tonia johnston photography | My top 5 tips for a Senior Shoot

My top 5 tips for a Senior Shoot

February 06, 2014

The days of walking into a retail store to get portraits taken are quickly fading. People are looking for a more personal experience. Images that reflect personality and creativity.

Senior pictures have come a long way in the personality, creativity department. Although a lot of schools still have studio shots for the yearbook, Seniors are now looking for something that reflects who they are. To get those images takes a lot of prep time on the photographer's part but also for the Senior and parents.

Although I could give a ton of tips on how to make your session a success, I've narrowed it down to my top 5 tips for getting the session you want.

1. - Book your session early. 

I know it is so easy to wait! But know that other people wait too and if everyone who waits is trying to book at the same time, you may not get your session in when you want it or need it. Most photographers require some sort of a lead time (mine is at least 2 weeks). This gives us time to meet with you, find or contact locations, script our session with posing, clothing changes and locations in order to make your session tailored to what you want.

2.- Fully participate in your meeting with your photographer

I like to meet with my seniors and a parent a week prior to a session. We sit, have a latte or coffee, eat snacks and we talk about you. I cannot tell you how important these meets are. It is important that we capture your personality on your day. How can I know what that is if I don't meet you? I want to hear about your likes and dislikes, your hobbies, your favorite music artists and colors. I want to know if you're outgoing or shy. If you like the country, city are edgy or more traditional. Now is the time to tell me if you want to have pictures with your dog, bike, skateboard or vehicle. That you've always dreamed of having pictures shot against a graffiti wall. Speak up! Seniors have the most wonderful, creative ideas and I want to hear what you have to say.

3. - Don't be afraid to ask questions

It's always best to have everyone on the same page. So if you have questions, ask. You know what they say - there's no such thing as a stupid question. If you think of a question later, you are free to text, e-mail, FB, Tweet me. Don't know if an outfit will work on camera - send me a picture and I'll let you know. Shopping for accessories and not sure which earring to pick - text me a picture.

4. - Prepare, prepare, prepare

Yes, prepare! During the week leading up to your session, pick out your clothing, shoes and accessories. Drink plenty of water to hydrate your skin. If you are going to get your hair trimmed or cut, don't wait until the night before. If you slowly do your prep work during the week, you'll be able to get a good night's sleep the night before and look radiant the day of your session. Nobody likes to be rushed - especially with bags under their eyes!

5. - Be in a good mood

Sounds kinda silly but very important. The eyes are truly the window to your soul. Nobody wants to look back on pictures and see angry or sad eyes. Remember that when you look at an image of yourself, there usually is a memory that is connected with it. Make this day full of good memories.

This is such an important time in your life. Feel confident, happy, beautiful or handsome and you will remember those feelings when you look at your images ten years from now.