Creating a Positive Body Image for High School Seniors

Senior Portrait Guide

The best locations on HWY 30A for senior photography:
Santa Rosa Beach, Rosemary Beach, Grayton Beach, Alys Beach, Seaside, Seagrove, Blue Mountain Beach, Dune Allen Beach, Watercolor, Watersound, Eden Gardens,  and Inlet Beach. Other popular Senior Portrait locations include: Destin, Miramar Beach, Sandestin, Baytown Warf, Panama City

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Welcome!

Are you excited? Nervous? Or maybe even a little of both. As a professional Senior Portrait photographer with over 20 years of experience in fashion, photographing both male and female teens, I promise you an amazing adventure.

My goal is to create images that you feel confident in!

Nearly ALL teens seem to have developed a negative image of themselves  in todays' society. I strive to create a positive body image for all shapes, sizes and shades of awkwardness.  I love when a senior looks at their images and their first response is WOW.... is that me?

Let's get started planning your adventure!

Step 1:  Start a group chat with me and mom (or dad) so we can start discussing location ideas.

Location

 

LOCATION SETS THE MOOD

All of the locations we shoot in offer a mix of styles, but obviously some have a very dominant feature. For example, all areas have white sandy beaches, but when choosing one of the city areas (Baytown or Grand Blvd), building structures and textures come into play. If you like a grunge look, the docks or arcade are perfect. If you are into nature, one of the garden locations is best (such as Eden Gardens). Watercolor is the perfect blend of both with textures and structures set near the beach.

LOCATION IS YOUR CHOICE

Do you have a location in mind? If not, let us give you some ideas! Choose from these location sites and we will in turn give you the meeting location point for the day of the session. If you have an area in mind that’s not listed, let us know! And don't forget, we can also use your own home or property rental as well.

 
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Beach Areas:

Alys Beach, Blue Mountain Beach, Destin, Dune Allen, Grayton Beach, Inlet Beach, Miramar Beach, Navarre, Panama City Beach, Rosemary Beach, Sandestin, Santa Rosa Beach, Seacrest, Seagrove, Seaside, Watercolor, Watersound

Garden Areas:

Eden Gardens, Watercolor, Seaside, Rosemary

Downtown Areas:

Baytown, Grand Blvd, Rosemary, Alys, SRB Art District

Your Home or Rental Property:

Many of the images you see on our site have been done using the the rental homes and pool areas of your vacation rental - we can create unique, one of a kind images using your property

Creative Shoots:

Parachute Dresses, Arcades, Boutique Stores

NOTE: The weather does play a factor in our location/outdoor sessions. If it rains, we simply reschedule using our priority scheduling or can move to an indoor location like Shoreline. Don’t worry about clouds though, we love a cloudy day for lighting. We will be in touch if we believe it’s in your best interest to move things around. If you have any questions or are concerned ahead of time, simply call us at 850-460-4437.

PACKING & PREP

The easiest way to carry your clothes and extras is in a “rolling suitcase” like you would use as a “carry-on” on a plane, or a duffle bag that rolls (or is easy to carry).

 

TIP: Pack everything in “groups” as you plan on wearing them, with each “bottom” packed with its “top”. If you wear jewelry, pack each piece that you will be wearing together into little “baggies” so that each baggie is ready to “pull-out-and-wear” per clothing choice.  Also, pack a pair of “walking shoes” to get from point A to point B; then you can slip your heels or nice shoes on at each location spot.

CHANGING ON LOCATION:

The locations for changing are intermittent and we work with the restrooms in the area we are at as well as a portable changing tent. Please keep this in mind when planning your wardrobe in case you need to change under garments, etc.

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Important Reminders

 

For the Guys....

Be sure you have a clean shave immediately before your session.  Get a hair cut approximately two weeks before your session - do not wait till days before your session as you will want a little time for your cut to take shape and be at it's peak. If you have long hair, please remember that it is always windy on the beach, sometimes we need a ball cap or man bun.

For the Gals...

This is your time to feel like a model! Make sure you have your hair and makeup PROFESSIONALLY done by one of our top recommend HMU artist. After choosing your location(s) and wardrobe, I will be in contact with your HMU to discuss best makeup applications and hair styles for your fashion vyb.  This step is essential in helping to create a positive body image and building your self confidence.

Nails/Toes...

Be sure you have a clear or neutral color polish on both your fingernails and toes. Chipped polish and/or distracting colors will ruin an image. Both your hands and feet will be visible in images.

Guys and Gals~Plucking/Shaving...

Girls, if your eyebrows require shaping or if you are a guy and are experiencing uncontrollable eyebrows (like a unibrow) please have them plucked, shaped, etc at least 10 days prior to your session.

  • Ladies, be sure to shave underarms and legs!

 

Fashion Basics
**For all body types**

 

What to Wear

Earth & Muted color tones:

cream, beige, tan, khaki, olive, gray, charcoal, black

navy, maroon, pink, peach, pale blues/greens

Functional clothing: if you want to get the most out of your poses, you need to be able to sit, squat, stand, etc comfortable in ALL of your outfits

Nude or coordinating undergarments:  please be sure to check that your undergarments do not show through your clothing and are covered by your wardrobe if you bend, sit, etc.

Tailored clothing that accentuates your best assets

What NOT to Wear

Wrinkled & dull clothes

 

Neon colors or Logo Shirts

Busy Patterns:  camo, loud prints, plaid, etc.

Too loose of clothing:  while we all love lounging in baggy pants, they are sloppy and unflattering for your senior portraits

Tight fitting clothing that can accentuate problem areas

Short length skirts, dresses and/or shorts that expose too much when sitting, squatting or bending over

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WARDROBE BY

Body Type

If you are worried about what types of clothing to wear to best accentuate your body's beautiful features, have no fear!

Keep reading and you will learn how to dress to create illusions for the best possible you!

Just remember:  size does NOT matter!

Rectangle shapes come in size 2 and size 18...

Hour Glass shapes also come in size 2 and 18

The Ruler or Rectangle Body Shape

Traits:

your upper body tends to be the same width as your lower body and you sometimes consider yourself "boxy"

Your wardrobe goal:

enhance your figure by creating curves with hemline and colors

Do's & Don'ts

don’t be afraid to experiment with colors - if you want to accentuate your upper body, wear a brightly colored top with darker bottoms, and vice versa if you want to accentuate your lower half

 

shapely tops (scoop neck, v-neck, sweetheart, halter necklines) can create curves on your upper body

 

peplum tops or dresses will add curves by bringing attention to your hips

 

refined patterns in classically bold colors help give depth and a richness to your frame

 

high waisted belts will give you the illusion of a smaller waist which will add curves

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The Hour Glass or Coke Bottle

Traits:

your upper and lower body are similar in width while a smaller waist breaks through your middle and you often refer to yourself as curvy

Your wardrobe goal:

to accentuate your curves without looking suggestive

Do's & Don'ts

wear fitted/tailored looks that are not too tight or attention drawing

 

waistline belts can help accentuate your stomach and show off your figure

 

skinny jeans and boot-cut jeans look best on you

 

don't wear short skirts or dresses as they can look less than classy on your body type

 

be aware of low plunging tops - keep cleavage age appropriate 

The Pear or Triangle Body Shape

Traits:

your upper (shoulders, chest, and stomach) is more slender in comparison to your wider lower body (hips, thighs, and bottom)

Your wardrobe goal:

to balance out your lower body by creating optical illusions on your upper body with appropriate clothing

Do's & Don'ts

keep your tops lighter in color than your bottoms, this will bring attention to your thin upper frame

 

wear blazers and jackets that stop at the hip-line

 

brightly colored cardigans/tops will always draw attention away from your hips and up towards your face

pants will look best in boot or flare cut - it will help balance out your hips

a-line cut skirts will help balance out your hips as well

avid pencil skirts - they will only accentuate your lower body

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The Wedge or Inverted Triangle

Traits:

your upper body (shoulder, chest, and stomach) measure wider than your smaller lower body

Your wardrobe goal:

minimize your upper body and accentuate your lower body to create balance for your body type

Do's & Don'ts

high waisted bottoms are great for this look because they help bring attention to your shapely hips

 

keep your neckline soft: go for cowl necks, deep v-necks or even scoop necks

 

stay away from spaghetti straps as they can draw attention to a larger upper body

 

do use a high waisted belt to accentuate your waistline

 

go for simple and darker toned tops, while experimenting with brightly colored or refined printed bottoms

 

wear wide legged pants to balance out a wider upper body

The Circle or Apple Body Shape

Traits:

your middle body holds most of your weight (chest, upper arms, stomach, hips and bottom)

Your wardrobe goal:

lengthen your torso and crate the illusion of a waistline

Do's & Don'ts

wear a great tummy shaper to minimize any bulge at the waist and an uplifting bra to create separation between your waistline and bra line

 

a darker toned longer length cardigan can help elongate your torso and cut your middle horizontally in half

 

wear a structured blazer or jacket that will help draw angular lines giving your upper body structure

 

3/4 sleeves are best for your tops to draw attention away from your upper arms

 

heavier fabrics are best to help hide any trouble areas - any lycra or spandex in your clothing will mean that it may cling to your body

 

bootcut bottoms will help lean out your body

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What's your fashion Vyb?

One of the best things you can remember when deciding your senior portrait wardrobe is to choose pieces that make YOU feel confident, happy, bold, poised and of course amazing. Don 't be afraid to try something new as many teens get stuck in a fashion rut and wear the same ol' t-shirts and yoga pants every day. This is the time to experiment and discover what styles flatter your best features!

*Gals this is your time to glam it up, get pampered and feel like a model*

*Guys - get ready to rock that GQ (Gentleman's Quarterly) vyb that all the ladies love*

We love to help guys and gals find that perfect outfit. Remember that "group chat" I had you start earlier?  Well now is the time we start sending messages and having fun while also eliminating the stress between parents and teens on choosing wardrobe.  With over 20 years in fashion photography, I have the experience to know what will look best on you. Start digging through that closet, searching Pinterest, or even pop on to Amazon and send me some pics of your favorite ideas for your wardrobe.  

 

Group chat: (850) 460-4437

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CASUALLY

carefree

 

 

If denim ripped jeans, sandals and a slouchy knit top is your way of relaxing, let one of your outfits show that off! Don’t be scared of this style - you can still keep it looking pretty!

 

Whether you like bold colors or muted tones, there is so much you can do with this casual senior look! The huge plus to this style is that it completely transitions into any season so there’s no reason to worry about the weather!

A FEW TIPS & TRICK TO KEEP IT POLISHED

 

A casual classic will always be denim. 

Whether it’s ripped jeans, boot cut jeans or denim skinnies, you can always transform this look into whatever you want it to be.

 

Keep your colors neutral and bold (instead of soft) to play up your primary colors.

 

To keep this look casual, keep your top loose fitting and/or slouchy.

 

A great way to anchor your whole outfit is to add some converse shoes or a fabulous pair of heels or boots

DARING

denim

 

 

Denim certainly gets its own category because let’s face it... you can dress it up, dress it down, make it sophisticated, pair it with pearls and a ton of other styles to accentuate your look. Today’s fashion trends lean so heavily on denim that you can even double it up for a bold fashion statement. Whether you decide to wear your denim vintage, ripped, dark or acid washed, you’ll never fail with this choice for your senior pictures.

A FEW TIPS & TRICK TO KEEP IT POLISHED

 

Remember that the shades of denim will either hide or accentuate your body parts. If you want to accentuate your legs and thighs, wear light denim in jeans. A darker wash will hide your thighs. 

 

If you want to have fun with denim on denim, always mix your washes, weight, and shades to create a dynamic variety in your outfit. 

 

To make your denim pop, consider pairing it with luxe accents like heels, diamond jewelry, an embellished top, or a sparkly clutch.

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GENTLEMANS

 quarterly

 

 

A FEW TIPS AND TRICKS FOR THE GUYS

 

My go to shirt for the guys is always a solid color button down shirt.  These are perfect as we can dress them up and quickly undo a few buttons, roll the sleeves and it becomes the perfect casual outfit.

 

Don't forget the suit coat!  This is one of my favorites looks when paired with jeans.  Again we can go casual for formal with this look.

 

SHOES - please stay away from your every day "tennis shoes".  They do NOT photograph well.  Dress shoes, boots, or even a pair of Hey Dudes are great options. 

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FLIRTY

 florals

 

 

If you’re feeling fun and flirty and want to show off your girly side, floral prints are a great way to achieve that! There are a ton of options out there in color, size of print, and even texture so you know you’ll have a ton of variety to choose from when choosing your style.

 

While florals have always been a timeless trend, there are a ton of ways to wear them that will represent you in your senior pictures. 

A FEW TIPS & TRICK TO KEEP IT POLISHED

 

If you want to add a simple statement piece to your minimal outfit, throw on a floral kimono or duster to go a bit more girly. 

 

Whether your floral prints are tiny or huge, allow your piece to be the main show by pairing it with solids. For example, if you’re going to wear a floral top, pair it with solid color pants or a skirt. 

 

Remember that darker florals can lean toward fall and winter seasons, while lighter and brighter florals can lend themselves to the spring and summer seasons. 

 

Not feeling so girly, but still want to flaunt florals? A great way to edge them out is to pair them with a masculine structured piece like a leather jacket or boyfriend jeans.

URBAN

 street

 

 

Whether it’s military/combat boots, leather jackets or bold angular patterns, urban street style is always a great modern look for your senior portraits. If you’re looking for a hard edge, stick with dark muted tones and tailored outfits that are as straight laced as your boots. If you want to soften it up a bit, add a few brighter tones and flowy fabrics to keep it chic but still street. Feel free to mix and match new threads with thrift shop finds and remember to throw back a bit to the ‘80s and ‘90s.

A FEW TIPS & TRICK TO KEEP IT POLISHED

 

Want to brighten up a foundation of dark colors? 

Try a light pair of ripped jeans or upscale joggers.

 

Remember the shoes: To really kick up your outfit and keep it real, throw on a pair of legit underground kicks. Play with either ankle cut or high top sneaks for a more hip hop look and play with military lace ups or combats for that army brat look.  Keep sit sassy with a pair of high heeled boots!

 

Jackets: The only way to go for this look is to keep it structured and stitched. Black leather or army green jackets will keep your look muted and edgy. Keep them matte with metal accents for authenticity.  Old flannels tied around the waist will finish off this look if you choose a tank top.

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PRETTY

 prep

 

 

This look is for those who love tailored structure with whimsy accents. Collars meet jewels while blazers are paired with pops of color all while staying inside the lines. Soft patterns share pastel colors and light and airy fabrics are paired with streamlined silhouettes. If you’re a happy, go lucky girl who likes to look polished and playful, this is the style for you. 

A FEW TIPS & TRICK TO KEEP IT POLISHED

 

If you love Chambray collars, pair them with a pretty sweater and heavy jewels to play up your neckline and keep it feminine.

 

For a bold look, play up your patterns in a bold way and go with large prints. For a softer look, keep your prints small and light.

 

If you do go with floral/pretty prints, remember to anchor them with a heavy solid like a beautifully colored cardigan.

 

Balance the seasonal approach by pairing chunky sweaters with light skirts or fall skinnies to keep the look girly and fresh.

Patterned shorts/skirts/rompers are always adorable - remember to anchor them with a complementary color on top. 

LUCKY IN

 lace

 

 

Whether it’s a lace top, lace shorts or a lace dress, you can never go wrong with this fun and flirty classic! Keep it modern by wearing it in bold and rich colors or keep it timeless with muted tones of cream and blush.  Play it up with a strand of pearls or bring it way down by pairing lace with cowboy boots for a down home style. It’s feminine and always soft when you want to keep your senior portrait style all American with that “girl next door” look.. 

A FEW TIPS & TRICK TO KEEP IT POLISHED

 

To keep lace looking high end, be sure to purchase only those pieces that are scalloped or open hemmed. That makes the piece look unique and intricate.

 

Remember that lace is usually see through, so pair your piece with nude undergarments. Refrain from using anything other than nude undergarments because it can come off as less than classy.

 

If you are foregoing pretty pearls for a more modern look, stick with thin chained necklaces when wearing lace as not to compete with the pattern in the lace. 

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BOHO

 beautiful

 

 

Whether you’re a wanderlust at heart or a wild spirit, this boho look is for you! This style is the love child of the gypsies and the 1970s and is such a great way to bring emotional freedom into your senior portraits!

 

Most boho looks are light and airy with sheer fabrics and lace while others are full of bold tribal patterns and hints of Middle Eastern flair. You can mix and match these two options or keep them separate for two completely different looks.

A FEW TIPS & TRICK TO KEEP IT POLISHED

 

If you decide on sheer fabrics, remember to bring NUDE undergarments to maintain your modesty. Black or white undergarments will definitely show through.

 

Stackable bangles are HUGE accessories for this look and can add to the authenticity of the style.

 

Headbands (for across the forehead) also bring a certain genuine look to match this gypsy throwback style.

 

The more rings, the better!

 

The more layers you have on, the better! Add on a sheer kimono, fur vest belted with skinny belt, boot socks, and everything else you can think of!

The Vybz Style Closet

Many of the images you see on my site are a combination of client's clothing mixed in with some of my favorite fashion pieces.  I have worked with fashion designers over the past 20 years and have a closet packed full of tops, bottoms, cardigans, dresses, skirts, fur jackets, boots, heels and more. If you see something you LOVE, feel free to ask about it and we can help you shop for it or check the style closet to see if we have it on hand.

One of the top items used by our senior clients are our custom designed parachute dresses.  These create a ONE-OF-A-KIND look for your senior portraits.  We have 5 colors (Pink, Red, Blue, Green, and Multi). If you are interested in using a parachute dress or something from our steampunk collection, please contact me by text at (850) 460-4437 so we can plan accordingly.

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ACCENTING

WITH

accessories

 

It's all about the bling!

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props

 

love when my senior clients bring something that symbolizes THEM!

Sunglasses or funky fun fashion glasses are a great accessory for both guys and gals and provide a perfect magazine model look to your images.

Guitars are another popular item with the guys while the girls love to end their session blowing glitter!

Ladies... HIGH HEELS are your best friend!

They lengthen your legs and make you look slimmer!

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hats

 

Try not to be too matchy matchy when it comes to your hat. If you match your hat with the rest of your outfit, that can mean one color from head to toe, and that is too much for the eye to take in. 

 

Make sure that your hat fits your head and isn’t too large or tall. A hat that it too tall for your head can make your head look much bigger than it is, and a hat that is too large, can come down too low on your forehead causing dark shadows above your eyes. 

 

If your outfit already has several pieces, patterns and colors to it, think about NOT opting for a hat. It can add even more to an already busy look. 

 

Experiment with hat shapes other than the floppy hat. Try beanies, newsboys, fedoras, snap-backs and berets to accentuate your outfit. 

And don't forget, that we have over 20 different styles of hats available for use in our Style Closet!

jewelry

 

Don't forget the pearls!

That should literally be my "tag line". I honestly feel that no outfit is complete without pearls to finish it off. I will use pearls in grunge fashion looks just as much as I use pearls with flutter dresses.

If you don't think of pearls as a modern accessory, then you have never stepped foot inside a boutique shop or fashion accessory store in the mall.  Pearls are everywhere and complement any wardrobe style. Plus they are fun and give your hands something to hold.

A few tips & tricks to adding a polished fashion look using jewelry

  • To make a simple top pop, add a colorful and interesting necklace in complementary colors.

  • To add glam to an edgy look, pop on a super glitz collar or bib type necklace to instantly dress up the look.

  • Don't be afraid to mis your metals starting with your necklace.  if you mix shiny gold with brushed silver at your neck, you can mix your rings and bracelets in the same finishes as well.

  • If you're wanting to wear a deep neckline but are uncomfortable the amount of skin showing, throw on a beautiful statement necklace to bridge the gap a bit.

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THINGS TO CONSIDER WHEN PREPARING FOR YOUR SENIOR PHOTO SESSION:

  • Avoid strapless tops and dresses - instead choose items with a cold shoulder look .  Bare shoulders are distracting and they will make you look larger.  Use large jewelry pieces around the neck if you choose a spaghetti strap.
     

  • At all costs... avoid SUNBURNS and TAN LINES!  We do not photoshop tan lines or sunburns.  If planning your session during your vacation at the beach, book your session early in the week so we don't have sunburn issues at your session.
     

  • No shorts or short skirts.  Both of these items limit your poses on both the beach and at garden locations.  Shorts will cause your skin to bulge when you sit on the beach and this look is not attractive.  The beach is also very windy, stay away from skirts and dresses that can blow up.
     

  • I can't say this enough... it IS windy on the beach! We have wind on the beach nearly every day.  Keep this in mind when planning your shirts, dresses, etc as the wind will blow them against your body.  Avoid baggy pieces that will flap in the wind.
     

  • Hairstyles - again, it's windy on the beach.  Both long and short hairstyles WILL have a wind blown look to them.  I suggest bringing bobby bins, hats, hair ponys, etc in case your hair is blowing so bad we need to pin it back.
     

  • Avoid lotion just before your session, however, apply plenty in the morning so it has time to soak in.  Sand will stick to you the more lotion you have on.  Tip:  Bring baby powder as this will help get sand off dry parts of your skin.
     

  • Towels and complete change of clothes - many times by the end of the session, you are either covered in sand or wet (usually both). Bring something to dry off with and a change of clothes (no one likes sand in their underwear).
     

  • If you are wearing white or light colored clothing please wear nude undergarments - do not wear white or black as these colors will show through.  This goes for the guys too, if you have white pants/shorts, stay away from the whitie-tighties.
     

  • EAT A SNACK!!!  We are hustling and moving fast during your session.  There is a lot of walking and standing.  And lets face it.... looking this good is hard work - we need food!  If you are hangry, you will not photography well.  On that note, get a good nights rest and drink extra water a few days before the session as this will help hydrate you skin and make you look better.

contact me with questions (850) 460-4437

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"Fashion is not something that exists in dresses only. Fashion is in the sky, in the street, fashion has to do with ideas, the way we live, what is happening."