How to prepare for your Senior Photo Session


We've compiled a guide to help you prepare for your photo session.  It's broken down into 3 sections and not everything may apply for your situation. It would be a good idea to start gathering a few photos that you like from magazines, etc. which will help inspire your session. 


1 - Appearance / Cosmetics

For Girls
Paint your nails (clear or neutral colors work best)

Style your hair before your session, choosing a comfortable style you know looks good

If you have long hair, be ready to put your hair up in case of a windy day. Bring bobby pins, hair clips, headbands or any other favorite accessories.

Apply make-up before you arrive and bring product with you for touch-ups if necessary

Plan on arriving early for your session.  This will allow time to make last-minute adjustments to your hair and clothing, as well as give you time to relax before the session begins.


For Guys
Trim nails
Style your hair before your session and bring a comb or brush for touch-ups if necessary
Consider getting a haircut approximately 7-10 days prior to your session
Shave before your session


If you normally wear glasses, they should be worn for your session.
It is advised that you borrow a set of frames without lenses from your eye doctor to eliminate glare and distortion from the lens.


Wardrobe Styling
The session can be as formal or casual as you want it to be. Choose an outfit that you love and feel comfortable in.  Generally, long pants and collared shirts work well for Guys and dresses are a good choice for girls.  Guys can go with jeans for a more casual look or slacks for something more formal.  Girls can use a short or long dress for casual/formal.  Some of your photos will be full-length shots, so please have appropriate footwear that you are comfortable being photographed in.

If you have an area of insecurity, think about how you can minimize that with your outfit choice. Scarves/pashminas are great accessories that can totally help to highlight the best version of you.  If you have insecurities that you want to share with me - please do.  BUT, you're not allowed to do it during your session.  Let's get that out of the way beforehand, so it doesn't bring us down on session day.  

  • Avoid neon colors, graphic shirts with big words or logos.
  • Avoid too much solid black. Break it up with other colors and patterns.
  • Be yourself and comfortable in your outfit choices so you can focus on the shoot, not fixing your clothes, throughout the session.


Props & Accessories

  • Consider bringing "props" (Haku lei /flower crown, letter jackets, uniforms, sports jerseys,
    sports equipment, musical instruments, car) to express your interests, making your portraits personal.
  • Accessorize with hats, sunglasses, scarves, jackets, necklaces, etc. but don’t go overboard.


Emergency Kit
Here are some items you may want to bring for touchups, etc. Not all items are required, but it is useful to have a reference. 

Hairbands, pins, clips
Small mirror
Concealer in flesh tones
Lipsticks and lip pencils (nude or skin color)

Pencil sharpener
Travel size nail kit
Cotton balls and cotton swabs
Hair spray



2 - Timeline

2 weeks before the session
Flip through magazines to see which poses you like. Spend some time in front of the mirror, trying different poses & different facial expressions.

1 week before the session
Make a checklist of items you are planning to bring  

2-3 days before the session
Girls can consider getting their nails done. Use a light neutral color manicure. No red or black nails, please, they don't work with most outfits and make-ups and draw too much attention to hands and/or feet.

24 hours before the shoot
Make sure all outfits and accessories are ironed and properly packed. 
Tweeze eyebrows and the area between eyebrows. Be careful not to over tweeze.
Avoid greasy, spicy, and salty foods. Drink plenty of water and have a good night's sleep.

The day of the shoot
Relax. Take more time than usual to get ready. Moisturize your skin.
Eat a light meal before you leave. 
Avoid wearing sunglasses on the way to the shoot.  It will leave marks on your face.
Arrive on time. If late, contact me and let me know your estimated time of arrival. If you arrive with a significant delay, the shoot may be shortened as well and the number of final images may be reduced.


3 - The Photo Session

Seniors are encouraged to share their ideas any time before or during the session.

We will give you all the direction you need while keeping the day natural and relaxed.  If you have any requests or suggestions, feel free to let us know. The photoshoot is a collaborative process between the both of us.  Don't hesitate to make requests because the photographer "knows best". Photography is subjective and the things that you like may or may not be the same. 

Relax and flow naturally. we will give suggestions during the session whenever something doesn't look right.  Practice posing before the shoot, be natural and keep moving.