One of the most stressful parts of planning your senior pictures is figuring out what to wear for them. I always tell my clients that not matter what they choose to wear, they should always look and feel like themselves. But there are some things that will take your photos to the next level, and this blog post is dedicated to helping you pick the best outfits for your session.
Consider Your Location
You might be wondering why this matters, what does the background have to do with my photos. My answer is you never want to look out of place. Could you see how awkward it might look if you were wearing cowboy boots in front of the Winspear Opera House? Or your prom dress in a field with dead grass? No invasion your cowboy boots at the Fort Worth Stockyards, or your prom dress with a slick downtown building. Could you see how the background might compliment the outfit you chose?
If you love the urban look, find bold colors that really make you pop from your surroundings. Urban locations are also perfect for dressier looks like your prom dress or sequin mini skirts. I like to think of these looks as “girls night out” looks. Its sleek and polished but with a pop of personality.
If you like the more natural settings, choose colors that compliment the surroundings. This is the perfect time for the boho look and floral prints. I prefer muted tones over the bright and bold. Yellow and Royal blue are a couple of my favorite colors when shooting with grass and tress. Put away the high heels, and bring out the boots and wedges.
I don’t know if anyone remembers the show “What not to Wear” but seriously regardless of body type, they always looks for figure flattering pieces. And you know what? They were never lose flowy pieces. Not to say there isn’t a time and place for them, I love a good boho dress or top, but its not in front of the camera. The flower the piece, the more bulk it add to the photo. My camera doesn’t know that your top is 2 inches away from your stomach, all it sees is the extra 2 inches. So look for pieces that have some structure and shape, like a defined waist. If you have a piece you love, and its a bit looser fitting, add a jacket, cardigan or belt to bring some definition to your shape. Form fitting DOES NOT mean too small or tight, it simply means look for pieces that flatter your shape, rather than hide it.
There is nothing better than looking back at an old photo and laughing historically about your outfit choice; but not for your senior pictures. Its always fun to be a little adventurous with your wardrobe, but when it comes to the images that will hang on your parent’s walls FOREVER, pick something you wouldn’t have a laugh about later. It might seem less exciting, but choose classic piecses over high fashion ones. Look for a little black dress, or a simple jeans with a nicer top. It doesn’t have to been the latest find to photograph well. I think thats that hardest part to really understand, because cute clothes make us feel cute. But when it comes to your portraits, the focus really is on you, and not your outfit. So choose something that fits you well, and something you and your mom both like. Because while it may seem she doesn’t understand teen fashion, remember she has seen a few decades of fashion trends and can pick a beautiful classic piece that looks amazing on you. I promise no mom wants her daughter to look bad in her senior pictures.
I LOVE patterns, I love color and prints, florals, stripes, plaid, you name it! I love to bring a little excitement into my wardrobe. That said, when selecting patterns be mindful of what pattern you are wearing. I never want the outfit to outshine the girl. So pick an adorable pattern, but no too many, and nothing too loud.
Ok, you might be thinking “I cant wear trendy, flowy or pattern, what in the world can I wear?”. Well true, these rules are pretty good guidelines, but dont let them scare you into a boring senior picture wardrobe. Use color and texture to bring your images to life. Layers really add a fun aspect and some dimension to your images, and never forget your accessories. Bring a hat and necklace, layer your bracelets. Make sure if you are wearing a solid that you have some texture to it, like lace or a sweater. There are endless options to make your images amazing and still follow some guidelines so they photograph well.
And most of all, pick something you love. If you dont feel good in it, you won’t love the way you look in it. Use these rules as guildelines, but not gospel. Choose what suits you and your personality best.
I hope you find these tips helpful and choosing your outfits becomes a bit less overwhelming.