Hands down, the most common question I am asked by my seniors AND THEIR MOMS is this one:
WHAT SHOULD I WEAR TO MY PHOTO SESSION?
There are so many great tips, and important factors that go into choosing the right outfits for portraits, decisions that focus on what makes a girl feel great, or what photographs well, and what makes a girl truly see herself in her portraits.
So today, I want to share with you FIVE SIMPLE BUT FANTASTIC TIPS FOR HELPING YOUR DAUGHTER CHOOSE WHAT TO WEAR FOR HER SENIOR PORTRAITS!
1. CONSULT YOUR DAUGHTER
When I photograph tween and teen girls, especially teens for their senior portraits, I always suggest that both mom and daughter choose one outfit that they love. Chances are that mom wants to go in a more traditional direction, which might mean a lovely dress or something a bit dressy. On the other hand, the girls themselves usually want to go with something trendier, or more casual- something that speaks to their personality.
This is where it's really important to include your daughter in the wardrobe decisions. I invite moms to choose an outfit they love, but don't forget to ask your daughter what she thinks, what she loves to wear, what she envisions. This is the first step to creating a confident model come Portrait Day, as it immediately sets the tone that you trust her, that these portraits are for her, and that you love her style.
2. CONSULT HER CLOSET
Before you go rushing to the mall for a whole new wardrobe, check out your daughter's closet for the best clothing options.
Chances are good that she has a few pieces already in there that make her feel beautiful, and bring out her confidence. THOSE are the pieces you want to incorporate into her portraits. It is often more about what makes a girl FEEL good, rather than what's trending or what looks good in the store window or on the pages of a magazine. If you choose the pieces she already has, but that give her that confidence vibe, that will show up in her portraits, which is ultimately the best part of any portrait.
Bonus Tip: Be sure to reinforce how great she looks in those pieces, both as she is deciding on them, and then when she's being photographed in them.
3. CONSULT PINTEREST
OK, so any blog post on choosing what to wear is going to include Pinterest- at least for me it is! One of my favorite places to send seniors and their moms for inspiration is this amazing search engine. In fact, whenever I plan a senior portrait session, I create a vision board for that senior and her mom, to join me in collecting visual ideas for our upcoming date. And a lot of that vision includes clothing ideas.
Using Pinterest is a great way to SEE how clothes should fit for the best portraits (not too tight, not too boxy), how certain clothes might photograph in certain light, or how layers look great and create variety in a portrait session.
So always ALWAYS consult Pinterest!
4. BRING EXTRA ACCESSORIES
Adding accessories to any outfit creates a more finished look. This could mean scarves or jackets, chunky necklaces or earrings, or even scrunchies and hats (yes, scrunchies have made a comeback).
But this also means props. Is she an athlete? Bring her volleyball or her relay baton. Is she a writer? Bring a journal and her favorite pen. Artists? Bring a sketch book or even an easel! Props not only help tell a deeper story in portraits, but simply put, they also help a nervous girl find something to do with her hands.
In the decade that I've been photographing teen and tween girls, I've gone in several different directions with respect to hair and makeup. Some girls love it and go to their favorite salons, or even hire a makeup artist to come along for the shoot! Others don't feel themselves under a lot of makeup, and opt to do their own hair and skip anything that's "not them".
Either option works. But at the end of the day, one small addition can go a long way. That's lip gloss. I always encourage girls to bring lip gloss to their portrait session. And I mean something as simple as a clear shine, but something with a little shine (skip the Chapstick here).
It doesn't have to be fancy, but if you can get a little shine on the lips, you can hide any cracks, any dryness, and this really finishes the face, and creates healthy and lovely close ups. Simple tip- always bring lip gloss.
And there you have it! Five simple clothing and wardrobe tips for your daughter's senior portraits- or for any teen portraits!