I love shooting senior portraits because it gives me the chance to get artistic in a controlled environment and use inspiration and creativity with no boundaries! Seniors are so trusting and let me push them a little bit past their comfort level and we always end up with amazing results!!!!

Finding the perfect location for a senior session is usually done as a group effort. The photographer always has lots of great locations in mind, but it’s very important for the session reflect the lifestyle of the senior. It would be silly to someone from the city, who always lived in the city, and loves the city, at a farm.Or a girl from the country who grew up on a farm most likely wouldn’t want photos of her with the city skyline behind her. There are always exceptions to the rule, but for the most part, she should have the engagement session reflect the lifestyle as she is living it so it’s an authentic version of her.

The session can be shot anywhere from downtown in the city, to a parking garage, to a corn field, to a back yard. A good photographer can make any location work. It’s important to remember the session is about the senior, not the location. A good photographer is going to focus more on her than what’s in the background. A good backdrop is always nice, but the emotion, mood and personality of the senior is much more eye catching. If she is truly happy and relaxed the photos will focus on that and the backdrop is just an added bonus.

Props are fun and a very big trend these days especially with the introduction of Pinterest. If done right props can be super cute and help add to the personality of the senior. The thing to beware of with props is at times it may date the photo. Trends come and go, so in ten years when you see that photo with a prop you may say, “Oh yeah, that was totally taken 10 years ago.” It’s similar to fashion. At the time, bell bottoms and butterfly collars were the rage! If you were wearing it, you were the most “far out” couple in the neighborhood! But looking at them now, it’s obvious that they were from the ‘70s. Same is true with props. It can still be done as long as it’s done tastefully and really reflects the senior's lifestyle.

Any photo session is a special occasion, so the senior should be dressed in their very best! It’s important to remember that the session is about capturing who you are, so dressing up like a city girl with high heels and diamonds, if you are a small town girl from the country, may not be the thing for you. Cowgirl boots and a cute sundress is completely appropriate for a country type of setting. Just remember who you are and how you want to remember who you are in ten years.

Getting down to the nitty gritty about wardrobe: Stay away from loud colors and patterns, avoid red. Muted colors and small designs are the best so your clothes aren’t a distraction. Layers and texture really look great. A blouse with ruffles, a scarf, and big jewelry always looks fabulous. A guy always looks good with layers and relaxed. If you don't normally wear a suit and tie, it might not be the best time to start! And be natural. If you don’t usually tuck in your shirt and wear khakis’, wear your shirt un-tucked with jeans! It’s important to be yourself, but be your BEST self.

Makeup and hair is one of the things that really make a girl stand out in a session. First of all, it’s always fun to play dress up! :D When do you get a chance to look and feel like a model? Take advantage of the opportunity to get glammed up for your session. Again, be yourself, but be your BEST self. A professional makeup artist is going to highlight your best attributes so they come across on camera beautifully! They know the curves, angles, and highlights in your face to really make them pop.Hands down, good makeup and hair is really going to make you look like a rock star for your session!

The Last important rule for your senior portrait session is to be yourself and be comfortable. If you are comfortable with each other the photos are going to show that. Try to forget about the little black box clicking away at you. Giggle, smile, and laugh! That’s going to bring out who you really are for the camera. A good photographer will get some traditional and posed photos, but the moments when you are laughing are the ones that make the very best photos!
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