Calling all soon to be seniors! Your senior year is going to here before you know it, how crazy and exciting is that?! I know it might seem too early to think about your senior photos, but really you only have a couple of months to secure your photographer and get the date you want. In this post I’m going to cover all the necessary things for you prepare for your senior photos! By the time you’re done reading this, you’re going to have all the information you need to dream up your perfect senior session.
Let’s talk about timing! If you’re wanting photos taken outdoors, here in Minnesota we have just a few optimal months of shooting outdoors. So choosing when you want your senior photos is super important. June, July, August, and September are the most preferred months by far. So booking a date that works for you in advance is the first thing you should take care of! Photographers are always busiest in the summer months, so if you know you want you session in July when wildflowers are peaking, or in late September when the leaves are starting to turn, then you should reach out to your photographer of choice at least TWO months ahead of time. Once you have reached out to your photographer and booked your date, then it’s fun part, planning!
So you found your photographer and booked your date, the tough part is over. Now the fun part comes in! It’s time to decide where you want your photos taken. My number one suggestion is choosing a place that vibes with your personality and style. Are you looking for a fun downtown urban shoot, do you play a sport and what to that to be represented on the field or with your uniform? Are you a big fan of spending your days at the beach, boating, or do you just love being outdoors? I want you to dig deep and see what resonates with you. If you’re in a place where you’re happiest, it’s going to translate on camera so much better! If you’re booking with me, I’ll send you a senior questionnaire to help me really understand what you want visions you might have for your session. The questionnaire helps me get to know you more on a personal level so I can help create a session the reflects your personality and visions for your senior photos best! Struggling with locations, that’s okay I can help! I have tons of tried and true places to fit just about every vision.
Literally we can make anywhere an amazing photo backdrop, it’s just all about where you feel good!
I love to talk about styling because it can really enhance your senior photos in so many ways. When you’re preparing your senior photo outfits I want you to think about what you feel most confident in. I always suggest choosing 3 outfits (amount of outfits depends on what package you’ve chosen as well), a casual comfy jeans and shirt option, a dressy option like nice jeans and dress shirt or a fun dress with movement, and then choose something unique and fun to you! You can also have a sweater to throw over a t-shirt that you can remove or take off for a little variety without a full blown outfit change. Choose the right footwear to go with each of those outfits. If you purchase something brand new, make sure to give it a test run at home, make sure you can move comfortably and that you’re really feeling it! Your color palette will also help make your senior photos look just right. Neutral earthy tones always look good, where as bright primary colors can reflect onto your skin and cause your skin tone to change or look off. Choosing softer primary colors like sky blue instead of bright blue, maroon instead of bright red, or apricot instead of bright orange are a good rule of thumb. Then mixing and matching your textures in your wardrobe can add some interest and depth in your photos. Corduroy, flowy fabrics like chiffon or linen, sweater material, and waffle knit fabrics all photograph wonderfully. Worried about where you’ll change? I always have a portable pop up changing tent ready to go so it’s quick and easy for you. Accessories like necklaces, earrings, hats, and rings are fun way to add interest to your outfits. Just make sure they are simple and accent your outfit, and that they aren’t too sparkly or distracting. If you’re a smart watch wearer, I’ll ask you to remove it for photos, these don’t photograph well and can be distracting.
Let’s be real, the first few minutes in front of the camera is going to feel a little awkward, but I PROMISE YOU it won’t take long before your feeling like a natural in front of the camera. Come to your session feeling excited, it’s going be super laid back and jus like hanging out with a friend! We’ll be listening to your favorite music, moving around, and adventuring! I will give you light direction and prompts the entire time capture authentic and in the moment photos. If you have any ideas, I love to hear them so make sure to know you can always tell me what you’d like to try! I will also show you how to pose (we’re guaranteed some laughs out of this lol) so that way you’ll see what I’m talking about if you’re feeling like you’re not sure what to do. We will do a few “posed” photos for those classic up close senior portraits, but for the most part I like to keep you moving and having fun during your session. I know photos can sometimes be a stressful situation for people, so I want to make sure you’re feeling amazing and confident the entire time! Ahead of your session, don’t be afraid to get in front of a mirror and practice big smiles, soft smiles, maybe a few hair tosses, and some model walks! It will give you the little boost you need heading into your session.
Here are some tips and tricks to help you when preparing for your senior session!
Oooofta, all right that was a ton of info right?! So let’s recap how to prepare for your senior photos:
Thanks for swinging by and checking this post out! I hope you found it super helpful and that you’re confident now to rock your senior photos! If you want to book me to capture your senior photos, go ahead and inquire here!
Jenna Swanson Photography
Capturing candid & nostalgic imagery for those who value connection, inclusivity, and integrity.