Two weeks ago, a very sweet mother called me and asked me to photograph her daughter, Kylie. Kylie is a senior at Marietta High School, but had not yet had her senior portraits done. She was anxious to do something special for her daughter, but had no idea where to start, other than to say she needed portraits done. So, I decided that maybe I should write a blog post about "The Senior Portrait Experience" to help senior girls and their parents learn more about this new trend in senior photography.
Every photographer has a different definition of the what "The Senior Portrait Experience" means to them. To Stephanie Indranee Photography, it's about creating an amazing experience for the senior from start to finish that they will remember for a lifetime.
Tip#1: Getting to know the senior
One of the first things I do after I have been contacted about photographing a senior is to ask them for some simple information, and I send them a questionnaire that asks questions about their personality, their likes/dislikes, activities at school, etc. This allows me to get to know them a little more, and helps me to make suggestions about their session.
I also try and schedule a Skype meeting, or meet for coffee so that the senior and their parent(s) can ask any questions they have, and we create a plan for their session.
Tip #2: Esthetician
Often times seniors may have skin issues that need to be dealt with before their session. Here is some advice from Priya Crumpton, owner of Sweet Life Skincare, in Roswell, GA about how an esthetican can help you with your session!
"An esthetician can help you ensure that your skin looks and feels its best for your shoot! She can help you brighten, hydrate, and clear any blemishes that might be hanging around. Smooth and clear skin will help your face to really shine in your pictures. An esthetician can also teach you how to keep your skin looking fabulous even after your session."
Tip #3: Get your hair and makeup done the day of your session
One of the most amazing parts of my day with Kylie, was watching her sit in the chair while the ladies of A Glamour Affair worked their magic doing her hair and makeup. As she was close to getting done, Kylie kept trying to sneak a peak of herself in the mirror because she was so excited! When she caught a glimpse of herself, it was clear how much she loved her look, and the added confidence that this experience gave her.
Tip 4#: Pick outfits that showcase your style
One of the biggest concerns that Kylie had was what to wear! She had so many different options! Depending on the session that the senior has chosen, I tell my seniors to pick out between 6-10 outfits, with the idea that we will end up using 4-5 outfits during the session. Pick outfits that are comfortable, and pick outfits that showcase their personal style.
Tip #5: Pick locations that have meaning to you
For her session, Kylie opted to have her portraits done at her school, Marietta High School, and at the Marietta Square. The more that a senior is at ease in their environment, the more confident they will be during their session.
Tip #5: Have fun and be yourself!
The most important thing to remember during this process is that it should be a FUN experience! I know a lot of seniors hesitate to have portraits done because they don't like to have their pictures taken. I totally get it! I am very shy in front of the camera too! Part of the senior portrait experience is to create a day of celebrating you! Make the most of it!