The Perfect Senior Pictures

Ashlee Phillips Senior Pictures
It’s that time of year again, time for senior pictures. Spring is right around the corner and preparation for graduation is coming along quickly. Have you made arrangements for your senior pictures? If not, act fast or you might get stuck with a photographer who isn’t your first choice, and might just miss the opportunity to get great pictures. Search around for a photographer who matches your personality, and be sure to look closely at the photographer’s portfolio to see if you like their work. Do you want to be photographed in a studio or somewhere that showcases you and your style? Are you an athlete or part of a group at school? Your photographer should be able to show your talent so you can share that with your friends and family.

Here are a few things to ask your photographer:

  • How much time will be allotted for your photo session?
  • How many outfit changes will be allowed?
  • When will the proofs be available?

You should like what you hear in answer to these questions. If you get an answer that seems unreasonable, question why. For instance, if the photographer says it will take 8 weeks to see the proofs, what is the hold up? If they don’t allow outfit changes and this is something you really want, then they are not a good match. Remember that you are the client and the photographer is working for you, so don’t settle for less than the best. However, keep in mind that your expectations should be reasonable.

Choose your photographer wisely! There are way too many people that purchase cameras and now consider themselves a photographer. Just because someone has a nice camera doesn’t mean they understand how it works or how to take great photos.

Tips to make your portrait session a success:

Wear clothes that complement your height, size and stature. Don’t choose something that doesn’t flatter you, and remember this is a photo that you will share with many of your friends and family. Choose colors that complement your hair and skin color. If you have light skin, choose a color that makes you look tan rather than pale. If you have dark hair, choose a contrasting outfit for a vibrant photo. Your photographer should be able to assist you with this, but you should choose wisely so you don’t waste your session and need to reschedule or re-shoot your photos.

Avoid t-shirts with written words or logos on them. That “brand” may be all the rage right now, but will they still be around in 10 years? School logos and letterman’s jackets are the one exception to this rule. Stay away from plaid, complex designs, and stripes…especially horizontal ones. Sometimes these patterns can be distracting. You want your face to be the most prominent feature in your photographs, not the design on your shirt.

A new haircut or style for your portrait session is not recommended. Stick with what you know for at least one month before deciding to have that new hairdo captured permanently. Ladies, if you are going to have your hair done by a stylist, work with them beforehand so that there are no last minute surprises.

When it comes to makeup, less is more. Generally applying more than usual will look unnatural and draw attention to the makeup rather than yourself. The one item you will want to bring along to the session is facial powder. Some facial shine is perfectly acceptable for your day-to-day activities, but it can be emphasized in photographs due to the lighting, and no one wants that. Have some on-hand in case you need to dab some on your forehead or nose. Finally, lets talk about those blasted blemishes that always seem to show up the day of. The more you try to cover them up, the more obvious they will appear. Honestly, most photographer are adept at removing blemishes on the computer, so don’t fret. They can easily be removed.

Glasses? Many optometrists will remove the lenses from your frames at little or no cost. This option is great, as it removes the glare and reflections from the equation completely. Be sure to make an appointment. Don’t expect to be able to walk in at the eye doctor’s office on the day of your photo shoot to have your lenses removed.

Guys should be cleanly shaven. Facial hair is extremely difficult to retouch. If you have sensitive skin, do not shave right before coming to the studio or you will have blotchy skin in your photos.

Tanning? Don’t overdo it. You risk peeling or red skin, which is difficult and costly to remove digitally. Also avoid spray tans, as they have an orange hue that is very obvious in photos.

How’s your smile? A great way to prepare for your senior picture session is to practice smiling and posing in front of a mirror. It might seem weird at first, but trust me, it will be worth it when you get your photos back. Try a variety of smiles and notice the subtle differences with each. When you like a particular one, practice it. Like they always say, practice makes perfect. Also, practice facial expressions and body language, you don’t want to look stiff or unnatural.

Follow these tips and tricks and you are bound to receive excellent senior pictures that you will look back at years from now and still love!