SENIOR PORTRAIT SESSION ADVICE
Planning for your Senior Portrait Session is important, if you want to capture the best images and tell a fabulous 'story' of who you are. Here are some tips from pamarazzi!
WHAT TO WEAR
choose muted tones that are a bit subdued so that you are the subject - not your clothes. Bright colors (especially reds, oranges, and yellows) may be too loud and may make you look larger.
wear solid colored clothing so that we see all of your face. If you wear stripes or flowers, your loud clothing will stand out above your facial features.
choose similar tones for your top and bottom (both dark or both light) so that one doesn’t look bigger than the other. A white top with dark pants will make your top look bigger. White pants with dark top will make your bottom look bigger.
choose 1 to 3 colors for your portrait, ones with similar tones that go nicely together. For example: dark green, navy, and burgundy – all dark jewel tones. OR tan, a lighter olive green, and denims – all lighter, softer tones so that we see the people first and your portrait looks stunning.
choose a top with sleeves at least to the elbow because your arms take up more skin area than your face and will draw attention and it may also make your arms look larger
choose long pants for men/women or a skirt below the knee for women so that your legs don’t take attention from your faces, and you will be able to sit and bend without showing too much leg
choose dark socks (if you wear socks) and footwear (unless it’s a barefoot photo on the beach) because white just sticks out like a sore thumb and that’s all you’ll notice in your portrait. Sandals and dress shoes for women are acceptable. If wearing long pants and tennis shoes, remember no white socks.
keep jewelry simple because too much will draw attention away from your face
do your hair the way you’d normally do it while wearing the clothes you choose – no fancy hair with jeans, no pony tails with evening gowns, etc. so your portrait will be timeless and represent more closely who you are, not just what you look like.
unless you are going for a 'seasonal' look, be sure to not wear seasonal clothing.
ask yourself if your clothing choices will 'date' you later -- are they trend-setting today, but will look out of place in 3 years?
if getting a haircut or new hairstyle, make your hair appointment at least 2 weeks prior to your portrait session because Fresh hair cuts rarely look their best the same or next day. Women need time to practice working it, men need it to grow out just a little. Allow some time to live with your new look before your portrait session.
WHAT TO BRING
Bring three outfits:
One casual outfit, something like jeans and a solid colored top.
A dressy outfit; slacks and a button down shirt for the guys, a dress or slacks and a nice shirt for the girls.
One outfit that describes their senior year in a nutshell. This might be a sports jersey, a t-shirt with their favorite band, their prom dress, or it could be a really trendy outfit that they absolutely love.
Bring props that have meaning.
the emphasis on your portraits will be YOU, but the props can help to tell the ‘story’ of YOU.
your car or a bike (note, if location can accommodate)
your favorite cuddly stuffed animal
pets are great, if the shoot location permits.
WHERE TO GO
Choose a location that has meaning. Years from now, you will be able to look at your portraits and have fond memories of a favorite place. Plus, where the emphasis on your portraits will be YOU (not the background), the background will create contrast and will help tell the 'story' of YOU.
Pick a place that makes you HAPPY
Pick a place where you spend a lot of time
Pick a place where you hang out with your best friends
Choose a location that is conducive to good ambient/outdoor lights and no harsh shadows for best results. All the lighting equipment in the world will not offset a poorly lit location.
Choose a location (or time) that is not overly crowded. Background people MAY be easily removed in post-processing, but large crowds cannot.
You DON"T have to wait for fall, winter, spring or summer. If you desire a seasonal background, this can be accomplished if your photographer has a good library of background shots at your favorite locations in your favorite season.