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Senior Portrait Sessions 101–Tips and Tricks for Making Your Senior Photos a Success | Saratoga Senior Portrait Sessions

Senior Portraits Saratoga

Great location, great light and great clothing choices = great

senior portraits.

It is that time of year–time to begin thinking about High School Senior Portrait Sessions. I am so excited for this year’s Senior Portrait Sessions! I love working with teens–they are so fun and open to trying new things!

Saratoga High School Senior Pictures 02

The white shirt has texture in it to keep it from being boring, but not too busy. That makes it does not distract from Meghan’s lovely face.

The Senior Portrait Session is one of those milestones for kids and parents that are great to photograph. Teens are on the cusp of becoming independent adults and want to highlight their individuality and their independence. Many times parents and teens have questions on how to make the most of their Senior Portrait Session, so here are a few of my Tips and Tricks for success.

Saratoga Senior Portrait Sessions

While this is a formal prom gown, it is classic and timeless to me.

1. Be sure to choose one simple, classic, timeless outfit. While I encourage you to bring clothing that expresses your personality and interests, one classic and timeless outfit is ideal for a large wall portrait because it will likely hang on your parents’ wall for many years. You want something that does not distract from your face, so keep it solid colors, little or no pattern. If solid colors and simple clothing seem a little boring or dull to you, you can always accessorize with jewelry or other items.

Saratoga High School Senior Portrait Photo

The orange pea coat is an individual statement, especially paired with the Keds and the choice of location.

2. Make sure you bring something that is more “you.” All of our sessions allow you to change clothing, so after you have done something classic and traditional, we can do something a little more fashion forward and trendy. You will like your Senior Portraits much better if you are wearing something you love and feel expresses your personality.

Shenendahowa Senior Portrait Photos

Your clothing should fit comfortably–nothing too tight or too loose.

3. Make sure your clothing fits you properly. Clothing that is too tight or too loose can be very unflattering and might not photograph well. When you are making selections to bring for your Senior Portrait Session, try things on before. Make sure you can move, sit, stand and move your arms freely.

High School Senior Pictures Saratoga Springs NY

I love how natural Colette’s makeup here. It really accentuates her lovely features.

4. Hair and Makeup–Be the best version of you. We can recommend a stylist if you would like to get your hair and makeup professionally done. Whether you choose to go that route or not, for most of your session you should look like–YOU. When we work with a stylist for a Senior Portrait Session, we usually tell the stylist to make our subject look like the best version of themselves. The makeup especially should enhance your best features. If you are getting a haircut, we suggest that you do so a week or so ahead of time.

Saratoga Senior Portraits 05

Make sure to get your hair cut a week prior to your Senior Portrait Session.

5. Personal Grooming: Guys should have their hair neatly groomed. Both guys and girls should have neat and clean fingernails. Girls–if you are wearing sandals, make sure you have clean, neat nails and feet. This sounds like common sense, but sometimes summer is really busy and you forget these little details.

Upstate Senior Portraits 01

This location was chosen by the family for its special meaning to them.

7. Don’t be afraid to tell us what you want! While photographers are certainly artists, as Senior Portrait Photographers, we also want your input in creating your photos. If you have seen something you like or have an idea, let us know. If you have a very specific location, item, or idea, it is best to discuss this before the actual session so we can plan ahead and make sure we have the time to do what you want. We want you to be 100% happy with your pictures, and communication is key.

Shenendahowa Senior Portraits

The jacket and sunglasses are coordinated to contribute to the look of this portrait. It feels very “Audrey Hepburn” to me.

8. Don’t forget the accessories! Shoes, belts, jewelry, etc. are all really important to your overall look. One trick we have found helpful is that when you are going through your outfits and trying things on, do so with ALL the necessary components. When you know what you want to wear with which outfit, put the components for an individual look in a plastic ziplock bag. Then attach the bag to the garment hanger. That way things stay together and it is easy to pack your car efficiently.

Adirondack Senior Portraits 02

Making sure your clothing is clean and pressed goes a long way in making your Senior Portrait Session a success.

9. Make sure your clothing is clean and pressed! Wrinkles in clothing or “spots” are distracting and can be very costly to remove. Take the time to make sure your clothing choices are pristine.

Ballston Spa Senior Portraits 01

The tones of the outfit here coordinated perfectly with the background.

The above are just some of our suggestions. The most important thing however is to just be yourself! We want you to have fun and create some really amazing images of YOU! If you would like to read more about making your Senior Portrait Session a success you might like this article on Senior Portrait Session Locations. And don’t forget to visit our Senior Portrait Photography Portfolio.

Saratoga High School Senior Portraits 10

Roads can symbolize a journey.

Susan Blackburn is a High School Senior Portrait Photographer photographing High School Seniors in Saratoga Springs, Lake George, the Adirondack Region and on Long Island. Please call 518.584.4237 to schedule a consultation today.