots with a boyfriend, girlfriend, best friend or sibling at no extra charge.

Weather For Outdoor Portraits

Let’s face it, we are at the mercy of mother nature. If it rains, fretting will not do anything about it, we simply have to reschedule. Don’t worry about clouds, they actually HELP! But rain falling IS a problem. 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 us.

Tattoos, Scars And Braces

Just let the photographer know if you want tattoos to show or not. It is that easy. Scars are not automatically retouched, but can be removed or softened at your request. Extensive work may have a slight extra charge. Braces? Don’t worry. You could have the tops taken off for your photo session, or we can retouch them out by computer. But don’t fight smiling, a braces smile is better than holding back a smile.

Special Considerations For Guys


Remember, if mom gets her nice shot, she is much cooler on letting you get what you want! So make her happy and keep her off both of our cases. Bring the right shoes for the outfits. Docs or sandals photograph much better than big, bright tennis shoes.
Bring a dark t-shirt to wear under dark shirts. A white t-shirt triangle under a dark shirt sticks out like a sore thumb. so bring a black or gray. Avoid large, bold brand names or words on clothing. Already, a few big names from just a few years ago, you would not be caught dead wearing now. No need to make your portraits advertising billboards for a clothing brand.


Please make sure you are clean shaven. Retouching stubble costs extra and still does not look as good as a clean shave. 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!


Be careful of changes right before your session. Bleached hair does not look as good in photographs. It is a short trend and you may find it looking real silly once the trend is gone. Natural or maybe frosted tips are better than the white, totally bleached look. You may not even have that by the end of the year.

Special Concerns For Girls

There are certain things girls should be aware of and watch for in their preparation:

Clothing Styles

Be careful of baggy clothes that might make you look larger than you are. 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. 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 & White

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 bring some black, wild to mild. Dark bottoms are also in order.

Outdoor Sessions

Most outdoor sessions do not have places to change. But if you wear a layered outfit, you can add or drop a piece for a different look.


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 todays thin fabrics, you might want to carefully select these pieces so they do not give unsightly lines.

Finger & Toe Nails

NAILS SHOW! If they have the paint all chipped off, it will show. Many casual shots are done barefoot, 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!

Tan & Strap Marks

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.


Makeup 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.

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