A person's senior portraits are often the first formal images of their lives. I have a few tips to make the experience as enjoyable and rewarding as possible.
Authenticity is attractive. Don't be afraid of bringing props. It is great to wear outfits that reflect your interests and hobbies.
It is much easier to get a good portrait when you are comfortable. Select outfits that you feel good wearing.
Select good locations
We love to shoot on location. We have two general rules about a location:
It is a safe location. This is the number one rule. We do not want to compromise your safety for a portrait.
It is a legal location. We respect “No Trespassing” signs. We are not afraid to ask permission but we respect the answer we get.
We don’t do makeup but if it makes you comfortable feel free to do some. It you want professional makeup done for your shoot, we can arrange to hire a local professional (at an additional cost). If you have a friend who is talented, you trust, and has done your makeup before, then invite that person to do your makeup (no cost from us… your responsible for compensating your friend)
General location comments
Some locations are more conducive for wardrobe changes than others. Plan accordingly. Nobody like to change outfits in a blue portable toilet (usually). Here are a couple of ideas to take the stress out of a site that doesn’t have public changing facilities.
wear a neutral base layer that maintain modesty while you change but don’t impact either your comfort level or your outfit.
excessorize with hats, scarves, jewelry, and other props that will give you a completely different look without actually having to change outfits.
if you have outfit that doesn’t easily conform to the ideas above, like a prom dress, you might come to the shoot with something that can act as a portable changing room. Popular choices include a mini-van (back seats folded down), or even a tent.
Some locations will charge a portrait fee. Find out if this is the case at the locations you choose. Make sure that they know you are getting portraits made. The Como Park Conservatory charges portrait photographers to shoot portraits in the facility. It does NOT charge for general photography but the staff are pretty strict about the rules rules
Be mindful that the best times for photography at your location. The key is light. The hour around sunrise and sunset are usually the best times of day but special considerations for your particular site
The best portraits also
Think about the portraits that you want to see
Ask your parent(s) if they have a strong preference for a style of portrait
Find poses and portraits that you like.
Get lots of rest the night before the session
Have your outfits prepared and packed
Have your car fueled and ready to go.