What to Wear for Senior Pictures in 2024

If you (or your teen) have been wondering what to wear for senior pictures, look no further! Senior photos are something you’ll look back on for the rest of your life and capture such a pivotal milestone. It can feel pretty overwhelming. But, you’re in good hands! 

Before we get into things, let me introduce myself. I’m Stacy, your high school senior portrait photographer in Fargo, North Dakota, and Moorhead, Minnesota! My job: capturing your natural beauty and personality. 

Now, to the task at hand: prepping outfits for your (or your teen’s) senior photos! This blog will walk you through the key things to consider when deciding what to wear. This will include what typically photographs well, fabrics to avoid, what colors work best, and more.

Haven’t booked your senior photos, but need to do so immediately if not sooner? You know I’ve got you! Book your senior session with me now while it’s on your mind. 

Alright, now let’s get into it!

female high school senior wearing hat, jean jacket, white top, and brown skirt in north dakota

What Photographs Well for Senior Photos

Okay, we’re going to start with what (generally) looks good in senior pictures—and any photos, really! 

Fabrics

Smooth and natural fabrics are ideal to photograph. But, that being said, textured fabric that isn’t too loud shouldn’t get in the way. Our goal is to make sure they won’t play with the light or change when you pose differently.  

Patterns

Keep it simple with solid colors, and try to avoid busy and loud patterns.

Colors

Solid, neutral, and dark colors are the way to go. Pick colors that you usually gravitate towards that work well with your skin tone, eye color, and features.

Fit

In my experience, modest, asymmetrical, and round necklines are the most flattering. They naturally bring attention back up to the eyes, which is what we want! 

Unless collared shirts are part of the look you’re going for, I’d avoid them.

The overall fit of all of your outfits should show off your natural shape—you don’t want to be uncomfortable in something too tight or be drowning in something too oversized.

Accessories

Wear minimal jewelry and accessories—think of wearing the items you rock daily! Feel free to bring your accessories collection to our shoot, and I’ll help you pick out the best pairings.

Makeup and Hair

Keep it simple! Are you sensing a theme? 

You may feel the need to try out something trendy or brand new to you, but I’d steer clear of that! We want to make sure we’re highlighting your best, most natural self. Sticking with your regular hair and makeup looks is always a better choice, so you feel most like yourself.

To make it even better, we work with professional hair and makeup stylists to help you look and feel your absolute best. You’ll have full access to them before your photoshoot to take advantage of their expertise. Consulting our stylists on what to do for lasting makeup and hair is the best way to go. 

Overall Style

What we want to achieve: you feeling and looking like you! When you’re putting your outfits together, use that to check yourself. It’ll help you know what to bring to your senior photoshoot and what to leave at home.

football player high school senior wearing football jersey and holding football in north dakota

Key Dos:

  • Keep it simple with solid, neutral, and dark colors
  • Wear items that fit and flatter your shape
  • Natural makeup to complement your features
  • Hair should frame your face
  • Organize your outfit color palette to match the environment you’re in and the vibes you’re going for
  • Bring options to change things up
  • Be YOU!

If you’re ticking off most of the things on this list, we should be good to go!

What Not to Wear for Your Senior Pictures

Now, for what we should try to avoid for your high school senior photos. Because these things tend to take away from showing your true self, I recommend cutting them from your planned looks and outfits. But, if you feel like any of these are part of your signature style, I’d chat with you and make it work!

Fabrics

Avoid shiny, metallic, and loud fabrics that will take away from showcasing you. These fabrics can also pick up the light and photograph in different ways than how they don’t appear in real life. 

Patterns

Stripes typically don’t photograph well, so I’d avoid them! Any flashy patterns that will compete against showing off your natural beauty are also a no.

Colors

Leave your bright and bold colors at home. We don’t want anything messing with lighting or taking away from showing you off! Plus, bright colors can sometimes reflect on your skin and change the tone—we don’t want that. 

Fit

Nothing too tight or too big—always go with true to size. That way we can make sure we’re showing off your natural shape.

Accessories

No need to go overboard and wear your entire collection. 

Makeup and Hair

Your makeup shouldn’t be too dark or heavy, so we can see your beautiful face in all its natural glory. This is not the time to try out a complex and risk-taking makeup or hairstyle. Save that for another time!

Overall Style

Your senior photo day is not the day to try out a whole new look. I know it’s SO fun to experiment, and I highly encourage you do (sorry Mom and Dad)! But I want to capture your beautiful, natural self in this moment and the best way to do that is to stay true to your regular style.

Key Don’ts:

  • Don’t EXCLUSIVELY wear logos, bright colors, loud graphic T-shirts, or flashy patterns. Have some fun, mix it up, and don’t take away from showcasing your personality
  • Don’t be too casual with sweats or leggings—think Sunday best. BUT if you’re all about athleisure, you have to do you! Just make sure everything fits you well.
  • Don’t wear a slicked-back ponytail unless it’s your signature look
  • Don’t show up without a plan or multiple options to try
  • Don’t try a completely new outfit, hair, or makeup style

Cut these things out of the frame, and I can guarantee that nothing will dull your shine!

Female high school senior during photoshoot wearing white flowy top amongst wildflowers

Showing You in Your Natural Element

This right here is my ultimate goal with anyone during any photoshoot. 

High school senior male wearing bue shirt and jeans on greenery backdrop in North Dakota

Make Your Senior Photo Dreams Come True

Now that you know what to wear for senior pictures, let’s get you in front of the lens! Remember: you can follow or unsubscribe to any of these rules, but you ultimately want to feel like you’re your best self. That’s the number one goal, always!

Curious about my previous work? You can check out my portfolio for girls, for guys,  and my Instagram (give me a follow, since you’re already there!). 

I hope you feel more confident about getting the most out of your high school senior photos! And if you’re still looking for a photographer, you know who to connect with.

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female high school senior student posing for senior portraits in library amongst books

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