What to Wear for Senior Pictures
Here are our styling tips on what to wear and what not to wear
Senior photos are treasured portraits that are meaningful to both you and your family. Planning ahead all the outfits and looks will help eliminate stress, and create an enjoyable experience. Follow these basic styling tips below to guarantee beautiful and timeless heirlooms.
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Styles Perfect to Highlight your Bump
Pick 3 Diverse Outfits
The first outfit should be a casual style. The second outfit a more formal look. And the third outfit should be centered around your personality, such as a sport, hobby or interest.
The Casual Look for Girls
Jeans and a light-colored blouse with white tennis shoes
A flowy sundress and a light denim jacket with nice sandals or a simple wedge.
The Casual Look for Guys
Jeans and t-shirt with an open buttoned shirt on top, a tennis shoe (non-athletic)
A pair of khaki shorts and a polo shirt with low profile tennis shoes or boat shoes
Light pair of pants with a denim button-up shirt with sleeves rolled up
The Formal Look for Girls
A black pair of pants with a slim fit colored crew neck sweater, heels/dress shoes
Dark denim jeans with a slim fit colored tee and a black blazer, heels/dress shoes
A structured dress with a simple neckline, heels/dress shoes
A romper and a wedge heel
The Formal Look for Guys
A crew neck sweater with a dark pair of pants, dress shoes
Dark denim jeans and a V-neck tee with a blazer, dress shoes
Black pants and a colored button-up shirt, dress shoes
The Personality Look
A sports outfit like a basketball uniform or dance costume, complete with ball and dance shoes.
A musical instrument or hobby-related items like paints or a book.
If you are super into fashion, perhaps you want to pick a trendier look for your final outfit to really show your style of the time.
Styling Tips & Planning
Remember these are just ideas, always choose clothing that is true to your style and makes you feel confident.
- Plan Outfits in their Entirety. This means every look should be styled head to toe including the proper shoes, undergarments, and jewelry/props. That way you are not missing anything on the day of the shoot.
- Pick Outfits from Clothing You Know and Love. Senior pictures should be a true representation of your personality. There is no need to buy a whole new wardrobe.
- Play with Layers. A denim jacket, blazer, or open button down shirt can help pull a look together. A well-fitting outer layer will enhance your body’s silhouette and photograph nicely.
- Pick Simple Necklines. Simple neck lies elongate the neck drawing attention to the face that is very flattering in photos.
- Plan Ahead with Hair. Everybody’s hair is different, but most haircuts look their best o to 2 weeks after the initial cut. Guys should shave the day of the shoot, but be careful with nicks.
- Take Care of your Hands. A natural manicure, with clear or no polish, will help keep your hands looking presentable. Hands show up in a lot of poses, especially headshots and when working with props.
- Be Mindful of Your Shoes. Shoes, like hands, can show up in some of your favorite poses. Make sure to not only have the appropriate footwear per outfit but also that shoes are clean and presentable.
- Play with Solid Colors. Natural, solid colors like blue, greens, grays, and whites will photograph best and work well with most backgrounds. Solid colors work great, especially for close-ups. The focus will be on you rather than your outfit.
- Go for Classic Jewelry and Accessories. A simple necklace and earrings, or your everyday watch should be all the jewelry you need. Avoid wearing anything too attention-grabbing. Again, the photograph should accentuate your face, eyes, and personality. No need to draw unwarranted attention towards accessories, especially because they can easily date the photograph.
- Apply Makeup Normally. You want your portraits to highlight your natural beauty. Avoid the temptation of going too glam and not looking like yourself. A little extra blush or eyeshadow can help from appearing washed out, but don’t stray too far from your normal routine.
- Bring Translucent Powder or Oil Blotters. While in real life a bit of shine can give you a “dewy glow”, it can, unfortunately, look oily on camera.
- Consider Glasses Glare. If you do not have a non-glare coating on your lenses, consider asking you optician to remove your lenses from the frame for the photo session. Most will do this at no charge, but give them plenty pf notice so there is no rush.
- Personalize your Photos with Props. Have fun and show your personality in your senior portraits. This can be done through sports equipment, a music instrument, a hobby, or even a pet. (Be sure to check with the photographer about pets beforehand).
- Make Sure your Clothing is Pressed. All clothing should be ironed and arrive to the shoot on hangers. Wrinkles are very obvious in photographs.
- Relax and Have Fun! These photos represent a wonderful time in your life and the experience of taking them should be just as fabulous as the finished product. Plus, when you are happy and enjoying yourself it will shine through in the photos.
And now a few rules on what NOT to wear for your photos...
Remember these are just ideas, always choose clothing that is true to your style and makes you feel confident
- Don’t wear anything uncomfortable or overly fussy. You want to be able to move freely and comfortably. It will come through in your photos if you are uncomfortable
- Don’t wear glitter makeup or too much lip gloss. This type of makeup can make you look like you’re sweaty, crying, or drooling in photographs.
- Guys stay away from tank tops.
- Don’t wear overly branded clothing or outrageous graphic tees.
- Don’t be shy about expressing your needs and wants. This is your photoshoot!