Senior girl portrait in a field of fireweed in Palmer, Alaska.

Your outfit is a big part of your senior portraits and it’s something you’ll notice every time you look back on these images. While Pinterest and Instagram can be helpful to gather ideas, it can also be overwhelming. Here are a few simple tips to help you choose options that you’ll still be happy with when you dig them back out for your reunion!

African American senior girl portrait in the fall along a river.

Dress for the season.
This is the most important tip, especially in Alaska. If you aren’t appropriately dressed for the weather you won’t enjoy the experience and it will show in your expressions. If your session is during the warmth of summer choose lighter fabrics. Fall encourages adding a layer like a jacket or scarf. Winter sessions require a warm coat and footwear, which can be paired with fun gloves, hats and scarves for extra warmth.

Asian senior girl portrait in an urban metal tunnel in Alaska.

Plan options with diversity
Bring several outfits so we can decide which works best in each location and include a variety of options, from casual to dressy. Remember to bring all the pieces of each outfit – from the undergarments and accessories to the footwear. It’s also a good idea to check all your clothing well before your session to make sure there aren’t any stains or tears that will limit the item’s use.

Asian senior girl portrait on metal stairs in Alaska.

Consider colors and patterns
You can either coordinate with the seasonal colors, or contrast them to really stand out against the scenery. A good rule of thumb is to avoid red and neon colors as both can create unflattering color casts on your skin. While neutrals, yellows and dark green compliment fall tones, bright colors look great against the snow during winter. Summer provides more options depending on the location you choose. If you’re near water, sticking with blues and greens is a good option, but if you’re surrounded by lush greenery you’ll want to wear a different color so you don’t blend in. Also, plan a variety of colors in your outfits, not just your favorite color.

Asian senior boy portrait in Alaska.

Be comfortable and keep clothing visually simple
You don’t want to spend your session tugging at ill-fitting clothing or worrying about how something looks. Wear clothes you feel comfortable and attractive in so you can focus on the fun you’ll have at the session. Keep prints simple, skip bold jewelry and avoid outfits with words, designs, or pictures, with the exception of your school logo or mascot. These styles can distract from your expression and may not photograph well in each pose.

Senior girl portrait on metal bridge in the spring in Palmer, Alaska.

Don’t follow the trends
What’s trendy today might be out of style before you complete your senior year. And the current trend may not photograph well on your body type. Choose clothing that accentuates your best features, even if it’s not the current style.

Samoan senior guy in football jersey posing for senior portraits.

Be you; Incorporate your interests and culture
This is not the time to try out a look drastically different from the one you have every day. Your clothing should match your personal style, and hair and makeup should be in line with your daily look. However, this is a great time to showcase your culture and hobbies so bring those items and we can work together to incorporate them into a portion of your session.

Plus size senior girl with glasses posing on hiking trail in Palmer, Alaska.

Wear your glasses
If you wear glasses every day, wear them for your senior portraits. If you alternate between glasses and contacts we can do some shots with and some without. If possible, remove the lenses of your glasses to avoid glare. Most opticians will remove lenses from frames for no cost, but give them plenty of time so there is no rush.

Senior girl posing with softball bat for senior portraits with a graffiti rock wall.

Pay attention to details

  • Tan Lines: Be aware of tan lines that will be accented or show in your pictures. Avoid sunburns because red peeling skin isn’t flattering on anyone.
  • Nails: Have your nails trimmed and clean for your session. Gals – if you’re wearing sandals make sure your pedicure looks fresh.
  • Hair: Plan a haircut at least a week in advance so it looks natural at your session. Guys should have a fresh shave the morning of the session or groom facial hair.
  • Blemishes: Conceal them if you can, but don’t aggravate them if you can’t. I’ll remove them during the editing process.

I hope these tips make it easy for you to pick out your perfect outfits for your session. Once you’ve got it all planned out just relax and let the fun happen!