What Makes a Great Senior Portrait?
A great senior portrait is one that captures the personality, style and overall essence of the senior, while also providing a lasting memento of this important time in their life. And not just for them, but for their parents, too. After all, senior year only comes ONCE. And it’s important to capture the authenticity of that time. But there is more to it than snapping a picture at this one time. So what truly makes a great senior portrait? Here are 7 aspects that can make your Reno/Tahoe senior portraits truly stunning and remarkable:
If you simply show up to a photoshoot and expect to get the epic, styled and incredible portraits you’re hoping for, you’ll find there is something missing. A great senior portrait REQUIRES collaboration with the senior photographer from VERY early on in the process. When it comes to locations, styling, wardrobe options and more, your photographer should have the knowledge and resources to COLLABORATE with you and fully plan your senior session. Every detail should be carefully considered. Without this vital part of the process, you’ll find your senior portraits lacking something.
A great senior portrait should reflect the true personality and individuality of the senior. This means capturing your unique interests, hobbies, and style in a way that feels genuine and authentic. If you play soccer, but you’re not really INTO soccer (you just do it with your friends), then we may not want to make it a part of your portrait experience. However – if you LOVE the game and are ALL about everything and anything soccer – then we should reflect that within your senior portraits for SURE!
A great senior portrait should have strong composition, with a clear focus on the subject and a pleasing arrangement of other elements in the frame. The composition should draw the viewer’s eye to the senior and help tell their story. There shouldn’t be distracting objects or too much environmental focus, as it takes away from the true subject of the portrait – the senior.
Good lighting is essential to any great portrait, obviously! The lighting should be used to flatter the senior’s features and create a mood or atmosphere that enhances the portrait. If we’re photographing at an urban downtown location, our lighting choices may be more edgy to tie into the feel of our backgrounds. If we’re in an open field, our lighting might be more soft and airy feeling. This is why collaboration with your Reno/Tahoe senior photographer is so important. If you want edgy portraits, not only does lighting matter, but so does the location and wardrobe you choose. A great photographer will guide you on how to choose your desired overall vibe for your senior portraits.
Things you SHOULD NOT see in a senior portrait: dark circles under eyes and harsh shadows on the face. Proper lighting on the face of the senior is a PIVOTAL aspect of a great senior portrait.
A great senior portrait should convey a sense of emotion, whether it’s joy, excitement, confidence, or introspection. The portrait should tell a STORY about you and evoke a response from the viewer. This is especially important for your parents, who are VERY intent on capturing how this time in your life FEELS. I know it’s hard to understand right now, but your life has flown by in the blink of an eye for your parents; and now you’re about to embark on your own adult journey. Your parents want to snatch this moment out of the air and hold it close – and they want to capture who you are right now, so that when you grow into your adult self, they will have this last snippet of when you were still a “kid.” And one day, you’ll love looking back on this as well!
A great senior portrait should be timeless, meaning that it will look just as good in 20 years as it does today. This requires a balance between current trends and classic elements that will stand the test of time. It’s fun to play around with photography trends, but in the end, you should have timeless portraits so that you and your parents can look back on this time and remember how it felt in real life. You don’t really want your senior portraits to look like they were taken in the 1970’s when it’s actually 2024.
Attention to Detail
Small details can make a BIG difference in a senior portrait. This includes things like wardrobe choices, makeup and hair styling, and posing. Attention to detail can help elevate an okay portrait to an excellent one. Make sure to pick a Reno senior photographer who is comfortable posing their clients versus photographers who tout their “candid” and “lifestyle” approach. Senior portraits require posing – but don’t worry, it’s not a chore and it’s FUN. It’s like being a supermodel for a day!
Ultimately, a great senior portrait should be a reflection of you – capturing who you are and how you feel at this pivotal moment in your life while also making sure those portraits are timeless, lighted properly and composed/captured PERFECTLY.
If you’re looking for the best Reno senior photographer to capture this once-in-a-lifetime milestone, get in touch with me and start planning your epic senior portrait session today! The summer preceding your senior year is the best time for your senior portrait session, and I book up quickly for this time. Let’s get out there and have fun & make incredible portraits!
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