How To Get Ready For Your Portrait or Senior Photo Session

Here is a perfect list of what to check when getting ready for your portrait session. Includes information about wardrobe ideas, hair and make-up tips and tricks, and posing ideas for your fun day with your photographer.


  • Keep jewelry to a minimum. Watches that are large and bulky can be very distracting.
  • Wear solid colors and outfits that fit well. Nothing detracts from a subject’s face more than clothes with busy patterns and prints.
  • Hats can change the look of a subject’s portrait too. Look for fun and interesting hats to have.
  • Wear comfortable shoes, even if they aren’t in the shot.
  • Be careful about undergarments. Editing out bra straps or panty lines is difficult and time-consuming. Choose clothes that properly cover your undergarments, in all types of movement scenarios.
  • Be prepared for inclement weather if shooting outside.

Hair & Makeup

  • Cut back on any sunbathing to avoid skin problems such as peeling.
  • To provide a variety of images, feel free to change your hairstyles as you change your wardrobe. Try hair up, down, or pulled back.
  • Be sure the makeup and style match your wardrobe. Casual jeans and t-shirt shots would need bare makeup while an elegant dress may require more blush, lipstick and eye shadow.
  • Bring any personal items you might want for touching up, such as lipstick or a hairbrush.
  • Start with a simple/natural look and then move to dramatic because applying more makeup is easier than taking it off.
  • Make hair, nail, and/or makeup appointments for before your session. Make sure your roots are touched up and you aren’t wearing chipped nail polish to your session.

How to Pose During Your Photo Session

  • Find inspiration. Search online and keep a reference file of shots you like. Shooting only one expression will result in a boring, monotonous set of images.
  • No need to ‘Cheese’! I’m looking for natural expressions and un-posed moments.
  • Relax, slow down, and don’t force anything. Don’t feel pressured to make everything perfect. When in doubt, just smile.
  • Expect me to guide you around a little bit to different spots to capture images. The more variety we get, the better your selection. Let's have fun!
senior session
hair and makeup
senior session

Resources to Download

To download this information, and several other documents, please visit my Resources page.