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Simple Tips for Stunning Senior Portraits

Senior graduation marks a significant milestone in life's journey, and capturing the moment through photography is a timeless tradition. Whether you're a graduate yourself or a proud family member, a little planning ahead can set the stage for senior photos that are memorable and reflective of the achievement. Here are a few simple tips for stunning senior portraits:

Choose the Right Location - Select a location that means something you. If being an athlete was a big part of your experience, then consider taking the pictures at the stadium. If you enjoy quiet spaces in nature, then consider a beautiful garden. Beaches, city streets, parks and campus grounds are all popular choices for graduation photos, but whatever you decide, choose a setting that compliments your personality and reflects your journey.

Add an Outfit Change - Beyond the classic cap and gown photos, graduation pictures that include outfit changes give you a wide range of photos that tell your full story. Regardless of the style of clothing you choose, pick outfits that you feel confident in. Don't forget that shoes, jewelry and accessories are great ways to bring your photos to life. Take the extra time to iron dress shirts and bring them on a hanger to keep them fresh. Make sure you plan all the details of your outfits ahead of time (including the right under garments). You want the bulk of time to be spent taking photos, not deciding what to wear. Planning ahead also avoids forgetting critical pieces that bring an outfit together. Quick sessions that are less than an hour in length should stick to one or two simple looks.

Bring Props to Personalize Your Photos - Props are great add ons in photos to personalize your images. They don't have to be extravagant or take up a lot of the shooting time, but if there is something that really defines your experience, bring it to your shoot and we'll get it in a few shots.

A young woman sitting in the grass with her guitar

Have Fun with Different Poses - When most people hear the word "posing" they think awkward and stiff, but in truth posing can include action and motion that is really designed to relax you and capture you at your best. Some of my favorite photos are the candid moments caught in transition that turn out to be the essence of you. Don't be afraid to try a few of your photographer's suggestions. Their job is to suggest poses that flatter you and bring out your personality. The key is to keep an open mind, but if you ever feel like your photo session is veering in a direction that doesn't feel like you at all -- tell your photographer immediately. The photography session is your day, and your portraits should feel like a celebration of you.

A collage of pictures of a young woman in fall outfits in tall grasses at sunset

Include Your Family Pet - Family pets are a BIG part of your life, including them in a few photos is a great way to keep them close to you regardless of what your post graduation life brings.

A young man at the beach with his two dogs

Once your shoot is over and you get your collection of beautiful photos, don't forget to print them!! I love photo albums because they make perfect graduation gifts, and they are the best way to print and easily enjoy the entire collection of your senior portraits.


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