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Upgrade Your Style to STUNNING | 7 Pro Tips to Look Your Very Best for Senior Pictures

I know it's hard when we've only met once or twice, but I promise I know what I'm doing. You might think all my little antics are silly, but they will help you look more natural instead of stiff and posed. I know how to give you tips on how to move and make sure...

Insider Secrets & Advice from Leading Mesa, AZ, Photographer

There are so many things to consider when it comes to your senior pictures that it can be overwhelming if we don’t break it down into manageable steps. And of course, there are more than a few guidelines to keep in mind when it’s time to plan the portrait collection of your dreams! The good news is that I’ll be by your side the entire time, and we’ll work it all out together, so you’ll never be on your own to figure things out. In fact, we’ll work together plenty before the day of your session, so you’ll be comfortable with me, my style, and the places we’re planning to shoot—long before your big day even arrives.

From your very first consultation to the day of your photo session, I’ll be right by your side—helping you plan locations, outfits, hairstyles, make-up, accessories…the whole enchilada! After all, the goal of this entire endeavor is to make sure you and your family have gorgeous keepsake photos to enjoy for years to come, so it’s worth putting in the time and planning on the front end to make sure everything works out perfectly for you!

Rule #1

This is the biggie. So, listen up, because it’s important. Sure, I’m about to give you lots of guidelines that will help you as you prepare for your professional photo session, but in addition to that, there’s RULE NUMBER ONE, and it must be followed. Why? Because it will keep both of us calm, cool, and collected…and it will ensure you end up with stunning senior pictures that will WOW you, your family, and your friends. Ok, want to know the rule? Here it is…

Rule #1: Trust Me!

Wait, what? Yep, that’s it. That’s the rule. Just trust me.

I know, that may seem weird, especially if you’re just getting to know me, but I promise I know what I’m doing. I have more than 15 years of experience, most of that working with high school teens because I love you guys! Your energy and excitement for the future are beyond compare, and it’s super fun when you drop your insecurities and start to become your natural selves in front of the camera—because then I can make sure you truly shine as the amazing and individual person you are.

I’ll confess, sometimes my antics behind the camera might seem a little silly to you, but everything I do is to get you to laugh, smile, and loosen up in front of the camera. The more you can be your natural self instead of a stiff, posed version, the better your senior pictures will turn out! So, whether I’m telling jokes or making weird faces at you or even getting you to act a little silly, it’s all for the greater good of ending up with senior pictures that will stun your loved ones. And at the end of their sessions, just about 100% of my clients say they ended up having a GREAT time in addition to getting fabulous senior portraits.

Got Nerves?

You and everyone else! Don’t worry if you’re nervous before your photo session. Every single client, even if they don’t want to admit it, is at least a little bit nervous before they step in front of the camera. My job is to make sure those nerves go away quickly by making sure you feel comfortable and confident early in your session, and even beforehand as we work together to plan your poses and outfits.

I can give you tips on how to move, which angles to show, and what expressions work the best for every situation and style. I’ve photographed many seniors, and there hasn’t been a single one who wasn’t nervous before their session, but I’m good at my job, and you’ll notice those nerves will be gone in no time. I’ll make sure you look and feel amazing on your big day!

7 Ways to Make Sure Your Photo Session Is a Spectacular Success

Want to make sure your photo sesh goes off without a hitch? There are a few things you can do to ensure a seamless session. Here are my top 7 tips for girls as they prep for their senior picture photo session:

  1. Choose clothes that fit properly without pinching or drooping. Steer clear of anything that’s too short, too tight, or too revealing.
  2. Stick with basics and neutrals. These go a long way toward making photos look timeless. But be sure to sprinkle in some pieces that showcase your personality, too! Balance it key, here.
  3. It’s important to make sure your outfits are pressed and free of wrinkles. Your steamer will work better than Photoshop every time…I promise.
  4. Think layers and accessories like hats, shoes, sunglasses, belts, and jewelry. Need help? Check out the Magical Memories by Michelle Style Closet! It’s available for every client and full of on-trend pieces to help you fill out our own wardrobe with statement items.
  5. Choose tops that accentuate your neckline.
  6. Arrive with clean fingernails and toenails with no chipped polish. If you get a tiny chip, it’s not a big deal. But if you’ve been wearing the same polish for a month and every nail is chipped, the camera is bound to spot those details.
  7. Remember to bring nude undergarments and a strapless bra. Bra straps that stick out are not flattering and cannot be easily removed during the editing process.

Most sessions run 2-3 hours, so I suggest at least 6 outfits. We’ll take many shots in each outfit, and variety is important as we move through different poses, expressions, and locations. Whether your style is sporty, casual, dressy, or preppy, plan on mixing and matching your outfit styles so you have the most variety possible for your senior pictures.

Check out this gorgeous set of outfits that Caleigh pulled together for her Platinum senior photography session. She started with her volleyball uniform. But then in just a short 2 hour session, she pulled together a cute white sundress and easily added her graduation cap & gown over the top, grabbed a long, white boho dress from the Style Closet that worked great by the water, added a huge pop of color with a yellow sundress, then grabbed a casual flannel towards the end of her session. 10 outfits in all for a gallery filled with variety and stunning senior portraits!

What To Wear Senior Photos

The goal of your senior portrait session is to not only ensure you end up with keepsake photos you fall in love with, but also to boost your confidence as you wear outfit after outfit that flatters and shows off your senior style. And remember, as we go along during your session, if something doesn’t look or feel right, we shoot it again, or we move on to the next photo opportunity. Plus, don’t forget to think about things like sports accessories and equipment, favorite books, musical instruments, uniforms, and other props that we can use to represent your activities throughout high school.

Bottom line: You never have to worry about the next outfit or the next shot or pose because I’ll be there the entire time with tons of ideas and suggestions. And if you need ideas and input leading up to your session, we’ll be in contact, and you can always text me or give me a quick call, and I can help you brainstorm along the way!

I love helping my clients prep for their senior picture sessions, and I have so much fun bringing out everyone’s outgoing, photogenic sides! If you’re a 2024 grad, it’s time to plan your graduation portraits, and it’s never too early to get started planning for 2025 either. Be sure to keep following the blog to get tons of great ideas, and you can also find me on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest with the latest and greatest updates that are sure to inspire new ideas for you.

You only get to do this once, so let’s make it count! Take the time prepare, be realistic with your clothing and body type, and try on several outfits before deciding which to bring with you.  If you get stuck or need opinions just reach out to me…I’m always full of ideas. Whenever you need my assistance, just ask.  All questions are welcome, as I want to calm your nerves as much as possible! Ready to get started? Contact me and we’ll get you on the calendar!

For more gorgeous style choices, you might like these posts:
What to Wear For Senior Pictures
Gorgeous Senior Portraits by the Water
Fab Photo Sesh with Sprinkles
Ideas for Gorgeous Outdoor Senior Pictures
Senior Photos in Gilbert, Arizona

Looking for an Amazing Senior Portrait Photographer?

It’s not always an easy task! But if you’re overwhelmed and need someone to help you through the entire process, that’s where I come in. I’ll help with everything from locations & outfits to grad cards & gifts! Sound good? The first step is to grab your FREE download of the Senior Client Welcome Guide to learn more about Arizona’s best senior portrait experience! FREE download of the Senior Client Welcome Guide to learn more about Arizona’s best senior portrait experience!

Follow me on Pinterest, Instagram, and Facebook for all the latest updates and creative photo ideas. And be sure to keep reading the blog for tons inspiration for your senior portrait session.

18 Comments
  • This is the best checklist for seniors when they are preparing with their senior pictures with you! All the Mesa seniors need to read over this list before their session! With your expertise, there is no reason for your clients to not trust you!