The Senior Portrait Experience

Being well prepared for you senior photo session can make the difference between average and fabulous photos. Follow these easy tips and you’ll be well on your way to looking your absolute best. If you have any additional questions, feel free to contact me.

 

Tips For Your Session

 

MINDSET - Have fun! We’re going to make you look great and you’ll have a great time. That’s why you chose James Hale Photography.  Relax. We like to think we’re rather cool and easy to get along with. Plus, we help you with posing, so there’s no pressure on you.

ARRIVAL - Arrive early or on time to your appointment. Showing up late means you lose camera time, and we don’t want that.  If you’re coming from out of town, give yourself plenty of time to find the location.  If in doubt, call us.

STYLE - You’re unique and beautiful. Follow our guidelines but be yourself in how you dress.  Be fashionable. Wear clothing that’s stylish and put a lot of thought into your choices. This is a unique opportunity and we want you to look amazing!

MAKEUP - Makeup that is well done is one of the best preparations you can make for your session. It will even out skin tones and help give your photos that extra pop for a model-like look. Even if you don’t normally wear makeup or wear very little, take the time to do it well and your photos will look their best.  Makeup should only be slightly heavier than normal. Mascara should be clean and not clumpy. Avoid makeup with an SPF because it tends to create a shine. Summer shine can be controlled by using translucent powder that knocks out shine without adding additional color. Your make up should be applied for daytime use and be natural looking. Please refrain from using heavy eyeliner.  Bring your make up with you in case touch ups are necessary.

HAIR - Although we try to help with hair, it is hard to know what your hair is supposed to look like. Make sure you like the look or let the photographer know your preferences.  Better yet, bring your best friend with you for the session and he or she can help.  Hair style is ultimately YOUR responsibility.  Any hair changes during the session should be quick and simple so you have as much camera time as possible.  Bring hair spray, clips, pins, and whatever else is needed to keep your hair out of your eyes if it’s windy. Also bring a brush and mirror for quick hair touch-ups.  Do not make drastic changes to your hairstyle right before your photo session. This could add unneeded drama to your life.  Don’t try new hair styles or get fresh hair cuts. If you need a trim, have it done a week or two before before.  If you need hair services, I would suggest calling Mona at Plain Janes Hair & Nails - 523 NW Englewood Rd, Kansas City, MO 64118 - (816) 305-9848.  She does a wonderful job, will give you a 10% discount and she knows what we're looking for.  Just tell her that we referred you to her.

FINGER & TOE NAILS - If you paint your nails, make sure they’re done well for your session. Chipped nail paint will show and distract from you. Avoid bright colors that will distract from you and may not work with all your outfits. Instead, opt for basic or natural tones.  However, our suggestion is to have both a manicure and pedicure and have your nails french manicured with a small white edge on them.  We have found that this looks really good in photos.  Besides, it's an excuse to have a little pampering.  Have this done a day or two before your photo session.

JEWELRY - Keep it simple. Big, shiny jewelry can distract from the important subject, you. If you have different jewelry for different outfits, you might put each set of jewelry in a plastic baggie and hang it on the hanger with that outfit.  All that being said, the proper jewelry can really complement your outfit. It’s nice to have a variety to choose from and it doesn’t hurt to bring numerous options with you.  If you have your class ring, wear it!

PROPS - They’re great! Bring props that help show who you are.  Some popular choices are:

  • Sports equipment (soccer ball, basketball, softball bat, etc.)
  • Sports uniforms
  • Musical instruments
  • Activity related items (dance, art, school clubs, etc.)

TANNING - Tan lines are a distraction and take away from your photos. We suggest you use a tanning bed and varied swimsuit tops to minimize any existing tan lines. If you choose to tan outside or in a tanning bed, don’t overdo it. We don’t want you looking orange and leathery.

COMPLEXION - Makeup helps a lot here, but we do retouch your photos, so please don’t be concerned about minor breakouts. We have you covered! If your acne is more severe, you’re still okay. We had bad acne is high school and understand! We’re happy to help you out with some extra retouching.

FRIENDS & PARENTS - Friends or parents are welcome and often can be a help. However, if they distract you, it may be best to meet them when the session is over. You’re welcome to have a couple of shots with a boyfriend, best friend, sibling, or parent at no extra charge.

WEATHER - Don’t worry about clouds because they actually even out the light and make for ideal shooting conditions. But falling rain is an issue and we will have to reschedule. We will try to contact you first, but please call us at 816-674-2232 if you have any doubts or concerns.

 

Clothing Tips and Suggestions

 

CLOTHING (FOR ALL) - You will want one or two good outfits, but we give you as many clothing changes as you can fit in the time alotted, so bring A LOT of options. The more outfits we have to choose from, the better. This will give us flexibility in matching your clothing to backgrounds and the surroundings.  Group your outfits together on hangers. Make sure items are ironed and ready to go.  Plan on changing quickly. The faster you change, the more time we have to photograph and the more photo choices you’ll have later.  Make sure you’re comfortable in your clothing and that it flatters you. This will ensure that you like how you look when viewing your photos.  If you’re self-conscious about your arms, avoid sleeveless or cap-sleeve shirts and tank tops, as they tend to make arms look fuller.  Avoid stripes and plaid.  Solid colors photograph much better than busy patterns. Bring a variety of colors and mix the level of styles. Some should be dressy, some dressy-casual, and some casual. Medium to dark clothes look the best against dark backgrounds and minimize body size. Medium to light colors look the best against lighter colored backgrounds. The photographer will determine the best background based on the outfits you bring. Your session includes unlimited wardrobe changes which can include casual as well as formal outfits. If you are involved in school activities, consider bringing your uniform or team jacket, sports equipment or musical instruments. We are always available to consult with you about your choice of props.

CLOTHING (GIRLS) - Bring a variety of colors and mix the level of styles. Some should be dressy, some dressy-casual, and some casual.  If you’re comfortable in dresses, bring them!  They photograph really well and offer a nice variety from your other casual clothing choices. We can mix dressy and casual clothing for some great looks.

CLOTHING (GUYS) - Bring a variety of colors and mix the level of styles. Some should be dressy, some dressy-casual, and some casual.  If you’re comfortable in a suit or sportscoat, bring them! They also photograph really well and offer a nice variety from your other casual clothing choices. We can mix dressy and casual clothing for some great looks. Bring your favorite shirts but also bring an outfit that mom likes. Bring shorts, jeans, khaki’s. Bring a suit and tie if you wish to have formal shots. Please be clean shaven.

SHOES (GIRLS) - We cannot say it loudly enough. Girls, wear heels!  Whether pumps or boots, dressy or casual, plain or sassy, heels really make you stand out and look glamorous.  Flats can also work well if you mix them with the right outfit.  We will not photograph you in flip-flops. Yes, they’re comfy and we all love them, but they don’t photograph well.

SHOES (GUYS) - Dress shoes, nice tennis shoes or loafers.  If you are bringing a sports uniform, bring the shoes that go with it as well.  We will not photograph you in flip-flops. Yes, they’re comfy and we all love them, but they don’t photograph well.

GLASSES - Most lenses have a glare. The safest option is to check with your eye doctor and ask if they’ll loan you a similar pair without lenses.

BRACES - If desired, we can remove braces in Photoshop for an extra charge. Otherwise, try not to worry about them. Give a natural smile and enjoy yourself. A good smile with braces is far better than the awkward smile that comes when you try to hide them.

UNDERGARMENTS - Please make sure the colors of your undergarment coordinate well with your outfits and don’t show through your clothing. If you need a strapless bra, please bring one to your session. Tucking or moving straps will not always work or give the most pleasing look.  Check ahead of time to ensure that undergarments don’t leave unpleasing lines underneath your clothing.

 

General Considerations

 

PLEASE be courteous to others and arrive on time for your session. Appointments often run back to back. It’s also important that you look relaxed and comfortable for your portrait session.

JAMES HALE PHOTOGRAPHY offers senior portraits in the Kansas City metro area, including but not limited to; Liberty MO, Kearney MO, Overland Park KS, Olathe KS, Leawood KS, Johnson County KS and other surrounding areas.  We photograph seniors at schools such as Liberty High, Liberty North, Staley, Kearney, Smithville, Cameron, Excelsior Springs, Holt, Lawson, Winnetonka, Oak Park, Park Hill, Park Hill South, St. Pius X, North Kansas City, Blue Valley, Blue Valley North, Blue Valley Northwest, Olathe East,  Olathe North, Lee’s Summit, Lee’s Summit West, Fort Osage, St. James Academy, Rockhurst, Notre Dame de Sion and many more.