How to Prepare for Your Senior Pictures

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As a Rhode Island Senior Photographer, I know senior pictures are a big deal. Seriously a big deal. Besides the wedding day, this is probably the one time where the day is all about YOU! You want to document one of the best times of your life and wanting to capture it perfectly is truly possible with some preparation.

Your parents/guardians are investing their hard-earned money to make sure you have the best experience ever, so go on and spend some time planning all the details. A little preparation goes a long way, and hope these tips will help you plan a fun and memorable day!

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1. Find the right photographer

There is a reason why I put this as the #1 tip. The right photographer will make or break the experience for you. Senior photography is a specialty, and those professionals who have spent lots of time and resources honing in their skills know exactly what to do to capture not only your most flattering angles and guide you through the posing, but they will be able to capture your personality and uniqueness!

There are many talented Rhode Island Senior Photographers, but finding the right photographer also includes finding someone that matches a style you love. Are you into dark and moody photos? or earthy tones? or bright and airy? The right photography style is necessary to make sure you’ll love your photos! I particularly have a bright and airy style because I believe in photos that are clean and timeless. Some beautiful styles are trendy (think Instagram filters), but they fade out after a few years. However, styles that are classic and true-to-color will stand the test of time!

2. Plan more than one outfit

Most photographers will allow you 2, 3, and even 4 outfit changes for your senior session, so take advantage of that to show your personality! Mix and match styles, add accessories, and wear outfits that can elevate your images! Maybe jeans and t-shirts are your thing, but for your senior session you can add a nice top, and pretty pair of sandals, and a cute jacket to layer up your outfit. Adding different textures and colors will give you a great variety of photos! One of your outfit choices can be your sports uniform or eveN your prom dress! Trust me. It is so much fun to play dress-up for your senior session. I always tell my seniors that if they can’t narrow down their choices, they can bring everything and I’ll help them choose!

3. Choose the perfect location

This is HUGE. You can have the right photographer and the right outfits, but if the location does not speak to you, your final images are not going to wow you. When a senior books with me, I send them a questionnaire to learn more about their personality and based on that I make suggestions. Your senior session is ALL ABOUT YOU, and the perfect location is part of the perfect experience. Are you more into the urban setting? Let’s head downtown. Do you like open fields and tall grass? Let’s go to a rural area or a park. Want to highlight your love for the ocean? a beach session is in order (I love Misquamicut beach!). We have a tremendous advantage in Rhode Island that lots of places are in close proximity. You can do the beach, a park, and a downtown area within a 10-mile radius! I’m up for that!

However, it is super important to keep in mind that depending on the location, the session time plays a huge factor. If you want a beach session, you are probably better off planning a sunrise session to avoid the crowds. Or if you want a downtown session, maybe a Sunday morning will be better than a Monday afternoon.

Also… think outside the box! Maybe you or someone you know have access to a private estate, or a farm, or even to beautiful grounds in their homes. Work with your photographer to match the best location and time for you!

4. Choose the perfect time

If you’re working with a photographer that works with natural light (non-studio portraits), the time of the day is critical for your shoot based on the location they shoot. If you have your heart set in an open field, the harsh light between 11 am and 2 pm may not be the most ideal, because it will cast lots of shadows on your face which is unflattering; so shooting around 4 pm will be better to achieve bright and airy images.

If your location is in the city, a high noon shoot may not be too much of an issue because you probably have tall buildings protecting you from the harsh sunlight.

I particularly love shooting three hours before sunset (I use a sunset calculator for it!) to make sure I use the most even light, regardless of the location! I love the glow of the sun through backlighting, and this can only be achieved when the sun is lower in the sky.

5. Get professional hair and makeup done

It will probably take a little more convincing for this if you are not used to wearing makeup, but professional make-up for your senior session will add that WOW factor you are hoping for! I’m not talking smokey eyes or red lips (unless that’s what you like!) but more of a natural, fresh look. Most professional make-up artists know exactly the color palette to use for senior girls that will highlight their natural beauty without making them feel pasty or fake. Professional make-up photographs beautifully, I promise! I work with great make-up artists for my Spokesmodel program and I can give you suggestions if you’d like!

A natural hairdo will also add charm to your photos, and getting it professionally done will remove the stress from a potentially bad hair day. They can do a pretty braid, or use products that will hold your curls and prevent flyaways from showing in your photos (there’s only so much we can edit out!). Like I said, your senior session is all about you, and getting your hair done will add to the experience! Besides, who doesn’t like getting pampered?

I hope this list helps you plan the best day ever!

Are you still looking for a Senior Photographer to capture your best year ever?

I am a Rhode Island + Massachusetts Senior Photographer, and one of my favorite types of sessions is the SENIOR EXPERIENCE! Contact me for details!

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