January 15, 2024

Senior Photoshoot Styling & Shopping Guide!

Senior Pictures

One of the top concerns during the planning process from seniors & parents is what to wear. We encourage our seniors to send us pictures to help in the decision-making process, even while shopping! If your photographer doesn’t offer this service, here are some great tips that I have learned after photographing seniors and families over the years.


  • Pick a few outfits that reflect you and your senior's personality.

  • Stay with a palette of colors your senior loves; this will help narrow down your options

  • Hopefully you have thought about where you want to go for your shoot. This is something we discuss in the consultation, and we are always thinking about our location shots when deciding on clothing choices.

  • Solid colors photograph best. That is not saying you can’t pick any patterns but choose at least one or two solids for your shoot. Stay away from neon colors, the camera doesn't like neon.

  • When picking patterns, choose medium to larger patterns. The camera also doesn't like small patterns, like tiny flowers or super thin stripes.

  • Layer it up! The best senior photos have layers. A perfect outfit for senior pictures is kind of like a puzzle. Top (or dress/jumpsuit,) jacket, necklace, bracelet, earrings, hat, scarf... the more layers, the better. Plus it gives us more options for creative posing like remove jacket, hold hat, etc...

Keep it Real

We want your personality to shine, but don’t be afraid to go all out for an outfit or two. You know that outfit/hat that you would wear on vacation, but not at home? Bring it for your senior pictures! This is the time to be bold and have fun with it!

Senior photo with mural

We recommend a professional makeup artist. This doesn’t mean that you will have too much make up on, a good make up artist will give you a natural look that helps eliminate shine. If you don’t ever wear makeup, though, this may not be the right choice. We want you to look like you (at your best!) Still use a bit of color on your lips, eyes and cheeks. Bring lip-gloss with you to touch up along the way! I would also recommend staying away from spray tans, they tend to be a bit too orange on the camera.

Here is a good breakdown

  • Casual Look #1 - Jeans, tee, jacket, tennis shoes
  • Casual Look #2 - Shorts, tank, Birkenstocks
  • Dressy Look #1 - Dress, hat, wedges
  • Dressy Look #2 - Jumpsuit, jacket/cardigan, stilettos
  • Formal Look - Prom Dress Or Suit
  • Sports/Hobby Look
Senior photo Downtown Des Moines
Senior pic in a sunflower field
Senior photo Downtown Des Moines
Senior pic at a football field