How to Prepare for Your High School Senior Portrait Session | Meredith Ehler | Image Consultant | Loudoun County, Virginia

Congratulations – you are about to have a portrait session with a professional photographer!  Get excited because you are in for a great time!  There is a bit of homework to do beforehand however.  But don’t worry,  it’s fun homework.  You have to become your own personal stylist to ensure that you look amazing in your pictures!

Whether your session is in a studio or outside, you need to prepare yourself and the outfits you will be wearing for the shoot.  As a stylist I want to make sure your personality shines through but doesn’t overwhelm “you” in your pictures.  Choose your hair style, makeup and wardrobe carefully so that your style is your perfect accessory!

Choosing Your Outfits

Most likely you will be photographed in a “drape” for your yearbook picture as well as in a few of your own outfits.   The typical outfits to prepare are a few casual outfits, an outfit that reflects your hobby like a sport or an instrument you play, and a formal outfit like a prom dress.  Your job is to go through your wardrobe, plan out the outfits and accessorize each of them, from jewelry to the shoes and even undergarments they may require.  Solid colors are best because patterns and busy designs can be overwhelming and don’t always photograph well.  You can always bring an outfit you aren’t sure about with you and the photographer will let you know if it will work.  Shoes don’t always show in the shot but assume they will and bring them along just in case.

lay out your outfits

Attention to Details

During your session you will be posing in different positions.  Some poses will show your fingernails and maybe even toenails.  Make sure to have a fresh manicure and pedicure for your shoot.  Even if you do your nails yourself.  Choosing a simple color, even a clear coat or a french manicure will look great in the pictures.  If you choose a deep color or a mutli-colored manicure it may be distracting.  And remember, we want YOU to stand out, not your nails.

Think about the jewelry and watch you wear in the shoot.  I recommend choosing different accessories that fit the “feel” of each outfit.  For example:  remove your sport watch or friendship bracelets for outfits that are dressy like a prom dress or senior drape.  I suggest laying your outfits out on your bed, with clothing, shoes and accessories too.  This way you can see everything for the entire shoot right in front of you.  If anything stands out too much, consider swapping out that item for one with a more subtle look.  The most important thing in your pictures is you!  Your personal style should not overwhelm you in your pictures.

Beauty Prep

Little things can show up in a big way in your photos.  I recommend having your hair and makeup done by me or a professional like me before your shoot.  I finish the session by making  sure my clients have the essentials with them to do touch ups during the shoot as well.  I recommend bringing a lip gloss with some color in it to re-apply as yours wears off, a compact of powder or oil-blot sheets in case you get shiny, and a hair brush to keep your hair from getting messy as you change your outfits.

A week before consider having your eyebrows shaped and make sure your roots don’t need a touch up.

have your hair and makeup done

OR – Hire a Stylist to Get Ready for Your Shoot

Treat yourself to one of my most popular services  - styling services before and during photo shoots.  I will do all of the work for you!  I am available to help you plan your wardrobe as well as do your hair and makeup for the session.  I can also stay during the session to style you during the shoot, ensuring that you look your absolute best in your photos. Most importantly – have fun and SMILE!

-Meredith