This is our complete guide to senior portraits!

Seniors, this is the first time, or should I say the ONLY time, you will have your senior portrait EXPERIENCE. So we want to make sure you get the most amazing experience possible. This page will prepare you for every aspect of the senior portrait experience. If you have more questions – call us anytime!

Parents, for many of you this is your first time investigating the portrait options for you seniors, for others of you it may have been awhile since your last senior (or your new senior is looking for something different than his/her older sibling). This page is the first step in us helping you navigate through the often overwhelming world of senior photography. Afterall, this is suppose to be FUN not stressful.

This page has all of our best tips and tricks to getting the most out of your (our your son/daughters) senior portrait experience! Scroll down this page to view everything we have to say or skip to just what you need using the links on the right menu (Getting Started, What to Bring, etc) and just click “Senior Guide” to return here.


___________________ Getting Started__________________

First of all, we want you to know that senior portraits are about much more than just the picture (of course that is a large part of it). Seniors, you are at an amazing age… you are jumping into a new life and may be heading to college or leaping into the working world. This is a time that you are exploring your identity and becoming your own person and that is what your senior portraits are about – your identity. We love photographing seniors because we love your spirit, your life and your attitude (yes mom we love that attitude).

So whether or not you choose to have your portrait experience at Sarah Jane Photography we hope you choose a photographer with a passion for their art and seniors to give yourself an experience you will not forget.

Ready to get started at SJP?

To begin your senior portrait experience at SJP contact Sarah (sarahjanephotos@aol.com or (573) 690.7427 to schedule your complementary design consultation. This is a FREE 30 minute consult where you will meet with Sarah to design a portrait session that is perfect for you.

During the consult Sarah will walk you through the entire SJP senior portrait experience from the consult to the final portrait showing/ordering session, letting you know what to expect along the way. You will also have the chance to custom design you senior portrait session, choosing from our own options and locations and adding in some of your own ideas to personalize your experience.

Most importantly for us, this consult gives Sarah a little time to get to know you and your family (everyone is welcome to come to your consult). Like I said, your images are about showcasing your identity and how can we do this unless we get to know you a little.

The consult is the beginning of your relationship with us and we love meeting our new clients. Plus, since our favorite places to have these consults is in your local coffee shops, book your session and your cup of coffee (or other beverage) is on us! Welcome to the SJP family.

_______________________What to Bring______________________

-Now lets get down to the important question!

1) What do I wear?? – First I am going to state the obvious: wear your favorites! You look best when you feel best so pick the clothes that make you feel amazing. That being said I have some key tips to picking the best wardrobe for you senior portraits:

  • Our #1 Rule = Variety! Bring more outfits than your session calls for so we can pick and choose what is best for each location. Bring light and dark, vivid and neutral colors.
  • Bring mostly solid colors. Patterns can be distracting and can clash with your surroundings.
  • Bring a variety of styles. Most seniors have a pretty casual style so bring mostly that, but remember to bring something dressy (for grandma). Bring a prom dress (tux for you guys) or other formal if you have one – these often end up being some of the favorite images!
  • Long sleeves are most flattering.
  • Represent all the seasons. Even though your session may be in the summer/winter bring a variety so the images are timeless.
  • Jackets and layered outfits will give you the most variety of images. We can change a jacket or add/subtract a layer to totally change you look in one location without a full outfit change.
  • Accessories! Bring everything: shoes, purses, jewelry, SUNGLASSES, belts, and more.

Here is my “BEST” checklist (some of the best items to bring to get the best images possible)

  • Jeans
  • Skirt (ladies of course)
  • Prom Dress (ladies again)
  • Something with a HOOD (Hoodie/coat)
  • Sunglasses
  • Winter coat + scarf (Letterman Jacket)

2) What else do I need to bring?

Here are some things that we recomend you bring with you. (Note that some of these items can only be included if your session includes a PROP).

  • Sports gear (prop): Bring your letterman jackets, uniforms, equipment, trophies, metals, etc. You put your time, money and effort into your sport so why not show it off in your images.
  • Hobbies (prop): Make your images uniquely you by showing of your favorite hobbies. Hunting, photography, scrapbooking, archery, and even stamp collecting… these hobbies are part of who you are – show them off!
  • Instrument (prop): You put time and effort into your disipline so why not capture that in your portraits.
  • Your Car (prop): Your first car is a big part of your identity now. I promise you, you will never forget this car so show it off in your session! This includes race cars, motorcross bikes, etc.
  • Friends:  Your friends and family are welcome to come with you on your session. We recomend limiting the number of guests down to about 1 or 2 (mom & best friend/boyfriend/girlfriend is always a good combination).  PLUS: We have options to get your friends and family involved in your session! Book our top session and your friends, boyfriend or sibling can join in your session for no additional charge! Get images of you and your best friend, brother, sister or significant other before moving away. OR you and your friends can book your Art Sessions back to back to save $10 each and get the best deal as you get to use double the locations with a combined shoot.
  • Pets (prop): Your pets are your family too and they are a welcome addition to your session. Add $15 to the Basic or Art session to add your pet or include him/her for FREE in our Rock Star Session.                                        —-TIPS FOR BRINGING YOUR PET: Please bring a leash for your dogs and a travel crate/carrier for all other pets. This is a new and exciting environment for them and they often do better in their familiar crate. Also, if you are including your pet in your session make sure to have a friend or family member there to be in charge of him/her. The pet will not be in every image and we do not want you to be distracted trying to watch him/her. If you pet is a little more energetic and curious you may want to have a friend or family member bring him/her for just a portion of the session and then take them home. My dog likes to “help” me with everything and again we do not want their excitement to take away from your session.
  • Glasses: Glasses can cause glare in your images. If you wear glasses on a daily basis, wear them to your session but you may think about borrowing some empty frames from your eye doctor to prevent the glare. We will do our best to pose you in a way to eliminate most of the glare, but note that there is a $10 charge per image that you would like the glare removed. If you wear contacts and glasses consider wearing your contacts for most of the session.

_______________________MAKE UP TIPS (LADIES)______________________

Okay, ladies here is the truth about make up for you sessions! It is nothing like your regular makeup but it will photograph like it – I promise! So here are my tips, they help you look your best and help me save time retouching!!!

  • NO BRONZER!! I know I know. I don’t leave my house without bronzer so why am I asking you to do your session without it? Bronzer gives you a beautiful sun kissed glow in person BUT it gives you nothing but a shinny, sweaty look in your images so leave it off for just one day (or just a few hours)!
  • NO GLITTER!!! For the same reason as no bronzer, glitter eye shadow will reflect light as little specs and though that is what provides you a sexy shimmer in person, your images are just one millisecond in time and they just look like little shinny dots – not a good look!
  • EYE LINER: Okay, so now that I have told you what not to wear, here is one item you should wear, and wear a lot! Eye liner will do nothing but good for your eyes in an image. Take the image below for example. Her eyes stand out because of the liner. I don’t suggest you pile on the eye liner if you never wear any, but I suggest everyone increase their normal look by about 25%. Just put a little extra on and I promise you will love the results!
  • POWDER: This is the opposite of bronzer. I suggest you even bring this little miracle along with you for your session, this and lipstick should be all you touch up during the session. Powder will smooth out your complexion and help absorb light to give a beautiful soft glow.
  • FOUNDATION: Even if you do not normally wear makeup I suggest a good foundation to even out your tones and some lip gloss to enhance your natural lip color.
  • LIP COLOR: I suggest sticking mainly to gloss, an reapply throughout your session!

——————————-Choosing Your Session——————————

At SJP we have three senior session choices and have found that these seem to meet the needs of most of our clients. If you are having trouble deciding on the session for you this section might help.

ROCK STAR SESSION -Our favorite session (because it is always the most fun) is our Rock Star Session. This is for the client that whats the most out of the senior experience. (Those of you who lick the brownie batter in the bowl to get the most out of the brownie experience would be right at home with this session-I include myself with you).  🙂 This session is five hours of fun. We get to be more relaxed and experiment with new and unique looks. This is where I play! You get new locations, new poses, new new new. All this new unique and edgy stuff is on top of the great classic looks that the other sessions include – you get that and MORE!!!

Plus: Complete your session by adding a friend, sibling, prop AND pet – you get it ALL! This is our no limit session. If we can do it in 5 hours it is yours!

Everyone deserves to feel like a star sometime. Step up and take your 5 hours of fame with our favorite session.

ART SESSION:  This is our most popular session! This 2 hour session gives us a little time to delve into who you are. Get a variety of looks and images with 2 hours of continuous shooting at 2 locations. Choose locations like your home and school to personalize the session even more.

If you are leaning toward this session we highly suggest “double booking.” If you double book, by booking your session back to back with a friend, you both save $10 off your session price. Plus, you both get the combined session for a total of 4 hours (shared with your friend) at 4 locations (shared with your friend). This is the best value we offer and it is always a blast to have your friends share in your experience.

Our double booking program is flexible – you can share the whole session (get 4 hours of time and 4 locations split) or you can have an hour all your own and 2 with your friend. Either way this is a great deal!

JUST THE BASICS: This session is for the clients who are just getting senior portraits “because they have to.” Moms, this is for those students who are not into the idea of getting their portraits done, but you know you want some great images of your senior. This session is one hour long at a single location and covers the basics getting a few classic images for you to send in graduation announcements and show off to friends and family. Locations for this session are limited.

*No session discounts apply to the Just the Basics session.

Book your complementary design consultation with Sarah to customize your session. Call, email or text us today!!

Find us on Facebook!!! Seniors, you are on facebook so we are too! Each Art and Rock Star session includes a couple “sneak peak” images that we will post on facebook (they are our favorites from the session so we want you to show them off!). So become our friend and fan! (Click “friend” and “fan” to go directly to our profile/page).

2 thoughts on “Senior Guide

  1. I have a child that is a boy and is a senior at Jefferson City High School. Due to a recent divorce, we are just now addressing the need for senior pictures. I was wanting to get information regarding the prices of your packages?? Please let me know ASAP so that we can get this scheduled…

    Susan Bacon

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