As a Tahoe and Reno high school senior photographer, I often get asked a LOT of questions surrounding the ins and outs of a senior photoshoot. Among those questions are always:
What should I wear?
Where should we shoot?
What do I bring?
No worries, fam – I am here to help with a list of do’s and don’t with wardrobe tips and LOADS MORE for your high school senior portraits.
Reno Senior Photo Session Tips from Fifth and Chestnut Photo Co.
DO wear something that comfortably expresses your personality.
DO think about what you AND your family will being doing with the photos. Of course you’ll be posting them on Instagram. But you probably want them to mesh well with your family’s interior design preferences as well. OR stand out, depending on what you’re going for. If your family’s home decor and design is classic and elegant – will your photoshoot at a downtown Reno location with tons of graffiti fit in seamlessly if your parents put your pictures up on the wall? It’s just something to consider!
DON’T forget about shoes, hair and accessories. You will be photographed from head to toe! So make sure your nail polish isn’t chipping (on fingers AND toes)! That’s something that’s VERY difficult to photoshop (and often times impossible), so don’t let it ruin your favorite photos!
DO buy new outfits if you wish, but be sure to “test” the outfit beforehand so you know whether or not it’s truly comfortable in any position! Play around with accessories to see how you can really work your outfits, too!
DON’T wear something you can’t comfortably sit down in. You don’t want all of your photos to be stiff upright standing shots. Comfort is key. If you don’t feel comfortable, you won’t look comfortable.
DON’T expect your transition lenses in your glasses to be clear outdoors – they are sunglasses outdoors! Consider wearing contacts, or put your glasses away for your session. Even non-transition glasses have their own set of issues (hello, glare).
DON’T wear baseball caps – they will create harsh shadows over your forehead & eyes. Part of what makes a great portrait of you is seeing your eyes! By all means, bring hats as accessories, but don’t plan on wearing a hat for the entirety of your senior session.
DO consider the time of year and location of your shoot. If you’re getting senior photos done in the fall, think of colors that compliment orange, yellow and red. If choosing springtime, think about color that compliment green and pretty pastels (a variety of flowers will be in bloom). Are we shooting at the colorful West Street Market? If so, neutral colors like gray and white are awesome there.
DON’T wear TINY patterns (small checkerboard/ houndstooth etc), because they don’t photograph well. Neither do large graphics that wrinkle up in certain positions, becoming unreadable (logo t-shirts). Other things that don’t work are: thin straps, huge blocks of bright red & pink (and neon colors), too many matching colors and LOTS of black/white. It’s better to have contrasting/complimentary colors. Neutral colors as a base (like denim, khaki, gray, white etc) work great with pops of colors brought in through accessories and layers of clothing (jeans, a yellow tank and a white cardigan, for example). Bringing different accessories is a fun, easy & quick way to liven up your look – jewelry, scarves, jackets etc.
DON’T bring more than two outfits unless you book the appropriate length shoot for the number of outfits you want. Changing looks takes a lot longer than you might think, so plan in advance and book more than 1 hour if you want more than one outfit change during our shoot.
DO bring props! Props bring your personality to to forefront of your photos. Some examples are balloons, an instax camera…or your car! Pick something that really expresses your interests or what’s going on in your life at this moment.
DO rely on a professional makeup artist & hairstylist to highlight your beauty. Pretty, pretty please! I can even arrange this FOR YOU. I have seen so many times first-hand how pro hair and makeup make such an incredible difference in someone’s confidence. Contact me for my hairstylist and makeup artist recommendations.
DO visit my Pinterest Senior Inspiration board for outfit and color ideas.
That’s it! All my do’s and don’ts for your high school senior portrait session. I hope this article helps prepare you for your senior photoshoot with me and that you LOVE your photos when you see them for the first time. Below are some examples the tips above in action!