OK, let's be real. There is NO WAY that I am going to sit here and tell you that I am as hip and trendy as a teenager, that I know the latest fashions and styles. I'm pretty sure that the fact that I even used the word "hip" in that last sentence is proof of how old and "NOT COOL" I actually am!
But though cool I am not, what I am is experienced behind my camera, especially with high school senior portraits. I know what works and what doesn't. I might not be able to tell you teens what labels you should be wearing, but I can be your best source for wardrobe musts on Portrait Day.
When choosing what to wear for your senior portraits, it's important to choose clothes that are not TOO loose and baggy. As I pose my seniors, I will do so in ways that flatter each one, but if clothes are too baggy, posing won't make a difference. From every angle and every side, she will appear formless and less than flattering.
On the other hand, there is no need for tight clothing (perhaps this is the mom in me coming out). Clothes that fit TOO well show off everything, flattering or not. Posing a senior in clothes that fit too tightly means that every bend might expose too much, or perhaps create a fold or a bump that isn't normally there. There is no wiggle room- literally!
So choose clothes that give you room to move around, but that also fit your form. Think comfortable, but not too comfortable. Form fitting but not too form fitting.
I always tell my seniors this! No matter what it is, bring accessories to the session. Anything from a sweater, to a scarf, to a great chunky necklace will add depth, color, and texture to your portraits. Hats are great at the end of a portrait session (no need to mess up the hair right away), and even small jewelry like earrings and rings can really finish off a great portrait.
But accessories don't just apply to clothing! I always encourage seniors to bring their favorite "toys". Their phones (of course), or a favorite book. Perhaps a sketch pad or their pom poms, or their soccer ball or track baton. These accessories (or props) create extra layers to the "story" behind each senior portrait, and add a unique touch that every teen wants.
And even better, these props give seniors something to do with their hands! Play with the scarf around her neck. Open the book and browse the pages. Fingertips on the hat brim. Hold the soccer ball at the waist. Hands taken care of!
So before your senior portraits, take a few minutes and fill a bag with your favorite accessories and props. You'll be so glad you did- and so will your photographer!
I love the natural look. Heck, I MISS the natural look! At my age, it's not super smart to walk out the door attempting that natural look. Gray hair and wrinkles are my enemy. Not so with you high school seniors! Ah, to be young again.
But that does not mean it's ok to skip the hair and make up for your senior portraits. You can still have that gorgeous natural look, but take the time to finish your look. Some simple foundation, lip gloss and mascara can go such a long way!
Finding a professional hair and make-up artist is a fantastic way to create a finished yet natural look to your portraits, but if you can't go that route, simply take the time to even out skin tones and put a little shine on those lips. Nothing over the top, but a little more than the every day look.
And there you have it. Three simple tips that every high school senior should keep in mind. They are universal "musts", and yet do not detract from creating unique portraits. Keep these in mind for your Portrait Day!