How to Prepare for Senior Photos:

Capturing Memories to Last a Lifetime

Senior year is a significant milestone in a student's life, filled with cherished memories and exciting new beginnings. One way to commemorate this special time is through senior photos. These images capture the essence of who you are at this transformative stage, serving as timeless keepsakes for years to come. To ensure you get the most out of your senior photo session, here are some essential tips to help you prepare.

Plan Ahead

It is always a good rule of thumb to start to think about what you are wanting with your photos as well as planning how you are going to achieve it. You can start this process by scheduling your senior photo session well in advance. This will allow yourself to decide the most important things to you: the time of year, your preferred photographer, and it will give you more time to prepare for your photo session.

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Research and Choose a Photographer

Once you have come to the conclusion that you are wanting your milestone captured, it's time to start research your local photographers. Take the time to research and select a photographer whose style aligns with your vision. There are a lot of different photographers and that many more styles! They can range from dark and moody, to bright and cheery. There really is something out there for everyone! Look through their portfolio, read client reviews, and discuss your expectations and ideas with them. You can search for local photographers through Google by searching "senior photographers near me". Another option is to look through social media sites like Instagram to find your photographer. By searching through your local hashtags -- an personal example being: #wallawallaphotographer #wallawallaseniorphoto and #westcoastseniorphotography. -- you will find many options and from there you can easily view their portfolio. Finding the right photographer is key to capturing your unique personality and create stunning images.

Location Selection

This is where things start to become real, fun, and exciting! Now you can take the time to consider the location(s) that best represent you and your interests. Whether is's a favorite park, urban setting, or a meaningful place like in the backyard of your childhood house, choose locations that reflect your person and your values accordingly. Always go with a location that will help you feel comfortable and at east. If you're a cowboy at heart, a good spot to take photos would be somewhere in the country or something similarly rustic. Don't be shy, collaborate with your photographer to find the perfect backdrop for your senior photos. We don't bite! And we often have lists of locations we can share with you to help you decide as well.

Wardrobe Selection

Calling all fashionistas! You'll often find me in jeans and a t-shirt, but for an occasion like your senior photo shoot, I suggest something a bit more special! Selecting the right wardrobe is an important part of your photo session. You should choose outfits that make you feel confident and reflect your personal style, whatever that may be! Even if you don't wear it on a daily basis, follow your heart. I'd suggest even shopping for a special outfit for your shoot. It's hard to not leave the house smiling when you're glammed up! From experience, opt for a mix of casual and formal attire to capture different aspects of your personality. Coordinate colors and patterns if possible, and avoid clothing with large logos or distracting prints (unless that's what you want, then go for it!) Stripes that are close together will look a bit funky from the moiré* effect that happens. (It's not flattering, trust me) Don't forget to consider accessories, shoes, and props that complement your outfits and add visual interest to the photos.

If you are trying to figure out whether or not to go all out... just do it. Go all out! These are photos just for you to look back on when your 80 and say, "Wow, I was so young" wistfully.

*Moiré: Moiré occurs in a photograph when a scene, an object or a fabric being photographed contains repetitive details (dots, lines, checks, stripes) that exceed the sensor resolution.

Hair, Makeup, and Grooming

I LOVE doing my makeup for special occasions. It's a time where I can coordinate my glitter eyeshadow to match my earrings, that also match my shirt or shoes. It is such a fun puzzle. When it comes to putting together your outfit, the makeup and hair has just as much to do with the rest of the outfit as the clothes themselves! For a polished, professi0nal look, invest in someone to do your hair styling and makeup. Consult with a stylist beforehand to discuss your desired look and make any necessary appointments. (Be careful with getting a haircut before your photo session! Save yourself the stress) It's important to pay attention to the little details as well, like having neatly trimmed nails (or a fresh salon treatment), and clean well-maintained hair. Let your mom straighten your tie (I will fix it too, don't worry) and head out the door confident knowing you're as fresh as they come. And if this is too complicated, just remember that the goal is that you feel confident in from of the camera.

Props and Personal Touches

Time to get creative! Ask yourself questions like, "Is there something that represents me?" "Do I have something of value that I want to be in the photos with me?" and "I think this is cute, I want to bring this along." After a little introspection, you'll find yourself with some props and other trinkets you may want to have in your senior photos. These items that hold sentimental value, represent your hobbies, or interests, adds a depth and uniqueness to your shoot that can't be match by anyone else. Because you, are uniquely you! Whether it's a musical instrument, sports equipment, some treasured possession like your mother's necklace, they will all add depth and personality to your senior photos. A common prop is graduation regalia. And if you're having trouble coming up with anything, you don't need to have anything! Your photos will come out just as good without them.

Look at a few of the senior shoots below to gain inspiration for your own shoot. Notice things like hats, flowers, and pets! Me and many other photographers also have a few items we can bring along if you let us know!

Monica brought her dog Spike that she grew up with. He had a bandanna and everything! I got a bit emotional seeing the gray muzzle contrasting with her regalia. They grew up together and I'm so glad I got to capture them together for this special shoot. Pets are always welcome at any of the shoots I do, especially senior shoots, free of charge.

This is Kendra, she was getting some extra senior photos done and I brought along some of my personal props to add some -zing- to her photos. Her aesthetic lined right up with what I had and it was just perfect.

Paulina is quite fashion-fashion minded, so she brought a fuzzy jacket and hat. When you bring items like this to your shoot, it add so many variables to the different types of shots you can get. Hat on, Hat off. Jacket on, hat off. Mix that with the many poses and prompts I have memorized... endless possibilities!

And you can NEVER go wrong with what Zach did here. Show up as yourself. He got here right after showering and just threw on some clothes. And you know what, his photos came out great! Because at the end of the day, these photos are about your personality and you as a whole. Whether you brings props and trinkets or pets... or nothing at all, you will always be getting authentic photos of yourself to last for lifetimes.

And Most Importantly.... Relax and be Yourself!

On the day of the shoot, take a deep breath and embrace the experience. It'll be over before you know it. Trust your photographers guidance and allow yourself to relax be let your authentic self shine through. It's totally normal to feel awkward for the first 5 minutes or so, but with the right photographer, you get into the groove very easily. I know it can be hard to be in front of a camera, so I always make sure to play some music during my sessions through a Bluetooth speaker to help my senior loosen up. Remember, senior photos are meant to capture your unique personality and the excitement of this special time in your life. Don't overthink it, you'll be great and receive amazing photos in about a week!

In Conclusion,

Preparing for your senior photo session is an exciting part of your senior year journey. By planning ahead, choosing the right photographer, carefully selecting your wardrobe, and adding personal touches, you can create a memorable and meaningful experience. These photos will serve as a timeless reminder of your achievements, growth, and the vibrant spirit of your senior year.

So, get ready to shine, embrace your individuality, and let your senior photos become a treasured keepsake that celebrates the remarkable person you are becoming.