What to wear for your senior session? Find out my top 5 styling tips ~ Senior Photos Des Moines by Michelle Lovell Photography, serving Des Moines and Central Iowa

Deciding what to wear for your senior session is a big deal, and it’s the most common question I receive from clients.

I believe outfits can play an important part in the overall look of your senior images. When you choose outfits you love and feel good in, you will love the images even more. It allows you to be in the moment instead of worrying about how uncomfortable the outfits are, or how you might portray yourself in them.

No. 1 ~ Outfit Diversity

With my Luxe session option, I don’t limit outfit changes! That’s right! You can bring variety into your senior session with several fun looks. At minimum, I recommend at least 3 outfits changes: casual, formal and hobby or personality related.

There are tons of great resources out there for outfit inspiration, and I tell my clients, it’s never too early to begin a style board as part of your session prep! Scroll through Instagram or your friends’ senior sessions to see what they are wearing. Pinterest is also an amazing resource to look up senior wardrobe ideas, and pin your favorites all to one place. My personal Pinterest board is full of my favorite senior styles and is a great resource too!

Bonus! As part of your senior experience, I offer an on-line, interactive styling guide that will help you select outfits and do the shopping for you! You’ll get access to this resource during session planning, and I am always happy to give feedback on outfits!

No. 2 ~ Accessories, Patterns & Textures… Oh my!

Accessories can add personality to each outfit you select. From sunglasses, hats, and scarves, to bracelets and earrings, think of fun ways to add some interest to your images! Do you love flowers? Bring a bouquet of your favorite! Don’t be afraid of patterns such as florals and stripes, or plaids and polka dots. Adding in textures such as velvet, lace, crochet or corduroy can also make your images pop!

Something as simple as my daughter’s nod to the “Summer of Taylor Swift”, as my family endearingly dubbed Summer 2023, with a pair of red, heart shaped sunglasses, can add personality, visual interest and appeal to your senior images.

No. 3 ~ Professional Hair & Makeup

I promise that YES! You want professional makeup for your senior session! The biggest concern clients have about getting their makeup done is that it will be too much. Keep in mind that makeup shows up 2-3 times lighter in camera. The makeup artists I refer have been applying makeup for photo shoots for years. They know how it translates in camera. Most of the girls you see in images on my website are wearing professional makeup and none of their makeup looks like it’s too much.

My favorite part about makeup is the attention it gives your eyes! Most makeup artists will also include false lashes to give your eyes that little oomph. I would absolutely saw yes to the lashes, even if they are something you haven’t tried before.

It’s a fun experience to feel pampered for your senior session, and the confidence boost you’ll get from having professional makeup and hair styling translates well in camera too! I work with only the best makeup artists, who will do an amazing job! I will even make the arrangements for you!

No. 4 ~ Undergarments are important!

I bring a pop-up changing tent to all my senior sessions, and I promise you will have privacy for outfit changes, so please don’t forget the proper undergarments to match each outfit. Trying to tuck bra straps into a strapless dress just isn’t going to look good during your shoot, and I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had clients try to do this. If you have a strapless dress, bring a strapless or stick-on bra.

Shapewear like Spanx can also be your best friend! If your dress is form fitting or you are wearing a thinner material clothing item, it is worth the investment and will be a permanent staple to your wardrobe. Shapewear creates a smooth base for your clothing, so everything just seems to fit better.

Lastly, I recommend nude colored undergarments. We definitely don’t want to see that patterned pair of underwear or bra through your white dress!

No. 5 ~Outfits to move in!

While I will be sure to capture some posed images of you smiling at the camera, we’ll take loads of candid shots during your senior session too! I want to capture you looking natural. One of the best ways to capture those happy, relaxed images is with movement based posing prompts. I may be asking you to bend, sit, squat, walk or turn, so make sure to pick outfits that allow you the freedom to move. Your senior session is meant to be fun!

Any other questions about styling, feel free to contact me directly. I can’t wait to work with you!

Looking for a family session?

While I enjoy working with high school seniors, I offer a wide range of photography services, including: family, maternity, newborn and children's milestones. My private studio is located among the artists at MainFrame Studios in Des Moines, Iowa.


Find out more about all my services at www.michellelovellphotography.com .

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Serving Central Iowa areas including: Des Moines, West Des Moines, Waukee, Ankeny, Johnston, Clive, Urbandale and Altoona

The senior portrait experience in Des Moines!