I’ve been pretty lucky in my experience as a senior photographer with teens and moms who are well-prepared and on top of it when it comes to being organized and educated for their session. Even so, there are a few things that even the most well-meaning clients do that they don’t even realize are mistakes. Something as small as forgetting to get your nails filled to big issues like laying out at the lake all day and showing up looking like a lobster. Yikes!
It those details that you might not even think are an issue, until, well, they are. Here are 6 mistakes that can ruin an otherwise perfect senior photo session.
1. Chipped nail polish
One of those small things that many girls don’t pay attention to- you’re overdue for a visit to the nail salon and that gorgeous nail color is now on it’s last leg and peeling in the corners. Or maybe you have acrylics and notice there’s enough room above your cuticle to house a small village. Both will show in your photos. Your hands play a big part in posing and similar to having spinach in your teeth, they eye will focus on chipped polish immediately. It can ruin an otherwise great image. So make sure you either make that nail appointment the week before or apply a fresh coat of polish the day before your session.
2. Waxing right before your senior photos
This is one many girls don’t know. You may have become used to the slight swelling and redness that comes with having your brows and/or lip waxed, but when it comes to applying makeup, that freshly exposed skin will cause foundation to slid right off, leaving you with blotchy coverage. That redness will also be harder to cover and show up more prominently on camera. If you do wax, make your appointment at least two weeks before your session to give the skin time to heal. If you need to, use tweezers to pluck any bothersome hairs a few days before the shoot.
3. Making a big change
Almost every woman remembers a time in her life where she thought bangs were a great idea. For the few lucky ones, they looked amazing. For most of us, however, they are annoying or just don’t look right with our face shape. I am all for trying out new hair lengths and styles, but right before your senior photos is not one of those times. Same goes for drastic color changes. At best, you may like it temporarily, but end up back to the look that’s more you. At worst, you absolutely hate it and now it’s immortalized in photos that are supposed to represent you best. Stick to trims, soft layers, subtle highlights, and touch-ups of existing color.
4. Not utilizing planning tools
I pride myself on helping seniors plan out their session and giving them the resources to create the photos they are dreaming of (you can see all about them HERE). But none of that can happen if you don’t use them. Creating a vision board helps me to see inside your head and customize your session to you. You might tell the makeup artist what look you want, but her definition of a smoky eye might be very different than yours. You also want to make sure you take the advice for prepping your skin and tips on choosing what to wear. They were provided so that your session goes smoothly and not using them will only create unnecessary stress.
5. Not speaking up
Your session is about YOU, so when you don’t speak up about something you don’t like, you aren’t going to get what you want. I won’t get my feelings hurt if I suggest a location or an addition to your outfit and you don’t like it. I don’t want to photograph what doesn’t speak to you. If there’s something about your makeup that doesn’t look quite right, tell the makeup artist- she’s there for you, not her own ego. If you simply go along with anything, your photos won’t reflect your personality and you won’t look 100% happy in them either. I never want you to come view your images and say “they’re just not me”.
6. Not bringing proper undergarments
You brought the most gorgeous dress and know exactly how you want to be photographed in it. You put it on at the location and realize you forgot to bring a strapless bra. Now you either have to go braless and be constantly pulling up the bodice, or wear your regular bra and have bumps in the back. Laying all of your outfits out and going through the accessories for each one will help you to remember what you need to pack and ensure you have what you need for each look. The last thing you want to be doing is fidgeting and fixing things when you are supposed to be comfortable and feeling amazing.
Did any of these surprise you or maybe bring up something you hadn’t thought about? It’s so easy to gloss over details like these in the midst of excitement and nerves. I never want any senior to have to compromise on getting exactly the session they want because of something small.
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