Senior Photoshoot Basics: The Before, During & After

by | Jul 27, 2021 | Senior Photography | 3 comments

Senior Photoshoot Basics: The Before, During & After

Rochester Michigan High School Senior Portraits

Your senior year deserves to be celebrated and commemorated, and there are so many fun ways to do this – a photo session is one of the best!

If you’ve never scheduled a professional photo session before or simply want to know what to expect from a senior session, this guide covers the basics

This is what you need to know…

The Before

  • Yearbook deadlines. If your school is creating a yearbook, find out when they need your digital photo file. This will help you plan ahead.  Currently I’m not allowed to submit yearbook photos for Stoney Creek or Adams, as they are requiring you to go to Prestige.  Rochester High School does not have that requirement.
  • The location. The location of your senior session should fit in with your personality and the story you want to tell. Picture yourself doing what you love – where would that usually be? There are always lots of great location ideas to choose from.  We’ll talk this over and customize a session just for you.
  • Sooner rather than later. You may need to schedule it a few months early to avoid missing out.
  • The outfit. You can decide on an outfit once you’ve chosen your location, or you can do both at the same time. Your outfit should also represent who you are and fit in with the location you’ve chosen. Just make sure your outfit isn’t too distracting or it will end up being the focus of your photos.
  • Hair and makeup arrangements. Don’t leave your hair and makeup arrangements for too late either. Decide on your final look and whether or not you want to do your own hair and makeup.  Having your hair done helps it hold up during your session so consider this treat!  The way most people do their own make-up is usually just fine.  If you’re looking for a great local hair salon, try Ruby & Clover Salon in Rochester.  Love that place and Amanda does a great job.  I bet they are all great!

The During

  • Set aside 2 hours. The average senior photo session takes 1 to 2 hours, so take a few hours out of your day. This should include time to get ready.
  • Meeting up. On the day of your session, you will meet me at your location at a specific time. There’s no need to be nervous. I’m there to make sure you have a good time and get the photos you’ve envisioned.
  • Prepare to change outfits. Some seniors prefer to bring along an extra outfit to change into during their shoot. This is because one outfit might look better in a certain location than another. We’ll make a basic game plan ahead of time.
  • Bring some company. If having a friend or family member with you will make you feel more comfortable, bring someone along. Just don’t bring too many people or they could end up being a distraction more than anything else.

The After

  • Sign a model release. Consider signing a model release form if you would like to see sneak peek on social media.
  • The wait. It takes several weeks for your photographer to complete your images, so you will need to be patient.  I will hurry though, as I’m excited to share them with you!
  • Share and enjoy. Once you receive your photos, you can share the social media versions of your selections.

This is a basic idea of what you can expect from your senior photo session. Don’t be shy.  Just ask me questions if you have any.

Check out the pArt of Life Photography Senior Gallery for more session samples and ideas.  I’d love to create a senior portrait session just for you!



  1. Brandi

    What a great explanation of how a senior photo shoot goes!

  2. Jodi Major

    Wonderful tips for senior photoshoot basics. It’s tough to know what to do or expect when you’ve never done this senior thing before

  3. Michelle Robertson

    The timing of these reminders is perfect for parents of high school seniors! With school starting, it is important to get your senior pictures scheduled early and this is a really great list to help parents and teenagers be prepared for their photo shoot!


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