What to wear during your Senior Pictures

Thank you all for waiting patiently for this specific blog post. I promise you next to “what do I do with my hands” this is the number one question I get for photos, “what should I wear?” Here is a disclaimer: it’s totally up to you! Sorry, I know this is not helpful, but it’s true. These are your photos. I have tips on what you should and shouldn’t wear, but at the end of the day, it’s what you feel bets in and what you want to wear for your pictures. I think that I can help maybe narrow down the choice for you and I can definitely help you figure out what will look best for you when you’re in front of the camera. Let’s be real everything that I’m telling you can be changed slightly to fixed your wants/needs during a photo shoot. My biggest tip is to make sure you like what you’re wearing and you don’t think “oh well, this is probably going to be okay because I heard this is what looks good during senior photos.” Or don’t let your parents/friends/family sway what you’re going to wear. This is about you 100%. I’m going to give you all these tips, but don’t feel like you need to stick to exactly what I say. I’m starting with the don’ts before the do’s because I’d rather end on a super happy note than a bad one.

Also, keep in mind that these tips don’t always relate to each season. I have created Pinterest boards hopefully continuing the inspiration for you. Click the season to find the link to each of those boards. Those boards are Summer, Fall, Winter, and Spring.

The Don’ts.

  • Don’t wear stripes.

Okay, look I love stripes too. But the way that closes together horizontal stripes make people look on camera, it’s safe to stay away from them. If you are like but I need stripes my suggestion is to wear think horizontal stripes or thick vertical stripes. It’s just better than having camera distortion.

  • Don’t worry about dressing for the season.

I don’t mean that you shouldn’t wear fall colors or spring colors. I mean don’t worry about having to wear only summer length clothes or only fall/winter length clothes. Feel free to bring those jeans on a hot day (wear them last) or wear that dress during your winter session! Weather in Portland/Oregon is totally dramatic. I’ll bring you a blanket for that dress during the winter and water for those hot summer days and your jean outfit. I got you! It’s something you just gotta do sometimes.

  • Don’t wear the same color as the background.

This might be self-explanatory, but try your best not to wear a green dress in a field of green grass or nudes in a wheat field. It tends to wash you out and doesn’t make you pop as much as you want too during your senior pictures.

  • Don’t wear too many patterns.

This goes back to making sure you pop. Okay, so it’s all about you not wearing like a bunch of patterns at once. The camera will tend to focus on those patterns as well as the human eye. We want to look at you/your face not be distracted by your patterns. If you want patterns super bad then try wearing one patterned thing in each outfit instead of all of them at once (I promise I trust your fashion sense more than that).

  • Don’t feel too overdressed.

YES! You heard me right. Unless you invite someone else, this is just you and me hanging out. I don’t care if you show up in heels and dress or all glammed out. In fact, I love that! Honestly, you won’t look too dressed up to me ever! I love it all. My only advice for this is if you’re looking to wear heels then bring another pair of shoes to walk around fields and stuff together!

The Do’s

  • Do wear Complimentary Colors

Remember how I said wearing the same color as your background is not the best thing for your senior pictures? Well, that means you should wear complimentary colors to your senior session. Here is the color wheel which will help you kind of figure out what your outfit should be based on the background. This is not like you must do this, you just should be aware that if you’re looking to pop away from the background complimentary colors are your best opportunity at that. Click this link to see about complimentary colors.

  • Do dress to represent you

Are you super sporty?  BRING THAT TO YOUR SESSION! I can’t even begin to talk about how much I wore exactly what I wore that senior year. It totally represented me 100%. So happy to look back and be like yes, that was me. I love how I look.

  • Do bring the accessories, Please

I love accessories. I think that they can really turn an outfit from blah to WOW! This totally means that just even wearing a watch can make your outfit that much more put together than you’d think. Bring accessories and if you’re like nahhh not my thing then that’s fine, but it can really change up your headshots or closeups. A hat or pair of shoes are also accessories that can completely change your outfit.

  • Do wear layers, they’ll save you

Layers are your new BFF. Almost every single professional photographer I know has outfit limits during their senior photos. This is totally helpful and makes it so much better, I totally agree to this. But, if you’re indecisive and try to get the most bang for your buck then bring some sweaters and cardigans and other layers that make a quick quick quick change and won’t put a stop on your outfit cap. It’s allllll about variety boiiiii!

  • Do bring extra outfits if you’ve never been to the location

You’re probably like, wtf I don’t want to do more work than I already have to. UGH! Yes, it’s fine it’s not much more work. If you’ve never been to a location then I strongly suggest bringing at least one extra outfit. Sometimes the pictures online don’t match real life so you could have picked all these outfits and feel a different vibe from the location. I just want to make sure you’re totally prepared.

  • Do wear what you want

I don’t think that I need to say any more about this. I will say this though, these are your senior photos and you shouldn’t let what anyone says (even me) change your mind about what you wear.


I think that this one could have easily gone with the point before this one, but it needs it’s own bold lettering to really make sure you get it. If you’re kind of a stressor like me then I suggest that you get everything together days in advance. Don’t worry about getting all your questions answered ahead of time.

Are you ready for the cheesiest thing that I have ever said? You’re best dressed when you have a smile on. Yeah okay, it’s true though. Show up excited, pumped, and everything goodness flowing through you because at the end of the day you should feel comfortable. I want to make sure that during your senior session you have all the tools to make the day super amazing and a fabulous experience. 

Want more info on my senior sessions or just on senior pictures in general? Don't be afraid to reach out and contact me here. I look forward to chatting!