June 4, 2024

10 Senior Photo Tips for Your Best Session Ever

As you prepare for your session, these are the little-known senior photo tips I share with all of my clients!

Your senior year is right around the corner, and now is the time to think about senior photography! 

Senior photos capture such a fun and important time in your life. They document who you are in this moment and what you love to do. It’s worth getting excited about!

I still remember how excited I was for my senior photos. I spent what felt like ages picking out all of my outfits, planning what to do with my hair, and selecting every possible accessory. 

When I finally got my senior photo gallery, it felt like such a rush as I saw myself as beautiful for one of the first times. Giving my clients the same opportunity is what drives me. 

10 senior photo tips you’ll want to follow 

I always focus on providing my clients with the best possible session ever, so I’ve learned a thing or two about what makes for great senior photos. 

No matter if you work with me as we adventure through locations in the Twin Cities or work with another senior photographer, the 10 senior photo tips below will only help to increase the likelihood of LOVING your photos!

Iron your clothes

I know ironing isn’t typically a top priority for most high schoolers, but it’s so important! If your dress was folded into a square when you ordered it, those lines will, unfortunately, be very visible in every single photo. Any lines or creases will distract from the main purpose of your session (AKA showing you off!). 

Ironing your clothes helps to elevate the overall vibe of your session so it doesn’t look like you were running late and threw on whatever was in your laundry basket. And while you’re at it, try to eliminate any pesky stains on your clothes. That way, you’ll feel and look your best on the day of our session!

Lay low on the spray tans (and sunshine)

This is probably one of the least popular senior picture tips, but it needs to be said. I get it. We all feel better when our skin is glowing and freshly tanned. However, what we don’t want to do is have you looking unnaturally orange or photograph swimsuit tan lines. 

For the week leading up to your session, lay low on the spray tans and limit your time out in the sun. I’m not saying that you have to lock yourself indoors, but I do recommend wearing swimsuits that don’t leave unwanted tan lines. If you happen to have tan lines already, it’s best to plan your outfits so the lines can be covered by the clothes you picked out.

Bring a friend

As much as I want to be your instant bestie, no one knows you better than your actual bestie. While some senior photographers may frown on bringing a friend to your session, I welcome it! 

Bringing a friend can help ease any nerves you may have before a session, and no one will have you laughing and smiling more naturally than your bestie! 

When they tag along, they can also help by:

  • Carrying your outfit options, hair brush, or makeup for last-minute touch-ups
  • Giving you posing inspiration and making sure you hit all your best angles
  • Be an extra set of eyes for discovering cool photo locations

I love it when sessions become a collaborative effort. I think creativity is at its peak when it’s shared, so I highly encourage you and your entourage to participate!

Schedule haircuts accordingly

I understand wanting to get your hair cut and colored before your session to feel your absolute best, and if this is the case, I highly recommend scheduling those appointments at least a week beforehand. I can’t be the only one who has struggled to style my hair after a trim, even if it isn’t that different from before. 

By scheduling your salon trip in advance, any hair dye will wash away from your forehead and you’ll have the chance to style your hair with the new cut before it really counts. 

Choose the right location

Although you are the focal point of your session, the location of your shoot sets the tone for the whole gallery. It’s best to choose a location that effortlessly fits your style rather than fighting against it. It should make it easier, not harder, to capture your best senior photos. 

Are you wanting to wear a cowboy hat and boots? Let’s look at some rolling hills and tall grass. Feeling kind of boho? Let’s consider a field of flowers. Are you more city chic? No problem, we can take it to the streets! 

For full sessions, I love when I can pair two locations to get the most out of our time together. 

Here are my top picks for Minneapolis senior photo location pairs:

  • Mill City Ruins and St. Anthony Main
  • St. Anthony Main and Silverwood Park
  • Boom Site and Downtown Stillwater
  • Square Lake Park and Downtown Stillwater
  • Lebanon Hills (tons of spots all in one!)

Play your favorite music

No one is a fan of awkward silence! One of my favorite senior photo tips is to plan a hype playlist before our day so you can set the vibe and jam out for the whole shoot. I always come to senior sessions with a portable speaker to blast your favorite playlist or artist, so even if you don’t personally curate a playlist ahead of time, come to your session with an artist or genre in mind and I’ll be sure to play it!

Embrace the wind

Try as we might, sometimes your session can land on a windy day. Unless the weatherman predicts a windstorm, most senior photographers won’t reschedule sessions because of the wind. So, instead of working against the wind, let the wind work for you! 

When I’m posing you, I’ll position you so you’re facing the wind which will keep your hair from flying into your face. Truthfully, some of my windiest sessions have been my favorite to edit because it helps to create a more authentic, less staged look that truly feels like you.

Choose your color wisely

Another senior photo tip that should be considered early in the planning process is considering how the color of your clothing will be photographed on camera. This is important to keep in mind when you’re selecting your best outfits. 

Even if a super bright, highlighter yellow shirt might seem like a fun option, there’s a high likelihood that it’ll wash you out and draw the attention away from your gorgeous face! Similarly, bright red can make you look sunburned (refer to senior photo tip #2 for my opinions on this look). 

If you have any questions about what colors are best to wear, I’m happy to help! I usually recommend wearing neutrals so the colors don’t compete with your backdrop scenery, but you can always add a pop of color through an accessory, your shoes, and beyond. 

Rethink your shoes

Don’t get me wrong, I love a cute heel. However, we do quite a bit of walking during our sessions. At the very least, I highly recommend bringing a pair of slides or flats to change into while we travel from place to place. 

Additionally, keep the location in mind while choosing your outfits. For example, if you take pictures in a field or a park, don’t wear stilettos because they might sink into the ground and potentially lead to a twisted ankle.

Lastly, be yourself!

Nothing ruins photos more than trying to be someone you’re not. This can result in photos feeling fake or stiff—even if the location, outfits, and weather are all perfect!I don’t want you to look back at your photos and feel like they aren’t really you. That’s why being yourself is the most important senior photo tip! 

Before your session, I’ll send out a questionnaire where you can let me know if you want something more casual, dressy, or both! This is also when you can tell me if you’re a “dance like nobody’s watching” or a “read a book on a park bench” kind of person. 

This information will help me think of prompts and poses ahead of time, but even if you’re not in the same mood you were in when you filled out the questionnaire, we can pivot during your session. 

When in doubt, be yourself and you’ll be sure to have a great time!

If you need more senior photo tips or are looking for guidance on outfit and location selection, let’s chat about it in more detail

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *