What to Wear for Senior Portraits

Senior Girls

The number one question that I am asked as a high school senior portrait photographer is "What should I wear for my photos?" You should wear outfits that make you feel confident and beautiful. Clothes that fit your body well and also fit your personal style. Here are some guidelines to help you choose the best outfits for you.

How many outfits should I bring to my shoot? 

  • With the Starring You session, you should bringing about 5 outfits. But don't stop there. Bring extra. This gives us a chance to mix & match. Switch up accessories and really show your style. Bring a range of styles. Casual, dressy and something in between, like an outfit you would wear on a date.
  • Dress in layers. We say that a lot here in San Diego. It's really important to have layers and texture in your photos. Layers and texture add interest. Look at the outfit in the photo above. She is wearing a dress with a print and a jacket. We get 2 looks by taking off the jacket and adding interest by pulling the jacket off the shoulder.
    • By simply adding a sweater or scarf in the fall and winter, you've added a layer. Socks peeking above boots. Even having a cuff in your jeans with your booties.
    • Put a jacket or kimono over your dress in spring and summer. A flower crown in your hair. A plaid flannel tied around your waist.
    • Bring a hat. Or I'll bring one for you. They look cute to wear and they are fun to carry. They double of a prop & a layer. Hats are one of my favorite pieces.

Bring some bling

Wear jewelry. Jewelry is an easy way to add layers and texture. Bracelets, necklaces, earrings are all must-haves. Be sure to bring different jewelry for each outfit. Or at least enough pieces to change out one or two with each outfit.

Shoes, shoes, oh and shoes.

  • Bring several pairs of shoes. You should have a different pair of shoes for each outfit. Going to the beach? Bring along at least one pair to carry as a prop while you walk along the sand.
    • I do not recommend wearing flip flops with your casual outfits. Sandals are a better option. If flip flops are "you" then opt for a newer pair that fits nicely and isn't scuffed on the toes.

In the flesh

Your outfit is not just what you can see, but also keep in mind what you can't see.

  • Flesh colored underthings are a must. No matter the color of your outfit, wear flesh colored underthings. You don't want to be at your photo shoot, only to find out that in the sunlight you can see the color of your panties through your dress.
    • Bring a strapless bra. Extra straps are distracting. If your outfit needs a strapless bra, bring one. Unless you are wearing a bralette that is made to be seen, keep it hidden. Tucking in the straps of your regular bra doesn't work.

Tips to keep in mind

  • Try on your outfits. It's frustrating to get to your photo session, only to find out that your favorite dress isn't as long as you remember. Or that super cute top got a little shorter and tighter in the wash. Trying everything on before your session also let's you see how well your pieces go together and that your layers and jewelry look great too.
  • Use your iron. Wrinkles show in photos. They are distracting and make you look unkempt. Iron your outfits and be sure that they travel to your shoot hanging or lying flat so those wrinkles don't come back.
  • Be yourself. Your senior photos reflect who you are, not just what you look like. So when dressing for your senior photo session, be yourself.
  • Be comfortable. Being comfortable with your wardrobe choices will help you feel more relaxed and confident in front of the camera on your big day.

Photos of the sweet and beautiful Maya Williamson, MUA Tami Mayhew, Classy Gal Glo