Things are about to get super busy around here with senior sessions for the next few weeks so I thought the best thing to blog about today would be advice for senior on how to best prepare for their pictures! There is lot more that goes into your senior shoot than just picking the photographer (although that’s super important too!). So, today I’m giving ya’ll my tips for what to focus on before you show up to your shoot.
Location is so important because this will determine a lot of the style of your shoot. I actually wrote a whole blog post about locations specifically in College Station here. I recommend explaining your style and vision for your pictures to your photographer and then asking them for some suggestions. Usually, photographers shoot in places you wouldn’t expect with amazing results! Another great idea is to do a bit of “location scouting” and drive around your area looking for places that fit with your ideas. Maybe drive to a few parks and look around for flowers and greenery, or go downtown and look for some cute urban details! Find a place that reflects you and you’ll be all set!
There are a few different things that go into the timing of your session. The first is the time of year. Do you want to take your pictures in the summer, fall, winter, or spring? All options can be beautiful but also very different! You could have beautiful winter photos in warm coats and boots, or bright spring pictures in your favorite romper. The possibilities are endless! One thing I’ve seen people doing is scheduling one full length session in their favorite season and then a mini session in the opposite season to add some diversity to their pictures. I think this is such a cute idea!
If you plan on ordering announcements make sure you are also factoring this into your timing. It takes me 2 weeks max to deliver a session (all photographers are different on their timing, make sure you ask this before you book!). So, you would want to schedule your session at least 3 weeks before you want to send out announcements so you have time to get your photos back, pick your favorites, design the announcement, and receive the announcements in the mail for you to send out. Some seniors also want canvases and prints for displaying at their graduation parties and these can take longer to deliver so be sure to factor some extra time in for products!
Finally, the time of day you plan your session will affect how “glowy” your portraits are. Photographers love shooting during the golden hour. This is the hour right after sunrise and right before sunset. Typically, I have my seniors schedule their sessions for 1.5-2 hours before sunset (because everyone hates early mornings!). The exact timing on this will vary depending on the time of year, but a quick google search will tell you the exact timing of sunset for any day of the year.
The most commonly asked question I get asked – what do I wear?? I always recommend picking an outfit that you feel comfortable in, but also something that will be special. This is your chance to dress it up and wear something fun and exciting!! Pick an outfit that reflects your personality and style and don’t be afraid to be dressy. I love it when seniors wear cute maxi dresses or rompers because they are so excited to be wearing something fun that they are more confident and relaxed throughout the pictures.
There are a few things to keep in mind when selecting an outfit. Anything with bright patterns could be distracting from the main focus of the pictures (you!) so make sure you try things on ahead of time to check for this. If you plan on wearing heels, bring some flats to put on in between spots. I typically walk around with my clients in parks or on campus and if you’re wearing heels it could get painful, and no one wants that!
Don’t forget about accessories! Add a statement necklace, bracelet, or shoes to add that something extra to your outfit and stand out. Another thing is while you may not have time to change between many different outfits, you will have time for multiple accessory changes which can switch up your looks!
You may want to bring a friend or a parent along to your session. I think this is a great idea and an extra person can be helpful to you and your photographer! Especially if you will be changing outfits/accessories, this person can help with carrying your things between spots and making you laugh for those cute laughing shots! However, I recommend trying to stick with only bringing 1 or 2 people with you because I wouldn’t want you to get distracted from the shoot or nervous in front of an “audience”. Planning on bringing your pet along for a few photos? Make sure to bring a person specifically for pet duty for the photos that are just of you!
Your photographer is your biggest resource
If you have questions leading up to your session, please reach out to your photographer! I love it when my seniors ask me for advice on locations, outfits, or anything else relating to their pictures. It helps me customize their session and get to know them on a more personal level! This usually makes things much more comfortable for them when we meet for the first time and start taking pictures. Your senior session is your time to make sure that everything is exactly what you envisioned, so make sure that you are communicated with your photographer to make that a reality!
Interested in booking a senior session? I’d LOVE to work with you! I serve seniors in the Austin and College Station and would love to chat with you about how to make your senior experience unique. Send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org so we can start planning!
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