Do you have a high school senior planning for upcoming photos?
If you do, lets take a walk through tips and tricks to assure a fun and enjoyable day of photography, makeup, hair and clothing options.
How do I select clothing for my high school senior portraits?
As someone on the opposite side of the camera, my advice would be to check with your photographer to make sure the location and background of your photos accurately reflect your personality.
From there, select six to eight favorites outfits that are complimentary to you. Then, you can begin narrow down pieces that fit within the scheduled photo session.
Often, we see looks showcasing trends that are dressy casual, timeless for yearbook and graduation photos, and sessions that showcase interests, such as hobbies or sports. It always is good to bring options.
Having your photos taken outdoors has a different feel than indoors, and the colors and fabric texture will read differently.
Tricks of the trade: Nylons are an excellent “cover-all” for leg bruises, sunburns and bug bites. Nylons come all sorts of styles and are workable with peep toe shoes and sandals.
How should I accessorize?
Bring your staple pieces. A favorite necklace, watch, bracelet, earrings can have significant meaning, and those should available upon request, as well as trendy and costume jewelry depending on the outfit.
We also see different options for hats, belts and shoes. Bring them. What looks best on camera might surprise you.
For nails: While we might think this small detail won’t be noticed, it will. Going with a sleek, natural nail is more than acceptable; however, should you wish to wear nail color, make sure it is fresh and chip-free for both hands and feet.
For makeup and hair: Start by asking questions and find an artist who can accurately create the desired look. Many seniors I have worked with enjoy a nice, clean “fresh” face. Natural looking makeup is youthful.
If a client wants to add color, this generally is accented by lip color.
Heavy and dark makeup can be stylized but also can age a young face. Be sure to go with your personality.
Hair styling is fun, and options should be explored. If you are changing looks, it is best to start with the simplest first, then build on different styles so less time is taken between outfit changes.
What do I put in my session bag?
Photographer Nat Finley said that for sessions lasting from one to three hours, seniors should bring a water bottle to stay hydrated, deodorant, a small can of hairspray and recommended makeup from your artist for touchups, a hairbrush, bug spray, setting powder or oil blotting sheets.
Tricks of the trade: Baby powder helps reduce sweating and makes tight shoes more comfortable. Baby wipes help with cleansing and makeup removal as needed.
Professional tip: Parents should always accompany their senior to the session as additional travel and outfit changes might be necessary. Also, check with your photographer with rescheduling clauses, deposits and what to do in case of inclement weather.
Britni Farber is a makeup artist who works primarily in film and television. She also has a bridal business in Dubuque.