Wondering what to wear for senior portraits is a dilemma many high school graduates face. The good news is, it doesn’t need to be complicated. The better news is that we don’t limit our photography clients to a certain number of wardrobe selections. We believe that more is better. Let’s face it, on picture day you might not be in the same mood you were in when you were planning your senior portrait session and choosing your outfits, so bring a variety of clothing that allow you to have options. However, there are a few basics to use as guidelines.
Your fashion choices should fit into three main categories: casual, dressy, and formal. Additional options include uniforms such as sports, band, or ROTC.
Casual outfits may include shorts, jeans, summer dresses, tee shirts, or other items that show off your every-day-wear style. Try to avoid outfits that are overly trendy so you can capture truly timeless images. Also be aware of what does or doesn’t photograph well. Oversized shirts may be all the rave, but are terribly unflattering on camera. Shoes matter. Avoid flip-flops. Sneakers should be clean and free of scuff marks, although a “slightly worn” look is acceptable.
Dressy outfits should be along the lines of what you might wear to church, for a job interview, or out for dinner with the family. For your dressy look, shirts and blouses should have sleeves that are 3/4 length or full. This is not the time for spaghetti straps or polo shirts.
Formal outfits can be along the lines of (or exactly the same as!) what you wore to prom. The formal look demonstrates your transition from child to adult in celebratory style.
You can also bring uniforms or accessories that show off your academic, athletic, and artistic accomplishments from your high school interests. ROTC uniforms, sports uniforms and accessories, instruments, and trophies are fabulous add-ons to your basic outfit categories.
Don’t be afraid of texture. Silky. Frilly. Furry. Ruffled. Feathered. Fringed. Texture translates extremely well on camera, provided it’s not over-done or unnatural for you. If you wouldn’t wear it any time other than pictures, leave it out. Diversify your looks.
Think about your undergarments. Bra straps do not translate well in senior portraits, neither do exposed underwear.
Solids work better than prints.
Make sure that no matter what you wear, it fits comfortably. You may be asked to kneel, bend, squat, or bend your body in a variety of ways. Clothes that are too tight or dresses that are too short make it difficult to pose in various positions. Select outfits that show off your figure, and that make you feel confident.
When you’ve made your fashion selections, make sure your clothes are ironed, on hangers, and ready to wear. Removing wrinkles is easier done by iron that by photoshop.
Don’t over-accessorize. Keep jewelry simple and classic. Over-done accessories can distract from rather than enhance your presence in pictures. However, there’s always room to show off your favorite hat.
If your pants have belt loops, a belt looks best.
If you wear glasses that are not anti-glare, consider popping out your lenses for your shoot. You might also be able to borrow a pair of frames without lenses from your eyewear provider. Glass glare can be a detriment in photographs.
If you have braces and prefer not to show braces in your pictures, we can photoshop them out for an added fee. Don’t worry!
You may spend a considerable amount of time and energy making your wardrobe selections. Nonetheless, from the outfits you pick you’ll still have a favorite and a not so much. Plan to wear your least favorite outfit first. This helps build confidence as you progress through your photo shoot.
Wear your hair! If you’re going to get a hair cut, color or new style, consider having that done about two weeks before your portrait session. That way, you’re used to managing the style and have time to grow into the look. Ladies may choose to bring hair accessories to switch up looks or do touch ups between outfits.
Also consider wardrobe malfunctions and bring along safety pins, extra pantyhose, fashion tape, clothes pins, and other “fix-it-quick” tools.
Above all, have fun celebrating you!
Mitchell Photography would be honored to be your photographer of choice for your senior portraits in Kentucky. Please feel free to explore our senior portrait gallery and get in touch with any questions or concerns you may have. You can call or text us locally at (859) 444-5229, or call us toll free at (855) 243-7604. If you prefer, you can shoot us an email at MitchellPhotography@MitchellMoments.com.
We specialize in photography that emanates classic elegance with a modern edge. With more than twenty-years experience, we’re confident we can create images you’ll be proud to show to your friends and family, and share on your social media profiles. All images are professionally retouched.
Through Mitchell Photography, you can order prints, prints on canvas, specialty items, or obtain a CD of all of your images with a print release. We can also design unique custom graduation announcements.