tips & tricks for a great senior session

sure, by this point, kids are used to the traditional pose of a yearbook photo, but what exactly does that tell us about the individual? well, mostly just their year, name, and maybe a small glimpse into their personal style. but that’s it! and being a senior is one of the most awesome times in anyone’s life. think about it! seniors are standing at the precipice of an incredible adventure. life is spread out in a dazzling array before them; this is the moment where they really start to put one step ahead of the other on their journey toward self-discovery and navigating their own paths.

teenagers have the most colorful and interesting personalities and they are so fun to capture in image. by this point, they can communicate their likes and dislikes, their personal style and what they hope to achieve in a portrait. 

i love brainstorming and coming up with all kinds of sessions: from vintage to modern. because I am a bit of a collector of fun and funky pieces myself, i would love to share all kinds of props, from eclectic pieces of jewelry, to scarves, and other fashion items. or, share your own ideas and props. one piece of jewelry or one hat might provide the inspiration to build our entire shoot!

bright colors, urban environments, rural settings, coffee shops, downtown architecture, beaches and hilly landscapes: one of the most wonderful aspects of shooting in the sheboygan area is the vast array of backdrops available. let’s get creative and go beyond the standard smile and pose. together, we can create a great list of locations, props, shot lists, likes and dislikes to make this session a blast!

here are some helpful tips and suggestions to help make your session great:

1. make sure to arrive on time. session times are based on lighting conditions. for that reason, it’s super-important to arrive on time for your appointment; we don’t want to run out of light before your session is complete!

2. please make sure all clothing is free of stains and wrinkles for your session and bring your outfits on hangers. (yes, i’ve had seniors show up with their entire wardrobe stuffed in backpacks!)  

3. make sure your pockets are emptied of keys, phones, and misc. items. check your wrist for scrunchies and hair bands.

4. weather is a tricky nemesis! please refrain from checking the weather a week ahead. weather in wisconsin changes by the minute. because of this, i don’t usually cancel sessions more than a few hours before. i will be monitoring the weather closely on your session day, and keep you posted. for girls, who typically have hair and make-up done, i will cancel earlier than for boys who can usually throw themselves together much quicker. lastly, don’t be afraid of clouds! believe it or not, a completely overcast day makes for some of the most beautifully flattering light!

5. wardrobe: i encourage seniors to let their personality shine through their outfit choices. don’t be afraid to show personality! patterns are great and can really add flare to your portraits. if your senior prefers classic, solids, that’s great too! don’t forget accessories! they’re a great way to take your look up to another level. 

my goal in senior portrait sessions is to embrace your senior, their personality, and the essence of who they are at this special transition time in their lives. let’s give them some portraits to remember! 

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