Capture the Moment: Tips for the Perfect Senior Portrait

You’ve put in your blood, sweat, and tears. You’ve fought through AP classes, crowded halls, and subpar cafeteria food. Finally, you’ve arrived: the end of your senior year of high school. First of all, congratulations! We all know it wasn’t easy, and your accomplishment deserves celebration. And what better way to celebrate than a portrait? Our tips for the perfect senior portrait will help you capture this moment.

Capture the Moment: Tips for the Perfect Senior Portrait

Trust the Photographer

We get it. Having a stranger take a whole bunch of pictures of you can be a little awkward. But there’s a reason you’re paying them to do this: they know what they’re doing. More than that, they want this picture to look good just as much as you do. So don’t be afraid to ask them questions and express everything you want in your portrait. And try to loosen up around them too.

Location, Location, Location

The beauty of senior portraits—compared to, say, your yearbook photo—is that you don’t have to stand in front of a solid-colored background. In fact, you can take a senior portrait almost anywhere your photographer is willing to go. When you’re thinking of a location, think of what will capture your personality best. Here are a few ideas:

  • Nature-based locations: forest preserves, community gardens, a beach, or a pond
  • Urban-base locations: standing beside a brick wall, sitting on concrete stairs, standing on top of a building, sitting in the street, or standing under a bridge
  • Interest-based locations: standing on a sports field, on a stage, in an art studio or library, or by the pool
  • Personal locations: Outside your home, on the street where you grew up, or at your favorite childhood park

Playing with Color

Senior portraits aren’t just a photo; they’re meant to capture your personality and the emotions you have about your senior year. And few things are better at conveying emotion than color. Think about ways to incorporate color throughout the photo:

  • The background
  • The weather
  • Props
  • Your body (skin, hair, eyes, etc.)
  • Makeup
  • Clothes

Since you are the focal point of the picture, your clothes will be the primary way you add color to your portrait. Your photographer may ask you to bring multiple outfits, so if there’s a color you really want in your picture, make sure you incorporate it into every outfit. For example, if you love red, you might wear a pair of nice red track pants and model several outfits around them.

Be Authentic

The point of this picture is to celebrate your success, so the most important way to create the perfect senior portrait is to make sure you capture who you are at this moment. Don’t hold back based on what you think will look good on Pinterest or get the most likes on social media. Be yourself, and you’ll have something you can look back on and smile.

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