Tips for Teens and Senior Portraits



We love to hear any ideas you may have as far as clothing, your own props, portraits with friends, family, or pets, and/or an unusual location of your choosing. Our main goal is to portray you as a unique person, and hearing about your interests and likes helps us to accomplish that. 

You may bring whatever outfits you want to wear. However, there are some clothes that photograph better than others. Patterns and/or words tend to be distracting. The brighter the patterns, the more distracting they will be. This isn't to say that patterns or words are ALWAYS a bad idea - if you really like the outfit please bring it - but solids generally photograph better than bright patterns. 

Certain colors look worse outside (but are fine for the studio). Orange, teal, any kind of green (except deep, forest green), and pink tend to clash with many outdoor locations, especially areas with the green of trees or grass. We suggest mid-toned solids or darker color solids like black, any kind of blue, browns, reds (or burgundy), purples, or grey. Yellow can also work (but tighter fitting yellow outfits can accent weight). Young women may wear dresses or skirts outside, but pants allow a greater range of poses and are recommended.  

One last color tip: The majority of people (regardless of race, age or gender) have skin tones that look best in colors that do not include lime green, bright yellow, orange and rust. 

Keep in mind that lighter colors (especially white), tight fitting tops, and horizontal lines tend to accent weight (very loose fitting white will usually look fine). If you don't want your arms to be obvious, wear a long sleeve shirt instead of a short sleeve or a tank top. Darker colors (especially black), loose-fitting clothing, and vertical lines have a more slimming effect. 

Fashions can be great, but it's a good idea to wear at least one outfit that will likely not be labeled as obviously trendy. The thing about fashion is that it goes out of fashion. You might be happy with your photos for a year, then be terribly embarrassed you actually wore such an outfit five years down the road. 

If you have a class ring and want it in some of your portraits - remember to bring it! 

Feel free to bring in outfits related to any activities or sports you are involved with. Most people will bring a few casual outfits, a uniform of some sort, and a dressier outfit - but again, everyone is different - you should bring in what you want to wear and what reflects you as a person. 

If you are uncertain about your clothing choices, bring in more than the suggested total outfits and we can choose what will look best at the studio. 

We have a few photographic props, however, we don't want to detract from the true personality of our clients. So, you are more than welcome to bring your own! These could include sports items like a football or pennant, musical instruments, collections, stuffed animals, your favorite flower or rose petals, books, blankets from your childhood, hats, artwork, school mascots or other activity-related items (including your own cap and gown), or any other personal object that is meaningful or relates to your own personal interests. Use your imagination! 

Don't worry if you have a sudden outbreak of acne! This is the absolute easiest thing to fix afterwards for us, and acne removal is included with every portrait package. Hair styles are harder to fix, however.  If you've had a very bad hair cut right before the portrait session, please feel free to call us - we can re-schedule. After all, we want you to be happy with your photos and if you know you dislike your hair you are unlikely to be happy with your photos. If you are very particular about your hair, please advise the parent or friend with you at the portrait session to keep an eye out for you.  Additionally, we now offer the services of a Hair and Makeup Artist at additional cost.

It is strongly recommended to bring in a family member or a friend (or both!). They will have the benefits of helping put you at ease, they can check your hair, help you with props and/or pets, give you clothing advice, and in general give you moral support. Plus they get to enjoy the portrait session with you! In addition, your images will be viewed after the session - and it's always best to get a second opinion. 

We try to schedule location sessions to take advantage of the best times of day (and year). Outdoor light looks best earlier in the day and later. Sunrise and sunset are considered 'magic' times for many photographers and artists. The beginning and end of the day also have the advantage of being relatively cooler than the middle of the day in the summer.