DJ’s senior photos are a shining example of a senior portrait session nailed. With two different shirts and a location with a number of different background choices we were able to create a lot of variety in a short amount of time. As you’re planning your session, here are some tips to help you get the most out of your investment.
#1: The location is 50% of the photo. If there’s a place that you think represents you (like a pool if you’re a swimmer) then that’s fantastic. You don’t have to be wearing a bathing suit in a pool to show that you’re a swimmer. It could also be a place you love to be, or even just a place with lots of different options. These photos were shot on the University of Rochester Campus, which has a track, nature, architecture, etc.
#2: Clothing changes are your friend. Since it’s just you, it’s basically the background, you in different positions (women have more options with this than men), and your clothes. Two different outfits can go a long way toward variety.
#3: Bring something along that’s important to you. DJ runs track, and so we met at a track and he brought along his running shoes. Some people bring musical instruments, other types of sports equipment, etc.
#4: Add an effect. I’m not a big photoshop person. I try to avoid it. I mainly do this by trying to get the image right in the camera and I kick myself if I have to leave Lightroom, but this effect works really well. If you see some Photoshop type thing you love, let me know and we’ll recreate it.
5. Have your colors analyzed. If you’re super hard core about this, I highly recommend Kerry Stitch at Indigo Tones. I was a skeptic, but I have to say that after having my colors analyzed, it’s something I come back to all the time.
A lot of us wear colors we like, or colors other people wear, or just what’s on sale. We can’t figure out why we never pick that yellow shirt, or why black seems to wash us out. It turns out that there is a reason, and knowing what colors look best on you will help you photograph better than ever. There’s not one magic color – it depends on your complexion.
After my analysis Kerry said, “You get to wear the colors everyone else wears but shouldn’t.” Meaning black, brown, dark red, etc. But I can’t wear yellow. Somehow I knew this but kept buying light colored clothing anyway. I don’t anymore and it is incredibly liberating!
6. Bring a friend, or your mom, or someone to make you smile. Even having someone to challenge you to a staring contest can evoke some great facial expressions.
Have any tips to add? Leave a comment below!