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Maximizing Wardrobe Options: How Many Outfits for a Senior Session?

Updated: Feb 13

Your senior year of high school is coming to a close, which means it’s time to start thinking about your senior photography session! This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to capture this milestone moment in your life, so you want to make sure you choose the perfect outfit. But with so many options out there, it can be hard to know where to start. But don't worry! I got you! I'm going to share my top tips for choosing the perfect outfit for your senior photo session. From colors to accessories, I've got you covered.

It's all about you!

The most important part of choosing the perfect outfit for your senior photo session is to pick something that is 100% you. Showcase your unique personality and style to make this your special moment in time! If you look above, you can see textures, different fabrics and colors. And, after all, your senior photos will only be as memorable as you make them. So take this opportunity to really express yourself. Start by taking a look at some of the latest trends in fashion to get some inspiration, but don’t be afraid to go with something a little bit retro or vintage if that’s more “you”. Whether you choose to go with something classic and timeless or something more current, just make sure it’s a reflection of who you are and not just what’s “in” right now. Personalize your look with meaningful accessories, like a favorite necklace or bracelet, or even a meaningful item or accessory that reflects a hobby or activity you enjoy. In the images above, you can see the young man has his Letterman's jacket to reflect his time playing lacrosse.

Consider the setting of your photos.

Before you choose your perfect outfit for your senior photo session, it’s important to consider the setting of your session. What kind of background will you have? Urban, beach or rustic? Once you have this information, you can start to narrow down the kind of outfit that will look best in the setting of your photos. For example, if you’re shooting in a rustic environment, it might look nice to choose a more casual outfit like jeans, a flannel or a sweater. If you’re shooting in an urban setting, a pop of color in your outfit might help to counteract the concrete or steel background of the city. Make sure that you keep the setting in mind when you choose your outfit, as you want it to suit the mood and tone of the photos.

Dress for success!

Working with a ton of seniors, I have come to find that it’s important to think of the full look. From head to toe, you want to be sure that all the elements of your look coordinate and look put together. We suggest starting off with a bold color as a statement piece. This will be the foundation of your outfit and you can then build off it with additional neutral pieces to keep the look balanced. When you’re selecting a color, think about what colors look best on you and which colors you feel most confident and comfortable wearing. You also want to make sure that the colors you pick look good on camera. Bright colors tend to look great in photos! Avoid busy patterns and neon colors as they can be distracting and difficult to coordinate with. I also want to add that when I shoot at the beach with young women, I encourage a long, flowy dress as an additional outfit. The movement creates visual interest and it's also a great look in the water!

Plan ahead!

When it comes to getting creative with your outfit, it’s important to keep comfort level in mind. Don’t choose an outfit that will feel uncomfortable or awkward – you want to make sure that you look and feel your best during your photo session. Try on your outfit and practice poses beforehand, that way you can get a feel for what works best for you. Last but not least, when it comes to choosing your outfit, we suggest starting to put your looks together at least one month in advance. This will give you ample time to shop for any accessories or special pieces that you might need for your look.

Exciting News!

I finally launched my online senior portrait course: Creating Genuine Senior Portraits. I created it for hobbyists and established photographers alike. If you are looking to get into Senior Photography or would like to level up your senior photography game, THIS COURSE IS FOR YOU! Check it out!

I'm a natural light photographer working in beautiful, southern California! I focus on high school seniors + families. I photograph families + seniors all over San Diego, Poway, and Coronado and would love to work with you, document who you are today, and create memories that will last a lifetime!

Ah! And before you go, please check out my friend's beautiful work. Jillian Faulkner is a talented Calgary Maternity Photographer based in Calgary, Alberta. She has written a helpful blog post about studio maternity photography sessions. Please check it out!


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