What to wear for your senior photos - Tips from Samantha Rose - Phoenix, AZ Based Photographer

This is my first blog post that will be part of my 'Tips from Samantha Rose' series. I want to keep these blog posts, simple & to the point, but give you everything that you came here for. 

Before we get started, a little about me... I'm Samantha, a Phoenix, Arizona based photographer (& surrounding areas) that focuses on weddings, seniors, couples, & creative work. 

Something to remember when it comes to your senior photos or any type of session, you want your outfit to represent you. Your personal style & personality should shine through your photos, don’t get caught up in what other people are wearing or doing for their photos. These are just tips to make your photographs even more amazing & what I have found looks the best… or doesn’t look the best.

Things to avoid:

  1. Neon colors

    -Neon colors tend to reflect onto your face & create weird skin tones!

  2. Form Fitting Dresses

    -There are exceptions to this, but anything that is form fitting is usually pretty hard to sit down in & shows all types of lines, you want to be able to move around for your photos!

  3. Graphic T’s

    -There are a lot of exceptions for this one. Sometimes graphic t’s (your favorite band, the college you’re going to, or your favorite band) show your personality & can be dressed up well. Dress up the shirt with cuffed jeans & a french tuck & a cute pair of

  4. Wild Patterns

    -Horizontal lines, tiny polka dots, anything that makes you have to blink a few times for your eyes to focus on it are usually not the best. Although these may look cute, sometimes certain patterns don’t photograph well because of the contrast between colors so it’s just easiest to avoid them. Not sure if a pattern will photograph well or not? Send a photo of your outfit to your photographer beforehand!

  5. Anything that wrinkles easily or picks up a lot of lint

    -Do a test run ahead of time to make sure after you sit down or squat that you won’t end up with a lot of unflattering wrinkles in your shirt/dress. Photographers can fix minor things like a few wrinkles or a piece of fuzz here & there, but if your entire outfit is covered in dog hair, even after editing it may not look the best.

The basics of choosing an outfit:

  1. Color is everything. If you’re not sure what color you want to wear for your photos, think about your location that you’re having your photos taken at.

    -For lush greens: maroon, mustard yellow, off-white, tans, & deep/darker colors always pop

    -For desert landscape: pastels, deep colors & neutrals, & vibrant colors like a strong red & yellow always photograph well

    -For the city: darker tones like blues & blacks & maroon always look good against a city scape

  2. You can dress up or down any outfit, depending on what style you want. For nature type landscapes, flowy dresses with a boho style always look beautiful (especially at golden hour).

  3. Don’t be afraid to accessorize with other clothing items! Want a dress to have a more chic look? Wear a shirt underneath it. Bring a jean jacket or some type of jacket to drape over your shoulder, tie around your waist, carry behind you, or just wear normal! Jackets can add so much more to your outfit, but make it easy to switch up your look. Bring a hat along too! If you want to easily step your outfit game up, bring a hat to wear or hold in front of your face or in your hand for a few shots can add a lot to photos.

  4. Sometimes less is more. Don’t overthink what you want to wear. What do you feel the best in when you go out somewhere? Don’t be afraid to be photographed in it! You should have your own personal style in these photos because they’re of YOU.

  5. Don’t be afraid to go out-of-the-ordinary though. Did you love your prom dress & want another excuse to wear it? GET PHOTOS TAKEN IN IT. No matter the location, if you have a unique outfit in mind, something that’s unexpected can look great in photos & really stand out.

Some Simple Tips:

  1. Wearing a dress or skirt? Wear a pair of shorts underneath. That way if you need to sit down on the ground or move around, it’s easy to do so.

  2. Did you recently get a lot of sunshine? When thinking about your outfits, don’t forget about awkward tan lines that could possibly show in your photos.

  3. Don’t forget to take your hair tie off your wrist! Your photographer will probably remind you, but just in case.

  4. Make sure you can move around in your outfit! Your photographer will probably give you a lot of different poses, some will be sitting, standing, looking over your shoulder, if your outfit is too tight or looks bad when you’re sitting, you might want to think of a different outfit option.

  5. Send your photog photos of your outfits beforehand! We aren’t mind readers & we can give suggestions, but we don’t know what your personal closet looks like. If you’re unsure if something will fit the location or look you’re going for, send them a snapshot of your outfit(s) & they’ll be able to help you with more details easily! You can also check out their Instagram or Pinterest for ideas of past looks they shot to give yourself inspiration.

In the end, don’t be afraid to be you. If I listed something about that I said you should avoid, but you know it’s your personal style & you want to rock it, go for it! These are just suggestions to help you figure out what will look best for you & what I have found looks the best when I photograph. As long as you’re excited for your session, YOU love your outfit, & you have an awesome photographer, you will look amazing.