Seniors // 10 Tips to taking the BEST Senior Pictures!
Your Junior year is coming to a close… so you know what that means? Yes, summer. AND it is almost time to take your SENIOR PICTURES! It is a rite of passage for any high school senior and it is a BIG deal. You probably have a ton of questions and concerns… but have no fear. Lindsay is here to keep it real and tell you like it is. Here is my top 10 list for things to make your senior pictures the BEST.
1. No strapless or sleeveless tops/dresses! That super cute strapless maxi dress or sleeveless blouse looks amazing on you at the beach or at dinner with your friends on a summer night, but in the studio, it can cause some unflattering photos. Sometimes, we crop tight in the photograph for an up-close or “glamour” type headshot… and now we’ve cropped out your strapless top, making you appear… *cough*
naked *cough*! This is not what your senior pictures are about. At least, we HOPE not! Also, sleeves help arms look slimmer in photographs. Even if your arms aren’t a big issue for you, we always recommend some sort of a sleeve. Aren’t convinced yet? Sleeves help cover, what we have lovingly coined, the dreaded “chicken cutlet” (the piece of skin that may hang out above the armpit on a sleeveless top) that has made an appearance in everyone’s lifetime. Avoid chicken cutlets. Wear sleeves. If you really want to wear something strapless or sleeveless, bring a cute sweater or jean jacket to cover up for a few pictures. You will love me for it later – promise.
2. Shave your armpits! If your fashion sense insists on sleeveless or strapless attire for your senior session, at least remember to shave that area before your session. Countless times, I’ve seen girls come in without remembering to shave their underarms and being SO embarrassed when I asked to pose with arms over the head or holding a senior sign up. Save yourself the embarrassment! Remember to SHAVE!
3. Wear clear deodorant. Still on the subject of the armpit (it can cause a lot of anxieties in the photography realm)… If you can see your deodorant on your skin or your shirt, so can your photographer and the camera. Please use a clear deodorant before your session to avoid white smears across your little black dress while changing. You will be changing a lot! In and out of a drape, in and out of a cap and gown… and back into your original outfit. So, clear is best for all involved!
4. No sparkles on your face, body or hair. We love sparkles. We really, really do. But when you apply that extra glittery eyeshadow to your eyes or supersparkle fairy lotion to your entire body, it can lead to some weird looking skin in the camera! In person, you look and feel like a glam queen, but the way the lighting hits the sparkles can change the way they look and it may make it look like you have acne spots, bumps or just dirty skin.Yikes. That sounds like an awful lot of retouching! Your skin is more beautiful without the fake sparkles – we promise.
5. Avoid tan lines at all costs. This is one of the biggest problems we run into regarding girls and their drape photos. We know it is summer when you are coming in for your senior session and that you’ve probably made the beach your temporary home for 3 months (I know I would)… but tan lines are the WORST! And every tan line will show in your drape photograph. If at all possible, please do not get sunburnt before your session or just don’t tan at all. Your skin is beautiful the way it is! SPF is your friend! If not going to the beach or pool is an outrageous thing to ask right before your session, try to wear strapless bathing suits to avoid those annoying tan lines. You will thank me for it later!
6. Bra straps can ruin an entire picture. As a girl, I know how important bras can be. Your photographer is trained to let you know if you have a bra strap situation happening during your session, but sometimes even they miss a strap or two. Most of this can be avoided with the RIGHT bra. If you’re wearing a racerback tank top or strapless shirt and a regular bra (yes, I’ve seen it all), chances are your straps will stick out like a sore thumb. And most likely it will be bright pink cheetah or lime green… am I right? Just be conscious of what top you are going to be wearing and what bra will be best to avoid the “strap sticking out the sides” or “I can see your neon orange bra through your white top” situation. Don’t be that girl ;]
P.S. We can see your clear straps. And so can the camera. Just don’t do it!
7. No mini skirts or daisy dukes. Charleston is hot in the summer – understatement of the year. We all want to wear cute shorts and flirty skirts, but they are NOT best for your senior session. The photographer will be very limited in how you can pose when you wear something so short, you can’t even sit down without an oopsy-panty-slip. The last thing you want to do is limit the poses you can do, because then all your pictures will look the same. Boring. Leave the mini skirts at home and opt for your favorite pair of jeans or maxi dress. Wondering if your shorts are too short for pictures? Chances are they probably are!
8. Don’t completely change your hair style or cake on the makeup! We’ve seen this happen a surprising number of times. You want to look extra fancy the day of your senior session, so you flat iron your extra curly locks to pin straight or perhaps you Shirley Temple your naturally straight hair. Then you see the photographs… and it just isn’t you. Don’t do something over-the-top drastic with your hair or makeup for your senior session. We want you to be YOU and I’m sure your parents want you to look like you too.
9. Take the hair tie off your wrist. Look at your wrist right now. Is there a hair tie on it? If you’re a girl, 99% of the time, there will be. It’s just part of your everyday wardrobe and you never know when you’re gonna have to throw your hair up into a messy bun. We get it. Just take them off before your senior session. I’ve seen it happen time after time. Mom loves everything about the photograph but that stinkin’ hair tie on your wrist… and now she has to get it retouched off. If only we could go back in time and just take it off… ;]
10. Don’t wear crocs or those sandals you duct taped back together. We take full length photos and, yes, your feet will show in some of the photographs. Wear shoes you are comfortable in but that are also cute! This is your time to shine! You don’t want to have your outfit on point only to be ruined by your camo crocs because you left your other nicer shoes at home (yes, that has happened.)
Other very helpful extras for girls senior sessions:
1. If you’re wearing a dress for your casual photographs, bring a pair of shorts and camisole to wear while you take your drape and cap and gown photographs. You don’t want us to wrap you in a curtain (yes, that happened as well) just to be able to get your drape done!
2. Bring a pretty sweater or fun jacket to throw on half way through your session. It can change the way an outfit looks without having to “change” clothes and buy another outfit change!
3. Avoid a lot of patterns and avoid all white. Patterns just make everything look really busy and distract from what we really want the focus to be on… your gorgeous face! Also, it is more difficult to photograph white as it tends to get “blown out” with studio lighting or outside lighting. Also, if you’re wearing white pants, a white top or an all white dress, we cannot photograph you on our “White Cove” backdrop without you looking like a floating head!
4. Paint your nails the day before! We obviously don’t want chipping or grungy looking nails for your senior session but also, don’t come in with three bottles to choose from and try to paint your nails in the dressing room. You won’t have time for that and could risk smearing on your clothes.
5. Do most of your getting ready at home. Our changing rooms are a place to change clothes… not to blow dry your soaking wet hair or redo ALL your makeup from scratch between changes. We want you to spend most of your time with us out in the studio, taking pictures and having a blast. If you spend too much time prepping in the changing room, we can’t do as many fun pictures. :[
6. Brush your teeth at home before your session and don’t eat until the photos are done. Seems simple, but you don’t want cheeto teeth in your photographs because you got the munchies in the car on the way to the studio…
7. Don’t wear super shiny or greasy looking lip glosses. They can glare when the flash goes off and look way shinier than you intended. Matte colors, lip stains or tinted chapsticks look awesome!
8. Bring props that are special to you!!! Play an instrument? Bring it in! Paint or draw? Bring in your best work or a sketchbook to draw on in a photo. Skateboard? Dance? Color guard? Sports!? Bring in your uniform, bat, ball, flag, stick, helmet, glove or letterman jacket. Bring your class ring! The options are endless. The last thing we want is for you to have left all your props that make you YOU at home. Just please, no weapons.
9. Bring your pet! We’ve seen them all and loved every minute of it. Dog, cat, pig, snake, baby alligator, falcon…. even a chicken! Just make sure to call ahead and let us know what pet you’re planning on bringing so we can be prepared. Have a big pet like a horse? Call the studio and maybe we can arrange a special on-location shoot for you and your big baby!
I hope everyone has found this post helpful and also entertaining. I’m speaking from experience and here to help you be your best you during your senior session! See you all soon, CLASS of 2016!!
Hey, hey fellas of 2016!!! I know with your Junior year drawing to an end, the last thing you are thinking about is your senior pictures this summer. You probably don’t care much about what they look like now, but you WILL when you are looking back on them in 20 years. You will want to have taken them seriously and looked the best you possibly could. Here are 10 ways you can make the best of your senior session and bring a tear to mom’s eye… in a good way! :]
1. Don’t wear sweatpants, basketball shorts or a ratty t-shirt. Wear nicer jeans or slacks and a button down or polo. Maybe even a cool skinny tie, vest, bow tie, suspenders or blazer. Match your shoes and belt. Look sharp for your photos. What would grandma want to hang in her living room? Probably not a picture of you in an old t-shirt with “SWAG” written across the front and baggy sweatpants. It’s okay to dress up! The girls will love it. I promise!
2. Make sure your clothes are WRINKLE FREE. Yes, that means you might have to break out the iron and ironing board at home. Sounds like your biggest nightmare, I know, but what is scarier… ironing or the wrath of your mom when she sees your wrinkled clothing? Yeah… I thought so. And don’t stuff everything into your gym bag after ironing because it will get wrinkled again. Hang it up and bring it in on a hanger.
3. Don’t wear crocs or those sandals you duct taped back together. We take full length photos and, yes, your feet will show in some of the photographs. Wear shoes you are comfortable in but that are also fly! This is your time to shine! You don’t want to have your outfit on point only to be ruined by your camo crocs because you left your other nicer shoes at home (yes, that has happened.) And unless you are a tennis player in their tennis uniform, please avoid tennis shoes. Don’t be that guy that wears tennis shoes all the time.
4. Do something with your hair. Make sure your hair is clean and styled when you come in for your session. Not dripping wet or sweaty from football practice… ew. We know that’s not your best look. Get a trim if you’ve let it grow out in the summer. The “I’ve been playing video games in my bed while eating pizza all week” isn’t the best look, even though that sounds like fun. Brush your hair :]
5. Do something with your facial hair. Whether that is shaving it completely off, grooming your grizzly beard or trimming it nicely for that chin strap effect you’ve been trying to achieve. We just want it to look neat and not like you just rolled out of the bed and forgot to do something with your 5 o’clock shadow. Give your facial hair some thought! This photograph is going in your yearbook and will be seen by hundreds… maybe thousands.. for years to come! And honestly, five lip hairs do not a mustache make… just shave it off. You’ll personally thank me later!
6. Don’t get sunburnt before your session. You live in Charleston and it is summertime. The beach or pool is going to happen – and probably a lot… but wear sunscreen. A beat red face is not a good look when you are posing for your tux photo. Are you a fisherman? Being on the boat all day with your sunglasses on, you get that signature red nose and cheeks with white eyes tan line. It can all be avoided with SPF! Apply often and generously… we don’t want any sunburnt faces in the studio this summer. Because… Ouch?!
7. Take your phone, keys, iPod and wallet out of your pockets. Leave these valuables with mom, a friend or in the dressing room… just not IN your pockets. They cause weird lumps in your pockets that just need to be avoided. The photographer should notice if you have a set of keys dangling off your belt loop… but help them out. Just take it off! I don’t wanna see that mystery square in your back pocket that is your wallet or even worse… that circle can of dip! *GASP* The horror. Just leave it all behind!
8. Brush your teeth at home before your session and don’t eat until the photos are done. Seems simple, but you don’t want cheeto teeth in your photographs because you got the munchies in the car on the way to the studio…
9. Bring props that are special to you! Play an instrument? Bring it in! Paint or draw? Bring in your best work or a sketchbook to draw on in a photo. Into cars? Bring yours. Skateboard? Sports!? Bring in your uniform, bat, ball, stick, helmet, glove or letterman jacket. Bring your class ring! The options are endless. The last thing we want is for you to have left all your props that make you YOU at home. Just please, no weapons.
10. Bring your pet! We’ve seen them all and loved every minute of it. Dog, cat, pig, snake, baby alligator, falcon…. even a chicken! Just make sure to call ahead and let us know what pet you’re planning on bringing so we can be prepared. Have a big pet like a horse? Call the studio and maybe we can arrange a special on-location shoot for you and your big baby!
I hope everyone has found this post helpful and also entertaining. I’m speaking from experience and I’m here to help you be your best you during your senior session! See you all soon, CLASS of 2016!!