Oh my goodness, HOW amazing is this entire senior session with Lily?!? Lily brought her mom and sister along for our shoot, and we had so much fun! Lily chose the most ideal outfits for her shoots. Keep reading for my input on outfit selection for your senior pictures! As an experienced Massachusetts senior photographer, I consider myself to be a bit of an expert in styling for your session! Start scrolling through some of my favorite images from Lily’s session!
The Makings of a Stunning Senior Shoot
Aren’t you just obsessed with all of these pictures?! I know I am! So many things came together in order for these pictures to look the way they do. Want a few tips on how to throw your senior picture session together? As an experienced Massachusetts senior photographer, I have ALL of the tips you’ll need!
Professional Hair and Makeup
I highly encourage all of my clients to have professional hair and makeup done for their senior pictures. Lily chose my top senior picture package, which includes the option of having professional hair and makeup done. Having professional hair and makeup done will make a drastic difference in the quality of your photos and senior portrait experience. You are already making a large investment in your senior portraits, so why not make it the best it can be?! You may consider yourself a bit of a makeup pro, but a trained professional makeup artist knows how to do your makeup specifically for the camera. I can’t stress enough how important this is.
Here is a list of amazing artists that I recommend in the South Shore area (some are available for travel, too!)
Shauna Stoekin at East Coast Primped (Hair & Makeup)
@eastcoastprimped | 774.269.6064
Kasey Buckley at Devine Innovations Plymouth (Hair)
@hair_by_kase | 774.503.0645
Karylle Brennan at Rejuvenations Plymouth (Makeup)
@glowithkarylle | 508.224.7566
Jesslynn Abreu at Limitless Beauty (Makeup)
@jesslynnabreu | firstname.lastname@example.org
The Perfect Outfits
Lily chose the absolute perfect outfits for her shoot. Firstly, both of her outfits are light in color. The reason that this is important is because dark colored clothing can reflect an ugly “colorcast” back up onto your skin in your photos. We do NOT want that! Secondly, I love that she chose to wear dresses. Dresses give your photos gorgeous movement and character. Thirdly, her shoes were awesome! They had a heel, which helps to elongate your legs and cause you to have better posture.
When Lily and I began to plan her senior pictures, she sent me some pictures that she was inspired by. She was hoping to achieve the look of the pictures she sent me. In several of the photos, the subject was wearing a cute tan fedora hat. (In fact, several of my seniors sent me the exact same inspiration picture last summer ;-). I knew right away that a huge reason everyone seemed to love that picture they had found on Pinterest was because of the hat itself. Did you know that hats photograph beautifully on everyone?! And they give your images that “extra something.”
The Best Locations
As an experienced Massachusetts senior photographer, I can tell you that having the right location for your pictures is crucial. I have many locations I love to frequent. I also love trying new locations as well!
TOP QUESTIONS TO ASK YOUR MASSACHUSETTS SENIOR PHOTOGRAPHER
WHAT DOES MY SESSION PRICE INCLUDE FOR MY SENIOR PICTURES?
This is probably the number one question to ask your senior photographer! I can’t tell you how many stories I’ve heard about photographers charging one price for their session, which includes the printing rights to ONE of your photos, and then the senior and her family find out that if they want printing rights to the rest of the photos, it will be an additional THOUSAND dollars!! Yikes!!! And FYI- if you don’t have the rights to an image, it means you also may not post it on social media- or else you could be sued! So make sure you ask your senior photographer this very important question!! All of my packages include the printing rights to all edited images!
WHAT IF IT RAINS ON THE DAY OF MY SENIOR PICTURES? WHAT IF IT IS SUPER HUMID?
As an experienced senior photographer, I can tell you with certainty that New England weather is incredibly unpredictable. It is very important to make sure that your senior photographer is happy to reschedule your senior portrait session if it is bad weather the day of your session!. I personally will reschedule even if it very cloudy weather, unless my client would rather have their session anyways. I am happy to shoot in humidity, but will gladly reschedule your session if your hair gets frizzy in humidity- in fact, that is a question I ask in my questionnaire you will receive after booking your session!
WHERE CAN MY LOCATION BE FOR MY SENIOR PICTURES?
This is important to know because your senior photographer may charge a fee to travel a certain distance! I personally live in Scituate and will travel up to 20 miles for a session before a travel fee is added on. This means I will shoot sessions as far south as Plymouth, and any town past Plymouth I will add on a travel fee. Make sure to check in with your senior photographer about this before booking!
WHAT LOCATION SHOULD I USE FOR MY SENIOR PICTURES?
As an experienced senior photographer in New England, I have tons of locations I love for senior pictures. As I like to say, the sky’s the limit! Find all of my best location suggestions and tips here!
CAN I BRING A FRIEND, PET OR PARENT ALONG WITH ME?!
This is a great question to ask your senior photographer! I always encourage you to bring a friend AND parent along for your senior portraits. I also am happy to include well behaved pets in a few photos! I’m also happy to snap a few pictures of you and a sibling/s during our shoot!
What to Look for in a Senior Photographer
Some seniors don’t give much thought to their senior pictures. This is a huge mistake! These are pictures you will have for your entire lifetime!! Therefore, make sure you do your research when looking for a photographer for your senior pictures. As an experienced senior photographer, I can give you a few of my favorite tips on what to look for in your photographer!
MAKE SURE YOUR SENIOR PHOTOGRAPHER IS A PROFESSIONAL!
It’s so important to hire a senior photographer who is licensed, registered, and trained!! Why? You and your parents are investing time and money into this experience. You are planning outfits, buying clothes, possibly hiring a hair and makeup artist, and you will have these photos forever!! A professional senior photographer is organized and will provide you with a contract. In addition, a professional photographer is also trained in posing you to look your best. They will have high quality equipment, understand lighting principles, and use high end editing software to carefully edit your photos. How can you find out if a photographer is a professional photographer? Google their business name! Check out their website, read their reviews, and check out their social media while you’re at it!
FIND A MASSACHUSETTS SENIOR PHOTOGRAPHER WHO ACTUALLY SPECIALIZES IN SENIOR PORTRAITS!
I think the easiest way to decipher this one is to check your photographer’s Instagram or Facebook page and see how often they post pictures of seniors. For me personally, senior pictures are my favorite kinds of pictures to take and they are what I am most highly trained in doing. If I could take senior pictures all year long, I would! But being in New England, most senior portraits are usually only taken in the months of June through October, so I also photograph lots of other types of sessions. While I LOVE my family sessions, newborn sessions, and maternity sessions, you can tell from what I post on my social media that senior pictures are a huge specialty of mine.
FIND A SENIOR PHOTOGRAPHER WHO PRODUCES IMAGES WITH NATURAL, BEAUTIFUL SKIN TONES!
There are so many photography styles out there, many of which are passing trends. Some trends make skin tones appear orange in huge, or even blue-ish or green-ish! As an experienced photographer, color is something I am VERY particular about!! For your senior portraits, you will want a senior photographer who consistently produces images where skin tones and colors look like they would in real life. That way, when you look at these photos 20 years from now, after the “photography trends of today” have faded, your images will still look timeless and beautiful. So look through your prospective photographer’s social media or portfolio on their website. Do all the skin tones look like they would in real life? Do the rest of the colors in the image look natural?
Where to Shop for your Senior Pictures
I have a few favorite spots to shop when it comes to senior pictures! First off is Hello Molly, where Lily got this gorgeous blue dress for her shoot! In additional, absolutely adore a little shop called Cattivo which is located in downtown North Scituate. Cattivo is a shop where MANY of my seniors find their outfits for their senior pictures! Other shops my seniors have had great luck at are Asos, Vici Collection, and Lulus.
Make the Most of Your Senior Pictures
As a seasoned senior photographer, I think it’s important to make the most of your senior pictures! You and your parents are making an investment in these pictures. You will have these pictures forever!
Find a vision for your photos and share it with your senior photographer!
I suggest having a vision for your senior pictures! Search Pinterest and Instagram. What vibe are you going for? Boho? Preppy? Edgy? Romantic? Urban? Once you have the vibe you want, you can choose your outfits and hair style accordingly! Your senior photographer should be able to guide you in your vision. Share your ideas with your photographer and make sure her or she is on board!
Choose your outfits carefully
Your outfits can make or break your senior pictures!! I know that sounds dramatic but I strongly feel that your outfits make a huge impact! For your senior session, I am more than happy to assist you in choosing your outfits. Typically I suggest that you bring a variety of outfits to your session. When we arrive at our first location, I will look over everything you have brought. Make sure your senior photographer has an eye for style and can help you put together your looks!
Book your senior photographer early
I can’t stress this one enough! I am so honored to be in high demand as a senior photographer. Because of this, many of my seniors secure their session date months ahead of time. I have some seniors who book their pictures with me an entire *year* in advance!! Because of New England weather and seasons, the vast majority of seniors in Massachusetts have their senior pictures taken between the months of June and October. Unfortunately, I can only fit so may seniors in in this five month time span!! So if you are set on having your pictures done with Christina Runnals Photography, please make sure to book early. I suggest booking by April or May at the very latest. It is March 25 as I write this blog post, and I already have six seniors who have booked their pictures in September alone!
Book Christina Runnals as your Massachusetts Senior Photographer
Would you like to book Christina Runnals for your senior pictures? Book your session, or find out more about a senior portrait session with Christina Runnals Photography! You can even view all of my pricing and package options here!
For your senior pictures, do keep in mind that you should contact me as SOON as possible to schedule. I recommend booking at least 4 months in advance. I often times even have clients book as early as a year in advance to make sure they secure a prime spot! If you’re booking at the last minute and can’t get the date you want, you could email me about a sunrise session. I can often make time for an early morning session while my children are still sleeping :-). Hope to hear from you soon!
Christina Runnals is a nationally published and award winning Massachusetts senior photographer who specializes in taking photographs that are light-filled, glowy, and full of joy! She has photographed senior pictures all over New England and it is one of her absolute favorite parts of her job. If you are ready to book your senior pictures, she is always so excited to be considered ! Please check out her senior portrait session page here for more information!