Outfit choices for female senior pictures are endless! Deciding what to wear for special occasions, ceremonies, and portraits can be daunting when you’re a high school student. Or, at least it was for me! When it comes to selecting your 3-5 outfits for your senior session, you might be stumped. So, I encourage you to take some time and consider three things. Consider your personal clothing style, the overall vibe you want for your portraits, and the education or career you’re pursuing after graduation. Reflecting on one or all of these things should help you to make some definite outfit decisions. Why is this important? Because your senior pictures should be a true visual representation of you as an individual. Getting that representation begins with what you wear for your shoot.
Back in my high school days, my style fluctuated. Those fluctuations included preppy, goth-y, and down-right tacky. And, when it came time for pictures, no style was represented–at all. For my first photo as a high school student, I wore one of my dad’s oversized pull-overs. When I was 17, a polaroid was taken of my family on Thanksgiving Day. That polaroid documents me wearing a pencil skirt and one of my brother’s shirts. On senior group portrait day, I borrowed a dark floral dress with a lace collar (ugh!) from my mom! I had no idea what my style was, what looked good on me, or that wearing other people’s clothes wasn’t reflecting who I was. This is why it’s so important to know how to use your clothing to represent you. Figuring out whether or not it fits into a clothing style category is a bonus, but one that will help you a ton. Making decisions about what to wear for portraits (not to mention for everyday) will just be so much easier if you can do this.
If you don’t know your clothing style, let’s try to find it. First things first. Let’s review some popular styles to get you thinking along those lines. These are just a place to start your research.
Romantic, for example, includes soft colors, floral prints, dresses of varying lengths, wide-brimmed sun hats, and sandals–https://www.pinterest.com/pin/854417360555799899/.
Preppy incorporates blouses with collars, ties, pleated skirts or pants, oxford shoes, or loafers–https://www.pinterest.com/pin/7248049390842097/.
Grunge most likely includes knit hats, combat boots, cropped tops and other black or flannel pieces–https://www.pinterest.com/pin/33706697195284377/.
After you’ve learned a little about some of the different styles, take a look at the clothes you already have in your closet. You may realize that you’ve already adopted a little bit of a particular category of style into your wardrobe. Is it a category you’d like to embrace? If it is, it’s time to get more pieces that reflect it. Check out Pinterest or magazines for some updated ideas, and then–start shopping. Let your mom, dad, or guardian know that you’ll need a clothing budget in addition to the cost of your session.
If your current wardrobe doesn’t point to any style or to one you love, it’s time to try a new tactic. You’ll still have to make purposeful outfit selections for your female senior pictures, but I’ve got two other suggestions to help move you forward in that process.
Having an idea of what kind of vibe you’re going for in your photos is another way to figure out what to wear. What do I mean by vibe? The dictionary defines vibe as “a distinctive feeling or quality capable of being sensed.” Essentially, you choose a mood or an emotion that speaks to you, and we start with that. Some examples of vibes for your session might include confidence, playfulness, or reflection. The vibe could also be based on a setting: urban, rural, street, or industrious. Once you know your vibe, it can help you decide what to wear to achieve it. An urban vibe, for instance could point you to a pair of jeans, a fitted t-shirt, some canvas shoes, a utility jacket, and a pair of sunglasses.
If you know what you plan to study in college or in trade school, you can also use that to plan your outfit choices for your pictures. For example, if you plan to study fashion, more of a glamourous or run-way type outfit would be great. If you’re planning to study psychology or education, a pair of reading glasses, a sweater, and pair of chinos or a pencil skirt is a subtle way to communicate either of those careers. So, if you can’t determine a clothing style, and you don’t know what vibe your going for, using this method might give you some direction for what to wear for your senior female pictures.
When you were a little girl, someone else chose what you’d wear on picture day. They decided on the dress or the romper or the cowboy boots. But, the choice for what to wear for your female senior pictures is entirely up to you. Base your decision on what your style is, what kind of vibe you want your pictures to have, or what your plans are for your future. If none of those suggestions help you, then it’s time to make clothing selections based on cut and color. You can read my blog post, Clothing Choices: Colors and Styles for Your Portraits, for some ideas that can help with that. I’ve got you covered!
One reason I love shooting female senior pictures, in particular, is because there are so many options for you as a young woman. You can truly express yourself with your clothing, and that’s so much fun to capture on my end. Let’s use your outfits to capture who you are, what you feel, and where you’re going. Plan your assembles well before your actual photo shoot. And, put those clothes to work!