You are graduating high school! Senior Portrait Sessions mark an important milestone. After all, it is the photo that you’ll share with family and friends, plus it’s what immortalizes you in the yearbook. The resulting images from the fun shoot will show your personality and awesomeness!
When to Schedule a Senior Photography Session
The best time to schedule is about 6 weeks out from your session as dates book up quickly – especially for Spring and Fall senior sessions.
Typically, outdoor locations with colorful backgrounds make for the best backdrops for senior sessions. Ideas that come to mind include West Bottoms, Unity Village, Loose Park, and the Plaza.
Time of Day
Assuming it’s a sunny day, it’s best to shoot either really early in the morning or late in the afternoon/evening as the sun sets. This gives the gorgeous golden lighting that I probably talk about too much. That said, don’t vary too much from your typical schedule. (Read: Never interrupt naptime!) Don’t worry if your session happens to be on an overcast day – sometimes that makes the most beautiful diffused lighting. It’s soft and doesn’t create harsh shadows. And it makes your skin looks gorgeous!
A typical session lasts 2 hours at a location or locations (you may choose up to three) of your choice – and I’m here to offer lots of great ideas for a setting (Westbottoms for an urban feel or a park for open fields). Need other ideas? Feel free to ask me. That’s what I’m here for!
What to Wear
First and foremost, you really want your face and expressions to stand out in your portrait. Everything else is secondary. When photographed against a medium or dark background, dark or medium toned colors photograph best for your close-up poses. And of course, darker shades are more slimming.
For shirts and tops, avoid colors that are too similar to your skin color. (These might be a brown, beige, tan, or very pale peach, and very pale gray). For many people these shades can drain the color from your face, making you appear washed-out.
Bring a variety of color, don’t bring all blue outfits even if it is your favorite color. Change up the style, bring some dressy, some semi-dressy, and some casual outfits that express who you are. Casual portraits give you much more variety in clothing, color and style. With my digital editing process, I can also provide some artistic creativity.
When planning your outfits think about your complete look from head to toe. We will taking photos that are close-up, full length, and some in between. So you want to think about shoes and accessories too. Consider bringing letter jackets, sports equipment, or a musical instrument to express your interests, making your portraits personal.
Girls: Clear or neutral colored nails work best. When styling your hair, choose a comfortable style you know looks good. Don’t get a last minute haircut. Give your hair a week or so to grow out. Apply concealer and powder if necessary to minimize blemishes and then stop worrying! Apply make-up before you arrive. Limit sun exposure prior to your portrait session. Burns and tan lines never photograph well 😉
Guys: Limit sun exposure prior to your portrait session avoiding burns or tan lines. Style your hair before your session (Consider getting a haircut approximately one week prior to your session). Shave before your session (unless you are going for the grundgy look).
Other Things to Consider Bringing Along
I would limit props, but definitely bring anything that you think will showcase your senior year – including any sports/extracurricular equipment. This includes tennis rackets, violins, footballs, your cool ride.
What Expect During the Session
Upon my arrival, I would find the best photographing spots and the best lights.
Please note that during the session, there may be several clothes change, and that we would try out various poses (thus, please expect some changing outdoors if we’re in a field).
What Expect After the Session
In a couple of days, I will send you around two photos as a quick preview and would share some on my blog. Then, we would spend roughly two weeks time to carefully select and post-process the photos from the session. An online private gallery will be send to you for your preview and selection for your session package prints, photos or additional order. Upon receiving your order, it would take roughly two weeks to have your session prints and digital images ready. For custom items such as gallery canvas, custom framing, or albums, it may take 3-8 weeks (depend on the ordered item).
Thank you for allowing me to be a part of capturing this huge milestone in your life!
Check out my latest Kansas City Family Photography sessions here.