What To Wear For Your Senior Portraits

May 03, 2017  •  Leave a Comment

Vermont Senior Portrait PhotographySenior Portrait PhotographyAmericana Inspired Senior Portraits


There's no reason to be anxious about having your photos taken. Yes, we realize that you want to get more likes on Instagram than Selena Gomez. I mean, who doesn't? (Unless you don't, and that's totally fine too.) If it's one thing I know, it's how one's portraits can change one's opinion of themselves. 

For many of you, this is the last formal photo you'll have before you'll have an engagement session or wedding photos on your wedding day. We want to make sure that your portraits show who you are, so relax. I'll bring music along; just tell me what you want to hear and I'll make a playlist. I find this helps the photo session flow. If you choose Beyonce, Lady Gaga or Gawvi I might be busting out some sweet dance moves or even singing a little. (Apparently I can do both, so I'm told.)

Being different is what everyone wants, I'll try to ensure that your photos don't look your friends' photos; I realize how important this is. We love it when you pick your location. We will make anything and everything work. This will also ensure that your photos look different than your friends' photos. We don't put you in the same corner, next to the same wall or using the same backgrounds that have been used for the last decade. 


Arrival To Your Photo Session:

Ladies, arriving early or on time is of the utmost importance. Showing up late to your session simply means that you will have less time in front of the lens and lets face it. You don't want to be putting a duck face selfie you took on your iPhone in a bathroom mirror in your yearbook. I find that it takes about 10 minutes or so for your nerves to be calmed and then we can start capturing your true expressions. If you do happen to be running late, it'd be nice to shoot me a text to let me know. Trust me, I understand that you just don't wake up like this, it takes some work, work, work. 


Clothing: Please Read...because planning this will ensure you love your portraits.

We give you unlimited wardrobe changes, so bringing a lot of clothing options is key. One of the locations that we choose should have a changing area with a bathroom, great lighting and a mirror so you can do some touching up between outfit changes. Bring lots of clothing options we can mix and match, so we have more flexibility to choose the best outfit to play off the outdoor surroundings. PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE iron anything that has excessive wrinkles. Try to the best of your ability to avoid stripes, plaids, graphics and shirts with words on them.  

Processed with VSCO with f2 preset Layering and using different textures adds depth and dimension. To create this, try blending these fabrics in your outfits: Tweed, cotton, cashmere, wool, embroidery, lace, ruffles — all are used to create different layers of clothing and accessories. These details, textures and added depth are especially important to black and white images. 

Be true to your style. Wearing clothes that you normally wear will ensure that you will like the finished portraits. Everyone likes buying new clothes, but wearing something new might not be the best idea for the day of your photo session.  

One last thought on clothing: If you're not comfortable in the clothing you choose, it will show. Make sure everything fits properly. Yes, this does mean that you might have to go into a fitting room at the clothing store. There's a reason fitting rooms exist, to make sure your clothes actually fit. There's a novel idea.

Bringing clothing that complements your eye color and skin tone is always the best way of planning out your outfits for your photo session. Dresses always flow and can be paired with a sweater, scarf or other accessory to make a completely different looking outfit, or even dress up a sundress. 

Remember that these photos are most likely going to be hanging in your house and your grandparents' house. So keep that in mind when picking your outfits for your senior portrait session. (Because you can go from zero to scandalous REAL quick.)

Hair: Please don't make a drastic change to your hair right before your senior session. You might look back on them and go, "What was I thinking!?" Bring a brush and a mirror. Some extra bobby pins is never a bad idea, and keeps the hair out of your eyes.


You should do your makeup the way you usually do it on a daily basis. WARNING: Just because you watched a tutorial by some flawless guy on YouTube doesn't mean that you have the level of skill to pull this look together. If you really want professional makeup done, I will try my best to obtain a makeup artist to assist you, since I know many.


Your nails should look presentable. You want to make sure if they're painted and that the polish isn't chipped. A fresh coat of nail polish will make a world of difference in your photo shoot. Pick a neutral color that won’t distract in your shoot or clash with your outfits. Bonus: You might be able to convince your parents that you need to get a manicure. Seriously, who doesn't like a day at the spa? Call our friends at A Signature Day Spa at (802) 747-7726 

Boots, Heels, Flats:

A variety of casual and dress shoes is ideal. Try and stay away from athletic shoes or flip flops. Sneakers or tennis shoes are not going to work to make you look your best. If you want to bust out a sweet pair of Converse, we can talk. The choices of shoes you bring can either make or break the overall look to your outfit. I suggest bringing boots, flats or heels. If you show up in Crocs, or if you attempt to pull off socks and sandals, I might run away screaming. I've decided the only time socks and sandals are approved is when you're leaving the sports field headed to change. Dark colored or funky colored socks, as opposed to white, will always look better. 


Simple and tasteful pieces that are elegant and timeless are always the safest bet. If jewelry is super shiny or too large, it will distract from the most important subject: You. If you have different jewelry for different outfits, it's always a good idea to keep it with the outfit you would like to wear it with.

Props Welcome: 

Props are a great way to show off who you are. Popular choices would be sports equipment, uniforms, musical instruments and/or pets.


Since I'm a proud owner of spectacles myself, I have a good tip for you. I would suggest asking your eye doctor if they happen to have a pair of similar glasses that you could borrow without the lenses in them so the glare isn't an issue.


Please don't worry about blemishes; it happens. Don't stress. Stressing will only cause your skin to be more prone to breakouts. We can take care of any areas of concern in our editing process. 


Processed with VSCO with f2 preset Can I Bring Someone To My Photo Session: 

You're welcome to bring someone with you. I want you to love your senior portraits and we both know that your Mom's opinion matters. Fast forward ten years and you'll see that I was right. Bring your sister only if she will not infuriate you. A friend sometimes is the best option because they know how good your selfie game is, and sees your face probably more than the other two options. Bring the friend who can keep it real without hurting your feelings. 


Contact us today to book your senior portrait session: [email protected] or call (802) 770-0047.

Copyright 2017

B. Farnum Photography, offering Vermont Portrait Photography for high school seniors, families, couples and businesspeople.






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