May 28, 2019

Stylin’ | Styling Your Senior Portraits

Styling Your Senior Portraits

I was recently asked by a Senior Portrait client if I had a “style closet.”

Since I help with styling your Senior Portraits I was a little confused.

Styled Senior Portraits Saratoga NY
If you want to wear a show stopping piece like this jacket, keep the rest simple.

I had to stop and think a minute as to what they were really asking me.  Styling your Senior Portraits is serious business. I want all of my Senior Portrait clients to look totally on point.  Did they mean a walk in closet with a ton of outfits?  Or did they really mean would I help them put their clothing selections together to enhance the overall effect?

Upstate NY Photographers
Gianna had brought this coat, but was not thinking of using it in any images. I loved the fur and how it framed her face, so suggested using it.

Styling Your Senior Portraits Can Be Confidence Boosting

I want every single one of my clients to look and feel their very best because confidence translates into great photos.  One of the things I have always provided my clients free of charge is a clothing consultation.  This is where we talk about outfit choices, how they want to present themselves, and how to achieve the best results.  Clients have sent me photos before the session with possible outfit choices, and we have even done Zoom meetings to go over things.  Sometimes we might love an outfit, but it would not necessarily look great in a photo.  Personally I had a moment recently with a shirt I absolutely loved.  Then I saw a picture of myself in it.  Gone, baby.  I had allowed myself to be fooled by the fabric and pattern and did not realize the shape was all wrong.  It helps when a neutral person looks over the clothing choices–and in the case of your Senior Portraits, that would be me.  I graduated from FIT, worked in the garment industry, and more importantly, have three lovely young women as daughters.  I have a black belt in this.

Styling Your Senior Portraits
Accessories and Props, please.

Steps To Styling Your Senior Portraits

When a client arrives, we go over the outfits they have brought and decide what will look best and photograph several different looks.  I sometimes combine the choices differently than the client might have thought of. A fresh eye can elevate your outfits.   If I happen to have something at the studio that will enhance the look, or if they have forgotten something, they are welcome to borrow items to use in their portraits.  A little tweak or addition can take an outfit from ok to fabulous.

Saratoga Springs High School Senior Portraits
This was just a great outfit that this client brought. There is just no way to improve this.  Adding anything to this would have competed with the bold graphic pattern.

Don’t Overcomplicate Things!

I have  never felt the need to over complicate the clothing choices or make it sound pretentious.  And while I feel like I have been photographing people for a long time and know what works, I don’t want to impose my personal taste on my clients.  I find that teens have their own sense of style and are pretty good at putting things together to express themselves.   I will suggest, but never dictate. I only draw the line at inappropriate undergarments so I don’t have to Photoshop bra straps or other nonsense.  Speaking of which, you can’t go wrong bringing several bras with you, just saying.  LOL.

Clifton Park Senior Portraits
All of these items were Virginia’s. And they all look great.
Albany HS Senior Portraits
There are a lot of colors in the background here, so the outfit is kept simple by design. I always want the face to be the most important thing in a portrait.
Senior Portraits Averill Park NY
From a recent senior portrait session in Albany NY. The jumpsuit was hers, the accessories were mine–what a great look!

Be Yourself When Styling Your Senior Portraits

When I was a teen, I would not have wanted to wear something other teens had been photographed in ad nauseum just for the sake of looking like everyone else.   Or worse, I never want to fit my personal ideal of what my clients “should” look like on my social media accounts.  I find it much more interesting working with what my clients bring with them than handing them an outfit I chose with some generic idea of what a teen “should” look like in the Age of Selfies.  Instagram and Pinterest are great and all, but I want people to create their own look that will inspire others, not mindlessly copy someone else.

Averill Park NY HS Senior Portrait Photo
Sometimes a jean jacket is all you need.
Senior Portraits Ballston Spa NY
And sometimes some creative accessories are fun to play with.
Alex pulled this T shirt out of his bag and I knew it would be perfect as a black and white print.
Upstate NY Senior Portraits
This is super simple–and I love it.

Get Started Today!

So if you are ready to get stylin’ let’s get started.  I would love to get to work on styling your Senior Portraits.  How do you dream of being photographed?  Call me at (518) 584-4237 to make your Senior Portrait appointment.

Need more info on Senior Portraits?  Check out the FAQs for Senior Portraits.