Guide to School Pictures

Gone are the days of cookie-cutter grad photos - today’s teens prefer to make their senior photos their own!   

school pictures

Gone are the days of cookie-cutter grad photos – today’s teens prefer to make their senior photos their own!   

We went straight to the source for the scoop on how to get the best senior pic possible. 

  • Choosing a photographer 

Gretchen Birdwell of Gretchen B. Photography says the first step is knowing your own personal style. “Do you like well-lit and high fashion? Casual outdoor? Grungy inner city? Most photographers are flexible, however the photographer who is most comfortable shooting fashion may not be the one you want to have with you in a warehouse! Make sure your photographer (even if she’s the one everyone you know is using!) does the kind of work you love. Look at images on Instagram and Facebook and then explore the websites of the photographers whose work grabs your attention.”  

  • Location, location, location! 

Lauren Prevatte of Milly Photography says that location should be always a personal choice. “Where do you picture yourself? This session is all about you! Where is your happy place? City life? A Family member’s barn? Maybe you like a little of both, and that’s completely ok!”   

  • Weather Worries 

About 75% of Lauren’s seniors schedule their shoots for the summer, so preparation is key. Lauren recommends bringing a cooler with ice and 6-10 bottles of water. “Throw a few hand towels in the freezer and put them in the cooler before you leave. Walking around with cold towels around your neck in between photos is a great way to cool off and keep the sweat away.” And don’t forget dry towels for blotting! For the cold Lauren recommends warm towels/blankets for between shoots and plenty of water. When it comes to rain, Lauren says most opt to reschedule but “some will bring their umbrellas and learn to dance in the rain!” 

  • #NoFilter? No Way! 

“All of your finished portraits will be retouched, so don’t worry if your complexion breaks out right before your session,” Gretchen says. Lauren agrees, saying, “Even I have those embarrassing little (or big!) zits that pop up the day of your shoot, or pesky cold sores from stressing about school or work. I’ve got you!”  

Lauren says she also often hears concerns from teens who worry that they aren’t photogenic or joke that they will need major help from Photoshop, but she is quick to reassure. “My job is not to make you look like something that you aren’t. Photoshop is not what makes you perfect, nor what makes me a good photographer. Your happy and open self is your best self. Your confidence is my success!” 

  • What to Wear 

When deciding what to wear for your shoot, Vonda from ElizabethGrace Fashions gave us this advice: 

  • Look for solid, neutral colors that compliment your coloring.  
  • Smaller, simple prints can be good as long as they don’t overpower you.  
  • Pick simple styles that compliment your figure and express your personality.  
  • You want people to see the cute girl in the cute outfit…NOT the cute outfit on the cute girl! 


As an editor, copywriter, and social media manager at exploreMedia, I work to develop content that is relevant and interesting to our readers and coordinate with contributing writers.

Leave a Response

Top Reviews

Video Widget