What To Wear - 10 Tips for Planning Your Outfits For Your Senior Pictures


I will admit, I am a Pinterest hoarder. I’m constantly pinning recipe’s, home décor ideas, and color pallets for my non-existent wedding onto boards that I know I will likely never get to. Does this sound like you? I remember when I first started planning for my senior pictures, the first thing I did was open up my Pinterest and type in the little search engine box… “senior picture ideas” … “what to wear for your senior pictures”… yadda yadda yadda. I quickly became overwhelmed by my lack of fashion experience and didn’t think I could pull off the poses that these beautiful girls managed to tangle up into. Besides, I don’t think I knew how to walk in high heels at that point in my life, at least not confidently.

So, I’m here to help calm your nerves and give you some suggestions on how you can prepare for what to wear and be inspired for your senior pictures without feeling overwhelmed.

Number 1 – Wear something that defines YOU

Sure you can scroll your Pinterest feed for something inspiring but the best thing you can do is find something that makes YOU feel good. Of all the different shapes, sizes, skin colors, and personalities that we carry as humans there is no one size fits all when it comes to finding the perfect outfit. Find something that you love that is comfortable and helps to define you and your personality.

Number 2 - Avoid large logos and lots of patterns

Large logos and patterns typically take away from the subject of the photograph – which yes believe it or not – is you. You are the in the spotlight, you are the star. Not the pretty tree or brick wall in the background. Try sticking to solid colors or patterns that don’t draw too much attention to the human eye.

Number 3 – Consider your location

I always tell my seniors to either consider your location first or consider your outfits first. It’s important to consider both when you decide where you will be shooting. It wouldn’t be ideal to wear a red shirt up against a red wall – unless of course you’re going for the camouflage effect. If the location is important to you, then pick your location and then find an outfit that will fit in.

Number 4 – Don’t forget about your under garments!

You laugh now – but wait until it happens to you! Ladies, I know the struggle. It seems like today they make shirts and dresses that make it daunting to find a bra with straps (or without) that will go with the outfit. Always always always try on your outfits with the proper under garments. If you’re wearing a white t-shirt, be sure you aren’t wearing your favorite bright pink Victoria Secret bra. If you’re wearing a white dress, be sure you have underwear or spandex that is going to conceal what needs to be concealed. Guys, please don’t forget to match your socks and consider the under shirts with your polos. You don’t think it matters until they stick out like a sore thumb. Switching under garments might be necessary and we will make the proper arrangements for you to do that when you are switching outfits it it’s necessary.

Number 5 – Bring additional outfits

I usually advise to bring an extra outfit. You never know what might happen. If a button breaks, a shirt rips, you realize an under garment doesn’t work, or god forbid you fall in the mud – planning with an extra outfit will save us time in the long run if came down to it.

Number 6 – Consider your accessories

Accessories are my favorite! I am what you would call plain Jane. I enjoy yoga pants and a big t- shirt with my hair up in a ponytail. Leaving the house in jeans and a plain shirt is usually the extent to my “getting ready” look. But how amazing it is when you add a necklace, a cute hat, or a scarf to that “plain jane” outfit. Don’t be afraid to include accessories, even if it’s just for a few shots. It’s easy to dress up an outfit by simply throwing in a pop of color or by adding a cute pair of shoes to an otherwise simple look. You don’t have to have the most bedazzled dress or fancy shirt. Grab your big Mary Poppins bag and stuff it full of your favorite accessories and we can have some fun from there.

Number 7 – Props & Stuff

Deciding what to wear might include something like your favorite sport, a pet, books, or your guitar. Whatever it may be, if there is something you want to include in your pictures that helps to define who you are then tailor your outfit to match that inspiration. Sport photos can be done in your full uniform or bring it down a notch by wearing blue jeans and your letter jacket. There are many different ways to mix and match a themed photo. Find what attributions you want to include in those photos and we can roll with it. Don’t forget award metals, sport accessories such as helmets, bats, balls, tennis rackets, etc. – you get the idea.

Number 8 – Try on your outfits

I once had a senior boy who forgot to try on his shorts before he came and suddenly realized that as a teenager – he grew! His pants didn’t fit. Don’t forget to try on your outfits before your session, not only will you make sure that they fit, but you’ll be sure that you love the way they look.

Number 9 – Make Up

You wear make- up? Great! You don’t wear make-up? – Great! There is no “necessary” requirement for having your make up done for professional photos. If you feel like that’s going to make you feel and look your best, then by all means go for it. If you don’t wear make-up and that’s what makes you feel confident there is nothing wrong with that. Don’t feel obligated to feel like you have to spice up your look if that’s not who you truly are. The last thing you want is to look back at your photos and feel like you don’t love the way you look because it’s not how you usually look.

Number 10 – Don’t compare yourself

Comparison is our arch nemesis. The last thing you want to do is try to be someone that you’re not or look like someone else when you are your own unique self. Instagram is full of comparison ridden opportunities to start to believe that we can be someone that we aren’t – so ditch the self-doubt and go to Target and find that one outfit that YOU love and that YOU feel good in. Don’t buy it because that one girl wore it. Be your own you. And love yourself.

#seniorphotography #whattowear #Portraits #TokenCreekPark #Madison #SunPrairiePhotographer #SunPrairieHighSchool #TheMintedShutter #WisconsinPhotographer #SunPrairie #MadisonPhotographer #SeniorPictures

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Sun Prairie, Wisconsin

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