Senior Style Guide
Finally! It’s time to get to the fun stuff- picking your outfits, hair, and makeup for your senior shoot! You’ll look back on these photos for years, so choosing the right look is super important. The goal here is to represent your style and personality while making you look and feel like the best version of yourself.
When I took my senior photos I had some big visions and some not-so-cute outfits (plus it rained, on top of it.) I’m here to tell you that I have been through the process and know what you’re looking for and how you want to feel. So here are my best tips and tricks to having an awesome senior shoot and taking your photos from average to fabulous.
#1. Wear what makes you feel GOOD.
We all have our go-to shirt and favorite pair of jeans that we throw on and feel like a million bucks in. Bring that. And, if you’re anything like me, you have a couple of great dresses with tags still on them that you’re looking for an excuse to wear. This is your excuse to wear one! It’s also a great excuse to head out (if you’re like me, to Goodwill!) and find one or two new things that make you feel really special. I love having something new to wear for a special occasion, and you only take your senior photos once!
(P.S. If your mom wants you to wear a stuffy dress and blazer with some kitten heels, just do it. She just wants to show you off to all of her friends. We’ll get a few great shots of you in it and then quickly move on to your next outfit.)
#2 Bring it all
Okay, maybe not allllllll of it. But you’re never going to regret bringing that extra pair of shoes along! Go through your closet and grab all of the pieces that match the vibe you’re going for and make you feel great. We may not use all of it, but there’s no reason to limit ourselves! More options means we can choose your looks based off our surroundings. Field of yellow flowers? Grab that jean jacket out of the car, denim is going to look great. Awesome alleyway? Let’s pull out those statement heels and a little black dress.
#3 Accessories are key!
Accessories are the thing that takes a few cool pieces and turns them into an outfit that lets your killer style shine. Belts, shoes, dainty necklaces, statement earrings, layered bracelets, jackets, boho hats, flower crowns- bring it all! You don’t have to have it all perfectly styled when you get to your shoot- we’ll work with it as we go and put together something that looks great on camera.
#4 Texture, color, and pattern
Texture, color, and pattern are all super important to a photo! A general rule of thumb to stick to is to wear only smaller patterns. I do usually stick to that, but rules are meant to be broken! Bring whatever pieces with pattern, color, and texture that you’re attracted to. Furry vest? Love it. Yellow skirt? Absolutely. Bold floral print? Thrown on a jacket or sweater and a pretty necklace and you’re golden. Again, we’ll work together to come up with what looks best on you!
#5 Dress for the season
Although a little juxtaposition is fun sometimes, wearing a pretty dress to your session that’s in the middle of winter is just going to make you look uncomfortable and cold in your photos. Likewise, wearing a heavy sweater while shooting in June is going to make for some sweaty-looking photos. Embrace the season you’re shooting in!
(P.S. If you have your heart set on getting both bright and summer photos and a few with fall leaves, let me know! I’m always down to do an extra mini-shoot during another season for a minimal fee. We live in Wisconsin, let’s take advantage of those distinct seasons!)
Hair & Makeup
#1 Start preparing a few days before
the most important part of looking (and feeling) good at your senior shoot is drinking lots of water and getting rest! Everyone looks better when they’re treating their body right. Drinking water and getting rest will help make your eyes brighter, get rid of those pesky bags we all have, and will make your skin more healthy-looking too! It’s amazing what the camera picks up on.
#2 Apply your makeup in front of a window.
You’re most likely going to be taking photos outside, so make sure you apply your makeup in as similar lighting as possible! This will ensure that you have a good, even application that will look great on the camera.
P.S. Use foundation with no SPF! It makes your face look white and adds shine, which no-one wants.
#3 Groom your brows
People often underestimate how much eyebrows can affect the look of the face! I’m not saying to go get a professional wax and fill them in like the Kardashians, but get rid of any stray hairs and fill in any sparse spots with a little bit of powder. It’ll make a huge difference!
#4 Make your eyes pop
I’m not expecting you to execute a perfect cut crease look for your photoshoot, but definitely add at least a sweep of natural, matte eyeshadow and some mascara to make your eyes pop. Add a bit of a lighter color near the inner corner of the eye and, if you’re comfortable with it, a bit of eyeliner to the outer lash line. You’ll be golden!
#5 Don’t let your lips get washed out!
A slight gloss looks great in photos. Bring your favorite tinted lip balm or light gloss along! And I’m never opposed to a bright statement lip either:)
Wear your hair whichever way you like it best! I prefer to have photos taken with my hair down and a little curled, so that’s how I wore it for my senior photos. Having a little texture is great, but make sure that you don’t have too many flyaways. Backlighting makes everything look magical but also shines a spotlight on unruly hair. Bring along hairspray, a brush, and some bobby pins!