Planning Your High School Senior Photo Shoot

Congratulations on this major accomplishment in your life! You made it to your Senior Year. You’ve worked through some challenging things in your life and you deserve to celebrate it! Now is the time to set up your Senior Portrait Session to celebrate your triumph, commemorate your hard work, and tell the story of who YOU are!

You want to get the most out of your Senior Portrait Session so we have created a list of the Top 5 Hints to make your photoshoot easy and fun!!

Tip #1- Picking the right photographer

Picking the right photographer out for your shoot is going to mean choosing someone based on more than just how much they charge. Most people your age have never experienced working one-on-one with a professional photographer outside of the 5-minute school photo taken in the gym in front of a backdrop.

Working with a pro for your Senior Photos is going to be a bit different than your school photos. You’ll want to find a pro that makes you feel comfortable and takes the time to explain to you what’s going on. You should be able to view samples of their work to see if you like it and they should be happy to answer any questions you have before you hire them. When you’re talking to the photographer ask yourself how they make you feel. Would you mind spending a few hours hanging out with them while they create your photo story? If the answer is yes, you’ve found your photographer!! But don’t get discouraged if the first photographer you talk to just doesn’t do it for you. You may have to talk with a few pros before making your decision. And remember if you’re under 18 to get your guardian in on the decision. They’ll be reserving the session so it’s important for them to be a part too.

Tip #2- Creating Your Story Board

This may seem like a weird step for your Senior Portrait Session, but it’s actually one of the most important. In fact, most professional photographers are going to get you on this journey without you even realizing it. It’s part of any successful portrait session.

After you’ve reserved your date your professional will most likely give you a packet of info or email you online information to look over with tips and instructions for your portrait session. Basically, they are setting the groundwork for your Story Board. They’ll ask you to fill out an online planning form or a questionnaire. There will be questions about your life, your hobbies, your activities and your goals on it. Many pros will also ask you for a “Mood Board” as part of this process. You can begin this before you even hire your photographer. Create a Pinterest Board of images that caught your eye so your photographer understands what piques your interest and what types of poses you’re going to be comfortable with during your shoot. Your planning forms and mood board together are going to create your personal storyboard that is going to help your photographer tell your unique story in a way that makes sense to you. 

Tip #3- Picking the Right Location

Believe it or not, picking out the right location for your shoot is going to do a lot to help with your storyboard. Your shoot location is your backdrop. It should be a place that reflects who you are, what you do, or somewhere that makes you feel totally relaxed and happy.

Don’t be afraid to think outside the box for your Senior Portrait Shoot Location. If you’re happiest spending hours reading a book find a quiet nook or maybe visit the local library for some photos. If you’re outgoing and spent a lot of time out on the football field cheering or running the ball in maybe you’ll want to grab some photos on the school field. The best way to choose the perfect location for you is to just take a few moments to think about where your happiest memories are. That’s the location you’ll feel the happiest during your portrait session. The result is that you’ll have a relaxed, genuine smile in your photos and great memories to look back on later.

Tip #4- Choosing the Perfect Outfit

This is the one area that most people mess up on for their Senior Portrait Session. Our tendency is to get excited and run out shopping for a brand new outfit to wear. That’s the exact opposite of what you should do. There are many problems that can happen with brand new clothing that you’re not used to.

The biggest concern with new clothing is that it’s not broken in yet. It may look amazing on the store dummy, but how will it feel on you? Remember, how we mentioned feeling comfortable with your photographer? We also talked about feeling happy in your location site. Well, feeling comfortable in what you’re wearing is also very important to the overall success of your photoshoot. Trust me when I say that you won’t get the best results if an itchy tag or tight waistband or squeaky shoes are distracting you from having fun and creating the best memories possible. 

Another concern is wardrobe malfunction. There’s a much greater risk to showing off more than you intended to if you’re wearing an outfit you’re not used to. That’s why it’s best to purchase an outfit and wear it a few times before deciding to use it in your shoot. 

Tip #5- Don’t Be Afraid of Props

Using props in your Senior Portrait Session is easily one of the best ways to add to your story. You’ve already chosen the perfect photographer, written your storyboard by filling in your planning forms, creating a mood board, picking the best location, AND choosing the perfect outfit. You’re happy and comfortable. Now it’s time to add a little pizazz with some fun props that can help tell your story. 

Some of the most popular prop ideas are your graduation cap & gown if available, your sports uniforms and gear, musical instruments, and/or books or artwork that’s a part of who you are. If you love the outdoors you may choose an outdoor location and use the foliage or flowers for props. Maybe you love to cook and can bring a spatula and a chef’s hat. Bookworms will bring their favorite stories. A cheerleader may bring her pom-poms. The goal here is to express yourself with the thing that sets you on fire. What creates passion in your life? We did a photo session once for a young lady who loved training dogs. She brought 2 with her for her photoshoot. The images perfectly told her story. If you’re unsure talk to your photographer and they’ll make helpful suggestions for you. 

 

Are You Portrait Ready?

Now you’ve got the basics down to create the most successful Senior Portrait Experience possible to tell your unique story. We’re waiting to talk with you about how one of our Professional Photographers can work alongside you to capture your images. You can contact us to find out more and feel free to visit our Portrait Photography page to learn more as well! We’re looking forward to working with you!