It’s almost the end of an academic year. What a crazy past month it’s been. Let’s focus on not what has happened, but instead focus on the next year to come. So let me say this - hello class of 2021! Whether you are an upcoming graduate or the parent of a rising senior, this post is for you. I’ll be sharing my top tips for getting those amazing senior portraits.
Let me start off by saying that here at Petersen Photography, senior photography is our jam! Each of our sessions are unique and we work with you to capture what makes you you. Gone are the days of cookie cutter school pictures. Now is the time to be YOU - to stand out, to be different - and we make sure that your session is crafted to fit your vibe. We promise to create a session to fit your style that both you, and your parents, will fall in love with. We help with planning the session, locations, clothing, we even help you pick out your favorite photos (because let’s face it - you’ll love them all!).
So let’s get into those tips!
Don’t wait until the day of your photoshoot to start picking out your clothing. We recommend having 5 or 6 outfits, maybe even an alternative outfit, just in case. Have a variety of styles:
And bring your prom dress if you want! If you have some sort of extracurricular activity - don’t be afraid to bring your jersey or band uniform. The biggest thing is that you bring outfits that you feel comfortable and confident in.
Jackets, scarves, and sweaters are great ways to create alternating looks - layer it up. Solid colors do tend to work best. Make sure to stay away from busy prints that tend to distract from your face. We want you to be the focus, not your shirt. Make sure your clothes are wrinkle-free and lint-free as the camera will accentuate wrinkles in your clothing. If you’re not sure how to use an iron, now is a great time to learn!
Change out your shoes to match your outfit. Don’t feel silly bringing several different pairs! As far as jewelry, take the time to plan out how you will accessorize each outfit. You have your own personal style and we want that to shine through in your photos. As a whole, I recommend staying away from large pieces of jewelry as it tends to be distracting, but bring what makes you YOU!
We all have our favorite pair of sunglasses. Bring them along! Sunglasses are a lot of fun to incorporate in photos. As far as hats, from a guy’s favorite baseball cap to a girl’s funky hat - hats show a lot of personality and are great to use as a prop.
Hair and Makeup
Here is where it gets a little tricky. So many people want to look their best and get a haircut a few days before their photoshoot. But most of us tend to not like that “fresh cut” look . I recommend getting your haircut a week or two before your photoshoot. Now is also not the time to try out some new cut or color that you may end up not liking. If you want to experiment with a blue mohawk for the first time, go for it - but maybe after your photoshoot. Keep it real and keep it you.
Girls - even if you don’t normally wear makeup, you definitely want to wear some for your senior pictures (though maybe not go full on glam). It is not required to have a professional do your hair and makeup for your session, however a professional will know best how to even skin tones and accentuate your best features.
One detail that is often overlooked but helps to pull everything together is your nails. Don’t forget your nails. If you are a mani kind of girl, make sure that your nail polish isn’t chipping off and in need of a fill-in. Make sure your nails are trimmed and neat.
It can be hard trying to figure out what sort of props to bring to your session. Start by thinking about what some of your favorite things are. What defines you in this moment?
Some examples are:
If you love your car - GREAT - let’s shoot with it!
We love your 4-legged family members too. Let them make a cameo appearance in your photos. If you have a special chair or a favorite heirloom piece, bring it along with you. Don’t be afraid to bring what defines you.
For most teens, their skin is one of their biggest stressors when it comes to having professional photos taken. We all have blemishes, don’t stress out about them - just hide them with a touch of a well matching concealer and well blended foundation. Of course, we will edit out those pesky pimples for you.
For guys, make sure your beard, mustache, and/or sideburns are nicely trimmed and looking neat. For girls, make sure your underarms and legs are smooth and stubble free. Your legs will more than likely be seen and if you have on a sleeveless shirt and pose with your arm over your head, trust me, that stubble won’t be pretty.
Avoid getting a spray tan before your session. Spray tans often photograph orange and your elbows and knees often look darker than the rest of you. You also want to make sure that you avoid getting a sunburn before your session as well. Sunburns are difficult to retouch and often leave you with red blotches and flaky skin. It’s okay to go out and get a little sun, just remember that sunscreen.
More than likely, this will be the first time you’ve had any professional photos taken. Take a deep breath and relax. Do not worry or stress out about it. We will guide you through how to pose and help you to learn what works best for you and your body. As a professional photographer, we have all the gear and neat tricks at our disposal to capture you at your best. So trust us, this is what we do. We know what works best for photos and we want YOU to look your best in your senior portraits.
Overall, the biggest piece of advice that I can give you is to simply have fun. Be yourself during your photoshoot and don’t be afraid to be goofy. We aren’t going to share any embarrassing photos on social media, so don’t worry and let loose. Feel free to bring your best friend along, after all, they know how to make you laugh!
Remember, this is it - your twelfth year. Everything is about to change, for you and your parents. You are going to go off to college, get a job, embark on the next phase of your life. Let’s capture this important rite of passage and immortalize this moment for you and your family to look back on for decades to come. Your parents are going to miss you when you are gone, so let’s create lasting portraits that they can hang on their walls, portraits that will remind them of what a wonderful child they’ve raised. Also, YES, ABSOLUTELY, mom and dad always want to come along to your photoshoot, let them!
Don’t trust your senior portraits to just anyone. Allow Petersen Photography to create a senior photography session with results that you and your family will treasure for a lifetime. Now is the time Class of 2021, Contact us today!
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