The Ultimate Senior Portrait Session Checklist

March 16, 2021  •  Leave a Comment

Senior Checklist PinSenior Checklist Pin


The Ultimate Senior Portrait Session Checklist

If you've never had a child graduate before, having their senior portraits may can be exciting! But you may have some questions and there may be some things you might not even think about.  So today, I wanted to share some tips for making your senior session a great experience and getting all the beautiful images you want for your Senior! 


1) First, talk to your student about the style they want. Some teens prefer to have a specific style that lines up with their personality. For example, a young man who's into rodeo and raising animals might want his session at a rodeo arena or a barn.  An athlete might want theirs on the football field, track or baseball field. Some students prefer to do theirs on their future college campus. Some prefer a natural, woodsy look, so they may want to do them in a field or in the forest. Some may want a more chic, urban look and do them in the city. Your photographer should have a list of ideas. However if you have a specific location in mind...scope it out. Or tell your photographer early enough in advance so they can scope it out.  Are the best spots in the shade or sun during the time of day you want your session? 


Baseball FieldBaseball FieldBaseball Field

My best lifeMy best lifeMy best life


2) Next, consider the clothes. Some seniors want to dress in stylish clothes.  If that fits their personality, that's great! However, if not, consider wearing something more classic and timeless. Either way dress so that your personality shows through. Ask your photographer if there is time for outfit changes when booking, so you're both on the same page.  One important tip here-- Iron the clothes! I know, I know...what IS an iron?  But seriously, iron them, or take them to the cleaners and hang them up.  Wrinkles on your clothes can be a big distraction in your photos! 


3) Third, for the girls, wear a darker lipstick than you normally do. And bring it with you.  When we're nervous we tend to lick our lips more and lick off the lipstick pretty quickly.  Also, I've found that lighter shades just don't show up on camera.  A photographer can always add color in Photoshop, but that will slow down the editing process. 


Sunshine in my HeartSunshine in my HeartSunshine in my Heart

Senior Boy DowntownSenior Boy Downtown


4) Next, think of things to bring to include in the session. Sometimes we get nervous in front of the camera and feel awkward about our hands.  Having something to hold helps us feel less awkward, but also provides uniqueness and fond memories from the items.  Things that are special to the senior might include a sports-related item like a football, soccer ball, tennis racket, or baseball bat or a musical instrument if they play violin, guitar, trumpet, or flute. They might want to bring special "Senior" momentos, like their letter jacket, class ring, graduation cap & gown, or balloons for their class year!  If they don't want to include these types of things, they could always bring some flowers, or their favorite food, ie Whataburger or Chick-fil-A. I had one young man bring dress shoes and some special sneakers that he was known for.  And they can bring items that would be special to moms and family members. For instance a baby picture or kindergarten picture, a "class of XYZ year" t-shirt from when they were in kindergarten, or something that's been passed down through your family from graduate to graduate.  If the parents are up for it, you could even do a few shots with mom or dad. 


Let's CelebrateLet's CelebrateLet's Celebrate


Senior Boy Downtown New WaverlySenior Boy Downtown New Waverly


5) Other things to think about.... Some teens like to bring a friend along.  Please check with the photographer first to make sure this doesn't violate any of their policies.  Never expect a friend to be able to pose in some of the pictures also, unless you've discussed this with the photographer.  However, having a best friend there is a good way to get those true laughs and help you feel amazing.  Some teens prefer to go solo and that's cool too.  Lastly, think about creating a playlist of songs that really make you happy. Songs that instantly put you at ease and make you feel like a million bucks! I don't recommend having the phone in you pocket, but you can share the playlist with the photographer or set the phone behind you or off to the side. 


And if you still have questions, ask!  Ask your photographer, ask friends and family, or ask on social media! If you need help finding a photographer in your area, you can click here and search your zip code.


But before you go, I have a gift for you!  Click below to download a printable Senior Checklist so you can make sure you have the items you want to bring on your way out the door!  (Although I do recommend getting them all ready in advance so  the day of your session is not stressful!) 


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