Preparing for your senior portrait session {Syracuse senior portrait photographer, Kim Hill}

With senior portrait season now in full swing, it’s time to think about what you need to do to prepare for your session. Trust me…doing these things will pay off in the end. 🙂


(a) Get your hair trimmed, but don’t go crazy and try out a totally new hairstyle. Dark roots photograph horribly, so I suggest you get a touch up if necessary. While at the salon, have your brows waxed. Girls – shave your legs and underarms. Guys – shave the morning of unless you want a scruffy look.

(b) Moisturize your skin – hands, arms, legs, face are most important as these will show in the photographs. Routinely using moisturizer will keep your skin looking healthy so if you can start doing this several weeks before your session it would be great!

(c) Limit sun exposure prior to your portrait session avoiding sunburns or tan lines. Tanning beds/booths are NOT recommended either as the camera picks up the “orange” tone and it is not easily remedied with post-session editing.

(d) Begin choosing your outfits and props. A great way to add variety to your session is through your wardrobe. I always recommend laying out your clothing as a complete outfit from head to toe meaning shoes, top, pants, jacket, jewelry, sunglasses, hat and/or hair accessories, as well as props. The reason for this is because we will shoot several different looks – full length, 3/4 and headshots. A few tips for choosing outfits:

– do your choices vary in color and will they look good with the backdrops you selected?
– do your choices vary in season (some short sleeve, some long sleeve)?
– does anything you selected have an interesting texture?
– can you wear this to church or other dressier occasion?
– can you layer this with a jacket or scarf?
– something classic and timeless for the yearbook – consider bringing family heirloom jewelry pieces for a few shots.

It’s okay to bring a garment bag full of outfits with you…most seniors do. Just try not to jam them all in a suitcase because they will end up wrinkled and I’d hate to waste your session time steaming the wrinkles out. Other things you can bring along that might be fun props include a smart phone, books you love, hat, class ring, sports uniform(s), musical instrument(s) and anything else that will show us who you are and what you like to do.


(a) Treat yourself to a manicure and pedicure, or at least do it yourself. Your fingers and toes WILL show and chipped polish is not cool. Also, try to choose a neutral nail color so that it is a classic, timeless look. Guys – you, too, would benefit from having your nails groomed.

(b) Get a good night’s rest. If you are up late, it will show in your images.

(c) Iron or steam your clothing so that it looks the best it possibly can. I do have a steamer here should you need it, but I’m sure you’d rather not waste your session time steaming out wrinkles.


(a) Bring your hair tools and makeup for touch-ups. If you would like a more glamorous experience, consider scheduling our preferred makeup artist and hair stylist. There is an additional fee for each one and scheduling in advance is required.

(b) Plan to arrive 10 minutes before your session so that you have time to unpack your clothing, hair tools, props, shoes, etc.

(c) Eat before you come to the session, or bring a snack and a drink with you. The most popular session package lasts upwards of 2 hours and I want you to feel good the whole time you are here.

(d) Bring a few pairs of shoes, boots, etc. Different colors and heel heights would be awesome!  Same goes for the guys.

(e) Try not to be nervous. We will have fun and you’ll be laughing at me for sure!

(f) Feel free to bring a parent or a friend with you if you’d like the support. The studio is small so please limit this to just one person.

If you have any questions, you are more than welcome to email or give me a call during regular studio hours.  Your senior portrait session only happens once…let’s make it the best it can be.


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About Kim Hill

I’m passionate about my work and helping women feel comfortable in front of my lens. I want women to feel confident and sexy regardless of age or size. All women are beautiful and I'm here to help them see the beauty in themselves and the boudoir photographic experience is one step in that direction. I am dedicated to bringing a high-quality experience to the boudoir portrait session. My goal is to offer a fun yet relaxing environment where a woman can let down her guard, allowing that inner sparkle to shine. I’ve been a photographer for more than 25 years now. I started as a young child with my parents' 110 film camera, moved on to study photography in college, interned with a wedding photographer for a couple of years and then struck out on my own. I've been doing general portraits since 1998 and boudoir work since 2009. In addition to boudoir, I also offer high school senior portraits, fashion inspired sessions, and business executive head shots.
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13 Responses to Preparing for your senior portrait session {Syracuse senior portrait photographer, Kim Hill}

  1. Melissa says:

    Great info Kim!!
    A manicure is a great idea but easily over looked for senior pictures.

  2. Beth says:

    this is such perfect advice! Going to pin it right now!

  3. Melissa VanLeeuwen says:

    Wow Kim, after reading all of that I think I’m ready for some “senior” pictures! Great article, and beautiful images to boot;)

  4. AmandaB says:

    great advice kim! very informative post!

  5. These are great tips! I love Senior photography!

  6. Anne says:

    Awesome tips! Thank you for sharing, Kim!

  7. Bethany says:

    Great tips. Thanks for sharing!

  8. Kelly says:

    Great advice, Kim! I’m sure you’ll have lots of prepared seniors now!!

  9. Stacey says:

    Holy wowza, how gorgeous is this??? Amazing job Kim!

  10. Stacey says:

    Will remember these tips…..

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