Choosing your clothing is the fun part about getting Senior Portraits done! When choosing clothing for your session you can be creative, stylish, and express your unique style in what you wear. Sound challenging? No worries, we break it down into 10 easy steps:
1. Your Personality
The number one rule of clothing is simple, wear what reflects your personality! Do you have a necklace that you love and wear a lot? Bring it. Is being apart of a sports team a big part of your life? Wear your uniform. Do you like to stand out with wearing bold colors and patterns? Do it up! Senior Portraits are all about showing who you are at this point in your life. Don’t be afraid to show off your unique personality with your clothing, this is all about you! We don’t recommend buying a new outfit (unless you absolutely love it) just for your Senior Portraits. We want you to feel absolutely comfortable with what your wearing, so pick outfits that you find your self wearing a lot, and outfits that make you feel confident. It’s simple, the more comfortable you are the better your pictures will turn out- let your outfit work for you! Also consider your Session Style and Session Type. For example, if you are going for an Urban Session Style, consider clothing that would look great in an urban setting next to buildings, concrete, and lots of texture.
2. Solids, Patterns, and Styles…oh my!
Be sure to bring a variety of clothes including solid colors (a must have!), and clothing that varies in texture, patterns, design, and style. Solid colors are important because they put the focus on YOU. Solids work great outside because there tends to be a lot of detail or distracting elements in the great outdoors, so wearing very busy patterns outside can be detail overload for Senior Portraits. Avoid large patterns, wide stripes, and large logos. They tend to be “faddish”, busy, and can draw attention away from you. We love texture in clothing because light falling over it can create interesting shadows and highlights. Lace is a great example of a texture we love!
3. Picking Colors for Your Skin Tone
Choose colors you look good in and that flatter your skin tone. There are two basic skin tones — cool and warm. You can decide what you are by investigating the color of your veins as seen on the underside of your arm. If the veins show through blue, you’ve got blue or white undertones, meaning you’re a cool skin tone. Those with green veins have yellow undertones and are therefore warm. Skin tones can also be narrowed down into the 4 season categories: winter, summer, autumn and spring. By matching your skin tone with the right “season”, you’ll be able to dress your best.
Winter skin tones can be pale, yellow, or dark with blue or pink undertones. Sharp colors like black and blue are great for winter skin tones, but light browns won’t help you out, so give them a wide berth. If your skin is pink, then you fall into the summer category. That means you’re best suited for pastels and you should only bring out the orange and black on Halloween. Red heads and brunettes generally belong to the autumn camp. They look best in oranges, browns and other earthy tones. Black and white on the other hand won’t do them any justice. If you have freckles and light skin, you are spring, so you should wear yellows, greens and blues. As for things to avoid, you could start a club with your autumn friends and start boycotting black and white. You can read more about matching your clothes with your skin tone here.
So which season are you? Find out with the quick quiz below, courtesy of Cindy Busch Color Analysis.
5 Colors All Skin Types Can Wear:
4. What to Wear (and What Not to Wear) for the Close-Up
For close-up or yearbook poses, pay attention to the sleeve-style and neckline of your shirt. Short sleeves or sleeveless shirts should be avoided. Long sleeves or three-quarter sleeves work best. For necklines, a wide-open neckline tends to thicken the neck. On the other hand, a neckline that comes up to the base of the neck, like a collard shirt or a v-neck top will thin the neck and frame your face beautifully. If you have a slightly longer neck, choose a shirt with a higher neckline. If you have a shorter neck, choose a shirt with a v-neck.
5. Keep Potato Sacks for Potatoes!
Choose clothes that are form fitting and not too loose or baggy. In other words you don’t want to wear clothes that just hang off of you. Clothing that has a structure and goes in at the waist generally looks best. Stay clear from poncho style shirts, tube tops, and excessively baggy clothing as it tends to make you look wider.
6. Jeans, Levi’s Had the Right Idea
Jeans are always a favorite and may be easily combined with a favorite shirt or blouse. They can add a casual flair to pictures, and they look best when form fitted and in a darker shade. For wider hips, choose a boot cut style or a slight flair. Stay away from jeans that are excessively baggy, and guys watch the amount of sag, gotta keep Grandma a happy camper!
7. Gals get Dressy with a Dress!
For girls, don’t be afraid to bring a dress! Dresses are a great way to add a unique touch to your portraits. Wearing a formal dress in an informal setting can make for an interesting photo. We recommend dresses that have a cinched in waist and flair outwards like a bell at the hips (think 1950s), this style of dress works beautifully for any body type. Dresses that have a flowing bottom look great too, and they can be magical outside if we catch a gust of wind! White lace dresses are always a nice addition to Senior Portraits, as they offer a timeless look and highlight your femininity! ModCloth is a great source for finding a wide range of adorable dresses (and cute accessories!) to fit any budget.
Jewelry, hats, props, instruments, a vintage camera, the sky is the limit! It’s a great idea to include accessories in your Senior Portraits to make a statement about your personality. It’s good not to go over the top with accessories, but one or two items can add a nice finishing touch to your pictures. Common accessories include: jewelry specific to an outfit, guitars, hats, your car, and sports gear. Also, don’t forget to change up your look with different pairs of shoes.
9. Still Not Sure? Bring Extra!
When in doubt, bring extra outfits and accessories to the studio! We know how to style Seniors, so let our expertise make it easy for you. We recommend that you bring 1 to 2 extra items and we will help you pick the best ones to use.
10. The Details
Last but not least, be sure to pay attention to the little details that can make our break your outfit. Dust spots and wrinkles in clothing are a photographer’s worst nightmare! The more polished your clothing looks, the better your pictures will turn out. So take some time ahead of your session to carefully look over your clothing and make sure it’s camera ready!