I have been planning this post for some time now, and am excited to finally share with you some tips + tricks on prepping for your senior session with Mager Image! As part of my job being your photographer, I want to make your experience as amazing and stress-free as possible! For many of my clients, one of the most pressing concerns on their mind after booking is what they should wear. So, I will be including tips + tricks to help you choose your senior session wardrobe as well as a few tips on hair + makeup and more!


Choosing a Wardrobe

First off, one of the most important tips for keeping calm and not getting frustrated is not having too many preconceived plans for colors or styles of clothing, if you are purchasing new.  I do recommend wearing at least marginally new clothes, as they will photograph more crisply.  Going to the store with a fixed idea of color and style is a headache.  It is far easier to go to the store and see what colors are in season and what the current cuts and styles are, and then base your selections around that.

1. Be Comfortable

Being you is most important during your session! If you aren’t comfortable, I will be able to tell and it will show in your photos! Be aware of clothing that may be unflattering with your body type! We are all built differently, so a dress that looks great on one girl may not flatter the next. I try to steer away from items that are fitted in the tummy area (don’t we all?) just because it makes me self conscious and I’m constantly worrying if it looks bad. Plus, we will be up and down, sitting, standing, kneeling, and much more, so being comfortable will help tremendously during your session!

2. Be Bold + Colorful

On camera, solid black + white can make skin tones look very washed out and unflattering. So, when choosing outfits for your senior session, try to choose colors that POP and that compliment your hair + skin colors! Also, consider your location.  For example with fall colors, a neutral brown palette will blend with the background, so something like jewel tones will help bring you to the forefront. Primary colors like red, royal blue and yellow photograph beautifully as well as emerald green, bright purples, pinks, oranges and any other colors that really POP! Avoid neons, as they cause a color cast, turning your neck/face a very bright and unflattering color.  Sometimes, color combos that may seem odd in-person end up photographing BEAUTIFULLY on camera!


3. Let’s Talk Layers

The next thing to consider is layers. This is especially helpful in the colder months, but also a good thing to consider year round!  Having layers of clothing and accessories brings a lot of visual interest to the image.  So for the guys it could be a t-shirt and jeans with an unbuttoned cotton button-up top.  Maybe try adding a jacket, and belt that shows.  If weather appropriate, a wool scarf could serve nicely.  Women have a little more play here.  Dresses with leggings or tights, layered tops, or jackets/vests/sweaters/cardigans, boots etc. add a nice touch to any image. Having a layered look can look casual or more formal, but it also has that more effortless, pulled together look.  For warmer weather, just keep the layers a light, breathable material. Even in the warmer months (spring + summer) you can add layers + dimension by wearing a tank top with a cute sheer cardigan or by throwing a denim vest over a dress!

(C) Emily Magers - Mager Image Photography

4. Think Textures!

Sometimes textures like sequins, furs and sparkles can be considered “daring” or “over the top” but, in portraits, they are the BEST! Adding texture to your outfit makes the biggest difference, and it prevents the images from looking dull! Combining textures that you may not normally use together like sequins + cable knit sweaters or leather + fur make GREAT pairs! Ally paired a great blue sweater with a denim blouse and totally rocked it!


5. Accessorize! 

This plays in a little bit with the layering tip, but is just as crucial to remember, so it gets it’s own number. 🙂 Don’t forget the fun shoes, statement necklaces, bright scarves, earrings, stacks of bangles, etc. + add hair accessories where applicable. Accessories (or lack thereof) can make or break an outfit!  A hat is a fun idea, but be prepared for some images without it and make sure it doesn’t hide your eyes or make it hard for light to get to your eyes, and don’t wear it before your session to avoid hat-hair. Don’t be afraid to over-acce accessorize either either it’s always better to have more than not enough! This is also a fun place to experiment with pieces you wouldn’t always match up on a day to day basis, but they can really make a photo POP!

Here, Lauren rocked out downtown in a killer pair of heels with a great textured dress!

(C) Emily Magers - Mager Image PhotographyBoth Haley & Kailey paired their looks with statement jewelry that really made their photos one of a kind! In Haley’s case, her red necklace (and nails) were just the right amount of red to really pop out in her photo, and Kailey’s killer earrings really played up her beautiful features! 2015-04-16_0010

6. Mix It Up! 

When planning your outfits, make sure that you have a VARIETY of looks! I tell all of my seniors to choose from these categories: casual, cozy, dressy, school-related, sports-related, preppy or edgy. I always recommend choosing 2-3 of those categories and finding outfits accordingly. This provides a beautiful array of looks during your senior portrait session, so each outfit looks dramatically different! Keep in mind, since we will shoot on location, there won’t always be a bathroom easily accessible. Wearing spandex or something underneath will help with wardrobe changes.

Hair + Makeup

This is another HUGE part of a senior session that can completely alter the overall outcome of your images! I HIGHLY recommend professional hair and makeup to ALL of my clients for SO many reasons. I promise I’m not just saying it to get you to spend more money! It really does make HUGE differences. There’s also something about having all that stress off your shoulders that just helps boost your confidence THAT much more!


1. They’re Professionals

When you are investing in a professional photographer, you want to make sure that the images look their absolute best. Professional hair + makeup artists are TRAINED to do hair + makeup so that they photograph well. While your makeup may look AMAZING in person, it will look completely different on-camera, and these professionals are trained to know the difference! They will conceal spots you don’t like, contour your face so it looks the best in every light, use colors that compliment your skin to make it look flawless, make your eyes POP with false lashes + shadows, manicure your eyebrows to perfection and more! Some may think that there isn’t a difference…but I PROMISE you, the difference is HUGE! I will also be up close and personal, so having a professional ensures clean lines and flawless skin! Brittany Koryanis (BC Makeup Artistry) has done the makeup for SO MANY of my clients and does an amazing job! She did an outstanding job on Jenna’s makeup and it lasted through her entire session without any smears or smudges! And just look how Jenna’s eyes really POP!


2. We all need pampering sometimes!

I don’t ever want my seniors to feel like their portrait session is just simply “taking pictures”, I want it to be an EXPERIENCE. So, if my seniors arrive after an hour of being pampered + beautified, the entire experience has already started on a good note! If a senior arrives frustrated or stressed, it can affect the entire experience, including the way you look in photographs!

3. Don’t Neglect your Nails! 

And, one last tip!! In all of the chaos of senior session prep…don’t forget to pamper your nails! During your shoot, a lot of the poses we do will have your hands close to your face and in the frame, so make sure that your nails look just how you want! Try to avoid any chipped polish or crazy patterns. French manicures, light/natural colors and even nails with no color at all photograph best!!


I hope these tips were useful!  As always, if you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to text me photos! I would love to help! 

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