First let's talk about grooming... if you're wanting a fresh hair cut before your session try to have it done two to three weeks before your session as you don't want that brand new hair cut look. Also for girls this gives you time to play around with your new style and find what you like best!
Next important on the list is, DON'T get sun burnt! : ) This is very hard to nearly impossible to try and take care of with editing after your session. There is alot I can do with retouching, remove blemishes, brighten eyes, smooth skin, whiten teeth..... but replacing entire sections of red or peeling skin is not one of them.
A pedicure and manicure are very important as your hands, and most likely your feet will be showing at some point in your photo's and you want them to look nice. The day before your shoot is probably best so it's new and not chipped but removes stress from trying to get it done the day of your shoot. Think about all your outfits when picking the color for you nail polish.... make sure it will match everything you're planning on wearing.
Guys should shave the morning of the shoot to make sure your nice and clean shaven. If you're wanting to keep your facial hair and Mom is wanting it gone... here's a simple solution, bring a razor and shaving cream to your session and we'll take some photo's with your facial hair, and then you can shave for the last half of your session so everyone's happy!!
Makeup: You will want to wear makeup for sure even if you don't usually! It makes a big difference in your photographs. If you don't usually wear makeup, get your Mom to help you or hire a professional for an outstanding job! If you do wear makeup normally, then just do your regular routine, but add a little extra. Especially your eye shadow, a little darker is good so it'll show up on camera, but of course within reason! : )
PROPS: Bring anything you're interested in and enjoy doing as a hobby! This can be anything from your sports equipment, vehicle, musical instrument, or pet to your favorite books and everything in between. Just think of what comes to your mind first... that's probably what is most important to you and would describe your personality the best. :)
Bring a variety of footwear as well, to make sure and have shoes and the proper socks to match each outfit you have picked out! Flip flops and sandals photograph really well.
Ok now let's talk clothes!!! : ) Your choice of clothing is very important to your Senior Session. Clothing can make or break you shoot. Clothing is an important part of the person that you are, in one way or another, they're an expression of your style and how you see yourself. I recommend 3 to 4 outfits that reflect your personality. I want your clothes to represent you and who you are, I want you to express yourself with what you wear! Your style and personality should come shining through your clothing choices!
What do you feel good in, what do you LOOK good in, what are you comfortable in?? That's what you should choose for your outfits! Whatever you bring, think about it in advance! Don't get up the morning of your session and just grab whatever catches your eye first when opening your closet. A week or more before your session, start to plan the outfits you want to wear during your shoot. You may want to include one dressy outfit, several casual outfits, and a sports uniform if you're involved in sports, dance, cheerleading... etc. Try each outfit on in its entirety so you know what shoes and/or accessories you will need for each to complete the look you want. Be sure there are no loose buttons, torn hemlines or seams, stains, or holes on your clothing.
Here's a guideline in good clothing choices, which you can start with and then feel free to creatively stray and break these guidelines when it makes sense to do so.
1: Solid colors photograph better then busy patterns. Patterns tend to take the viewers eye away from the face and to the clothing.
2: Generally, shirts with large writing on them don't work as well as a plain shirt or a shirt with a small logo perhaps.
3: Also think in terms of the colors in the environment we're going to be photographing you in. For example if we're doing a fall session outdoors, don't wear pink as it's not a color you'd see in the fall and it will clash with the colors in the background.
4: Sleeves are generally better than no sleeves, and longer sleeves are better than short sleeves. This is simply because they eye goes to the lightest, largest item in the picture and if this is your shoulders and arms, it will take the viewers gaze away from your face, which is generally the center of attention. The larger the arms and shoulders, the more the distractions. So if you want to wear a spaghetti strap dress, a wrap over it might be a great choice. But long sleeves in the summer might look out of place, so just keep this overall guideline in mind when you’re putting together your outfits.
Clothing accessory's: Bring lot's of accessory's!! Necklaces, Bracelets, hats and scarves are awesome and photograph well! Try and stay away from to gaudy of accessory's and make sure and bring accessory's that match each outfit.
Start to look through fashion magazines and surf the web for posing ideas. As you come across styles you like, tear them out of magazines, or print them off your computer and save them in a folder. You'll want to bring them with you to your session to show me, so I will get an idea of what your preferred style is and the look you're going for.
On the day of your shoot, get up a little early so you have plenty of time to get ready. Shower, apply makeup and style your hair. Dress in one of the outfits we are going to photograph you in. Put all your other outfits, accessory's, makeup bag, shoes, hair styling products ( as we made need to do touch up's along the way ) props and your example photo file in your vehicle.
Eat something before you leave for your session, there's nothing worse then feeling faint and hungry on top of being nervous! Bring a bottle of water along with you as you will get thirsty and water is better then soda in case of spills. : )
Before you walk out the door, check yourself in the mirror. Be sure your make-up isn't smudged, hair isn't frizzing or sticking out in odd places, and things that should be tucked in ARE tucked in and those that shouldn't be AREN'T! : ) Check again for stains or holes in clothing, and SMILE! Take a deep breath and RELAX! Senior portrait sessions should be FUN and they will be, I promise!! Be yourself, And we'll get some AMAZING shots! : )