Styling Tips | Prepping for your Senior Portrait Session

Tips & Suggestions for your Senior Portrait Session:


If you have opted for a professional hair and makeup artist for your session, you will receive a “Prep Your Face” email. Otherwise, come with your hair styled, full makeup on, and completely ready to shoot in your first wardrobe. If you aren’t a real girly girl and never wear make up, we recommend at least wearing light make up: powder, lip gloss and mascara.  You will want to wear slightly more makeup than usual, so that you don’t get washed out in your portraits.


  • Bring all of your makeup with you for touch ups
  • Wear lipstick AND gloss that are at least slightly darker than your natural lip color
  • Wear neutral shades of eyeshadow, like copper, browns, grays
  • Apply blush to the apples of your cheeks
  • Apply several coats of mascara and make sure it is clump free
  • Be sure eyebrows are freshly plucked or waxed.  If you have them waxed, have them done at least 48 hours before our shoot so that your skin won’t be red or irritated
  • Be sure nails are either freshly manicured, or no polish and neatly trimmed. French mani, neutral and light nail polishes look best.
  • Brush & floss your teeth well prior to your session, be sure legs & underarms are shaved


  • Wear nude lipstick or just chap stick. You need color and gloss on your lips.
  • Wear a hair bands on your wrist
  • Have chipped polish on your nails
  • Wear shimmering or sparkling powder on your face
  • Wear too much foundation.  Shine is the hardest element to edit on a face
  • Have long, bright colored fingernails or nails with designs painted on them or chipped polish


The best way a girl can show diversity in her shots, is with her hairstyles. Wearing your hair in a few different styles throughout your session is ideal.


  • Bring bobby pins, curling wand or iron, headbands, hair clips, hair spray, comb, spray water bottle and styling product if your hair is natural curly, and rubber bands



Once you have your wardrobe selected, lay everything out and make sure you have shoes, jewelry and accessories for each look.  Charming Charlie’s is my favorite spot to find affordable accessories.  It’s better to bring too many accessories than too little! Pack your jewelry in ziplock bags so they stay organized and easy to find.


  • Bring belts, scarves, hats, jewelry, suspenders, hair clips, leg warmers, sunglasses, etc.



Plan on bringing one formal or cocktail dress, one semi dressy outfit, one casual chic outfit, one comfy casual look, and then something that really represents your style.  You can never bring too much!! We will help you choose the best options for our location and style of your shoot.


  • Try on all of your outfits at home and make sure everything fits perfectly and that you have the appropriate undergarments for each look, like a strapless bra
  • Wear clothes that flatter your figure
  • Bring a mix of solids and prints
  • Bring tops or dresses that match your eye color
  • Be sure everything is wrinkle and lint free
  • Wear a fitted tank top and spandex shorts under your wardrobe if you want to be able to change quickly outdoors
  • Mix layers, hues, fabrics and textures
  • Select garments that are fashion forward and also match your individual style



  • Bring all prints – mix it up!
  • Wear anything with wording or large logo on it (other than sports uniform)
  • Bring only high heels for your shoes.  A casual pair of Toms, Converse, or Cowboy boots photograph great, as do bare feet.
  • Wear your most expensive, favorite pair of white pants (sometimes we shoot out in the woods and you might get dirty or wet)
  • Wear tops or dresses that are too loose fitting or flowy.  You want to be able to see your silhouette and show off your figure.
  • Bring more than one strapless garment.  (In a close up frame, you could look nude)


For Slim Gals: Add more curves by dressing in lots of layers, ruffles, sequins, and scarves. Add a slim belt to accentuate your little waist.

For Curvy Girls: 3/4 or long sleeve solid tops look best. Adding a wide belt to a dress can help create a smaller waistline.  Show what you love. Do you have great legs? Wear skinny jeans. Love your eyes? V neck tops draw the eye up to your face. Do not wear anything too baggy! Your curves are beautiful, don’t hide them!


For the Fellas:

Bring/wear chap stick and your favorite sunglasses.  A clean shave is best, unless your style is the rugged scruffy look (which also photographs really nice as long as you have enough facial hair and it‘s evenly distributed on your face).  If you want to bring a hat, that’s great, just don’t wear one to start off with.

Guys Clothes: a great pair of blue jeans with a solid white cotton under shirt looks terrific and classic!  Fitted t. shirts and solid sweaters look good, as do solid long sleeve linen button up shirt with khaki pants or shorts.   Bring a couple of casual outfits and something more dressy- I will help you decide what will photograph best.  Be sure clothes are stain and wrinkle free.  Also avoid busy patterns, any wording or large logos.

If you are fashion forward and want to go for GQ editorial look, a pair of black suspenders, scarves, black retro framed glasses frames (without the glass), fedora hat or other style of non baseball cap hat, etc. photograph great.  Flip through magazines  or look online for inspiration.  You can find styles I love here. Layers look great, like a jackets, sweaters, etc.  Bring 6-7 outfits and I will help select the top 4-5 or so.


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