What to Wear for Senior Pictures

Seniors

September 9, 2022

As a senior pictures photographer in Minnesota, I get asked all the time what to wear for senior pictures! It’s honestly one of my favorite questions. Over the years, I’ve learned a great formula for getting great variety in your senior pics gallery as well as nailing your personal style.

Throughout this blog post, I’ll use my client, Alexa, as an example. She nailed her senior pictures outfits in 2022. From the variety in styles, colors, and seasons, her session was the total package!

How many outfits should I bring to a senior pictures session?

Before you can decide what to wear, you have to make a plan for how many outfits to pack. I recommend bringing one outfit per 20 minutes of your session. For example, three outfits is perfect for a one-hour photo session. Then, we can shoot about 15 minutes in each outfit with around 5 minutes to change clothes. You’ll get variety without stressing and rushing through outfit changes!

Now, it’s time to decide what to wear for senior pictures! This can be a little daunting. You want to look like yourself, but also ensure your outfits photograph nicely. Here is my advice for choosing your outfits for senior pics!

Choose your Colors Wisely

The colors you wear are a huge factor in the overall look of your photo. If you like bright and airy photos, opt for neutral or pastel colors. If you aim for something more edgy or bold, choose rich, dark colors or colors that contrast your skin nicely.

Consider the backdrops for your photos as well. If the location you’re shooting in is full of trees and flowers, perhaps stay away from green. You will just blend into the background!

Be sure to flatter your skin tones when choosing colors and clothes. Bright or neon colors will leave color casts on your skin, making skin tones look unnatural. Instead, wear soft, pastel, or neutral colors for a crisp and clean look.

COLORS TO WEAR FOR OPTIMAL PHOTOS:

  • White
  • Navy – this typically looks better than black in photos!
  • Light blue
  • Pink (pastel pink, mauve, magenta)
  • Light (pastel) yellow
  • Greens

COLORS TO AVOID:

  • Oranges & red – these make your skin look too harshly red/orange
  • Tan or beige – these blend too much with skin tones
  • Anything neon – cause your skin to reflect the color


Be Careful with Prints

Extra large prints are distracting and very small prints can morph in photos. The effect is called moire. I recommend solid colors or a medium size print. Alexa is showing you here a perfect medium sized print that photographed nicely and isn’t distracting.


Switch it up!

Change up the articles of clothing for each outfit. I typically recommend 1-2 dressy outfits (dresses, jumpsuits, dress shirts) and 1-2 casual outfits. Don’t bring all dresses or all sleeveless tops. Variety will be best to give you completely different looks!

You can also consider varying the seasonal look of your outfits. For example, opt for one sweater or long sleeve shirt. This allows your senior pictures to work year-round. I also love for seniors to do at least one outfit with jeans.


Focus Near your Face

I will always capture some full-body photos, but most senior pictures focus on the waist up. Consider what would be in the frame during close up shots. Outfits that have some visual interest near your face look great, like a ruffled sleeve, layered collars, ties, and more.

Accessorize or Bring Props

Accessories or props can be a fun way to switch things up and help with posing. It doesn’t have to be cheesy or complicated. Something as simple as a hat or jacket can provide some fun and unique posing opportunities. We can incorporate props into a couple of photos to make your photos uniquely you.

Some props or accessories I love include:

  • Hats
  • Jackets
  • Sporting equipment
  • Books
  • Musical instruments
  • Sheet music
  • Jerseys/uniforms
  1. […] Abby worked with Lisa at LHNBEAUTY for her hair and makeup for her session. I can’t say it enough – professional hair and makeup for you senior photos is a game changer! While I understand most seniors want to look “natural” in their photos, great professional makeup will still look like you, but elevated! Plus, it will make your skin look smooth and your eyes pop! For more tips on looking your best for your senior photos, check out my blog on what to wear for senior pictures. […]

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