Senior Session Tips, what to wear, and FAQ

Tuscaloosa county senior session taken downtown northport

In this blog post, I’m talking all things senior session! What to wear, tips and tricks for planning, and frequently asked questions!

posted on

March 1, 2022

Mary Pugh

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Congrats Grad!!

Your high school graduation is such a huge life milestone! One of the most important ways to commemorate it is your senior portrait session. In this blog post I’ll be sharing all of my best outfit planning advice, tips and tricks, and I’ll answer some of the most frequently asked questions. I want you to have the best senior session experience!

How do I pick a location for my senior session?

After your session is booked, I will send over a questionnaire. The questionnaire helps me get an idea of your style and what vibe you have in mind for your photos. After you fill out the questionnaire, I’ll send over what location options I think will work best for you!

senior photo session taken in downtown tuscaloosa and railroad park in Birmingham

One of the most common questions I get asked during the planning stages with my clients is “What should I wear?” I am more than happy to discuss your clothing choices. I like my seniors to send me photos of their outfits before our session so I can plan what outfits will look best at each of our locations. We can typically get in up to 4 outfit changes in a session.


senior portrait session taken with dog at government plaza in tuscaloosa

What do I Wear to my Senior Session?

1. Choose your style and palette

Choose up to four outfits that reflect your personality. I typically recommend a couple of “dressier” and a couple of more casual options- as always, it’s up to what you’re most comfortable in. If you need ideas on what palette colors will look best at our locations, please reach out.

2. Muted Colors/Small patterns

Muted tones (whites, cremes) look beautiful in senior portraits! When picking patterns, choose smaller ones that won’t pull attention away from the main subject. When thinking about texture, choose different textures that will give photos some interest such as lace, corduroy, denim, and knits.

3. Layering

One of my favorite “tips” for clothing choices! In the Summer months, this doesn’t apply (because hello, heat!) but in Fall and Winter, definitely layer your outfits. Not only will it provide more visual interest in each photo but it will also allow a lot more variety in your shots and poses. Have a ton of images of yourself in just your dress or cute top and jeans? Throw on a little sweater or jacket and a hat and you have entirely different look.

4. Fit Your Style To Your Location

Always keep your session location in mind when choosing your outfit. If your session is happening in a city setting, dress up a bit with a pair of cute heels and a fancier dress than you’d normally wear to match the bustling vibe of the city. If you’ve selected a more natural environment, choose something a bit more casual such as a maxi dress and opt for casual footwear like flat sandals.

5. Keep Make Up Natural

Think everyday natural with a little glam! I recommend not doing your eye makeup super dark because it can give a “raccoon” eye appearance in photos. Fake lashes are a definite bonus though! I don’t offer make-up services, but I do have suggestions for my favorite artist in town.

6. Be Timeless

For some fashionista’s, this may be a difficult concept, however you are going to want these images to stand the test of time. Pick outfits that aren’t considered too trendy, but will be able to be enjoyed and displayed for many years to come.

7. Plan Ahead

Make sure you have given yourself enough time to think about all of the details of your session. Plan ahead so that #1 you can truly think about your photos and everything you want out of the session, #2 you aren’t rushing and stressing out right before your session, and #3 if you have decided to go for a new look for your session or someone gets a bad haircut, you still have time to fix things if you need to.

8. Just be you

All of these tips and tricks are of course just a guideline. Stay true to who you are and let that personality shine!!

photos taken at ol colony golf course

Frequently Asked Questions

senior portraits taken downtown tuscaloosa

WHAT SHOULD I BRING TO MY SESSION?

If there are any props you want to include, feel free to bring them along. Boys like to include their vehicles in their photos sometimes, just make sure your whip is clean! Puppies? Im here for it. Athlete? Bring a football, basketball..whatever you want!

CAN I BRING SOMEONE WITH ME TO MY SENIOR SESSION?

Having mom or your best friend come along (or both), to lug around all your gear and be your personal cheerleader is a must! They can be ready to help you change your lipstick or your shoes or just tell you how stinking fabulous you look!

WILL YOU TELL ME HOW TO POSE?

1000% YES! I will pose you from head to toe. You don’t have to worry about not knowing what to do. My #1 job is to make you comfortable and to make you look GOOD. You are going to KILL IT!

high school girl taken at depalmas Italian restaurant

To learn more about my senior pricing and process, visit here!

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  1. Marianne Nunnally says:

    Hi Mary! Can’t believe Kara’s session is already here-I was hoping she had reached out to you a bit prior to her session telling you what Sheba’s eating and where she would like to have her shots made. She is wearing a bubble gum pink ruffle top/white skinny jeans and sandals, a white casual summer sun dress and we haven’t picked out the other. She does want to wear her BAMA jersey with jean shorts and golden goose dupes under the Roll Tide overpass by Billy’s downtown Northport. Other locations she is not sure of. She is very simple, wants flowers, columns white fresh clean building and maybe a lake or river background. We will let you know on new outfit color and type-we are shopping for that one today!!! What time are we looking to do shoot? I work until 12:15pm on Tuesday.