What to Wear for your Senior Portraits

Education

April 3, 2023

One of the hardest parts of preparing for your senior photo shoot is deciding what to wear! It’s probably the question we get asked most often! 

I know when I was shopping for outfits for my senior portraits I couldn’t wait to try all the new fashions! Senior portraits felt like a license to finally get new clothes in styles I hadn’t yet embraced.  And while new things are great, it’s important to keep in mind that what you choose to wear should feel authentic to you. So this probably isn’t the best time to try wide leg pants and bleached brows. 

You need to wear styles you feel comfortable in, because otherwise it will show in your expression (and that’s not a good thing!) I always stand by this advice: Wear what you love and just be YOU! Don’t feel pressured by what you see your friends wearing or all those trendy Instagram accounts. Stick with your own style so you can be comfortable and confident, which will result in awesome photos! 

Now that we’ve got that covered, taking senior photos is certainly a special occasion! You may want to go out and get a few fun items to enhance the experience. But in the end, our goal is to have FUN and celebrate YOU! Here are a few of our favorite tips to help you show up looking your best! 

Mountain Beach Senior Portraits | Britni Girard Photography | Colorado Senior Portrait Photographer in Loveland - Bright, true to life photos in an editorial style

Keep it Simple

You’ll want to avoid graphic shirts and big words or logos, unless you’re going for a more styled/editorial look for your photos. If you are, be sure to let your photographer know. But in most cases, these types of clothing aren’t accepted for the yearbook anyway 🙂  

You’ll also want to stay away from fabrics that tend to wrinkle or cling to you in unflattering ways. Just to be safe, consider bringing a wrinkle release spray. PRO TIP: Hairspray works, too! 

Have a couple of basic shoe choices based on where you are photographing. Let’s be real, spike heels in the woods are a bit difficult to manage from point A to point B, but you can still make it happen. Just bring comfy shoes you can get around in and swap out quickly like flip flops or sneakers.  

Earth tone outfit inspiration for female seniors | Britni Girard Photography | Colorado Senior Portrait Photographer in Loveland - Bright, true to life photos in an editorial style

Include Some Variety 

Be sure to bring both casual and dressed-up outfits to offer variety during the shoot. The majority of seniors like to have multiple looks to work with during their session. You could also include something that falls into the “hobby or interest” category like a sports uniform or dance costume. 

Music and Theater inspiration for senior portraits | Britni Girard Photography | Colorado Senior Portrait Photographer in Loveland - Bright, true to life photos in an editorial style - Saxophone and actor at Buell Theater for senior portraits

You’ll also want to incorporate a variety of colors that are consistent with your everyday style. Choose flattering fits and fabrics that compliment your natural shape from all angles. The last thing you want is to stress and worry over how you look and get in your head about it! 

Consider what you’d prefer not to show off. For example, if you don’t love your arms, avoid wearing a sleeveless top. You want to feel like a million bucks in your outfits – that way you can focus on being confident during the shoot and not on fixing your clothes or feeling uncomfortable throughout the session.

Female outfit inspiration for senior portraits | Britni Girard Photography | Colorado Senior Portrait Photographer in Loveland - Bright, true to life photos in an editorial style

Consider Accessories and Layers

We love seeing our seniors pull out hats, scarves, and necklaces, but just be sure you don’t go overboard. Layers are a super great option to get multiple looks out of one outfit. Consider adding a jacket or sweater over a top or dress. This will give you choices so you can mix and match your look with or without having to do a full outfit change. 

Accessories and hat options for senior portraits | Britni Girard Photography | Colorado Senior Portrait Photographer in Loveland - Bright, true to life photos in an editorial style
Layering options for male senior portraits | Britni Girard Photography | Colorado Senior Portrait Photographer in Loveland - Bright, true to life photos in an editorial style - Senior portraits at denver center of performing arts

What About Glasses?

Remember, some glasses create reflections that can be very difficult to work with, so anti-glare glasses would work best. In some cases, you may need to order an advanced retouch for an image if it’s impossible to get rid of the glare during the shoot. Whatever you do, please please please don’t wear transition lenses – they turn dark in bright lights! 

Dance Senior Portraits in alley and rooftop | Britni Girard Photography | Colorado Senior Portrait Photographer in Loveland - Bright, true to life photos in an editorial style - Ballet pointe shoe senior portait

Focus on the Details

With bright light, there’s always a chance you’ll look washed out during a photoshoot. Applying basic makeup will help tremendously with this! 

We are BIG fans of making this experience extra special. So consider having your hair and makeup done professionally! I promise, they know exactly how to make you look natural so you don’t look washed out in your photos. Ask your photographer for a list of their favorite hair and makeup artists in the area.

Not a fan of makeup (or just don’t wear it ever?)… then simply consider powder to avoid shine and a lip color or gloss that suits you. 

Black wall senior portraits | Britni Girard Photography | Colorado Senior Portrait Photographer in Loveland - Bright, true to life photos in an editorial style - old town fort collins senior portrait location

Guys, PLEASE bring Chapstick so your lips won’t look dry. (In fact, everyone should drink lots of water and hydrate on the days leading up to the shoot!) If you’re going for a clean-shaven look, keep in mind that pesky five o’clock shadow! Either shave shortly before the shoot or aim for an earlier time in the day.

Don’t Forget To Make It Fun

Gone are the days of senior photos leaning against a tree or sitting by a lake. (Flashbacks to my own senior portraits). So lean into your creative side and embrace the color and fun that truly showcases your personality. I always say, you only need one yearbook photo, after that, the session is your’s to fully embrace.

Bright and Colorful senior portrait outfits and locations | Britni Girard Photography | Colorado Senior Portrait Photographer in Loveland - Bright, true to life photos in an editorial style - Selfie Museum senior portraits - Piano Senior Portrait - Game Room Senior Portrait

I hope this inspires you and helps with your search for what to wear for your senior photos! And incase you need more inspiration, I have a few boards on Pinterest that I’ve created for outfit inspiration. Feel free to check it out! 

SENIOR PORTRAIT OUTFIT INSPIRATION

If you’re looking for a senior portrait photographer, we’d love to be considered. Check out all the details on our collections and process on our website.

Britni

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