Great Portrait Tips for High School Seniors

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The high school portrait season is a time when parents and students search out a photographer to celebrate this important time of life. High school senior portraits are special: they capture a transition to adulthood. There are a few steps that students can take to look their best. Here are a few suggestions from a Metro Detroit Senior Photographer based in Birmingham, Michigan.

BASICS

Try to avoid overly trendy clothes and makeup. Talk to your photographer about ways to let your personality shine through in ways that are consistent with a great photographic image.

Shine is generally not a good thing – on your face, clothes, etc. Shiny things reflect light and look like holes in photographs. Shine should be avoided.

HAIR

Don’t get your hair cut the day before your photo session. Try to provide at least one week lead time. Your hair should move freely when you move your head. Too much hairspray can lead to undesired results.

Bring a brush or comb so that you can make those important final adjustments. This is particularly important if your session is outdoors.

NAILS AND POLISH

Everyone should have clean fingernails. Take a little time to make them look their best. Avoid overly dark nail polish and polish with glitter. Glitter will look like white holes in your fingers.

MAKEUP

Don’t wear lotions or makeup with glitter, because, as noted above, the glitter will show up as little white spots all over. Oily skin should be avoided. If you have oily skin, blot your face before the session. Using neutral makeup that helps to reduce shine can be helpful. Makeup choice is important. Many makeup products with SPF protection have a component that causes reflectivity with light. Try to avoid SPF products the day of the session.

SHAVING (Everyone Included)

Females should shave under their arms the day of the photo session (assuming they regularly shave). Guys should shave their beards the day of the session. Five o’clock shadow is almost impossible to remove once the photo is taken, so don’t shave really early in the day for a late afternoon session.

SUNTAN LINES

Sunburns and contrasting suntan lines are extremely difficult to nearly impossible to retouch. Don’t go tanning at least a week before your session. Avoid spray tanning products too. Many of them shine.

GLASSES

If you wear glasses, try to have the lenses removed for the session. This will yield the best results. If you have anti-glare coatings on your lenses, that will help but not guarantee against reflection. Not wearing the glasses is another choice if you are comfortable with that.

WARDROBE

The photographer wants to focus on you. Faces should be the prominent feature, not clothes. Avoid bright and complex patterns. Do not wear a light colored pant with a dark shirt unless your want your bottom to look larger than your top.

Choose clothes that fit you well. Avoid pleated pants if possible. Flat fronts look better in photographs. Also, baggy clothing can look “bunched up” in photographs.

With clothing, strive for a classic, timeless look. Clothes that are wrinkled will not look good. Iron them the day of the shoot so that you look your best. White socks are not flattering, so avoid them. White shirts are generally not recommended.

It is generally advisable to wear long sleeves. Unless you are incredibly fit and toned, short sleeves can be problematic or unflattering. An alternative is three quarter length sleeves.

FINAL WORDS

Most importantly, try to relax and enjoy your session. Photographs look best when people are being themselves. The idea is for the photographer to capture your personality. Have fun and let your “true you” shine through.

Rod Arroyo is the owner and chief photographer for Portraits by Rod. based in Birmingham, Michigan, a metro Detroit suburb.

For more information about the photography of Rod Arroyo and Portraits by Rod, visit http://www.portraitsbyrod.com.

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