Senior Portraits – Tips, Tricks & What to Wear!

LaDuke Photography Locations SM

Hello Class of 2018 Seniors, thanks for checking out LaDuke Photography! As a portrait photographer with over a decade of experience I know a thing or two about how to create great photos that really express who you are.

I have done many senior portrait sessions and every shoot is different. In order to make things go as smoothly as possible I’ve compiled some tips and tricks you can use to prepare for your session. We’ve only got a couple hours to to make amazing photographs so coming prepared is going to keep things flowing smoothly.


When you book your session let me know what you’re into.  Are you involved with any sports or clubs at school? Do you have a cat, dog, horse or turtle that your photos will be incomplete without? What do you enjoy doing outside of school? These are all things that we can use to make your photos unique to you. It’s unlikely that you’ll ever have another opportunity like this to do a photo session that so boldly encompasses exactly who you are. Do you love hunting and fishing? Are you captain of the volleyball team? Have you been doing something crazy like pyrotechnics your whole life? These things are an important part of who you are, why not include them?

What to wear:

  • Avoid strong patterns (plaid, paisley, overly floral blouses, etc). They can be distracting. If you want to wear patterns layer them under a jacket or blouse.
  • Avoid BRIGHT colors. Neon hues will reflect off of your face making you unnaturally colored.
  • Darker colors such as black, navy and dark green will slim you. Shirts with 3/4 or long sleeves are also slimming if you are self conscious about your arms.
  • Light colors such as white/beige or light grey can dominate the photo and make you look ghostly if you are already pale or they will make you appear orange if you have tan skin. – Pair them with a darker color for best effect.
  • Bring at least 3 different shirts, jackets or dresses. If you can dress in layers it will add variety. Don’t forget letter jackets and sports uniforms.
  • Accessorize! Sunglasses, bracelets, scarves and hats all personalize your ‘look’. Pay attention to how your shoes go with your outfits – they will be in some photos.


Less is more. Wear it light and natural for your session. Go easy on the eye make up especially. Also no glitter! It will reflect light and leave you with shiny little pock marks. Some eye make-up has a certain ‘shimmer’ which is okay, but body glitter and lip gloss tends to reflect light unevenly. Consider bringing a matte or transparent face powder to cut down on shiny skin.


Don’t stress over posing, you might practice your smile in the mirror that morning, but otherwise I’ll help you pose once the session begins. The general rule is, “If it feels awkward, you’ll look awkward.” Always look for a comfortable natural feeling pose as close to what the photographer suggests as you can.
As far as locations go, if you have a place that is special to you like the high school track, your favorite park or your family’s own backyard speak up! I’ve got a ton of great suggestions from the rustic charm of the old buildings in Harrisburg to the top of Spencer Butte, I’m always up for an adventure!

The day before your session & morning of:

  • Drink plenty of water. Being hydrated makes your skin vibrant and fresh and will ward off dehydration headaches.
  • Get a good nights rest the night before to avoid tired eyes.
  • If you aren’t feeling well please reschedule – You need to feel your best to look your best!
  • Eat a small meal and bring a light snack prior, it will help stave off hunger but not leave you feeling bloated.

Collage 2018 SMI realize this is a lot of information to digest, just take a deep breath and know that I am here the whole time to help you out. Let’s go out and have some fun while taking memorable senior portraits that you will be proud to show off!

Contact me today to book your session!

Lacey LaDuke Photography

Call me: (509)954-3885

Email Me:


Instagram: LaDukePhoto