Senior Tips

Picture Day Hacks: How to Look Great in Your Senior Photo

Diverse group of high school seniors

Your senior year of high school comes with many milestones — prom, graduation, and of course, senior portraits.

Getting your senior picture taken is a rite of passage that captures the memories of your high school experience. It’s a photo that will be shared near and far and cherished by loved ones for years to come. It will be given to family and friends as a keepsake and will also be in your yearbook

But no pressure! We’ve put together top-notch tips to ensure you look great and feel confident for this memorable time in your life.

Pay attention to self-care

Salad in a bowl

In the days leading up to your big day, get good sleep, eat a balanced diet, and drink plenty of water. Taking care of yourself will keep your skin and eyes looking bright and healthy.

Keep your clothing simple

Young man in blue shirt

When it comes to your outfit, choose something you already own and love. Not only will this bring out your personality, but you’ll also be comfortable. Avoid tops with busy prints, logos, or words on them. Instead, stick with solid colors. You want your smile to grab all the attention.

Wear a hairstyle you’re familiar with

Young woman with stack of books

It may be fun to try new hairstyles but doing so before your close-up isn’t the best idea. Stick with a style you regularly wear that represents you in your senior year. Cleaning up a bit? Get your hair trimmed or cut no less than a week in advance to give it time to adjust.

Apply natural-looking makeup

Girl putting on mascara

Your senior photo should be a good reflection of what makes you, you. So, when it comes to makeup, apply it like you usually do day-to-day. While it’s understandable to want to look glamorous, this isn’t the time to try a cherry red lip or a smoky eye. Go for a fresh, clean look and you’ll love your senior photo year-round and beyond.

If you’re concerned about blemishes, don’t worry! Your photographer can take care of that during the editing process.

Go light on the jewelry

Girl holding necklace

Jewelry can add an elegant touch to your look, but remember that less is more when it comes to accessorizing. Avoid wearing chunky and dangly jewelry since the focus should be on your smile. Also, keep in mind that jewelry can quickly date a photograph, so when in doubt, go with the classics.

Shave or trim facial hair

Young man shaving face

Facial hair can be a huge part of your identity. Of course, you want to be well-groomed for your senior portrait. If you have a beard or moustache, make sure it’s neatly trimmed. If you rock the clean-shaven look, give yourself a fresh shave the morning of your session.

Make sure your glasses avoid glare

Young woman in sweater wearing glasses

To wear your glasses, or not to wear your glasses? When it comes to your senior portrait, this is a big deal. If your glasses are a part of your personality or you wear them daily, they should be part of your senior photo. To avoid the dreaded glare, it’s best to remove the lenses and only wear the frames.

With these tried-and-true tips, preparing for your senior photo session will be a breeze. If you have questions, feel free to ask your photographer – it’s their goal to make you feel relaxed and comfortable. Have fun, and congratulations on your upcoming graduation!

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Nicole DiGiose

Nicole DiGiose is a lifestyle writer who serves as the Director of Marketing & Communications for Irvin Simon Photographers. By combining her love of journalism and photography, she helps spread the word about creating amazing Picture Day experiences. Previously, she's written for 1-800-Flowers, Harry & David, Chilled Magazine, and local newspapers in her hometown.