Erin Malcolm Photography
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Senior Photo Tips

How to Make Your Friends Jealous with Your Senior Portraits.


  • You all want to look your best in your Senior Portraits, but what if your photos did something others didn't? Make your friends jealous of how awesome yours came out!
  • Here's some basic tips to make your Senior portrait session the talk of the town. I'll make the process pain-free, fun and guarantee a laugh or two by the time our session wraps.
  • Bring your Mom or a BFF with you - they can usually make your smile look natural; get you to loosen up and not look scared to death! (applicable to both guys and girls)
  • Have your hair and makeup professionally done the day of your shoot - if possible. Makeup artists know how to apply foundation which looks so natural in photos. Even if you normally don't wear makeup, please wear a little. Mascara, lip gloss, and foundation make such a difference with the pictures. Hair casually done - loose curls or waves - looks lovely. Guys, you can pretty much get ready in 10 minutes, so this applies more to the ladies.
  • Make sure your nails are freshly polished. Nothing looks worse than chipped nail polish ruining a gorgeous close-up! And think about the color of polish as well - very dark shades will be all you see if your hand is up by your face in some shots. Guys, you too - trimmed, clean nails are a must.
  • Pack a small bag with some grooming accessories to have handy: brush/comb, hair spray, lip gloss, powder, small mirror - little touch-up items as we go along.
  • Music!!
  • Various outfit choices - Guys, if you just want to change shirts once, that's fine. A light color and darker shirt is nice; maybe a blazer for a few shots; an athletic-type top if you play a sport - simple. Girls, flowy dresses are always beautiful; jeans with gauzy-like tops photograph well; light/dark tops with jeans/shorts looks cute. Just be aware that we will probably not be near a restroom where you can change outfits in private. Changing multiple times takes up precious time as well, especially when we're trying to capture images at the "Golden Hour."
  • Neutral is best. When thinking about your wardrobe for your session, it's best to stick to neutral colors. You can add a pop of color with a scarf, cool jewelry, a hat - or one top/shirt in a brighter color for some pics, but not all.
  • Make sure your clothes are ironed!!! Your hair can look amazing, makeup flawless, smile gorgeous - but if your dress/top is a mass of wrinkles, guess what we're looking at?! Guys, do not wait til 5 minutes before your shoot to open up the new shirt mom bought for you either!! Iron your wardrobe choices please!
  • To go hand in hand with ironing your clothes, bring those freshly ironed articles of clothing on hangers to your session! After wearing a particular item, then you can toss it aside!
  • Think twice about a drastic haircut/hair color change 2 days before your shoot!! You need to look like 'you' in these pictures, not your Goth twin.
  • Steer clear from the orange spray tans! Enough said.....
  • Visible tan lines? Please think about what you're going to wear for your session and then don't hang at the beach/pool all day in your halter top bikini! Guess what your off-the-shoulder cute top will show? Yup, whiter halter top bikini skin!!
  • Blend your makeup on your face AND neck - our eyes want to go to your face and not a lighter colored neck.
  • Bright, busy prints look, well, bright and busy when printed!
  • The #1 thing to bring to your Senior Session is attitude!!! Having a positive attitude and feeling confident that your session is going to be amazing will ensure that that will definitely happen. By the time we meet, we'll have emailed and texted and exchanged photos of outfit possibilities; reviewed location choices; gotten to know each other a bit, so there's no awkwardness at the start. I will give you and your mom a hug upon arrival, guaranteed, and jump right into your session! It'll feel like we know each other already.
  • So, with all of this in mind, lets have a fantastic Senior Portrait Session and kick off Senior Year on the right foot!