FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Senior Portrait Sessions - FAQ
If you have no idea where to start or what to expect in a senior portrait session, I’ve got you covered! I have provided information regarding some of the most asked questions below.
What Location to Choose
There are plenty of amazing locations between Boston to Worcester and beyond to shoot a senior portrait session, but it all depends on your preference! I always suggest to clients that they choose a type of location that suits them best --- fields and flowers, beachy or with water, industrial, trees and foliage, urban, etc. There are endless possibilities from which to choose, especially if you are willing to travel just a bit. I encourage you to do your research and find a spot that fits your style. However, I’ve been capturing a wide array of portraits across the area for a few years now and can recommend some locations as well. Classic, VIP, and All Access packages can involve more than one location as long as time allows for it.
What to Wear
The hardest part about preparing for your session is choosing what to wear. You want to look your best, but you don’t want to look or feel uncomfortable. I recommend choosing outfits that fit YOUR style. These photos are a representation of who you are! Pack several outfits and styles, utilize different colors and patterns, and not just t-shirts (did you hear that, guys?)
Make sure you’re comfortable! If you choose tight-fitting clothing that you aren’t used to wearing, your discomfort will probably end up showing on camera. Even if you have clothes that you love on the hanger, but don’t love the way they fit you, leave them at home! If you feel self-conscious or uncomfortable in an outfit, don’t wear it! During your portrait session you will be walking around, sitting, and maybe even laying on the ground -- I want you be comfortable and confident through it all!
Try to keep your clothing simple. As much as we all love stripes, they don’t always photograph well. When determining your outfit for the shoot, avoid large logos, words, pictures, designs, or crazy patterns. Remember, you want your face and eyes to be the focus of the photo. Bold prints can be distracting. Solid black and white can sometimes cause skin tones to look washed out on camera so try to avoid those as well. My recommendation is to choose colors that compliment your skin tones and hair color, and that will pop on camera! Bright colors with neutral backgrounds can look amazing!
Bring multiple outfits. I recommend bringing a few changes of clothes to your photo session. Choose 2-3 styles from either casual, dressy or formal, school-related, and/or sports-related. You want to have a variety of images to choose from when it is all said and done! When transporting your extra outfits, keep them on hangers to avoid wrinkling. If you play a sport, bring your jersey, uniform, and/or equipment. I have a pop-up changing stall that makes changing your outfit on location a breeze!
Accessories, jewelry, and footwear make all the difference! When choosing your outfits for a senior session, don’t forget about accessorizing! There are plenty of things you can pick to bring your outfit all together. Dangling earrings, long necklaces, bracelets, rings, headbands, shoes, hats, scarves, sunglasses, handbags, and ties for the guys. Many clients struggle knowing what to do with their hands in a portrait session – so even if you don’t wear the accessory, it often helps just having something to hold. Accessories also add interest and extra pops of color to your portrait. Please make sure your shoes are clean and your socks are matching!
Plan your hair and make-up in advance. Remember that your senior pictures are all about representing YOU! If you are known for your curly hair, consider keeping it styled curly for the photos. Avoid getting spray tans to keep from looking unnatural and orange or splotchy. And ladies, don’t forget about your nails! Your hands will show in many of the photos, and some will be up close! This doesn’t necessarily mean you need to pay for a professional manicure, but you don’t want to be embarrassed by peeling polish or hands and nails in need of a little attention. (Guys, I recommend a fresh shave and trimming any mustaches or beards.) And don’t worry about blemishes – they happen to everyone, but I can easily make them disappear.
If you choose to do your hair and makeup on your own, it may look amazing in person, but end up looking completely different in your photos so keep that in mind. If you choose to get styled by a professional who knows how to do make-up for photos, you will feel pampered and look even more stunning in all your photos, but that may not be in your budget and that’s okay, too! I just recommend doing your makeup a little heavier than you typically would - making sure to use foundation and a little blush, at least some color on your lips, and eye color that is neutral and compliments your skin tone. Your eyes will always be the focus so be sure to pay special attention to eyelashes and eyebrows!
What to Bring
If you’re not used to being in front of a camera, having someone there that you know well can lighten the mood and make you more comfortable. A parent or friend can help you relax and ease any nerves you may experience during the shoot. It’s also nice to have whoever you bring help with clothing changes and to watch out for hair or clothing adjustments. Pack a water bottle, brush, mirror, makeup for touch-ups, accessories for your outfit, shoes, changes of clothes, and any added props (like sports equipment or instruments). If possible, do not bring small children or others that will be a distraction or make you uncomfortable in front of the camera. I suggest only one or two parents or friends at most.
What Time of Year is Best for Portraits
May through October is the best time of year to do portraits in New England, however, if you are up for some cold snowy shots, I’m game! Picking the time of year partially depends on the type of look you want in your images – shorts or summer dresses and flowers, or foliage and sweaters, etc. Also think about your schedule. Sometimes the fall can be a bit crazy if you are an athlete, but the weather will be amazing and by then you’ll have your sports uniform if you’d like to use it in your photos.
The best time of day to shoot outdoor portraits is right before and during sunset. The setting sun creates stunning colors and perfect lighting for your pictures! This means mid-late evening during the summer or late afternoon/early evening in the fall. (Please note that I do not work out of a studio so your photos will be taken outside unless you ask to do otherwise.)
What Do I Need to Do Before My Session
First and foremost, check with your school to find out deadlines for yearbook senior photos and any special requirements. Next, check your own schedule and book a session with enough time before your school’s deadline! Plan and try on your outfits and play with hair and make-up before your scheduled session. Lastly, practice a couple of facial expressions and poses in a mirror to get more comfortable.
What Happens After My Portrait Session
After your portrait session I will sort and edit your images before providing you with any proofs. Images that are unflattering or are substandard quality will be discarded at my discretion. Once I am done with initial edits (this can take a few weeks to complete), all prepared images will be uploaded to an online gallery for you to preview. Once you have chosen your favorite images, I will go over them a little more closely to fine-tune the details to make sure you are receiving the best quality image possible (final adjustments to color and hues, attending to stray hairs, etc).
What About Payment
Payment is due in full the day of your portrait session. Additional prints, products, and/or digital images can be purchased at any time.