“How Do You Prepare for a Senior Photoshoot?” Guide

Congrats on making it to your senior year! All of that hardwork has paid off and you’re ready to celebrate. Now I’m here to help answer the question “How do you prepare for a senior photoshoot?”. 

Intro: “How do you prepare for a senior photoshoot?”

Firstly, I’m a Houston senior photographer, so my answers will be geared primarily towards our area. This is a nonbinary guide. However, I do have both a Girls Edition and Guys Edition if you want more gender-specific tips. 

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1. Decide on your theme or vision

What kind of look are you going for? What do you want to show off in your senior pictures? 

I feel like this may be the most important part because if you’re a country boy, or a city girl –you don’t want to do the opposite. For example, a country or rustic session might take place at a barn, farm, near grass, or in fields. Whereas an urban session would most likely take place downtown or in an area with tall buildings. 

Ultimately your ideas, themes, or vision for your session will really set the scene for how you should prepare for the senior photoshoot. 

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2. Nail down your location 

After you have decided on your theme or vision, you can start your search for a photographer. 

From there they’ll guide you as far as locations are concerned. 

I always ask what type of location you’re looking for. It helps narrow down the options. Water, urban, graffiti, rooftop, rustic, bridges, forests. There are so many options and things to include so this gives us a good starting point. You shouldn’t have to ask others what good locations are. 

If you’re in the Houston area, you can check out the best locations for senior pictures posted here.

Don’t overthink it! Simply start with the things you like and go from there. 

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3. Outfits 

Now that you’ve got your vision and location ideas. You can start to think about your outfits. I recommend 2-3, some seniors do 4-6. Just keep in mind that the more you do, the longer your session will be. You may end up paying for more than one session or a larger session fee to account for the photographer’s time and talent in helping you plan the extended session or sessions. 

If you haven’t checked out the senior style guides on What to Wear to Senior Pictures, head over there now. Also, accessories are just as important to your senior pictures so don’t forget those. Sometimes they can make or break your look! 

4. What props do you want to include? 

You’ll want to make sure all the props you want to include for your senior pictures are ready and clean (or not depending on the look you’re going for). For instance, your car, jeep or truck should be washed the day of or the day before your session. 

Examples of props for a senior photoshoot:  

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5. Hair and Beauty 

Haircuts

Haircuts for guys. Trim, shave at least 3 days prior so potential bruises don’t show. If you’re going to a barber or hairstylist you’ve never used before, schedule a trial a month or two before to prevent any surprises. 

Nails

Additionally, don’t forget your nails! Clean and manicured fingernails.  and toes, especially if you’re wearing sandals or open-toe shoes. 

With that being said, if you are going to paint your nails, make sure the nail polish isn’t chipped. When choosing colors, you’ll want a color that will be nude or blend in with all of your outfits. 

Makeup

Similar to hair, I strongly recommend using a makeup artist you’re familiar with. Otherwise, you’ll want to schedule a makeup trial about 2-3 weeks prior to your senior photoshoot to make sure you’re confident with the look you’ll be getting. 

For girls who want a natural look, you can do a soft glam or “clean look”. I’ve had several senior girls who just do a light foundation or concealer, some lipgloss, eyeliner and mascara.

Another alternative to mascara is individual lash application. In contrast to soft glam, you can also be a little extra since this is a celebration. A regular glam or high fashion look will be just as stunning. 

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Extra Tips 

Arrive wrinkle-free

You can drop them off at the dry cleaners. On the other hand, you can do it yourself if you know what you’re doing. Steamers work better than irons for some fabrics. Either way just make sure your clothing is wrinkle free for your session. 

To make your life easier, place your clothes on hangers and hang them in the car. 

Wear the proper undergarments. 

You don’t want the wrong color showing. Or worse, to have to skip a certain outfit because you left something behind.

How to change 

I always bring a popup tent for changing, so you don’t have to worry about changing in the car or a random store. Make sure to check with your photographer and let them know your preferences for wardrobe changes. 

Summary: “How do you prepare for a senior photoshoot?”

To summarize “How do you prepare for a senior photoshoot”, it’s always better to be over prepared than to be unhappy because you didn’t plan enough. 

Again, if you would like to see a breakdown specifically for your gender, see the Girls Edition or the Guys Edition posts. 

If you have any questions about which session you should choose, shoot me an email.

Tips from Your Houston Senior Photographer

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