Senior Photography Style Guide


It's finally 2016 and if you are a high school senior I'm sure you're anxious for your final semester to fly by. You're ready to graduate, get out, and accomplish your dreams, whether that's going to college or starting your career. It really is one of the most exciting times of your life. 

I've noticed one thing that all of the senior girls that I've photographed this year have in common. They own their style. And I really appreciate that. The clothes they wear, how they do their makeup, and their hairstyles are on point. I have yet to meet a senior girl that didn't have complete confidence in their look. I have had one girl wear her favorite band's t-shirt with red shorts and black tights while another senior wore a leather jacket and an maroon hat. They are so different and they aren't afraid to just wear what they want. I can't say that I had that kind of confidence while I was in high school!


Senior girls are my absolute favorite subject to photograph because the possibilities for creativity are endless and since I'm only a few years older than them, we connect really well. 

Most of you don't need any help when it comes to styling yourself for your senior photos but if you do, here are some tips (from a photographer's point of view):

Your Outfits

Be yourself. This might be an obvious point but it's important. You want your outfit to reflect who you are at this point in your life. Don't pick out something that's trendy just because it's trendy. Pick it out  because it's your style. If you choose outfits that don't reflect your personal style, it will show and you won't be as happy with your senior pictures. When you look back on your senior pictures 30 years from now, sure, your outfit may be a little dated but it will scream, "You!" 

Layer. Using jackets, hats, scarves, etc. gives your photographer the ability to create many outfits out of one, giving variety to your senior pictures in a short amount of time. 

Think about the location. Think about how your outfit compliments or contrasts the scenery. For example, imagine your senior photography session is in Palo Duro Canyon and you decided to wear heels. This could go two ways: On one hand, the heels could be difficult to traverse the canyon in and on the other hand, the heels could give your nature-y location an interesting and contrasting look. It's something to think about it. 


Test it out. Definitely make sure that you try on your outfits before your actual session so you know you will feel comfortable and beautiful. Sometimes clothes look way different on the rack than they do on our bodies, right?

Go long. In order to get the most variety of outfits, locations, and poses, you need at least a 2 hour senior photo session. Time goes faster than you think during a photo shoot! When you have that kind of time, you will be able to wear an outfit that is dressy, one that is casual, and one that is somewhere in between. 

Your Makeup

Be natural but not too natural. It's a good idea to wear your makeup in a similar way that you usually do. It's not the time to try trends like turquoise eyes or purple lipstick (unless that's something you already do). However, this is your ONE time to take senior photos so you need to take the time and extra effort to get glamorous. Its should be You 2.0. 

Go easy on the eyeliner. Heavy eyeliner tends take the focus off of your eyes rather than on them. I have seen people with such heavy eyeliner that I could barely notice their beautiful blue eyes. 

I can see her striking eyes!

I can see her striking eyes!

Don't glow. This is the one time that you don't want to shine ;) Make sure that your foundation, eye shadow, lips, and cheeks are matte. Shiny or glittery makeup can create an unappealing, distracting look in photos. You can even set your foundation with a translucent matte powder. 

And my number one tip for senior photography makeup...

Hire a professional. A pro makeup artist will know exactly how your makeup will look in front of the camera. They will be able to give you a look that is both natural and glamorous at the same time. A professional can match your skin tone exactly to a foundation and will give you coverage if you need it. If you are worried about blemishes, she can make them virtually invisible. Having a pro makeup artist apply your look for your senior photos will allow you to arrive at the shoot with confidence. And there's nothing more beautiful than that.


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