How to Prepare for your Senior Session

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How to Prepare for your Senior Session

Before we jump into how to prepare for your senior pictures, let me give you an idea about what to expect from your senior session with Rebecca Pfeifer Photography!

What to Expect

Most high schoolers have never experienced a professional portrait session before their senior pictures. So everybody feels a little nervous and awkward to start. You don’t know where to put your hands. You don’t know know how to stand. That’s normal! Don’t worry – I’ll walk you through it and those jitters won’t last long!

My goal is to capture your style and personality, so the most important thing for you to do is just be yourself.  Bring one or two family members or friends with that you are really comfortable with. Somebody you trust, who will make you feel at ease, somebody who makes you laugh!

Once we’re at our location I’ll look around to find spots with great lighting. I’ll show you where and how to stand, sit, or lean and tell you what to do with your hands. Then I’ll take a few shots, adjusting my composition and angle, and your pose slightly each time. After a minute or two, we’ll find another spot, moving quickly, and changing outfits & poses along the way. I promise not to use any complicated model posing…unless that’s what you’re into : )

port washington senior pictures
So what do you need to do to prepare for your session? Glad you asked, because good preparation is the key to great looking senior portraits. Here is my step-by-step guide for how to prepare for your senior pics!


1 – 3 months before your Senior Session

First, make sure to schedule your senior session early! My popular summer dates can book 2 months in advance. Once you’ve reserved your senior session, start doing some brainstorming. Use google & pinterest for ideas. Browse senior sessions on my blog for more local senior picture inspiration. Visualize how you want your own senior pictures to look like, and talk about how you plan to display your new portraits. If you don’t have a spot on your wall picked for your senior pictures, start thinking about options.

john american club senior pictures


1 – 4 weeks before your Senior Session

  • Choose location(s): Tips for Choosing a Location for your Senior Session
  • And outfits: What to Wear – High School Senior Sessions
  • If you wear glasses, see if you can get a similar pair without lenses in. Glare from glasses is difficult to Photoshop, and transitional lenses make it impossible to see your eyes outdoors, so if you can’t get a pair without lenses, I recommend contacts, or we will have to take a photo with and without glasses on for every single pose we do.
  • If you want a brighter smile, start a teeth whitening regimen early!
  • Ladies – schedule your hair & makeup appointment if you want them professionally done!



The week before your Senior Session

  • Iron clothing & put each outfit on a hanger. Include corresponding accessories and jewelry (in a ziplock bags) on each hanger.
  • Gather & clean props. Musical instruments/cars/bikes should be shiny! If you’re including a pet, give them a bath!
  • Drink lots of water all week long. It’ll help your skin look it’s best.
  • Get lots of sleep all week long, and especially the night before your session.
  • Apply chap stick all week long. Chapped lips are impossible to photoshop – so this goes for you too guys!!
  • Ladies – practice your hair & makeup if you’re doing it yourself! Wait until the night before if painting your nails.
  • Guys – if you’re going to shave, do it the night before your session to give time for any redness to go away.

Fall Leaves Senior Picture


The day of your Senior Session

  • Give yourself plenty of time to get ready. Make sure your hands & nails are clean, eyebrows groomed…all of the little things matter when this photo will be enlarged and hung on your parents wall for decades to come!
  • Eat well before your session. Don’t come hungry! Bring a bottle of water and a snack.
  • Bring a pair of flip flops / comfortable shoes for walking in between locations & if we’re going to the beach!
  • Ladies – bring makeup for touch ups, specifically powder and lipstick.

sunset senior pictures

And the #1 most important thing you can do to prepare for your senior session?! Come with an open mind, a positive attitude, and ready to have fun!

Please feel free to get in contact with me if you have any questions as you’re preparing for your senior pictures. I’m happy to help however I can!