How to prepare for your High School Senior Portrait

WARDROBE

The right clothing allows your face to dominate the portrait, all other elements in your photo should be secondary.. So our goal, is for the face to be the prominent, not the clothes. For this reason we discourage busy patterns and bright colors in your clothing, they will draw the eye to the clothing instead of the subject • Never wear a lighter colored pant with a darker colored shirt, it will make your bottom half look larger than your top and that is not a good look for males or females • Short skirts or dresses really limit your posing options, so think carefully before choosing a lot of this type of clothing. It’s a good idea to vary your clothing styles, not all of one type • Big stripes will add at least a dress size to your looks as well as distract from your face, don’t wear them • Big logos across your chest are not only distracting, they’re going to date your portraits. Strive for a classic, timeless look, something that will be in style now as well as 20 years from now • Choose varying styles of clothing. Shirts with different necklines, casual and dressy clothing. Sweaters, and other garments with textures are a good choice • Jackets can be added for a completely different look • Include scarves and hats to add more different clothing looks • Wrinkles WILL show up in your portraits. Iron your clothes if necessary and bring in on a hanger • Make sure your clothing is clean • Plan ahead • Your senior portraits are only going to be as good as the combined effort of your photographer and you. You cannot expect the photographer to work a miracle and make your clothes perfect if you haven’t done your part • Girls need to try on their clothing with the undergarments they’ll be wearing • We discourage clients from wearing white shirts for most portraits, because white tends to draw the viewers eye, and detracts your eye from the face of the subject. Bright white tennis shoes will stand out as well • Long sleeves or sleeveless shirts are best. If you are concern about the size of your upper arms, then of course, you’ll want to wear long sleeves. Mostly short sleeves visually cut the arm in two, short sleeves should be avoided except in the most casual of  photographs, however three quarter sleeves are fine.

 

NAILS & POLISH

Girls and guys should have fingernails clean and filed. • Remove chipped nail polish: it will show • Black and blue fingernail polish keep popping up as a fashion trend • Don’t wear either for your senior portraits, it’s too trendy: it’ll make your fingernails look odd and they’ll look even stranger 20 years from now • Neon polish may draws too much attention and may clash with some outfits. • Girls should really stick to neutral tones, light to mid pink is a good choice.

 

MAKE UP

Oily skin, especially on your face really is the enemy, oil will show up as unattractive shiny spots on your face in a photo, ( especially on your forehead) • Wear a foundation makeup that doesn’t have oil in it and if you do have oily skin, refresh your makeup with translucent powder during the shoot • Face blotters work well keeping makeup intact • Don’t use makeup with spf protection in it for your session • Makeup or “base” or foundation that contains spf protection has a reflective quality, i.e. it looks shiny in photos • Use a fresh tube of mascara so you don’t have clumps • Close up photos will show • Neutral eye colors, such as grays and browns are best • Avoid pastel shades and especially highly frosted shadows • Don’t use eye shadows, lotions, blush anything with glitter in it • Highly frosted eyeshadow will do the same thing, it’ll show up as tiny white spots all around your eyes • If you use lotion of any kind, especially on your face it will show up as shine • Chapped or cracked lips are going to show in your portraits • Moisturize your lips BEFORE your session • Don’t wear super glossy lipstick or lip gloss because they make huge white spots from the shine on your lips wherever the light hits it.

 

JEWELRY

It’s nice to include special or important jewelry in your portraits however keep in mind that too much jewelry can be distracting • Pendant type necklaces will be tough to keep in the proper place when you move around as you pose • Organize jewelry by putting in baggies and slipping over the coordinating outfit hangers so you won’t be hunting around for it.

 

SHAVING – GIRLS AND GUYS

Girls should have shaved under your arms the day of your session • Poses may have hands over head and even wearing a sleeveless top, stubble may show and it won’t look pretty • Boys should make sure to shave their beards for the same reason.

 

HAIR

Don’t use a lot of hairspray, gel or other product in your hair • Your hair should move with you when you tilt your head and blow nicely in the breeze • Hair spray can be used to tame fly a ways on top of your head or keep hair out of face • Don’t forget to take your pony tail holder off of your wrist • Don’t get a last minute haircut or hairstyle change • Give your hair a week or so to grow in a bit from a haircut.

 

SUN TANNING

Sunburns are nearly impossible to fix or retouch • Suntan lines are also tricky so you should vary your shirt sleeves and bathing suit tops when tanning to avoid lines • Don’t spray tan before a session, it will photograph orange and it will probably be blotchy, darker in the knees, elbows, hairline and other dry areas • It’s best not to over tan even if  you do your tanning  the sun. There’s  a reason models do not tan much, untanned or lightly tanned skin looks better.

 

EXCEPTIONS

Of course there are always exceptions, if  your favorite outfit in the world falls under any of these categories, bring it and we’ll use it for a few poses with a carefully chosen background.

 

WHAT TO BRING

• Bring more outfits than you need • That way we can help pick outfits that are more flattering • Try to be prepared to change outfits quickly. That way we can spend more time shooting photos. • Have accessories ready in baggies like previously discussed • Have a friend or family member come along to help fix hair and outfits. • Bring props • Whatever your hobbies may be, music, sports we can incorporate it into any photo • Bring a favorite CD with your music • Bring photos from magazines or websites that you like • You’ll be sure to get the poses you like • If not, we can definitely take charge of the posing, no worries with that, we are the professionals

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