Welcome & Hello

What exactly are senior portraits, and why are they such a big deal? Senior portraits are about celebrating a life stage - for many teens, it is their entire senior year is filled with milestones, and it is definitely one worth noting and celebrating in many ways, including portraiture. It’s their last year of high school, but so much more. It is also typically their last year with the friends they grew up with, their last year at home (it will never be the same, even if they are twenty-seven and living in parents’ basement), and their last year of truly being under their parents’ wings. Their senior year is about being on the cusp of something great - their futures, and they will never see the world the way they do right now. Documenting that with professional photography is one way of ensuring that you never forget who they are, RIGHT now.


So, you’re starting to think about your Senior Portraits … but you don’t know where to even start? I’ve tried to make the whole process a bit easier by answering some FAQ’s below…things you can expect before, during, and after your Senior Portrait session. If you have any other questions, or if you’re ready to book your Senior session, email me or you can message me at Face Book page @KaleidoscopeofMemoriesPhotography

Ok, here we go....

Things to think about BEFORE your session

1. When do you need to have your Senior Portrait turned in to the yearbook staff at your school?

Some schools take a more formal Senior Portrait at school, so you don’t have to worry about the yearbook. In that case, many Seniors choose to have their own creative Senior Portraits taken by a professional photographer. Other schools require you to personally turn in a digital file by a deadline. If that’s the case, find out that date asap.

2. Where do you want your Senior Portraits taken?

Do you like tall grass & fields? Barns, fences, and sky? Modern, downtown, and buildings? Water, bridges, and trees? Maybe you like a combination of all of them. Try to picture yourself and what you love…that’s where I want to photograph you. If you don’t have a specific place in mind…no worries, I’ve got plenty of ideas.

3. Schedule your Senior Session a few months early.

Once the weather begins to get warm in the spring, my schedule begins to fill up, so make sure you get your session scheduled for your most convenient time.

4. How much will it cost?

You can find the cost for high school seniors in this brochure. Please note that Senior session payment is due prior to the session in order to hold your day and time. Whether I’m photographing a senior, wedding, family, or engaged couple, I strive to creatively capture the true personality of the person or persons in front of my camera. This takes time. We won’t rush. Prints and products are included in the Senior session but are available for purchase in your online private gallery. If needed, a hi-res digital image will be sent directly to your school free of charge.

5. What should you wear?

My suggestion is to wear your favorite outfit[s]. Usually your favorite outfit is something you look and feel great in! Just try to avoid real trendy clothes [or your kids may snicker at you years down the road…trust me, mine did.]. Bold colors may be distracting and draw attention away from you. Also try to avoid large flowers, stripes or patterns. Many people forget about their socks…remember, your socks may be visible during some of the photographs…leave those Kermit the Frog ones at home!

6. Wax on wax off.

If you have an appointment for a wax, you’ll want to have that done at least two days prior to your Senior session. You’d be amazed at what the camera sees! Guys don’t forget to shave the morning of your session [unless you want that hair!].  Blemishes? No worries! You can do your best to conceal them, but don’t sweat it…I can remove them in a flash.

What will happen DURING your session…?

1. How long will it take?

You can plan on 30 min up to 2 hours for a Senior Portrait session depending on the package you choose.

2. What will we do?

When we meet at our location, we’ll chat a bit about some ideas you may have, some ideas I have, and other important details. You may be nervous, but you really don’t have to – I’m very easy to get along with and will may you comfortable soon enough. We’ll walk around a bit to different parts of the location. I’ll stop occasionally, ask you to do “something” or stand a certain way, and I’ll snap some photos. You don’t need to be worried about what to do, how to smile, or how to stand – I got it covered!

3. To change or not to change?

Feel free to bring 1 to 2 different clothing changes, again depending on the package chosen! Before we start photographing, we’ll talk about what clothing you brought…different clothing looks best in different settings.

4. Can I bring a friend?

Sure! Sometimes it helps to have someone there to help you relax or laugh. I will be concentrating on your Senior session, but your friend is more than welcome to come. It’s always nice to have someone goofy standing behind me, but just warn him/her that I will probably put him or her to work!

5. Model release.

During the consultation with you and your parent, I will need you or your parent to sign a Model Release(under the age of 18). I always require a parent to be present if you are under the age of 18 for all sessions.

What comes AFTER your session…?

1. How long until you can see your images?

Your images will be ready to view within 3 weeks of your Senior session. I will post some of my favorites on my Kaleidoscope of Memories Photography Facebook page. I will send you an email letting you know that your images are posted. I’ll also include a link to a gallery where all your images will be posted and giving you more details on how to order your prints and products.

2. Are the Facebook images copyrighted?

Yes. All images that are posted online [Facebook, and gallery] are watermarked and copyrighted. I do give permission for you to use a photo for your profile picture, but please do not remove the watermark. Thank you!

3. When will my prints and products be ready?

Once you place the order for your prints and products. Your order will be sent directly to your home. Enjoy!


Because senior portraits are so meaningful and last a lifetime, seniors will want to prepare for the big day by getting suggestions for poses and clothing from friends, parents and the photographer. Below are the top 20 portrait tips to help you plan for a photo session of senior pictures.

1. Plan several outfits to bring.

You should arrange to bring several outfits to your photo session in a variety of colors, not just your favorite hue. I will tell you exactly how many changes of clothing to bring – usually it will be three or four – but include different styles, such as casual, semiformal, formal or outdoors, so you can take several pictures and get your best shots. Remember to bring accessories for all outfits, from footwear to jewelry and hair accents. Since several full-body shots are also taken for purchase, check shoes to be sure they are clean and that both socks match – that full-body shot could end up being your favorite pose. Check your clothing ahead of time to make sure it isn’t spotted or faded and transport your outfits (you can wear one when you arrive) on hangers to prevent wrinkles.

2. Keep your clothing visually simple.

Don’t bring outfits with words or designs, stripes or pictures, except possibly your school logo. You want your face, eyes and expression to command attention, not the words on your shirt.

3. Consider color.

Solid colors are recommended for most or all outfits. Colors that go well with a medium or dark background for close-ups include medium or dark tones of green, brown, rust, wine or blue. Darker shades tend to make people look slimmer. Try not to wear flesh-tone or neutral colors such as white, beige, tan, pale peach or pink, or gray, as these can dominate the picture and make you look washed out. For outside pictures, Kaleidoscope of Memories Photography recommends spring and summer colors of sky blue, pale green, watermelon and dark peach to complement the outdoor setting. For fall, consider wearing red, gold, deep orange, emerald green and dark green.

4. Use clothing to accentuate your best features.

Girls may want to forego short sleeves or spaghetti straps if their arms are heavy, since these styles will only accentuate that feature. Turtleneck tops look best on people with long necks. Round and square faces look good in a square-neck top, while thin faces or pointed chins are attractive with rounded-neck tops.

5. Go easy on the jewelry.

Avoid wearing attention-grabbing jewelry. Again, the photograph should accentuate your face, eyes and personality, not draw unwarranted attention to your jewelry. Also, jewelry can date a photograph very quickly. Classic jewelry pieces are best.

6. Apply makeup normally.

It’s tempting to get very “glam” when having pictures taken, but this could very well make you look like a stranger in your senior portrait. Apply your makeup as you normally look on a day-to-day basis but bring your makeup with you and let the photographer know you have it. If the photographer feels you need a touch more blush or eyeshadow, he or she will let you know. Avoid glitter or sparkly anything (powder, eye shadow, blush) – it tends to reflect the flash and leaves white spots. Also avoid too much lip gloss. It can also leave white spots from the flash or make you look like you’re drooling. Avoid red lipstick as it will stand out too much.

7. Bring powder.

If you have it, bring along some translucent powder. While in real life, a bit of shine to the face gives you that “dewy glow,” it unfortunately can look like “too much glow” in photos. Your photographer can direct you if you need to dab some powder on your forehead or nose.

8. Go with practiced hair styles.

Getting senior portraits done is not the time to leave your hair uncombed for that “natural” look. Also, avoid experimental hairstyles. In general, friends and family prefer to remember you as you looked most of your senior year, not just during the period when you had your pictures taken. Photographer suggests working with your desired hairstyles a few days before the photo shoot to get the look you want in advance. Get a haircut at least a week in advance to give your hair a chance to adjust and look natural. Girls having their hair styled for a formal picture can, of course, wait until the photo session day to get their hair done, but they should practice with their hair stylist beforehand so there are no surprises on picture day.

9. Guys need a fresh shave.

A fresh shave for guys is recommended, and moustaches or beards should be neatly trimmed.

10. Don’t worry about blemishes.

Don’t worry about a blemish or bruise. Ask your photographer about retouching options to get the most attractive portrait possible. Keep in mind that digital retouching is expensive, however.

11. Don’t worry about braces.

Your braces are a part of the high school “you” and shouldn’t be avoided or hidden. However, if they really bother you, or you only wore them a short time, most photographers can digitally “erase” them for a fee. Ask your photographer ahead of time about this option.

12. Stay away from tans.

Don’t overdo the tanned look. For one thing, it looks unnatural. For another, your pictures could reveal peeling skin or a cherry-red nose.

13. Help your glasses avoid glare.

Senior picture advice from the photographer includes a tip for those who wear glasses: Either buy or borrow a pair of suitable frames without lenses to prevent glare and reflections from the glass. Or you can ask your optician to remove the lenses from your frames for the photo session. Most will do this for you at no charge but give them plenty of notice so there is no rush.

14. Make sure your hands are presentable. Like shoes, hands can show up in some of your favorite poses, so be sure to take the time to make them presentable – guys should trim their nails, and girls might need to touch up their manicure.

15. Practice your facial expressions.

Before you go to the photo shoot, practice your facial expressions in front of a mirror at home. You can try various smiles, serious but relaxed looks, and animated expressions for action shots (with sports gear, for example).

16. Work on your poses.

Although the photographer will arrange your standing and sitting positions for a variety of shots, you can try out different stances and positions at home, in front of a mirror, or by asking for feedback from a friend or family member. The overall goal is to appear natural and upbeat. Popular poses include a seated shot that highlights your face. A recent adaptation to this style is to depict the face as half in light and half in shadow. Full body pictures are taken, as well, showing a person standing, sitting, or crouching in a relaxed manner. Outdoor shots typically make use of background fences, trees, and attractive or interesting doorways. Black and white, color, and sepia are also traditional options for your pictures.

17. Personalize your photos with props.

Many photographers will invite you to bring favorite props to the shoot, such as sports equipment if you are a team player or fan, musical instruments, or hobby items. You can even bring a favorite portable piece of furniture, such as a lightweight chair or stool. Usually you can even bring your pet to appear in some of the shots with you.

18. Bring someone with you.

Most photographers welcome you to bring a friend if that person can help make you relax and take a natural picture. That person can also help with clothing changes and “double check” you while you’re being photographed to make sure your clothing hasn’t taken a turn for the worse or that your hair hasn’t come all undone.

19. Become comfortable with the photographer.

Visit several photography websites for ideas on how the studio operates. Look at posted images and imagine your picture included there. If the pictures just don’t appeal to you, keep looking for the right studio. Some professional photographers will invite you to come in and discuss senior picture tips before scheduling a shoot. This will give you a chance to hear their ideas and suggestions as well as share yours, with the goal of working together to create beautiful photography that will please everyone. Don’t be shy about asking questions, even during the actual shoot. If you don’t feel comfortable with a certain pose, say so.

20. Only take the photo if you’re feeling your best.

When the big day comes, if you’re not feeling your best due to a bad cold or too little sleep, call and cancel your photo appointment. The photographer will surely understand how important it is to look your best and will simply set up a follow-up time. Other students who have had their pictures taken already can offer senior picture tips from their experience. The bottom line is that you should plan to take photos that will make you look and feel your best. Try on several outfits at home before deciding which ones to take. As you become more familiar with the photographer, studio, and shooting plans, you can relax and enjoy the session. Your level of comfort will show in facial expressions and bodily tension (or lack of). Planning will make the busy day more manageable and arm you with the confidence you need to take outstanding senior pictures that you can be proud of the rest of your life.

How do I book a Senior Portrait session…?

1. To book your session, email me: kaleidoscopeofmemoriesphoto@gmail.com

2. Do you have more questions? No problem – contact me at the email address or FB page @KaleidscopeofMemoriesPhotography.

3. Congratulations on being a Junior or Senior! Looking forward to working with you!