There are a few moments in life that need to be captured in pictures so you can always remember them. For example, your first birthday sitting in a highchair with a pointy hat and a cake full of face, or your first day of school, and the biggie, your Senior pictures.
As you start to think about your Senior picture, here are a few things to consider:
Before the Shoot
- Choosing a photographer. Take the time to look at photographers’ websites and social media pages, ask for referrals from friends, and maybe even set up a few meetings. It’s important for you to feel comfortable working with whomever you choose. And once you have settled on a photographer make sure you schedule it far enough in advance so you have time to prepare for your big shoot. My two favorites are Walnut Street Photography and Galerisa Photography.
- In order to ensure you are happy with your photos, here are some great questions to email to your photographer, so he or she can get a better sense of you and your expectations:
- What are some of your favorite features about yourself? (smile, hair, legs, eyes)
- What do you want to remember most about this time in your life? (cheerleader, hometown, certain books, your car)
- Are there any specific locations you have in mind for your shoot? (graffiti wall, outdoor spaces, like a park or the mountains, indoor studio shoot, maybe a place you love to hang out like a skateboard park)
- How would you spend your ideal Saturday? (playing music, riding your bike, walking your dog)
- How would you describe your personal style? (casual, mountain girl, dressy, eclectic, school spirited)
- Even though seniors are on top of the latest styles, we often need help when it comes to deciding what to wear to our session. So, well in advance of your photo session start a pinterest board of what you might like to wear and share this with your photographer. They are the professionals and can give you feedback well in advance of the big day. For instance a baseball cap that hides your face probably isn’t the best idea!
- In addition to your clothes, might I suggest a pinterest board for your hair and makeup. Senior photos are not really a time to try and make yourself look completely different. This is a time to show how you truly were in your Senior year of High School. So if you don’t normally wear glasses don’t wear them in your photos. Or if you normally have dark hair, probably isn’t a good time to try out being a bleached blond. Makeup is also really important. Maybe schedule a professional do your makeup. Two of my favorite makeup artists in Denver are Nicole Ramirez and Nicole Toledo.
- Make sure you talk to the photographer about doing both color and black and white photos. The contrast creates two very different looks and depending on your school yearbook policy, you might need one or the other. Which brings up another good point. Go through the year book and look at Senior photos. Pick out the ones you love, and use that as a starting point for your own photo session. Also, these photos will give you an idea of what the yearbook wants in terms of photos that will be acceptable to be published. And, finally request that you receive some or all of your photos in a digital format, in case you want to post them or use them again.
At the Shoot
The morning of the session, make sure you have contacted your photographer the night before and confirmed your meeting time and location. Also confirm what outfits you are bringing and give yourself that extra time to ask any last minute requests or questions.
During the session it’s important to stay stress free and ensure that you and the photographer share in the success of the shoot. Some kids might want their parents there for support, others might want to go it alone. It’s important to make those decisions before the shoot and not during the process. A few other suggestions to make sure you are “picture perfect”:
- A few weeks before the shoot start practicing your posing and your smile in the mirror. This is where taking “selfies” comes in handy. You will want to appear confident in your photos and the best way to do this is to practice. There are so many poses and photographs on the internet. Take the time to go through them and decide what poses work best for you. Also remember to stand up straight or sit up straight. Posture is really important when you are taking professional photos. Also in addition to your face and posture, pay attention to your hands. How to place your hands is important and you don’t want them to appear awkward. I know these are a lot of details to remember, so again, make sure you are giving yourself enough time to consider as much as possible.
- Props. I’ve taken photos with my dog, with motorcycles, with extra large lollipops and even with an ice cream cone. Props can be very fun, and they can even be as simple as a favorite chair and book, but no matter what prop you use, make sure you practice with it before your session. Also, please note, animals can be adorable in photos, but they are very unpredictable, so please have a backup plan in case your dog or iguana isn’t cooperating that day.
- Another trend is taking photos with a friend or boyfriend. I suggest these as “keepsakes” but not as the final product. You just never know what your relationship will be 20 years from now and these photos really need to be all about you.
After the Shoot
After their session, post some of your photos online and tag your photographer. I am sure that your Junior friends will appreciate the referral!