Prepare for a shoot - things to know

Dress for Portrait Success

Being well prepared for your senior photo session can make the difference between average and fabulous photos. Follow these easy tips and you’ll be well on your way to looking your absolute best.

  • Keep clothing simple. Try to choose solid colors for your portraits. Avoid large, bold patterns such as plaids and stripes. Remember, bright colors also draw attention away from your face.
  • If we are going to shoot full-length poses, make sure you coordinate portrait clothing from head to toe.
  • Avoid short sleeves and tank tops. Long sleeves will draw attention away from your arms and helps bring the focus back to your face.
  • Darker clothing slims. Choose shades of black, brown, blue, dark green and other jewel-toned colors. Light tones tend to emphasize body size.
  • Scoops or v-necks flatter shorter necks and full faces. Turtlenecks or high-necked garments flatter longer necks and slender faces.
  • Keep clothing consistent. Don't mix casual and formal clothing in portraits.
  • For a group/family portrait - try to coordinate everyone's colors.  Best to stick with no more than 2 dominant colors, such as black and gray, or blue jeans and white.  You can get great inspiration for colors and poses by simply googling "family portraits"

More detailed advice:

Mindset

Have fun! We’re going to make you look great and you’ll have a great time. 

Relax. We like to think we’re rather cool and easy to get along with. Plus, we help you with posing, so there’s no pressure on you.

Arrival

Arrive early or on time to your appointment. Showing up late means you lose camera time, and we don’t want that.

If you’re coming from out of town, give yourself plenty of time to find your way around. The streets in Portland aren't the easiest to navigate and having a buffer in case you get lost will save you some stress.

Style

You’re unique and beautiful. Follow our guidelines but be yourself in how you dress.

Be fashionable. Wear clothing that’s stylish and put a lot of thought into your choices. This is a unique opportunity and we want you to look amazing!

Clothing

We give you unlimited wardrobe changes, so bring A LOT of options. The more outfits we have to choose from, the better. This will give us flexibility in matching your clothing to backgrounds and the surroundings.

Group your outfits together on hangers. Make sure items are ironed and ready to go.

Plan on changing quickly. The faster you change, the more time we have to photograph and the more photo choices you’ll have later.

Make sure you’re comfortable in your clothing and that it flatters you. This will ensure that you like how you look when viewing your photos.

If you’re self-conscious about your arms, avoid sleeveless or cap-sleeve shirts and tank tops, as they tend to make arms look fuller.

Avoid stripes and plaid. Solid colors photograph much better than busy patterns.

Bring a variety of colors and mix the level of styles. Some should be dressy, some dressy-casual, and some casual.

If you’re comfortable in dresses, bring them! They photograph really well and offer a nice variety from your other casual clothing choices. We can mix dressy and casual dresses for some great looks.

Shoes

If at all possible wear heels!  Whether pumps or boots, dressy or casual, plain or sassy, heels really make you stand out and look glamorous. 

Hair

Although we try to help with hair, it is hard to know what your hair “is supposed to look like.” Make sure you like the look or let the photographer know your preferences. Better yet, bring your best friend with you for the session and he or she can help. Hair style is ultimately YOUR responsibility. Any hair changes during the session should be quick and simple so you have as much camera time as possible.

Bring hair spray, clips, pins, and whatever else is needed to keep your hair out of your eyes if it’s windy. Also bring a brush and mirror for quick hair touch-ups.

Do not make drastic changes to your hairstyle right before your photo session. This could add unneeded drama to your life.

Props

They’re great! Bring props that help show who you are. Some popular choices are:

  • Sports equipment (soccer ball, basketball, baseball bat, etc.)
  • Sports uniforms
  • Musical instruments
  • Activity related items (dance, art, school clubs, etc.)

Glasses

Most lenses have a glare. The safest option is to check with your eye doctor and ask if they’ll loan you a similar pair without lenses.

Friends & Parents

Friends or parents are welcome and often can be a help. However, if they distract you, it may be best to meet them when the session is over. You’re welcome to have a couple of shots with a boyfriend, best friend, sibling, or parent at no extra charge.

Weather

Don’t worry about clouds because they actually even out the light and make for ideal shooting conditions. But falling rain is an issue and we will have to reschedule. We will try to contact you first, but please call us  if you have any doubts or concerns.

Braces

If desired, we can remove braces in Photoshop for an extra charge. Otherwise, try not to worry about them. Give a natural smile and enjoy yourself. A good smile with braces is far better than the awkward smile that comes when you try to hide them.

 

Even more advice for Senior Girls Photo Sessions:

Makeup

Makeup that is well done is one of the best preparations you can make for your session. It will even out skin tones and help give your photos that extra pop for a model-like look. Even if you don’t normally wear makeup or wear very little, take the time to do it well and your photos will look their best.

Makeup should only be slightly heavier than normal. Mascara should be clean and not clumpy. Avoid makeup with an SPF because it tends to create a shine. Summer shine can be controlled by using translucent powder that knocks out shine without adding additional color.

Jewelry

The proper jewelry can really complement your outfit. It’s nice to have a variety to choose from and it does not hurt to bring numerous options with you.

Tanning

Tan lines are a distraction and take away from your photos. We suggest you use a tanning bed and varied swimsuit tops to minimize any existing tan lines. If you choose to tan outside or in a tanning bed, don’t over do it. We don’t want you looking orange and leathery.

Complexion

Makeup helps a lot here, but we do retouch your final photos so please don’t be concerned about minor breakouts. We have you covered!  If your acne is more severe you might want to consider having a makeup artist give you some help with that.

Undergarments

Please make sure the colors of your undergarment coordinate well with your outfits and don’t show through your clothing. If you need a strapless, please bring one to your session. Tucking or moving straps will not always work or give the most pleasing look.  Check ahead of time to ensure that undergarments don’t leave unpleasing lines underneath your clothing.

Finger & Toe Nails

If you paint your nails, make sure they’re done well for your session. Chipped nail paint will show and distract from you. Avoid bright colors that will distract from you and may not work with all your outfits. Instead, opt for basic or natural tones.